Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

A sunny day, with light winds and temperatures reaching 5 degrees C after an overnight frost. Thornwick Pools hosted 17 Teal and, more unseasonably, a flock of 27 Meadow Pipits. Sightings from Oceanview included a Grey Heron, 18 Curlew, two Golden Plover, 13 Grey Partridges, 65 Skylarks, 26 Yellowhammers and a Lapland Bunting.

Grey Heron, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Monday, December 10th, 2018

A sunny day, with moderate north-north-west winds and temperatures reaching six degrees C. Seawatching highlights included three pale-bellied Brent Geese, three Velvet Scoters, a Goldeneye, one Blue Fulmar, 621 Fulmars, 198 Kittiwakes and three Little Gulls flying north. Three Great Northern Divers were recorded (two north, one south), and other birds moving south included two Mediterranean Gulls, a juvenile Iceland Gull (first of the year) and 17 Bonxies. Elsewhere, seventeen Corn Buntings frequented fields near Mid-Dykes.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted a Black Redstart.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Dykes, by Andy Hood

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Moderate/strong north-westerly winds featured throughout a largely sunny day, with increasing amounts of cloud later. Seawatching highlights included ten Whooper Swans, three Bean Geese (probable Tundras), 48 Common Scoter, 33 Red-throated Divers and four Bonxies flying south, with 620 Fulmars and a Little Auk heading in the opposite direction. 

A Water Rail frequented Thornwick Pools, one Woodcock was flushed from South Landing, a Short-eared Owl hunted the Lighthouse Grassland, whilst single Blackcap and Brambling visited a village garden.

Short-eared Owl, Lighthouse Grassland, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

A day of strong westerly winds, sunny intervals in the morning, with overcast skies and rain later. Seawatching highlights included five Whooper Swans, three Velvet Scoters flying south and 450 Fulmars moving in the opposite direction. Wildfowl interest on the headland included four Pink-footed Geese, a White-fronted Goose and 39 Teal in the North Marsh area.

Carrion Crow, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Friday, December 7th, 2018

A relatively overcast start with occasional rain, although brighter spells by the afternoon; moderate south-westerly winds strengthened during the day. The morning’s seawatch was quiet, with 36 Common Scoter, three Great Crested Grebes and 17 Kittiwakes noted. 

On the headland, five Whooper Swans flew south over Thornwick Pools, a White-fronted Goose accompanied four Pink-footed Geese near North Marsh. Passerine interest was restricted to two Chiffchaffs near Greenacres.

Whooper Swan, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

A relatively overcast day, with light south-west winds and spells of light rain. Seawatching highlights included two dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Goosander and one Black-throated Diver flying north, with 30 Turnstone and 20 Purple Sandpipers below the Fog Station.

Fifteen Whooper Swans (12 adults, three juveniles) toured the headland, whilst 18 Wigeon and 55 Teal visited Stainforth’s Flash, where 13 Grey Partridges were also present. Unusually, a Shag visited Thornwick Fishing Pool early morning. A first-winter Mediterranean Gull frequented South Landing beach, where a Snow Bunting flew over. Elsewhere, a Chiffchaff remained in South Dykes, whilst a count of 28 Corn Buntings near mid-Dykes represented a noteworthy record.

Whooper Swans, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Mottled Umber & Satellite moths, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

After yesterday’s sun back to poor weather again today with cloud and rain, a moderate southerly wind and a raw 6c.

The usual morning sea-watch had no great numbers but some quality with two Velvet Scoter, 24 Common Scoter, 27 Red-throated Diver, two Great Northern Diver and 52 Fulmar.

At Thornwick Pools, five Teal, 19 Mallard, Sparrowhawk, Barn Owl, seven Linnet, six Yellowhammer and a Reed Bunting.

Linnet by Geoff Carr

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

A cold day with an overnight frost and sunny skies throughout. Wind was a light westerly. Highlights from the morning sea watch included 3 Great Northern Diver and 9 Little Gull. Supporting cast was provided by 19 goose sp, 2 Eider, 14 Common Scoter, 46 Red-throated Diver, 280 Fulmar and 6 Bonxie.

6 Whooper Swan flew south over Booted Gully and a Snow Bunting headed north over South Landing. A single Chiffchaff clung on in the less than favorable temperatures  at Whelkie Wynds. A Norwegian ringed Rock Pipit was re-trapped at South Landing, whilst a Stonechat was also ringed. The Pied Crow was still in the Village. 

Sparrowhawk, Whelkie Wynds by Brett Richards.

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

A mixed day with sunny spells, some light rain showers and a moderate north-westerly wind. It was another day dominated by large movements of Pink-footed Geese, with a minimum of 2005 birds recorded heading south; the movement took place from dawn until 1030hrs in the main, with smaller flocks until 1140hrs and none subsequently. A single Whooper Swan also over flew the outer headland. Seawatch counts included 30 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 3 Eider, 102 Red-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver, 1 Little Gull and a Bonxie. 

Two Lapland Bunting and a Corn Bunting were in the lighthouse grassland. Whilst other highlights from the land included a single Eurasian White-fronted Goose, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Mealy Redpoll and a Water Rail. The Pied Crow remained in the village.

Pied Crow, Village by Andy Hood.

Pink-footed Geese by Andrew Allport

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

A mild and generally sunny day, with occasional light showers. The good run of Long-tailed Duck sightings continued, with a single bird getting up off the sea near the fog station and continuing north mid-morning. The sea watch was otherwise relatively quiet with 2 Common Scoter and 15 Red-throated Diver the only other notable species.

The main focus of the day was a significant passage of Pink-footed Geese, with a minimum of 800 birds heading south in 7 flocks. A single group of 25 Whooper Swan also headed south over the outer headland. 13 Grey Partridge at Oceanview was a particularly high count for the outer headland,  given the species decline on the headland in recent years. 6 Snow bunting flew north at Cattlemere during the morning and a Corn Bunting was near Thornwick.

Stonechat, Thornwick bay by Andy Hood.

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

A cool and wet day, with light southerly winds. Due to weather conditions, the morning seawatch was conducted from North Landing, where highlights included a Long-tailed Duck, one Black-throated Diver, 165 Red-throated Divers, 11 Common Scoter, one Great Crested Grebe, a Dark-bellied Brent Goose and a flock of 29 ‘grey’ geese including at least one Tundra Bean Goose.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit (ringed in Norway), South Dykes, by Andrew Allport

Friday, November 30th, 2018

A sunny day with moderate south westerly wind. The morning sea watch was productive with the stand out highlights being four Bewick’s Swan (including two juveniles) flying south, closely followed by a flock of 13 Eurasian White-fronted Geese and a single Tundra Bean Goose. A decent supporting cast included 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 15 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Shelduck, 1 Gadwall, 28 Wigeon, 10 Teal, 2 Velvet Scoter, 31 Common Scoter, 155 Red-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Diver, 25 Golden Plover, 1 Bonxie and 1 Arctic Skua. 65 Purple Sandpiper was a notable count in the area around the fog station.

Two additional Eurasian White-fronts overflew the outer headland, with another in fields on the north side. Three Whooper swan similarly alighted in fields before flying off south.  Thornwick pool hosted a Jack Snipe along with 17 Snipe, whilst fresh water bodies across the headland held a total of 168 Teal and 2 Water Rail.  3 Grey Partridge  and a Short-eared Owl were also logged. Passerines on the outer head were represented by 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Mealy Redpolls and 8 Snow Bunting. A single Snow Bunting also flew south east at Bempton. 

Eurasian White-fronted Goose by Andrew Allport

Whooper Swan by Andrew Allport

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

A cloudy day with showers and strong winds but 10c

The headland sea-watch was steady with Teal, Eider, two Common Scoter, 23 Red-throated Diver, 86 Fulmar, 81 Gannet, Knot, Dunlin, 31 Kittiwake, 33 Great Black-backed Gull and a single Puffin. Present below the headland were 20 Turnstone.

The highlight of the day was a Bittern which flew south-east over the fishing pond at Thornwick Pools at 1408. Additionally, a mixed flock of 750 Fieldfare and Redwing at North Dykes.

Teal by Andrew Alport

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

A poor weather day with mist and rain, winds south to east and force 6.

Headland sea-watching produced two Shelduck, three Wigeon, 14 Teal, ten Red-throated Diver, 40 Fulmar including a dark morph, 38 Gannet and 45 Purple Sandpiper.

Elsewhere in the recording area was a Long-tailed Duck at North Landing, seven Teal, Sparrowhawk, three Woodcock, Chiffchaff and 35 Goldfinch.

Long-tailed Duck by Brett Richards

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

A fairly clear day to start but cloud soon developing with a southerly force 5 wind and 7c.

The morning and mid-day sea-watch found three Shelduck, 36 Wigeon, 49 Teal, four Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, eight Eider, a female/immature Goldeneye, 80 Red-throated Diver, 21 Gannet still around, seven Redshank, 84 Kittiwake, 71 Common Gull and a first cy Little Gull. Present off the headland were two Eider, 18 Red-throated Diver and 15 Shag.

The remaining headland had 145 Teal, 22 Wigeon, 16 Common Scoter, Scaup, Great Crested Grebe, three Peregrine, eight Oystercatcher, two Turnstone, four Woodcock, Jack Snipe, 22 Snipe, 23 Black-headed Gull, 52 Common Gull, 36 Skylark, two Coal Tit, Chiffchaff, 33 Blackbird, Grey Wagtail, four Bullfinch and a Lapland Bunting over North Landing.

A Dark Sword Grass moth was recorded at Oceanview, a continental migrant and a first for the site.

Dark Sword Grass by Andy Hood

Eider by Andrew Alport

Monday, November 26th, 2018

An overcast day with light north-easterly winds and a cold 6c

Highlights of the sea-watch were five Teal, 14 Common Scoter, 24 Red-throated Diver, Bar-tailed Godwit and 207 Kittiwake.

The remaining headland had a female Sparrowhawk caught and ringed, 28 Oystercatcher, Barn Owl, Great spotted Woodpecker, two Chiffchaff, two Blackcap, two Treecreeper, 33 Blackbird, seven Redwing, 16 Greenfinch and two Snow Bunting.

Barn Owl by Geoff Carr

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

A moderate easterly wind with heavy showers throughout the day. The morning sea watch proved productive with 1 Little Auk, 1 Bonxie, 1 Manx Shearwater, 19 Red-throated Diver, 24 Common Scoter, 2 Velvet Scoter, 15 Eider, 2 Wigeon and a single Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

The Nuthatch remained at South Dykes. A Black Redstart in paddocks off Water Lane was new. 3 Chiffchaff and 2 Woodcock were on the outer headland, with a third Woodcock logged at Bempton and 3 Corn Bunting at nearby Buckton.

Sparrowhawk, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

A cloudy day with light north easterly winds. A single Black-throated Diver flew north on the sea watch, with other notable counts including 41 Red-throated Diver and six Common Scoter.

Land birds were headlined by a Waxwing briefly in a village garden. A single Nuthatch was present at South Dykes; likely representing one of the lingering individuals from earlier in the year. The Pied Crow also remained in the village.

A Snow Bunting flew in off the sea at Bempton along with 60 Golden Plover, whilst a Woodcock was present in the Dell.

Peregrine, North Cliffs, by Mark Pearson

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

A cloudy day, with light rain during the afternoon and a light south easterly breeze. Highlights from the sea watch consisted of four Velvet Scoter, along with 11 Common Scoter, 2 Goosander, 3 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 9 Wigeon, 8 Teal, 187 Red-throated Diver, 3 Little Gull and a Bonxie. A Long-tailed Duck loitered off South Landing with a Great Crested Grebe. A further Goosander passed Bempton.

Highlights on the land consisted of a Lapland Bunting and 2 Snow Bunting in fields near North Dykes, 2 Chiffchaff, 12 Mealy Redpoll (ringed), 7 Lesser Redpoll, 27 Redwing and 2 Water Rail. The Short-eared Owl remained at Bempton.

Mealy Redpoll, South Landing by Jim Morgan

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Another overcast day with some drizzle and 7c.

The headland sea-watch highlights were Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 15 Teal, 22 Eider, two Velvet Scoter, 17 Common Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, 61 Red-throated Diver and two Great Northern Diver. Present there were 30 Shag, 20 Turnstone, 34 Purple Sandpiper and two Peregrine.

Other parts of the headland had a Whooper Swan at North Marsh, 74 Mallard, 56 Moorhen, 15 Oystercatcher, four Curlew, five Redshank, Woodcock, two Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chiffchaff, two Treecreeper, 42 Blackbird and seven Redwing.

Highlights from ringing today were five Goldcrest, a surprise Willow Warbler and Common Redpoll.

Goldcrest by Geoff Carr

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

A rather poor day, overcast with some showers, a force 6 southerly wind and only 6c.

The sea-watch highlights were ten Teal south, ten Red-throated Diver south and two north, Great Northern Diver north, 335 Fulmar south and 25 north, 52 Kittiwake south and a Little Gull south.

Around the area were 30 Teal, 57 Mallard, Velvet Scoter South Landing, Water Rail and two Redshank Thornwick Pools, five Curlew, Woodcock at South Landing, Peregrine, two Chiffchaff, 30 Blackbird, seven Redwing, Treecreeper and 21 Greenfinch.

Redshank by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Very strong north-easterly winds and squally showers featured throughout. Seawatching highlights included a Brent Goose and three Bonxies moving south, with 44 Eider, a Velvet Scoter, one Black-throated Diver, three Great Northern Divers, 918 Kittiwakes, 49 Little Gulls, an Arctic Skua and 13 Little Auks heading north.

Cormorant, South Landing, by Trevor Charlton

Monday, November 19th, 2018

The weather consisted of largely overcast skies, although with brighter spells in the afternoon and an increasingly strong east-north-easterly wind. Seawatching highlights included 117 dark-bellied Brent Geese (107 south, ten north), 47 Wigeon, four Pintail, 81 Teal, 129 Eider, three Velvet Scoter and three Red-breasted Mergansers all north, 358 Common Scoter (165 north, 193 south) and two Goldeneye south. A Manx Shearwater headed north, as did an Avocet; the latter accompanied a flock of Eider heading north, having been at South Landing earlier. Sixty-six Little Gulls were also recorded (62 north, four south), as were seven Bonxies south.

Away from the sea, a Whooper Swan remained in residence on North Marsh, but three Woodcock were presumably fresh in.  

dark-bellied Brent Geese, Fog Station, by Mark Pearson

Eider with Avocet, South Landing, by Mark Pearson

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, November 18th, 2018

A sunny day, with a light/moderate easterly wind and temperatures reaching 11 degrees C. During the seawatch, two Pink-footed Geese, six Shelduck, a Tufted Duck, 112 Common Scoters, four Goldeneye, a Great Northern Diver, one Red-necked Grebe, 83 Little Gulls and five Bonxies flew south; 68 Eiders moved north. 

A White-fronted Goose was located at Oceanview, but the day’s highlight related to a Bittern that was flushed from Greenacres and flew north towards Thornwick. Nearby, North Marsh attracted 11 Grey Partridge and a Short-eared Owl. A late Northern Wheatear at North Dykes was notable.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included single Water Rail, Woodcock and Ruff, 35 Redwing, ten Fieldfare, 90 Skylark, a Redpoll sp. and 40 Yellowhammers.

Grey Seals, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Light/moderate south-easterly winds, with sunny intervals developing after an overcast start and temperatures peaking at 11 degrees C. Seawatching was rewarded with: 29 dark-bellied Brent Geese (21 north, eight south); two Shoveler, 31 Wigeon, 71 Teal and eight Goldeneye all south; 180 Eider (170 north, ten south); 52 Red-throated Divers and four Great Northern Divers south; a Black-throated Diver north; single Sooty Shearwater and Manx Shearwater south; a Mediterranean Gull north; five Bonxies, a Pomarine Skua and one Arctic Skua south and a Lapland Bunting in off the sea. In addition, 150 Little Gulls were seen off the Fog Station, but most of these moved into Bridlington Bay, where 747 Little Gulls fed offshore between New Fall and South Landing.

Further wildfowl interest was provided by a Whooper Swan on North Marsh, six Shelduck that flew north at South Landing, 79 Teal on Thornwick Pools and four Pochard off the North Cliffs. Migrants included four Woodcock and a Short-eared Owl that hunted the Gorse Feld. Passerine interest included 12 Goldcrests, eight Chiffchaff, 670 Blackbirds, 135 Fieldfare, 600 Redwing, two Siskin, four Mealy Redpolls at Old Fall, a Hawfinch at North Landing and a Snow Bunting along the North Cliffs.

West of the Dykes, a Richard’s Pipit overflew the trap at Buckton, where there were also Short-eared Owl, 75 Blackbirds, 45 Redwing, 25 Fieldfare and five Song Thrush; two Mealy Redpolls were present at nearby RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Eider, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Mealy Redpoll, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Trevor Charlton

Mottled Umber, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Friday, November 16th, 2018

An overcast day, with thick mist/fog developing during the morning and a relatively light southerly wind. Seawatching highlights included a Mute Swan off the Fog Station that later flew south, a Shoveler, six Gadwall, 72 Wigeon, 145 Teal, two Tufted Duck, three Eider, a Long-tailed Duck, one Goosander, 48 Red-throated Divers, a Manx Shearwater, one Little Egret, 39 Knot, 18 Dunlin, 133 Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull and one Bonxie all flying south; an additional 36 Little Gulls moved north.

Three Pink-footed Geese, 17 dark-bellied Brent Geese and 90 Teal were also present, including 89 of the latter on Thornwick Pools, where there was also a Water Rail. An arrival of late autumn migrants occurred during the morning, with eight Woodcock, nine Chiffchaffs, 52 Blackbirds, 280 Fieldfare, 495 Redwing, three Brambling and a Lapland Bunting all located.

West of the Dykes, Buckton attracted eight Golden Plover, a Chiffchaff and 300 Fieldfare/Redwing.

Mute Swan, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Goldcrest, Lighthouse, by Steve Meredith

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

An overcast morning, with a light south-west wind; sunny intervals developed during the afternoon. During the seawatch, two Gadwall, 34 Common Scoter, 58 Red-throated Divers, 87 Golden Plover and a Mediterranean Gull flew south. Little Gulls lingered offshore throughout, with 150 off the Fog Station mid-afternoon. South Landing attracted a finch flock that contained three Brambling.

Rock Pipit (Norweigan ringed), South Landing, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

A cloudy start to the day, with early morning drizzle followed by sunny intervals later; temperatures reached 13 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included a Pink-footed Goose, two Eider, a Velvet Scoter, two Great Crested Grebes, a juvenile Pomarine Skua and an Arctic Skua all flying south. Later in the day, a Brent Goose flew south and 100 Little Gulls fed offshore of Selwick’s Bay. A high tide roost of waders near the Fog Station contained 60 Turnstone and 47 Purple Sandpipers.

Passerine interest included ten Yellowhammers and eight Corn Buntings near North Dykes. A total of 30 birds were also rung at South Landing, including six Goldcrests, two Chiffchaff and a Lesser Redpoll.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

The weather consisted of bright, sunny skies and a moderate south-westerly wind. A total of  1199 Pink-footed Geese (inc. 324 on seawatch) and 42 Whooper Swans (inc. 32 on seawatch) flew south during the day. Additional seawatch sightings included single Little Gull, Bonxie and Pomarine Skua flying north. 

Additional sightings included five Golden Plover over South Dykes, one Short-eared Owl, a late Swallow, 17 Goldcrests, one Blackcap, two Brambling, a Corn Bunting and one Lapland Bunting; the latter flying over the Fog Station.

Pink-footed Geese, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Monday, November 12th, 2018

A sunny day, with a moderate south-south-westerly wind increasing in strength and temperatures peaking at 12 degrees C. During the seawatch, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 40 Common Scoter and 65 Red-throated Divers headed south, with a Bonxie moving north. Thousands of Guillemots were again on the cliffs, a feature of recent days after an absence since breeding.

Six Mute Swans that flew south over the outer head were unusual, less so the 40 Pink-footed Geese logged during the day. Additional sightings included the Pied Crow still in the village, a Twite that flew south over the Fog Station/Cattlemere and two Snow Buntings on the outer head.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted a Short-eared Owl and a Snow Bunting, whilst three Shore Larks were north-west there.

Blackcap, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

The weather consisted overcast skies and showers during the morning, brighter in the afternoon, with a lighter south-westerly wind. Seawatching highlights included two Shelduck, a Pintail, one Velvet Scoter, a Long-tailed Duck, 169 Red-throated Divers, 37 Little Gulls, one Bonxie and a Little Auk flying south, with a Manx Shearwater moving north.

The day’s highlight was the mid-afternoon discovery of a Pallid Swift from the almost completed Seawatch Observatory building. It showed very well hawking over the cliff top until dusk and represented the first rarity seen from the excellent, new facility. Other sightings included the Water Rail in South Landing, whilst passerine migrants included 26 Goldcrests, six Brambling and a Snow Bunting.

Pallid Swift, Fog Station, by Trevor Charlton

Pallid Swift, Fog Station, by Trevor Charlton

Saturday, November 10th, 2018

The weather consisted of sunny skies during the morning and increasing amounts of cloud post-lunch, with a moderate south-westerly wind increasing in strength towards dusk. During the seawatch, seven Eider and two Little Gulls flew north, with 40 Red-throated Divers and a juvenile Arctic Tern moving south. A total of 107 Red-throated Divers was on the sea, with an additional 40 birds flying south.

Seventy Pink-footed Geese rested on fields adjacent to Stainforth’s Flash, with a further 105 birds flying south during the day. A ringtail Hen Harrier that overflew Sixpenny Plantation was relocated hunting the cliff top at Buckton. Other migrants included 27 Lapwing, a Short-eared Owl at Thornwick, 58 Goldcrests, six Chiffchaffs, a Grey Wagtail and a Snow Bunting. A total of 53 birds were rung at South Landing, including 38 Goldcrests and four Chiffchaffs.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted a further 20 Goldcrests.

Goldcrest, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Strong south-south-easterly winds were a feature of a day with sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 12 degrees C. During the seawatch, eight Little Gulls and an Arctic Tern flew south, with a further four Little Gulls lingering offshore.

The day’s highlight was a Hume’s Warbler located in private gardens on the outer head; unfortunately it proved elusive and failed to show after the initial find. Other sightings included three Pink-footed Geese with the Greylag flock, 12 Wigeon, 31 Teal, two Water Rails, two Woodcock, 14 Snipe and a Short-eared Owl (North Landing). Passerine interest involved 35 Goldcrest, three Chiffchaff, one Siberian Chiffchaff (Old Fall) and three Snow Buntings (Golf Course).

Scarce Umber, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, November 8th, 2018

A day of moderate south-south-west winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching highlights included four Whooper Swans, 54 Red-throated Divers, two Great Crested Grebes, 15 Lapwing, ten Dunlin and a Little Gull flying south.

The day’s highlight related to a Rough-legged Buzzard that flew north-east over RSPB Bempton Cliffs at 1300hrs. Additional migrants east of the Dykes included three Woodcock, small parties of thrushes, including 90 Redwing, Starling and Skylarks arriving in off the sea, a Brambling and two Northern Bullfinch.

Curlew, South Landing, by Don Hustings

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Moderate/strong south-south-easterly winds featured throughout an overcast day, with spells of rain. During the morning’s seawatch, a dark-bellied Brent Goose and ten Eider flew north, with a Shoveler, 45 Wigeon, 31 Teal and nine Knot heading south. Thornwick Pools attracted 17 Teal and the Little Grebe, whilst a Black Redstart was located in the Lighthouse garden mid-afternoon.

Little Grebe, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

An overcast day, with a moderate south-south-west wind and temperatures that reached 12 degrees C. Eighty Pink-footed Geese flew south over the village and an additional 55 rested on fields near Stainforth’s Flash. The Little Grebe remained on Thornwick Pools, where a Sparrowhawk caught a Water Rail. Lone Little Gull and Siberian Chiffchaff were seen at South Landing, with the latter singing early morning, whilst a Swallow flew south over the Fog Station. West of the Dykes, two Short-eared Owls hinted the cliff top fields at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Sparrowhawk with Water Rail, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Monday, November 5th, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate south-easterly winds, occasional sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 13 degrees C. During the seawatch, an Eider, 22 Common Scoter, nine Red-throated Divers and a Knot flew south, meanwhile two Bonxies headed north.

Three Pink-footed Geese joined the resident Greylag flock, whilst sightings from Thornwick Pools included single Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Cormorant and a Water Rail. Lingering passerine migrants included three Siberian Chiffchaffs (two at South Landing and a lone bird at Old Fall), a Willow Warbler at Old Fall and the Little Bunting at South Landing.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted a Short-eared Owl.

Water Rail, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

An overcast day, with occasional light drizzle and a moderate south-south-westerly wind. During the seawatch, a Great Northern Diver flew north, with 11 Wigeon and 14 Red-throated Divers moving south. During the afternoon, a Long-tailed Duck rested on the sea off Hartendale and, nearby, a Little Auk flew ‘north’ past South Landing.

The Little Bunting was caught and ringed at South Landing in the morning. Other sightings included two Water Rails at Thornwick Pools, nine Curlew, six Stonechat and a Snow Bunting on the Golf Course.

Little Bunting, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

After sunny intervals during the morning, increasingly overcast with a blustery south-westerly wind. During the seawatch, six Wigeon, five Common Scoter and an Arctic Skua flew north, with a Great Northern Diver heading south.

The White-tailed Eagle left its roost in North Dykes at 0645hrs, but almost immediately dipped below the treeline and promptly disappeared. However, the Little Bunting in South Landing proved to be more co-operative and showed well late morning feeding in the canopy of sycamores immediately south of the car-park. Other sightings from the South Landing area included a Short-eared Owl, one Yellow-browed Warbler and two Siberian Chiffchaffs. A Snow Bunting was located near Thornwick and 11 Corn Buntings frequented North Dykes.

Little Bunting, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

White-tailed Eagle, (2/11), Flamborough, by Heidi Saunders

White-tailed Eagle (2/11), Flamborough, by Heidi Saunders

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Light westerly winds and sunny skies after a frosty start, resulted in good birding conditions. During the seawatch, a dark-bellied Brent Goose and one Sooty Shearwater flew north, with 200 Pink-footed Geese heading in the opposite direction.

The day’s highlight related to a juvenile White-tailed Eagle that flew in off the sea from Bridlington Bay at 1550hrs; it had earlier flown north over the Humber at Spurn. After touring the headland, it eventually landed in a tree at North Dykes where it went to roost.

A Water Rail frequented the main ravine in South Landing, whilst a Swallow appeared near the Old Lighthouse. A Shore Lark that overflew the outer head appeared to land at Cattlemere, but wasn’t relocated. South Landing hosted both a presumed blythi Lesser Whitethroat and a Yellow-browed Warbler. Three Siberian Chiffchaffs remained (two South Landing, one Old Fall), although two Snow Buntings were new. The autumn’s second Little Bunting was discovered late afternoon, feeding in sycamores at South Landing.

West of the Dykes, a Barred Warbler and three Lapland Buntings were seen at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

White-tailed Eagle, Flamborough, by Craig Thomas

(presumed) blythi Lesser Whitethroat, South Landing, by Trevor Charlton

Little Bunting, South Landing, by Jo Symon

Little Bunting, South Landing, by Trevor Charlton

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Cloudy for much of the day, with persistent light rain until early afternoon, and light winds. During the seawatch, a Long-tailed Duck, 43 Red-throated Divers and a Great Crested Grebe flew south, whilst one Great Northern Diver headed north. 

A Hooded Crow frequented fields near Old Fall and two Siberian Chiffchaffs continued their stay at South Landing. RSPB Bempton Cliffs continued to host a Barred Warbler.

Little Grebe, Greenacres, by Craig Thomas

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate south-west winds and sunny intervals. During the seawatch, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, six Eider and a Bonxie flew north, with a Red-breasted Merganser headed south. 

Sightings included 14 Wigeon at North Marsh, a Little Grebe, three Water Rails, four Woodcock, eight Snipe, 105 Golden Plover flying south, 31 Lapwings and a Long-eared Owl near North Marsh. Passerine interest included 205 Skylarks, 41 Goldcrests, single Barred Warbler and Siberian Chiffchaff at Old Fall, one Yellow-browed Warbler, a Willow Warbler, four Waxwing, a Black Redstart, three Twite, seven Mealy Redpoll, seven Brambling, a Northern Bullfinch (Bay Brambles), four Crossbill and a Snow Bunting.

West of the Dykes, a Barred Warbler continued to show well at RSPB Bempton Cliffs; interestingly the same individual that had moved from Bempton to Buckton, where it had been rung.

Siberian Chiffchaff, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Willow Warbler, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Barred Warbler, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Twite, Golf Course, by Andy Hood

Brindled Ochre, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

A day of strong north-north-easterly winds, squally showers and temperatures reaching seven degrees C. Seawatching highlights included 14 Eider, two Velvet Scoter, a Goosander, ten Little Gulls, two Bonxies, an Arctic Skua and five Little Auks moving north, with a Velvet Scoter and two Goldeneye heading in the opposite direction. Sightings from South Landing included single dark-bellied Brent Goose, Red-breasted Merganser, Great Northern Diver, Mediterranean Gull and Little Gull.

Migrant totals included a Water Rail at South Landing, two Hooded Crows, four Woodcock, a Great Grey Shrike (South Landing), 48 Goldcrests, four Chiffchaff, three Siberian Chiffchaffs (South Landing), two Yellow-browed Warblers, 115 Blackbirds, 110 Redwing, 70 Fieldfare, 18 Brambling, nine Siskin and six Mealy Redpoll. The Pied Crow continued its sojourn in the village.

The Coues’s Arctic Redpoll remained at RSPB Bempton Cliffs although it was more elusive; the reserve also hosted a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Barred Warbler.

Coues’s Arctic Redpoll, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Lee Johnson

Coues’s Arctic Redpoll, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Lee Johnson

Hooded Crow, South Landing, by Mark Pearson

Great Grey Shrike, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Siberian Chiffchaff, South Landing, by Mark Pearson

Monday, October 29th, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate east-north-easterly winds, sunny skies with occasional showers. Stealing the headlines, a Coues’s Arctic Redpoll was located along the nature trail at RSPB Bempton Cliffs during the afternoon; it gave superb point blank views to a succession of admirers. No fewer than three Barred Warblers were also present on the reserve. Sightings from nearby Buckton included two Whooper Swans, eight Woodcock, a Short-eared Owl, 19 Goldcrests and a Whinchat; a Barred Warbler and three Common (Mealy) Redpolls were also caught and ringed. Photos showed that the Barred Warbler was one of the individual’s seen earlier in the day at RSPB Bempton Cliffs 1km to the east.

During the morning’s seawatch, the following flew north past the outer head: three dark-bellied Brent Goose, 211 Eider, three Velvet Scoters, 85 Common Scoters, two Black-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, one Red-necked Grebe, 46 Little Gulls, four Bonxies, three Pomarine Skuas, six Arctic Skuas and 59 Little Auks. Two Long-tailed Ducks were again off South Landing.

Great Grey Shrike was located in the Bay Brambles early morning; although elusive, it toured the same area throughout the day. A Short-eared Owl came in off the sea at the same location, where a Water Rail was also obviously fresh-in. The arrival of Siberian Chiffchaffs continued, with no fewer than four birds located – singles near the Lighthouse, Old Fall and two at South Landing. Other migrant totals included eight Woodcock, one Hooded Crow (South Landing), a Waxwing (South Sea Road), 85 Goldcrests, a Yellow-browed Warbler (South Landing), single Willow Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, 142 Blackbirds, one Black Redstart, a Water Pipit (South Landing), 14 Crossbills, a Twite and five Common (Mealy) Redpolls.

Coues’s Arctic Redpoll, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Trevor Charlton

Coues’s Arctic Redpoll, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Trevor Charlton

Water Rail, Bay Brambles, by Vaughan Grantham

Great Grey Shrike, Gorse Field, by Andrew Allport

Barred Warbler, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Another great seawatching day, with strong north-easterly winds, sunny intervals and occasional showers; temperatures peaked at 7 degrees C. During the seawatch, five dark-bellied Brent Geese, eight Shelduck, 134 Wigeon, a Scaup, 244 Wigeon, four Velvet Scoters, 500 Common Scoters, two Long-tailed Ducks, six Goldeneye, a Red-breasted Merganser, five Black-throated Divers, six Great Northern Divers, a Storm Petrel, one Sooty Shearwater, 29 Manx Shearwaters, two Red-necked Grebes, a Grey Phalarope, 3900 Kittiwakes, 365 Little Gulls, 34 Bonxies, 46 Pomarine Skuas, seven Arctic Skuas, 175 Little Auks and a Black Guillemot all flew north.

Two Long-tailed Ducks lingered offshore at South Landing, an adult Glaucous Gull flew north late afternoon, whilst two Short-eared Owls, 550 Starlings and 11 Crossbill flew in off the sea. Other migrant totals included a Water Rail (South Landing), 11 Woodcock, a Long-eared Owl, one Hooded Crow (South Landing), 42 Goldcrest, four Siberian Chiffchaffs, ten Chiffchaffs, two Blackcap, 300 Blackbirds, a Hawfinch (South Landing), two Twite and one Snow Bunting.

West of the Dykes, two Barred Warblers frequented the Dell at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, with one of these caught and ringed; one Short-eared Owl, a Ring Ouzel, 1500 Starlings and a Crossbill were also present. Sightings from Buckton included 17 Eiders, a Velvet Scoter and 410 Common Scoters flying north, 12 Woodcock, two Long-eared Owls, including one caught and ringed, 15 Goldcrest, 50 Blackbirds and 300 Starling.

Little Auks, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Long-eared Owl, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

The weather consisted of gale force northerly winds, prolonged heavy showers of sleet/rain and temperatures of four degrees C. Once again, seawatching proved productive, with 305 Wigeon, 120 Teal, 16 Mallard, three Pintail, eight Scaup, six Red-breasted Mergansers, a Long-tailed Duck and six Goldeneye flying north. Ten Barnacle Geese and three Great Northern Divers flew south into Bridlington Bay, with two of the latter pitching down off South Landing, where a Red-necked Grebe also flew in from the south. A Storm Petrel, six Sooty Shearwaters, 40 Manx Shearwaters and a Grey Phalarope headed north, whilst 12 Bonxies flew south. A total of 26 Pomarine Skuas were noted during the day, with 15 birds flying south and 14 north. Best of all, a Black Guillemot flew north past the Fog Station, with 17 Little Auks heading in the same direction. Four Short-eared Owls flew in off the sea, along with 675 Starlings.

Bridlington Bay also sheltered two pale-bellied Brent Geese, six dark-bellied Brent Geese, two Velvet Scoter, a female Long-tailed Duck, two Red-breasted Mergansers, four Mediterranean Gulls and ten Little Gulls.

South Landing attracted four Woodcock, ten Hooded Crows (including a flock nine strong), a Ring Ouzel, 200 Blackbirds and 20 Brambling, whilst a Short-eared Owl, Chiffchaff and Brambling were seen on nearby Church Lane. An additional Woodcock and a Long-eared Owl were present in the Bay Brambles.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Buckton included two Brent Geese, ten Manx and a Sooty Shearwater, ten Pomarine Skuas and three Woodcock.

Curlew, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Friday, October 26th, 2018

The day began with moderate north-westerly winds, with strong northerly winds establishing during the afternoon; temperatures peaked at 9 degrees C before dropping to 5 degrees C, whilst showers, occasionally heavy, featured throughout. During a dawn till dusk seawatch, the standout record related to 156 Pomarine Skuas that flew south (third best count after 330 on 10th November 1985 & 201 on 9th October 1992). Other highlights included a Velvet Scoter, 170 Common Scoters, four Goldeneye, eight Goosanders and 78 Red-throated Divers flying south, a drake Long-tailed Duck, one Black-throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver moving north. A total of 606 Kittiwakes, nine Arctic Skuas, 29 Bonxies, a Sandwich Tern and an Arctic Tern also flew south. Another feature was the arrival of significant numbers of passerines in off the sea, including 105 Starlings, 1125 Fieldfares and 61 Redwing; they were accompanied by a Merlin and two Woodcock in off the sea.

Elsewhere, Thornwick Pools hosted a Little Grebe and a Jack Snipe. Two Woodcock were also located on the headland, together with six Twite and a Hawfinch; the latter at South Landing.

Little Grebe, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

The airflow switched to a north-westerly during a day of extended sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 15 degrees C. The highlight related to a count of 134 Pomarine Skuas that included a minimum of 100 birds heading south past the Fog Station between 3.15-4.15pm; 34 birds were seen during the morning, 30 heading south and four tracking back north. Other noteworthy records included a Black-throated Diver, two Great Northern Divers, three Manx Shearwaters and nine Little Gulls flying north, with six Bonxies and five Arctic Skuas also logged. A Short-eared Owl came in off the sea and two Twite frequented the outer head cliff top. Away from the outer head, two Yellow-browed Warblers remained at South landing.

Cormorant, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Another sunny day throughout, with light westerly winds and temperatures reaching 15 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included two Velvet Scoter, seven Manx Shearwaters and 45 Little Gulls moving north, with an adult Mediterranean Gull and two Arctic Skuas heading south. An additional 300 Little Gulls fed offshore.

An arrival of migrants occurred during the day, but one of the more notable records related to a Little Owl seen near the entrance to Thornwick Camp. Notable records included two Water Rail, two Woodcock, a Jack Snipe, a Short-eared Owl, two Chiffchaff, three Yellow-browed Warblers (Old Fall, South Landing, South Dykes), a Blackcap, 375 Redwing, 176 Fieldfare, a Water Pipit at South Dykes and four Brambling. The Pied Crow was seen once again along Beech Avenue.

West of the Dykes, single Chiffchaff and Blackcap were present in the Dell at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Kestrel, Fog Station, by Karen Thomas

Water Pipit, South Dykes, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

A sunny day, with a moderate/strong west-north-west wind and temperatures reaching 17 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included nine Whooper Swans, 48 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, a Sooty Shearwater, two Manx Shearwaters, 11 Bonxies and ten Arctic Skuas flying south, with two Velvet Scoters moving north. A Red-breasted Merganser and 370 Little Gulls were seen off the Fog Station. 

The Water Rail remained at Thornwick Pools, a ringtail Hen Harrier flew west over Hartendale mid-morning and a Short-eared Owl frequented the Gorse Field. Two Yellow-browed Warblers included a single at South Landing. The Pied Crow continued its long stay in the village being seen once again on Beech Avenue.

West of the Dykes, presumably the same Hen Harrier was seen at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Short-eared Owl, Gorse Field, by Andrew Allport

Migrant Hawkers, South Landing, by Andrew Allport