Sunday, May 27th, 2018

A sunny day with a moderate north-easterly wind and temperatures reaching 18 degrees C. During the seawatch, three Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, 19 Manx Shearwaters, 16 Sandwich Terns, a Bonxie and two Arctic Skuas flew north. 

Both the Dotterel and Temminck’s Stint remained in situ, whilst a Greenshank and eight Ringed Plovers were new. A Hobby overflew Old Fall, where an elusive Marsh Warbler sang briefly in the morning, whilst North Landing hosted a female Red-backed Shrike. Passerine migrants also included two Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher, one Redstart, a Whinchat, six Wheatears and two Garden Warblers. 

West of the Dykes, a Marsh Warbler was trapped at Buckton.

Marsh Warbler, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Saturday, May 26th, 2018

A day of moderate northerly winds and sunny intervals, after an overcast start. Seawatching highlights included 69 Common Scoter, eight Red-throated Divers, single Black-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver, eight Manx Shearwater and 656 Puffins flying north, with 22 Sandwich Terns and two Bonxies moving south.

A confiding Temminck’s Stint frequented Thornwick Pools all day, where there was also Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper. On the opposite side of the headland, the Dotterel continued its relatively long stay on Beacon Hill. The adult Rose-coloured Starling also remained at North Landing, and even spent prolonged periods singing. However, a female Red-backed Shrike in bushes along the cliff top south of Sykes Plantation was new. Additional migrant totals included a Quail, one Fieldfare, six Reed Warblers, two Garden Warblers, five Wheatear, four Whinchat, a Pied Flycatcher, two Redstart, a Tree Pipit and seven Corn Buntings.

West of the Dykes, a female Red-breasted Flycatcher was located at RSPB Bempton Cliffs in the morning.

Temminck’s Stint, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Temminck’s Stint, Thornwick Pools, by John Harwood

Ringed Plover (flagged), Thornwick Pools, by John Beaumont

Red-backed Shrike, South Cliffs, by Craig Thomas

Friday, May 25th, 2018

Largely overcast, with a belt of, at times, heavy rain moving through during the middle of the day; temperatures reached ten degrees C in a moderate northerly wind. During the seawatch, six Common Scoter and two Manx Shearwaters flew south, with a Sandwich Tern and 270 Puffins heading in the opposite direction.

The Dotterel continued its residence on Beacon Hill, whilst the Rose-coloured Starling gave good views along St David Lane throughout. Nearby, a female Red-backed Shrike was located at North Landing, showing in the vegetated ravine near the Old Lifeboat Station. The rain also induced the arrival of additional passerine migrants which included 11 Wheatears, three Whinchat, two Redstart, two Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher, two acredula Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and one Garden Warbler.

West of the Dykes, single Pied Flycatcher and Redstart were located at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Rose-coloured Starling, North Landing, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Another day of moderate/strong northerly winds, misty conditions with sunny intervals and subdued temperatures that reached 11 degrees C. During the seawatch, six Common Scoter, four Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, eight Manx Shearwaters, a Ringed Plover, one Bonxie, tens of thousands of Guillemots and Razorbills, together with 301 Puffins flew north. 

A Ringed Plover overflew North Landing, whilst one Little Ringed Plover remained at Thornwick Pools. The Dotterel was present of Beacon Hill for its third day, whilst the female Grey-headed Wagtail again frequented Thornwick Pools. However, the continued presence of the adult Rose-coloured Starling provided the day’s highlight, with the bird again giving superb views along St David Lane at North Landing.

Dotterel, Beacon Hill, by Andrew Allport

Rose-coloured Starling, North Landing, by Tony Dixon

Rose-coloured Starling, North Landing, by Andrew Allport

Rose-coloured Starling, North Landing, by Lee Johnson

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Another day of strong northerly winds, with low cloud for much of the morning, with some clear skies during the afternoon. The days stand out highlight was the discovery of an adult Rose-coloured Starling at Thornwick pools during the late afternoon. The bird later relocated to the chalets around North Landing. Yesterday’s Dotterel was still between South Landing and Beacon Hill, whilst the Grey-headed Wagtail was seen sporadically at Thornwick pools.

The morning sea watch produced a reasonable total of 38 Manx shearwater, along with single Common Scoter, Red-throated Diver, 37 Sandwich Tern and an Arctic Skua.

Grey-headed Wagtail, Thornwick Pools by Andrew Allport.

Rose-coloured Starling, North Landing by Andy Hood.

Rose-coloured Starling, North Landing by Lee Johnson.

Dotterel, Beacon Hill by Andrew Allport.

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

A generally overcast day, with sunny intervals during the afternoon; however, the main feature was the strong northerly wind. During the seawatch, eight Common Scoters, three Manx Shearwaters and 841 Puffins flew north. 

A Dotterel spent most of the day sheltering on the leeward side of Beacon Hill. Passerine migrants were understandably hard to locate in the conditions, although a flava wagtail showing features of Grey-headed visited Thornwick Pools and a Spotted Flycatcher moved along the South Cliffs.

Dotterel, Beacon Hill, by Andy Hood

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Sunny intervals predominated, with a north-easterly wind pegging back temperatures compared to inland areas. Thornwick Pools attracted a drake Shoveler, three Ringed Plover, two Little Ringed Plover, a Grey Plover and a Sanderling.

Shoveler, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Grey Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Thick fog began to clear by mid-afternoon, though the sun only came out briefly before fog rolled back in mid-evening. Wind was a moderate south easterly, with temperatures peaking at 12 degrees centigrade.

Birding on the land was hard work with the weather conditions. A single Spotted Flycatcher was near North Landing, whilst a Lesser Redpoll was at Oceanview. Thornwick Pools hosted 2 Dunlin, 1  Ringed Plover, 3 LRP and a drake Shoveler.

A single Little Tern and Manx Shearwater were reported from a sea watch at North Landing during the afternoon.

Skylark, Oceanview by Andy Hood

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

Another sunny day with a light south westerly wind. In what has been a good spring for the species, a singing male Firecrest was near North Landing. Otherwise, new migrants were thin on the ground, with single Lesser Redpoll, Siskin and 2 White Wagtail. A pair of Goosander overflew Old Fall during the early morning, representing a rather unseasonal record, whilst wetlands on the outer head held 3 Ringed Plover, 2 LRP and 3 Lapwing. A 2nd calendar year Yellow-legged Gull was north of Thornwick during mid-afternoon and 7 Lesser Black-backed Gull were at Stainforths Flash.

The morning sea watch yielded 2 Whimbrel, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Manx Shearwater and 10 Sandwich Tern.

Swallow, Thornwick pools by Andrew Allport

Puffin by Alan Walkington

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Another day of sunny skies and light northerly to north easterly winds. Seven Manx Shearwater heading north were the highlight of the morning sea watch, with 7 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver and 71 Sandwich Tern also recorded.

On the land, Thornwick pools held 2 Little Ringed Plover and a Dunlin. 16 Shelduck were counted across the headland and included a brood of 10 ducklings at South Landing. Two Common Swift were also noted.

Common Whitethroat, Thornwick Pools by Don Hustings

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

A sunny day throughout, with a moderate northerly breeze. The male Eastern Subalpine Warbler continued to frequent Old Fall hedge, showing on and off during the morning. With no sightings during the afternoon the bird then reappeared very briefly during the evening. Close by, yesterdays male Firecrest continued to sing at Old Fall steps, whilst 2 Lesser Redpoll were in the plantation. A Long-eared Owl was at Thornwick chalets during the morning before flying along North Marine Road and a Little Ringed Plover flew over Oceanview.

Three Great Northern Diver flew north on the morning sea watch along with 4 Red-throated Diver, 8 Common Scoter, 160 Fulmar, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Bonxie and 11 Sandwich Tern.

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Old Fall hedge by Tony Dixon.

Great Skua, Fog Station by Alan Walkington.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

A day of moderate northerly winds, sporadic sunny spells, but temperatures of only 11 degrees C. The day’s standout highlight was the discovery of a male Eastern Subalpine Warbler at Old Fall early morning; it remained on the adjacent hedge south of the plantation until early evening at least. Additional sightings included a Marsh Harrier at South Landing and a singing Firecrest at Old Fall Steps; the latter continuing the excellent spring for the species. The Grasshopper Warbler was again present at South Dykes.

West of the Dykes, another singing Firecrest remained in residence at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

The weather consisted of light northerly winds and sunny intervals. Thornwick Pools hosted an Oystercatcher and a Little Ringed Plover. There were few obvious signs of new passerine migrants, although Oceanview attracted a Siskin. West of the Dykes, the singing Firecrest remained in residence at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Oystercatcher, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Monday, May 14th, 2018

A sunny day, with a moderate northerly wind. A summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver flew north on the seawatch, with two Red-throated Divers, a Whimbrel and 11 Sandwich Terns also recorded. A Hobby appeared over Thornwick Pools and latterly Oceanview, whilst a Marsh Harrier flew east over the sea off Old Fall. Oceanview also hosted a Hooded Crow and a male Firecrest. Additional records included one Garden Warbler and a Tree Pipit along Old Fall Hedge. Several migrants were caught at South Landing during a ringing session, including one Spotted Flycatcher.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Little Egret, a singing Firecrest, an acredula-type Willow Warbler and a Garden Warbler.

Spotted Flycatcher, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Sunday, May 13th, 2018

An overcast and relatively cool start, with light/moderate northerly winds which later abated when sunshine also dominated. During the seawatch, four Manx Shearwaters, a Whimbrel and five Sandwich Terns flew north. 

Two additional Whimbrel flew over the headland, but the day’s highlight related to two Dotterel (male & female) that were located on the field between South Landing and Booted Gully; unfortunately they were flushed by the Coastguard helicopter and flew off north-west. A Short-eared Owl was also present at nearby Oceanview. Three Spotted Flycatchers were the year’s first, with additional migrants including six Willow Warblers, two Chiffchaff, increased numbers of Whitethroats and six Wheatears.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Hobby, two Cranes that flew south-west at 0820hrs, a Garden Warbler and two Wheatears. A female Black Redstart was present in Bempton village.

Common Whitethroat, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Orange Tip (female), South Dykes, by June & Malcolm Fox

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

Cloud developed after a bright start, with rain arriving by late afternoon; winds were light and variable. Seawatching highlights included single Tufted Duck, Manx Shearwater, Bar-tailed Godwit flying south, along with 188 Sandwich Terns. 

Thirteen Common Buzzards drifted onto the headland before moving back inland, whilst a Hobby appeared over Hartendale. Thornwick Pools hosted single Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover and Redshank, together with seven Dunlin. Four Swifts fed over the village and there was an appreciable arrival of House Martins, with a minimum of 52 present. A trickle of migrant passerines were also located in addition to existing territorial birds, including three Sedge Warblers, two Garden Warblers, an acredula-type Willow Warbler, a White Wagtail and six Wheatears (including a minimum of two Greenlands).

West of the Dykes, a male Black Redstart frequented Bempton village, whilst sightings from the nearby RSPB reserve included single Garden Warbler, three Willow Warblers, Redwing, a Tree Pipit and 38 Corn Buntings. A French-ringed Sedge Warbler was caught at nearby Buckton, where there were also four Greenland Wheatears.

Sand Martin, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Sedge Warbler (previously rung in France), Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Friday, May 11th, 2018

A south-easterly wind gathered in strength during a day that featured increasing amounts of cloud. Seawatching highlights included two Gadwall, two Tufted Ducks, 17 Common Scoters and 19 Sandwich Terns flying south. 

A Pink-footed Goose and three Tufted Ducks frequented North Marsh, whilst a summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver flew ‘north’ along the cliff at Old Fall. Wader interest included three Whimbrel, three Dunlin, single Common Sandpipers below the Fog Station and at Thornwick Pools, where there was also a Little Ringed Plover. A Hobby hunted over the village early morning and notable passerines included a Grasshopper Warbler at South Dykes and a Whinchat at Thornwick.

Common Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Common Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Roe Deer fawn, South Dykes, by Brett Richards

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Light/moderate westerly winds were a feature of a relatively bright day after a cloudy start, with temperatures reaching 13 degrees C. During the seawatch, two Manx Shearwaters flew north and 21 Sandwich Terns headed south. Sightings included a Pink-footed Goose, three Tufted Ducks, one Little Ringed Plover, six Whimbrel, one White Wagtail and a Yellow Wagtail.

Tufted Duck, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Yellow Wagtail, outer head, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

A cloudy start to the day, but clearer later, with winds south-westerly and 15c. The morning seawatch had 24 Common Scoter, Red-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver, 94 Sandwich Tern, two Common Tern, 88 Puffin and, strangely, 30 Carrion Crow flying out to sea. A Whimbrel was also present off the headland.

Both a Long-eared Owl and a Short-eared Owl were in the vicinity of the lighthouse, with a Little Ringed Plover at Thornwick Pools. Other sightings included three Buzzard, two Swift, 27 Sand Martin, five Wheatear, four Chiffchaff, four Willow Warbler, six Blackcap, four Whitethroat, one Sedge Warbler and a late Fieldfare all on the headland, with a Ring Ouzel at Church Lane. 

Ring Ouzel, Flamborough village, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

A sunny start, with cloud from mid-afternoon, a moderate south-westerly wind and temperatures in the high teens. During the seawatch, two Manx Shearwaters, a Little Ringed Plover and 71 Sandwich Terns flew south. 

Sightings on the headland itself included one Pink-footed Goose, three Tufted Ducks, two Golden Plovers, two Little Ringed Plovers and three Dunlin. The year’s first Hobby flew north-west over Thornwick. Six Swifts represented a small arrival, as did 13 House Martins. Eleven Wheatears included two Greenlands, whilst three Yellow Wagtails were also logged.

A Shag seen off the Yorkshire Belle off Flamborough on 7th May was ringed on the Isle of May on 31st May 2016. Subsequently, it was seen at Flamborough on 6th February 2017 and again on 18th June 2017.

Pink-footed Goose, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Yellow Wagtail, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Monday, May 7th, 2018

A sunny day throughout, with a light south-south-easterly wind establishing late morning and temperatures reaching 19 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included a Shoveler, two Tufted Ducks, 48 Common Scoters, a Little Ringed Plovers, 87 Sandwich Terns and a Little Tern flying south.  

Two Pink-footed Geese remained, as did a Little Grebe at North Marsh. Three Little Ringed Plovers and two Dunlin frequented Thornwick Pools, two Dunlin and a Lapwing were on Stainforth’s Flash and a Whimbrel toured the outer head. A Long-eared Owl was discovered near Old Fall Steps, but later flew towards the Golf Course. Passerine interest included one Redwing, three Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail, one White Wagtail, a Redpoll and four Corn Buntings.

Reed Warbler, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Sedge Warbler, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Cloudless skies and temperatures that reached 18 degrees C were the main feature of the weather, with a light south-easterly breeze developing by late morning. During the seawatch, 82 Sandwich Terns flew south. The headlines were stolen by a Bee-eater that flew south over the Bay Brambles/Lighthouse at 0820hrs; despite calling repeatedly, it remained invisible. A Blue-headed Wagtail between Thornwick and North Dykes was also new, but otherwise migrants were relatively thin on the ground. Two Shoveler and a pair of Tufted Ducks frequented North Marsh, a creamcown Marsh Harrier flew south over South Landing, whilst wader interest included a Little Ringed Plover, one Ringed Plover, five Whimbrel, a Green Sandpiper and two Dunlin. Passerine interest included nine Wheatears, single Yellow, White and Grey Wagtails, together with a Lesser Redpoll.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Bonxie, a Garden Warbler, eight Wheatears and a Tree Pipit.

Puffin, outer head, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

A sunny day, with light south-westerly winds and temperatures that reached 16 degrees C. During the seawatch, single Pink-footed Goose and Whimbrel flew north, with 59 Sandwich Terns heading in the opposite direction. 

Two Pink-footed Geese stayed in residence on the headland, where three Whimbrel and a Little Ringed Plover were also present. A Bonxie that overflew the headland at Oceanview represented an unusual record. Passerine interest included three Reed Warblers, five Sedge Warblers, Black Redstart, 23 Wheatear, a Whinchat, a single Tree Pipit, one Redwing, a Brambling and a single Corn Bunting.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted one Bonxie and a Grasshopper Warbler. Sightings from nearby Buckton included a pair of Little Owls, two Redwing, three Sedge Warblers and three Wheatears.

Wren, Fllamborough, by Andrew Allport

Wheatear, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Friday, May 4th, 2018

A bright, relatively sunny day, with light south-westerlies and temperatures reaching 15 degrees C. During the seawatch, two Tufted Ducks flew south, whilst three Arctic Terns, 26 Sandwich Terns and 283 Puffins flew north. 

Single Pink-footed Goose and Wigeon were present, with wader interest including a Whimbrel and two Little Ringed Plovers. A late Redwing sheltered in Old Fall during the morning, whilst two Goldcrest were also relatively late. Additional passerine interest included two Pied Flycatchers, 30 Willow Warblers, seven Sedge Warblers, three Reed Warblers, two Garden Warblers, 14 Blackcap, 42 Whitethroats, six Whinchat, 35 Wheatears (inc. three Greenland), two Tree Pipits and three Corn Buntings.

Fulmar, Flamborough, by Don Hustings

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

A bright day, with increasing cloud during the afternoon bringing slightly higher temperatures in light, variable winds. During the seawatch, single Manx Shearwater and Common Tern together with six Arctic Terns flew north, with 43 Sandwich Terns heading in the opposite direction. 

A Pink-footed Goose remained in residence, single Great Crested Grebe and Sanderling frequented South Landing, whilst a Whimbrel flew north. Passerine interest included a Firecrest at Old Fall Steps, a Ring Ouzel on Beacon Hill, a male Pied Flycatcher at Old Fall, seven Wheatears, three Common Redstarts, six Yellow Wagtails and a White Wagtail.

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

A day of moderate south-westerly winds that switched to west-north-westerlies following the cessation of rain early afternoon. An arrival of migrants induced by the rain included a Swift, 25 Swallows over Head Farm, four Blackcap and a male Pied Flycatcher in Old Fall, 43 Willow Warblers, a Common Redstart, 18 Wheatears and two Grey Wagtails.

Tufted Duck, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate south-westerly winds and sunny intervals. During the seawatch, two Eiders and a Whimbrel flew north; once again, relatively few auks were on the cliffs.

A creamcrown Marsh Harrier hunted fields near Old Fall, a Whimbrel rested on fields near Hartendale and the Short-eared Owl remained in residence. Passerine interest was provided by a Firecrest at Old Fall Steps, three Pied Flycatchers, a male Common Redstart, one Whinchat, three Yellow Wagtails and a Siskin. 

Sightings from Bempton included a Ring Ouzel on the RSPB reserve and the Ring-necked Parakeet over the village. Buckton Pond attracted a pair of Tufted Ducks.

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Pied Flycatcher, South Landing, by Les Day

Monday, April 30th, 2018

Strong northerly winds were the main feature of a cold, overcast day. During the seawatch, a Wigeon and three Manx Shearwaters flew north. A drake Garganey on the sea off South Landing later flew north, with a Short-eared Owl also at South Landing. Two Swifts appeared over the village, a male Common Redstart frequented South Landing and a male and female Pied Flycatcher South Dykes. 

Short-eared Owl, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Garganey, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate north-north-easterly winds and sunny intervals with temperatures reaching ten degrees C. Seawatching highlights included a Scaup, two Sandwich Terns and a Bonxie flying north, with eight Eider heading south. A Swift appeared over the village and three male Pied Flycatchers and a male Common Redstart were new arrivals, with additional migrants including eight Wheatear, two White Wagtails and a Yellow Wagtail. 

West of the Dykes, the Ring-necked Parakeet flew from Bempton towards Buckton, whilst a Redwing appeared at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. 

Wheatear, Beacon Hill, by Ian Howard

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

A day of moderate northerly winds and overcast skies, with temperatures again below average and peaking at ten degrees C. During the seawatch, four Pintail, three Tufted Ducks, 18 Scaup and ten Manx Shearwaters flew north, with 34 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Skua heading in the opposite direction.

The day’s highlight was the discovery of an Olive-backed Pipit that spent 90 seconds on the lawn of a village garden before flying off north; there was no further sign of the bird in the evening. Five White Wagtails and a Yellow Wagtail were attracted to a recently ploughed field near South Landing, with two Fieldfare, two Wheatear and a Siskin also recorded.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included two Bonxies, two Yellow Wagtails were present near the village, whilst Buckton Pond attracted a Tufted Duck.

Olive-backed Pipit, Flamborough village, by Craig Thomas

Friday, April 27th, 2018

An overcast day, with persistent rain arriving from late morning; winds were relatively light and temperatures were pegged back to eight degrees C. During the seawatch, two Manx Shearwaters, 22 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Tern flew north. 

North Marsh hosted one Wigeon and a Short-eared Owl, whilst a Ringed Plover flew over the site. A Little Ringed Plover frequented Thornwick Pools and the Ring-necked Parakeet again visited gardens in the village. Six Willow Warblers included newly arrived migrants, whilst a Redwing lingered.

Peregrine, Flamborough, by Brett Richards

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

A day of relatively strong south-west winds and sunny intervals. A single Little Gull flying north and 11 Sandwich Terns were logged during the seawatch. The Greenshank lingered on Stainforth’s Flash and the Short-eared Owl was seen again near the Lighthouse. However, a Cuckoo at South Landing represented the first of the year, as was a Woodlark that flew west over the outer head. Birds trapped during a ringing session included a Rook; only the second such record at Flamborough.

Rook, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

A day of moderate south-westerly winds and sunny intervals, with temperatures in the low teens. Sixteen Common Scoter, a Manx Shearwater and five Sandwich Terns flew south, whilst four Whimbrel moved north. 

Two Pink-footed Geese and the Greenshank remained, the latter on Stainforth’s Flash, whilst a Short-eared Owl overflew the Lighthouse mid-morning. A Hooded Crow frequented the Cattlemere area, four White Wagtails were also present and a Grasshopper Warbler was discovered at South Dykes.

Grasshopper Warbler, South Dykes, by Brett Richards

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

The weather consisted of a moderate westerly wind, overcast skies and rain from mid-afternoon, with temperatures reaching 13 degrees C. During the seawatch, single Manx Shearwater and Bonxie moved north, with a Whimbrel and five Sandwich Terns heading in the opposite direction. Passerine migrants were thin on the ground, but included the first Reed Warbler of the year.

Meadow Pipit, Thornwick, by Andrew Allport

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

A largely overcast day, with a few sunny intervals and feeling cooler in a moderate west-south-westerly wind. During the seawatch, two Whimbrel and 11 Sandwich Terns flew past the Fog Station.

Thornwick Pools hosted a Little Ringed Plover, with a Greenshank again on Stainforth’s Flash. The year’s first Pied Flycatcher was located in South Dykes and the small patch of bushes adjacent to the Lighthouse sheltered a Firecrest all day. Nine Yellow Wagtails and a White Wagtail were also logged, whilst the Ring-necked Parakeet overflew the village early morning.

Greenland Wheatear, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Firecrest, Lighthouse, by Craig Thomas

Yellow Wagtail, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate southerly winds , sunny intervals with a band of light rain crossing the area mid-afternoon – temperatures increased significantly once the rain had cleared and peaked at 18 degrees C. The undoubted highlight was the discovery of two Red-rumped Swallows over Hartendale early evening; a single that flew west over Oceanview was relocated with a second individual over Hartendale; both then spent 20 minutes feeding over the edge of the village before drifting off west.

Seawatching produced two Shoveler, two Tufted Duck, six Eider, a Bar-tailed Godwit, one Whimbrel, five Knot, 78 Sandwich Terns and six Arctic Terns all flying south. The Water Rail again showed at Thornwick Pools, where Little Ringed Plover and Dunlin were present, whilst a Greenshank dropped onto Stainforth’s Flash and three Snipe remained on the headland. Migrants also included the year’s first Grasshopper Warbler, a Ring Ouzel, 65 Swallows, 35 Sand Martins, 11 House Martins, 17 Willow Warblers, 17 Chiffchaffs, 17 Lesser Whitethroats, five Common Whitethroats, nine Blackcap, 26 Wheatear, one Whinchat, five Yellow Wagtails and a White Wagtail.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included four Lesser Whitethroats, two Common Whitethroats, four Willow Warblers and a Firecrest; a Bonxie also flew south-east. A Red Kite in the morning eventually departed west over Buckton, where there were also four Lesser Whitethroats, Common Whitethroat and three Wheatears.

Red-rumped Swallow, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Red-rumped Swallow, Hartendale, by Craig Thomas

Black Oil Beetles mating, outer head, by Jo Hood

Melecta albifrons, Common mourning bee, outer head, by Jo Hood

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

A light south-easterly breeze gradually increased in strength during a largely sunny day, with temperatures reaching 13 degrees C. During the seawatch, eight Eiders, two summer-plumaged Black-throated Divers, 30 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Tern all flew south. 

A Merlin hunted the outer head early morning, whilst wader interest included a Common Sandpiper at Stainforth’s Flash, an Avocet that initially flew north then south past the headland and a Green Sandpiper at Thornwick Pools, where a Water Rail was also present. A Hooded Crow blogged south/north past the Fog Station before settling near North Marsh and a Firecrest was also located on the outer head. Other migrants included two Goldcrests, 24 Chiffchaffs, ten Willow Warblers, five Blackcap, 18 Lesser Whitethroats, a Common Whitethroat, two Sedge Warblers, five Wheatears, three Yellow Wagtails and five Siskin. In addition, a flock of 100 Linnets lingered near North Dykes.

West of the Dykes, a Water Rail was caught at Buckton, where five Yellow Wagtails were present in the evening. Sightings between Bempton and North Dykes included lone Ring Ouzel and Redstart, with the escaped Ring-necked Parakeet also recorded on several occasions.

Green Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Les Day

Water Rail, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Friday, April 20th, 2018

A day of very light, variable winds, sunny skies and temperatures that reached 18 degrees C. The seawatch highlight was undoubtedly two summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebes initially drifting south off the Fog Station, before flying into Bridlington Bay at 1045hrs. In addition, four Shelduck, an Eider and four Sandwich Terns headed south.

Thornwick Pools attracted two Tufted Duck and single Little Ringed Plover and Ringed Plover. Another Little Ringed Plover overflew the Gorse Field, whilst Stainforth’s Flash hosted a Common Sandpiper and two Whimbrel headed over Oceanview. A Merlin flew over Thornwick, two Grey Partridge were seen in the North Dykes area, while the escaped Ring-necked Parakeet appeared over the village during the evening, having been over Oceanview early morning. A significant increase in migrant passerines produced counts as follows: 13 Willow Warblers, 26 Lesser Whitethroats, three Common Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler, a Redwing, 19 Wheatear, a Whinchat, one Black Redstart, a Yellow Wagtail, three Brambling and three Siskin. Meanwhile, an impressive flock of 47 Corn Buntings frequented North Dykes. Peacock Butterflies and Small Tortoiseshells were prevalent across the headland, with a single Painted Lady at North Dykes.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included two Ring Ouzels and a Hawfinch; the latter lingering around the car-park/feeding station.

Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Little Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

A sunny, but at times misty day, with temperatures reaching 19 degrees C in a light south-west wind. Seawatching highlights included two Eider, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Grey Plover, two Jack Snipe, seven Whimbrel, a Mediterranean Gull, 25 Sandwich Terns, 13 Common Terns and 40 Arctic Terns flying south.

A Marsh Harrier initially over the outer head later flew south, whilst a Little Ringed Plover remained on Thornwick Pools.  Seven Yellow Wagtails included three that flew south past the Fog Station. A relatively early Whinchat at North Marsh was the year’s first, whilst the Thornwick area hosted a Ring Ouzel and a Brambling remained in the village. There were 28 birds caught during a ringing session at South Landing, including three Lesser Whitethroats, two Blackcap and a Chiffchaff. 

West of the Dykes, a Ring-necked Parakeet frequented the area around the feeding station at RSPB Bempton Cliffs; however, pictures showed a ring on its left leg.

Ring-necked Parakeet, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Tony Dixon

Ring-necked Parakeet, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Tony Dixon

Sand Martin, Thornwick Pools, by Jo Hood

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

A relatively bright day, with significantly increased temperatures in a light southerly wind. Seawatching was quiet, with relatively few auks present, although 25 Purple Sandpipers remained in residence and a Sandwich Tern flew south. 

North Marsh attracted a female Shoveler, whilst an increase in migrants was reflected by the arrival of two Black-tailed Godwits and a Little Ringed Plover; both new for the year. A Ring Ouzel and Lesser Whitethroat frequented the Bay Brambles during the morning, with four Brambling attending a feeder in the village.

Black-tailed Godwit, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Wheatear, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

An overcast day, with a moderate/strong south-westerly wind and temperatures that reached 15 degrees C. During the seawatch, two Tufted Duck, two Grey Herons and a Bar-tailed Godwit moved south, whilst three Sandwich Terns also flew past the Fog Station.

A couple of Pink-footed Geese remained with the Greylag flock, with single figures of Swallow, Sand Martin, Chiffchaff, Blackcap logged, together with two Wheatears and a Lesser Whitethroat. In addition, there were four Siskin, a Redpoll and five Brambling.

Three Siskins also fed on a feeder at Bempton.

Shelduck, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Black Oil Beetle (female), Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Monday, April 16th, 2018

The weather consisted of light/moderate south-westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 14 degrees C. The highlight of the seawatch was the Osprey that flew north over the sea at 0900hrs.

A Merlin flew over the Golf Course early morning, with a Short-eared Owl on the cliff top near Thornwick later. Two House Martins were new, a Ring Ouzel frequented the Bay Brambles morning only and the Golf Course attracted two Black Redstarts. A White Wagtail was also present, whilst seven Brambling and two Hawfinch were seen in the village near the Church.

Hawfinch, Flamborough village, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

Light south-easterly winds increased in strength during the morning, but after an increasingly bright morning, fog returned early afternoon; temperatures were pegged back to a maximum of nine degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, a Tufted Duck, 15 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Tern flew north. 

A Pink-footed Goose lingered with the Greylag flock, 16 Teal frequented North Marsh and a pair of Little Grebes was on Hood’s Flash. Two Little Egrets flew south early morning, when two Ring Ouzels were on the outer head. Generally passerine migrants were in lower numbers than the previous day, although two White Wagtails were recorded, along with 11 Brambling and a Hawfinch; the latter attending a garden feeding station in the village. A Willow Warbler caught at North Landing was the first to be ringing this year.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included single House Martin, Lesser Whitethroat,  Common Redstart and Yellow Wagtail.

Hawfinch, Flamborough village, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, April 14th, 2018

A dramatic change in the weather, with spells of sunshine, light southerly winds and temperatures that peaked at 13 degrees C. Northbound tallies during the seawatch included six Teal, ten Red-throated Divers, a Manx Shearwater, a Sandwich Tern and 1649 Puffins. 

The day’s highlight was a Crane that initially flew east over the village at 1605hrs, before circling over the outer head and then heading north towards Bempton. Wader interest was provided by three Woodcock, a Jack Snipe near South Landing that was a clear migrant, with single Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit and Common Sandpiper also new.

A Firecrest was fresh-in in the Bay Brambles and a total of 46 Chiffchaffs represented a sizeable influx, as did 15 Blackcap, with three Willow Warblers and seven Goldcrests also located. Migrant thrushes included a Ring Ouzel, 82 Fieldfare, 68 Redwing and 16 Song Thrush. Additional migrant totals included two Common Redstarts, 16 Wheatears, nine Swallows, four Sand Martins, a White Wagtail, two Yellow Wagtails, seven Siskin and nine Brambling. Three Hawfinch were also present; the duo continued to tour the outer head and a single frequented the Bay Brambles early morning.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Marsh Harrier, a Short-eared Owl, 11 Swallows, a Firecrest, a Yellow Wagtail, 281 Meadow Pipits flying north-west, a Tree Pipit, one Common Redstart, a Black Redstart, ten Siskin, seven Brambling and 16 Corn Buntings. A Raven that lingered around the cliffs stole the headlines, although arguably of more importance was the count of 4105 Puffins between the Fog Station and Speeton. Buckton attracted five Tufted Duck, a Green Sandpiper and seven Wheatear.

Common Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Wheatear, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Another foggy day, clearing slightly by the afternoon; it remained relatively cold, with light southerly winds. A Gadwall flew north over the sea off North Landing, whilst a Woodcock, one Jack Snipe and four Snipe were located in the Thornwick area. Migrants included two Swallows, a Ring Ouzel at Hartendale, seven Fieldfare, 23 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, two Blackcap, two Wheatear, a White Wagtail, six Brambling and two Hawfinch; the latter at Oceanview.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Ring Ouzel, 14 Redwing, one Black Redstart and four Brambling.

Hawfinch, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Brambling, South Dykes, by Brett Richards

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Another overcast day, with thick mist at times and light northerly winds. A Green Sandpiper overflew Thornwick Pools, where a Jack Snipe remained, and two Marsh Harriers hunted the fields proximate to Old Fall. Two ‘new’ Firecrests were located including one along Lighthouse Road, with 12 Goldcrests, 25 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, 16 Fieldfare, a Redwing and two Brambling also present.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Ring Ouzel, two Black Redstarts, four Wheatear, a Lesser Redpoll, four Brambling and seven Corn Buntings.

Brambling, South Dykes, by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Another overcast, misty and cold day, with a light/moderate northerly wind. Two Firecrests were located in South Landing, a Black Redstart re-appeared in the village and a Wheatear frequented Beacon Hill, whilst two Hawfinch visited garden feeders in the village.  A Siskin was also present at the same feeding station, with the equivalent at South Dykes attracting a Nuthatch and two Brambling.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Woodcock, ten Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, 19 Redwing, three Fieldfare, 17 Robins, a Lesser Redpoll and 15 Corn Buntings.

Hawfinch, Flamborough village, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

An overcast day, with rain during the morning replaced by thick fog later; temperatures reached a mere seven degrees C. The day’s only notable record related to two Avocets that  frequented Thornwick Pools. 

Avocet, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Avocet, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Monday, April 9th, 2018

Although fog predominated, there were also sunny intervals, light winds and temperatures approaching the seasonal norm. Coverage was light, although a Black Redstart frequented a garden in the centre of the village and a Brambling lingered at Oceanview.

Puffin, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Black Redstart, Flamborough village, by June & Malcolm Fox

Sunday, April 8th, 2018

A mild and still day with hazy cloud. Highlight of the day was the discovery of a Great White Egret at Northcliffe Marsh during mid-afternoon. Once a mega rarity on the headland, this species has seen a considerable up turn in records in the last few years. Also in the Northcliffe Marsh area were a Little Grebe, 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and a Pink-footed Goose. Yesterday’s Firecrest remained in Old Fall hedge, whilst three Black Redstarts included birds at Thornwick and Bempton RSPB. The Bempton area also held 2 Ring Ouzel, Blackcap, Brambling and a House Martin. 2 Willow Warbler were at Thornwick, with single Blackcap, Brambling, Golden Plover and 30 Fieldfare noted on the outer headland.

The year’s first Arctic Tern flew south on the morning sea watch, with Sandwich Tern, a blue morph Fulmar and a Swallow also recorded. A Great Northern Diver was on the sea off Cattlemere during the morning.

Great White Egret, Northcliffe Marsh by Andy Hood