FBO NEWS

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

As part of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust ‘Puffin Festival’, the observatory held two seawatch events at the Fog Station on 26th/27th May.

There was a fantastic response from the public, with 227 people attending, all of whom were able to enjoy fantastic views of Puffins at close range. Other seabirds seen during the morning included Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Manx Shearwater and Bonxie. Thanks to our members who helped make this event such a success, particularly our secretary Tony Hood.

Watching Puffins near the Fog Station

Puffin, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, March 10th, 2018

The 2018 observatory AGM was held on 10th March at Bridlington Links Golf Club. Despite roads near Bempton rendered impassable by flooding, a creditable 26 members braved the elements. 

There were no changes to either the officers or the members of the working groups. In addition, it was pleasing to report that the finances at the end of 2017 were in robust health, despite the observatory publishing both the 2014/15 and 2016 Reports during a 12 month period. The compilation of the 2017 Report has recently been completed and is due at the designer/printer before the month-end. Clearly the surge in membership helped improve the financial position, with an incredible 60 new members joining over the course of the year. 

Attendees were shown detailed plans for the seawatch shelter; the latter now having been granted planning permission by East Riding Council. Construction will take place during autumn, once the seabird breeding season has finished. This success is due to the hard work of a dedicated team, with special thanks also due to the Garganey Trust, Green Future Building and Salts Architects. 

The future of ringing on the headland also looks rosy, with an increase in both trained and trainee ringers able to benefit from our ringing lab within the Living Seas Centre, South Landing. In excess of 2000 birds were ringed during 2017; all this within a year lacking easterlies and substantial arrivals of migrants.

Thanks is due to Ali Barrett, Site Manager of RSPB Bempton Cliffs, who gave an excellent presentation on the population fluctuations of our local seabirds. The results of the full census in 2017 proved enlightening, as was the evidence of where these birds are feeding, revealed by tagging studies.

Following an excellent buffet, the evening ended with a quiz genially hosted by our Ringer-in-Chief Jim Morgan.

2018 Flamborough AGM

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

Holmes Gut Work Party

Members of the YWT and the Bird Observatory working together to clear gorse from encroaching into the chalk grassland areas of Holmes Gut. Whilst the Exmoor ponies do a great job, they need a little assistance now and again. Hopefully a Wryneck will appreciate that bare ground in spring.

Friday, December 29th, 2017

Members celebrated 2017 with an end-of-year meal at the North Star. A 12 month period that produced: an almost doubling in membership; publication of two Bird Reports; three extremely successful social events; several well-attended conservation working parties; and the inaugural Ringing & Migration week.

Members Xmas meal at the North Star, Flamborough

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

An Auction and Social Night extravagansa

A superb evening began with live music from FBO house band The Headlanders who provided an acoustic set of blues, folk and popular hits; the Discovery Room in the Living Seas Centre was rocking!

There was also a special guest appearance from our President Ian Wallace, who came from his Midlands home just for the evening. He was also kind enough to sign many pieces of his wonderful artwork that we had for sale.

The main event was the auction, with many amazing lots from birding companies, artists and members alike. Our auctioneer, John Beaumont, who had been doing his research by watching Flog It,  was ably assisted by Karen Bradley. With John’s mallet ringing out the winning bids, we managed to raise an amazing £980 for obs funds; sincere thanks to the bidders for this. The aforementioned Wallace artwork raised £170 which will provide our growing ringing team with new FBO branded ringing smocks and new nets – hopefully to be filled with loads of migrants come spring.

The Headlanders

Ian Wallace enjoying auction night

John Beaumont & Karen Bradley kick-starting the auction

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

 Our inaugural Ringing and Migration week

In mid-October, the observatory teamed up with Filey Bird Observatory and Scarborough Birders to host a series of free events along the Yorkshire coast. These included daily ringing demonstrations and guided walks designed to give visitors a taste of autumn migration. Often an exciting time of year, relentless westerly winds stalled substantial immigration from the east, although a Yellow-browed Warbler on the first morning was a great start. Many of the events took place at the Living Seas Centre and included a talk by Yoav Perlman on the wonders of migration through Israel.

As you can see from the programme below that it is chockablock with events on both sites from daily ringing to guided walks to an amazing list of talks by some of the areas leading birders. FBO will also have a pop up shop at the Living Seas Centre for most days of this week with our range of clothing and reports for sale and to hopefully entice more new members to the fold.

Yoav Perlman, Living Seas Centre

Guided walk showing birders a Yellow-browed Warbler

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

2016 Flamborough Bird Report published

It includes: a summary of the sightings of all the bird species recorded on the Flamborough headland in 2016, including Bempton Cliffs RSPB; a gallery featuring stunning colour photos of some of the rarest and most spectacular birds to ever arrive at Flamborough; detailed breeding bird survey of Bempton Cliffs RSPB – find out what is happening to our Gannets, Guillemots, Razorbills, Puffins and Kittiwakes.

2016 Reports are available to non-members for only £10.00 (+ £2.00 p&p). Please contact Tony Hood for further details.

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Our first ever members night.

And what a night it was! With huge thanks to all of our members who turned up and helped contribute to such an enjoyable and memorable evening. A talk by our chairman Craig Thomas kicked off events, with his personal perspective on birding the Yorkshire coast and especially at Flamborough, including a sneak peak of the revised plans for the seawatching hide.

Then with people enjoying and sharing the supper brought with them and by others, we launched into our raffle. The latter hosted by John Beaumont and ably assisted by Jo Hood, with many fantastic prizes from local businesses, members and a host of very generous birding and wildlife companies. The raffle raised over £500 for obs funds, so was a great social and financial success.

Finally, there was the launch of the new FBO branded clothing range. As the pictures show, the members couldn’t wait to try these on, with many of our stock items being snapped up and a book full of orders. As ever, many thanks to Ant of the Living Seas Centre for the use of the venue and all the help setting up.

Raffle prizes galore

Our chairman, then and now…

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

On 15th July, the annual Moth and Storm-petrel ringing evening took place at South Landing. Organised by the East Yorkshire RSPB Local Group,with assistance by Yorkshire Naturalists Union Lepidopterist recorder, the East Yorkshire Ringing Group and FBO, including significant promotion via social media.

A great evening was enjoyed by 85 people. Introductory talks were given by Ana Cowie of YWT and Andrew Lassey of East Yorkshire Ringing Group/FBO. As well as the many moths caught, two Storm-petrels were caught; with the first one at 1am, so a late night all round.

A big thank you to Ana Cowie of YWT for hosting the event in Ant’s absence; also to the keen moth-ers Ian Marshall, Peter Dunn, Mike Pearson, Keith Barrow ,Gill Reid and Lenora Bruce. Another big thank you to Sal Cooke, Brett Richards and Andrew Lassey for the petrel ringing.

Ringing a Storm Petrel, Living Seas Centre

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

On 8th July a work party was held at Thornwick Pools, which included clearing the overgrown paths and the pool margins to create muddy edges which the waders prefer as a feeding habitat. Also some hide maintenance was carried out, including re-waterproofing the photopod, so that members can now sit in comfort in order to capture the brilliant images that grace our blog and social media.

Further work carried out included the spraying the Marestail; this was done by an approved contractor with a specific herbicide which only ‘attacks’ the targeted vegetation and is safe for an aquatic environment. This has also necessitated the lowering of the water levels whilst the work was done and whilst the plant dies off, but it has meant for some terrific views of waders near the photopod.

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

If you were lucky enough to find a rarity on the headland last year and haven’t yet submitted your description, our rarity committee are waiting to hear from you. All your submissions can be sent to fborecords@hotmail.com 

All records pertaining to national rarities are submitted to the British Birds Rarities Committee (BBRC) prior to publication within this Report. A list of species for which descriptions are required by BBRC is available at www.bbrc.org.uk. Similarly, claims for species requiring a description at county level are all submitted to Yorkshire’s Bird Section Adjudication Panel; the list of species requiring a description in addittion to those listed on the BBRC website is as follows:

  • Taiga Bean Goose
  • Black Brant
  • American Wigeon
  • Ferruginous Duck
  • Surf Scoter
  • White-billed Diver
  • Wilson’s Storm-petrel
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • Cattle Egret
  • Purple Heron
  • European Honey-buzzard
  • Black Kite
  • White-tailed Eagle
  • Montagu’s Harrier
  • Rough-legged Buzzard
  • Golden Eagle
  • Red-footed Falcon
  • Kentish Plover
  • American Golden Plover
  • White-rumped Sandpiper
  • Buff-breasted Sandpiper
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Kumlien’s Gull
  • White-winged Black Tern
  • Alpine Swift
  • Short-toed Lark
  • Red-rumped Swallow
  • Tawny Pipit
  • Olive-backed Pipit
  • Red-throated Pipit
  • Aquatic Warbler
  • Marsh Warbler
  • Melodious Warbler
  • Dartford Warbler
  • Subalpine Warbler
  • Greenish Warbler
  • Radde’s Warbler
  • Dusky Warbler
  • Siberian Chiffchaff
  • Woodchat Shrike
  • Red-billed Chough
  • Arctic Redpoll
  • Parrot Crossbill
  • Cirl Bunting
  • Rustic Bunting
  • Little Bunting 

 

In addition, there are several species which are rare within the local context and these require describing in order to feature within the Flamborough annual Report. Such species include Great White Egret, Caspian Gull, Spotted Crake, Corncrake, Bee-eater, Nightjar, Woodlark, Richards Pipit and Golden Oriole.Copies of rarity descriptions and a list of sightings made by visiting birders will be greatly appreciated and will be acknowledged in future Reports. 

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

On 1st April, an observatory work party convened at Old Fall Plantation to do some general tidying, including removing tree guards, some lower branch removal to let light into the pond area and making log piles for insects; which in turn are vital for the tired and hungry migrants making landfall.

Old Fall work party

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

The observatory AGM was held on the 11th March at Bridlington Links Golf Club and was very well attended with over 35 members present. After an excellent buffet, there followed a truly mesmerising talk by Paul Stancliffe of the BTO entitled ‘Tracking Technology – let the birds tell their story’.

It was announced at this meeting that our long-standing secretary Chrys Mellor would be stepping down after eight years and we thank her greatly for her hard work, patience and diligence over this time. Chrys has vowed to take more of her excellent Puffin pictures now she has so much more free time.

Our new secretary is Tony Hood and his contact details are: 9 Hartendale Close, Flamborough, East Yorkshire, YO15 1PL. Tel: 07876022951 or email: tonyhood74@gmail.com

New Committee Members:

The new recorder for east of the dykes is Andrew Hood and any sightings and records should be sent to the fborecords@hotmail.com . We would like to thank the former recorder Neil Parker for all his hard work and wish him well.

Treasurer: Max Webber is stepping down and Jo Hood taking over. We wish Max and his wife Paula all the best for their move to Aberdeen! Jo’s email is: johood74@outlook.com

A date for your diary: the 2018 AGM will be on Saturday 10th March at The Bridlington Links Golf Club.

Paul Stancliffe of the BTO, 2017 Flamborough Bird Obs AGM