Friday, September 21st, 2018

A day of sunny intervals, increasing amounts of cloud and showers from late afternoon, with a strong westerly wind throughout. Seawatch highlights included two Sooty Shearwaters, six Little Gulls, 35 Common Terns, 15 Arctic Terns, and two Black Terns moving north; 18 Bonxies and 29 Arctic Skuas were also logged off the Fog Station.

The day’s main feature was a southerly movement of 905 Pink-footed Geese over the headland, concentrated from mid-afternoon. In addition, a single Pink-foot and a Gadwall frequented Thornwick Pools, five Snipe appeared to come in off the sea, whilst a Bar-tailed Godwit lingered on South Landing beach. Five Whinchat and a Wheatear were in the vicinity of the Lighthouse Grassland, whilst a Spotted Flycatcher was located near Thornwick Pools.

Pink-footed Goose, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Black-headed Gull, South Landing, by Paul Reed

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Moderate south-west winds and relatively bright skies were replaced by heavy rain and increasingly strong winds from early afternoon. Seawatching highlights included 266 Little Gulls, 29 Common Terns, and single Arctic Skua and Bonxie flying north, whilst 16 Red-throated Divers, three Manx Shearwaters, 39 Little Gulls, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and two Arctic Terns flew south; a Black Tern lingered offshore. The most notable passerine record related to seven Whinchats in the Lighthouse Grassland.

Meadow Pipit, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

A day that featured gale force south-westerly winds and sunny intervals. During the seawatch, two Shelduck, six Teal, 14 Red-throated Divers and a Little Egret flew south, whilst eight Bonxies and four Arctic Skuas moved north. A Greenshank also frequented the outer head.

South Landing attracted six Ringed Plovers, one Knot and a Bar-tailed Godwit, Thornwick Pools a Grey Heron, 12 Teal, four Snipe and six Dunlin.

Knot, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

The weather consisted of strong south-westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 20 degrees C. During the seawatch, four Wigeon, 65 Teal and a Pochard flew south, whilst three Sooty Shearwaters, three Snipe, six Bonxies and 16 Arctic Skuas moved in the opposite direction; 15 Manx Shearwaters and a Black Tern also fed offshore during the evening. 

Thornwick Pools attracted nine Teal, two Snipe, five Dunlin and a Ruff, South Landing a Knot, 12 Ringed Plover and a Bar-tailed Godwit. A first calendar-year Caspian Gull rested on fields near North Landing, with the Pied Crow in the same area. Passerine migrants included a Whinchat and two White Wagtails.

Ruff, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Starling, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Monday, September 17th, 2018

Generally overcast, with occasional mist and light drizzle and very light winds. During the seawatch, a Gadwall, one Sooty Shearwater, three Bonxies and two Arctic Skuas flew south, whilst a Little Gull, 57 Sandwich Terns and eight Common Terns moved north.

Wildfowl interest on the headland included four Wigeon, 22 Teal, a Pochard and better still, a Garganey, that was flushed from the pond in Old Fall and then flew south. Single Little Egret, Water Rail, Common Sandpiper and two Grey Plovers were also present. Additional migrant interest included two Swift, 15 Goldcrests, 36 Chiffchaffs, 24 Willow Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher, eight Whinchat, three Grey Wagtails and 25 Siskin.

Whinchat, Lighthouse Grassland, by Andrew Allport

Frosted Orange, Lunar Underwing, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

A day of sunny intervals and strong south-west winds. Seawatching highlights included six Pink-footed Geese, eight Wigeon, 136 Teal, a Tufted Duck, one Great Northern Diver, a Little Egret, three Snipe, two Pomarine Skuas and two Arctic Skuas flying south, whilst four Sooty Shearwaters, five Manx Shearwaters, 51 Sandwich Terns, 15 Bonxies, a Pomarine Skua and two Arctic Skuas flew north.

Ninety Pink-footed Geese headed south over the headland late afternoon, whilst South Landing attracted 16 Ringed Plovers, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull; another Mediterranean Gull frequented the north side where there were also six Wheatears. The Pied Crow again toured the village.

Sparrowhawk, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Saturday, September 15th, 2018

A day of lighter south-west winds than of late, generally overcast with temperatures reaching 14 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included 72 Pink-footed Geese, a Sooty Shearwater and eight Bonxies flew south, with another Sooty Shearwater, 17 Manx Shearwaters, 393 Black-headed Gulls, 41 Sandwich Terns, 32 Common Terns and three Arctic Skuas heading in the opposite direction. 

An additional 170 Pink-footed Geese flew south over the headland, as did a Little Egret. However, the day’s highlight was undoubtedly a Green Woodpecker, a true local rarity, located along the cliff top between Beacon Hill and South Landing. Passerine interest included seven Whinchat, six Wheatear, a Redstart and three Corn Buntings.

West of the Dykes, 173 Pink-footed Geese flew south at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, where there was also a Swift, one Spotted Flycatcher, four Yellow Wagtails and 25 Yellowhammers. A total of 50 Pied Wagtails roosted at Muntons, near Sewerby.

Bonxie, Flamborough, by Chrys Mellor

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Moderate south-west winds prevailed throughout, whilst the day also featured sunny intervals and a band of rain. During the morning seawatch, 72 Pink-footed Geese, two Eider, 39 Red-throated Divers, seven Knot, six Dunlin, a Purple Sandpiper, a Little Stint and seven Common Terns flew south, whilst 39 Common Scoter, a Sooty Shearwater, 13 Manx Shearwaters, 84 Sandwich Terns, eight Bonxies, four Arctic Skuas and three Puffins flew north. An additional 158 Pink-footed Geese also flew south over the headland later in the day. Passerines were difficult to locate in the windy conditions, although single Sedge Warbler, Whinchat, three Grey Wagtails and a Yellow Wagtail were present.

West of the Dykes, a total of 75 Pink-footed Geese flew south at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Pink-footed Geese, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate south-westerly winds and sunny intervals. During the seawatch, 86 Common Scoters, 86 Sandwich Terns, seven Bonxies and an Arctic Skua flew north, with two Bonxies and two Arctic Skuas loafing offshore. Away from the sea, sightings included a Hobby, one Sand Martin, six Whinchat, five Wheatear, a Grey Wagtail and six Siskin.

A total of  158 Meadow Pipits flew west at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, where there were two Whinchats and ten Siskin moved south.

Top: Sallow, Green Carpet, Small Bloodvein, Flounced Rustic; Bottom: Pebble Prominent, Red Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Lime speck Pug by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

An overcast start to the day, with brighter spells later and a light south-westerly wind. Highlights of the seawatch included a Shelduck, 13 Red-throated Divers, 35 Redshank, a Mediterranean Gull, a first calendar-year Caspian Gull and one Arctic Skua flying south, whilst 107 Sandwich Terns, 101 Common Terns, three Bonxies and two Arctic Skuas flew north. 

Thornwick Pools continued to host a Water Rail. Passerine interest included two Spotted Flycatchers, a Pied Flycatcher, one Redstart, a Black Redstart, four Whinchat, six Siskin and a Corn Bunting.

West of the Dykes, a Hobby was seen over Wandale Farm east of RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Ringed Plover, South Landing, by Paul Reed

Pied Flycatcher, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Lesser Whitethroat, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Small Coppers, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

A cloudy start with increasing sun as the day progressed. Wind was a moderate westerly. Highlight of the morning sea watch was a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull which flew south at 10:33. Other sightings included 1 Common Scoter, 12 Red-throated Diver, 1 Manx Shearwater, 155 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Tern, 2 Bonxie, 3 Arctic Skua, 1 Puffin and 2 Swift.

Passage on the land was relatively quiet but included a single Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Siskin, 3 Swift and 204 Meadow Pipit, 50 of the latter were ringed at South Landing. Thornwick Pools held a Water Rail and 12 Teal, whilst the Pied Crow remained nearby. An additional Spotted Flycatcher was at Bempton, along with an Arctic Tern. Two Whinchat were at Buckton.

Canary-shouldered Thorn, by Andy Hood

Fox by Paul Reed.

Monday, September 10th, 2018

An overcast day, with a moderate south-westerly wind throughout. During the morning’s seawatch, three Goosanders, 34 Sandwich Terns and a juvenile Long-tailed Skua flew north, with 11 Red-throated Divers, two Bonxies and three Arctic Skuas heading south. 

Elsewhere, a Swift flew south over the outer head, a Black Redstart was located at Thornwick, with two Whinchat and a Pied Flycatcher also recorded. West of the Dykes, two Whinchat frequented RSPB Bdmpton Cliffs.

Turnstone, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

A day of moderate/strong south-westerly winds, occasional sunny intervals and light showers. Seawatching highlights included four Sooty Shearwaters, 11 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, seven Bonxies and a juvenile Long-tailed Skua flying north, 19 Red-throated Divers and five Arctic Skuas heading south, with a first-winter Mediterranean Gull lingering offshore. 

The Pied Crow continued in residence being seen in various locations in and around the village.

Bar-tailed Godwit, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, September 8th, 2018

The weather consisted of light/moderate south-west winds, increasing amounts of cloud and a band of rain arriving during the afternoon. Three Sooty Shearwaters, seven Manx Shearwaters, 15 Red-throated Divers, 11 Bonxies, two Arctic Skuas, a Black Tern and a first-calendar year Mediterranean Gull were logged on the morning’s seawatch. Elsewhere, a Water Rail remained at Thornwick Pools, whilst 15 Ringed Plovers and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull frequented the shores on the southern side of the headland. 

An Icterine Warbler represented the day’s highlight; although elusive at times, it spent the entire day in the Bay Brambles/Golf Course willows.

Icterine Warbler, Bay Brambles, by Andrew Allport

Friday, September 7th, 2018

An increasingly blustery westerly wind brought sporadic showers from late morning, with temperatures reaching a mere 13 degrees C. Six Mute Swans  were recorded; a party of four birds touring the headland before moving off west, with a duo resting at South Landing; three Little Egrets and nine Ringed Plovers were also present at the latter location. A covey of 12 Grey Partridges near North Marsh represented a notable record, where there were also nine Wigeon. Passerine interest included a Mistle Thrush, five Pied Flycatchers, eight Whinchat, a Redstart, a Reed Warbler, one Sedge Warbler and a single Yellow Wagtail.

West of the Dykes, the Wryneck remained at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, whilst 137 House Martins flew north-west there. 

Mute Swan, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Wryneck, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Andy Hood

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

A day of light, variable winds, sunny intervals and light showers. Thornwick Pools attracted 15 Teal and South Landing four Little Egrets. However, the headlines were stolen by wing-barred phylloscs, with the Arctic Warbler remaining at Old Fall and a Greenish Warbler located at North Landing. Other passerine migrants included four Goldcrest, three Pied Flycatchers, two Redstarts, 13 Whinchat, a Stonechat, one Yellow Wagtail and 17 Siskins. A flock of 245 Linnets and three Corn Buntings also frequented the Old Fall area. In addition, a total of 41 birds caught and ringed at South Landing included a Reed Warbler, seven Chiffchaffs and eight Meadow Pipits. 

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted single Marsh Harrier, Ruff, Wryneck, Garden Warbler, Redstart along with nine Yellow Wagtail; 165 Meadow Pipits also flew north-west.

Wryneck, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Tony Dixon

Wryneck, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Lee Johnson

Greenish Warbler, North Landing, by Craig Thomas

Arctic Warbler, Old Fall, by John Harwood

Arctic Warbler, Old Fall, by Lee Johnson

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate north-north-west winds, overcast skies with persistent drizzle and mist for much of the morning. During the seawatch, single Shoveler, Gadwall, Pintail, 63 Wigeon, 169 Teal, 61 Common Scoters, eight Sooty Shearwaters, 73 Manx Shearwaters and a Balearic Shearwater flew north, with 53 Oystercatchers, a Mediterranean Gull, nine Bonxies and 12 Arctic Skuas flying south. Elsewhere, a Little Egret and ten Ringed Plovers were noted at South Landing, a Greenshank flew over North Landing and Thornwick Pools attracted a juvenile Caspian Gull.

Autumn’s first rarity made landfall, with an Arctic Warbler frequenting the willows on the sheltered south side of Old Fall. Additional passerine migrants included six Pied Flycatchers.

West of the Dykes, a confiding Wryneck proved popular at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, where there were also two Redstarts, three Whinchat, a Pied Flycatcher and ten Willow Warblers.

Caspian Gull, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Caspian Gull, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Wryneck, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Ian Howard

Wryneck, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Arctic Warbler, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Arctic Warbler, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Arctic Warbler, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

An overcast day, with a moderate/strong north-westerly wind and occasional drizzle. Seawatching highlights included four Shoveler, 36 Wigeon, three Pintail, 45 Teal, 20 Sooty Shearwaters, 105 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, two Grey Plover, a Little Gull and 12 Common Terns flew north, whilst five Shelduck, a Velvet Scoter, a Red-breasted Merganser, 12 Red-throated Divers, 88 Sandwich Terns, 30 Bonxies, a Pomarine Skua and 23 Arctic  Skuas headed south.

Turnstone, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Monday, September 3rd, 2018

After a bright start, increasing cloud developed during the day, with mist enveloping the high cliffs by the evening; a northerly wind also established late on. A Hobby appeared over the Golf Course, whilst a Bar-tailed Godwit and five Ringed Plover frequented South Landing, where a Whinchat was caught and ringed.

West of the Dykes, records from Buckton included  single Marsh Harrier and Common Buzzard, two Pied Flycatchers, two Sedge Warblers, a Wheatear and five Whinchat. Potentially the same Marsh Harrier overflew RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Bonxie, Flamborough, by Chrys Mellor

Pied Flycatcher, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

Sunny intervals throughout a day of increasingly strong south-easterly winds, with temperatures peaking at 20 degrees C. A juvenile Mediterranean Gull and a juvenile Little Gull heading past the Fog Station provided the highlights of a seawatch; 68 Teal, a Shoveler and two Arctic Skuas also flew south.

Thornwick Pools attracted 12 Teal, two Wigeon, a Tufted Duck, one Water Rail, a Ringed Plover and two Dunlin. North Marsh pulled in two Wigeon, eight Teal and a Marsh Harrier, South Landing single Common Sandpiper and Bar-tailed Godwit, with Stainforth’s Flash hosting an additional three Teal. Wader interest also included 32 Turnstones at Selwick’s Bay, where a Little Egret was also present. 

Migrant passerines included nine Whinchat, six Wheatear, 26 Whitethroats, nine Blackcap, 16 Willow Warblers, nine Chiffchaff, a Redstart, one Pied Flycatcher and a flock of 60 House Sparrows on Thornwick Camp. 

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Swift, 100 Swallows, three Song Thrush in off and 22 Yellow Wagtails. Nearby, highlights from Buckton involved two Teal, one Reed Warbler caught and ringed, a Fieldfare in off, three Robins along the cliff top and six Whinchat.

Teal, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Willow Warbler, outer head, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

Another sunny day, with moderate southerly winds and temperatures peaking at 21 degrees C. Two Wigeon frequented North Marsh, five Teal Thornwick Pools and 38 Mallard Stainforth’s Flash. A Little Egret flew east from South Landing, whilst a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull rested at Stainforth’s Flash. Passerine interest included two Nuthatch remaining in South Dykes, six Willow Warblers, six Whinchat, a Wheatear and one Pied Flycatcher; the Pied Crow continued its sojourn at Thornwick. 

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted a juvenile Marsh Harrier, three Common Buzzards, the juvenile Cuckoo, 27 Yellow Wagtails, 200 Tree Sparrows and three Corn Buntings.

Tawny Owl, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Willow Warbler, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Friday, August 31st, 2018

A light easterly wind developed during a sunny day, with temperatures reaching 17 degrees C. During the morning seawatch, 26 Common Scoters, two Velvet Scoters and 106 Teal flew north, whilst single Bonxie and Arctic Skua flew south. Thornwick Pools attracted eight Teal, a Water Rail and five Dunlin, with an additional 20 Teal and a Golden Plover flying north. Elsewhere, two creamcrown Marsh Harriers were recorded, including an individual that flew north over the sea, along with three Ringed Plovers, one Golden Plover, a Bar-tailed Godwit and one Common Sandpiper. Passerine migrants included six Wheatear, a Whinchat and a Garden Warbler; the Pied Crow remained at Thornwick.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Marsh Harrier, 16 Golden Plovers, a Cuckoo and an Arctic Skua.

Migrant & Southern Hawkers, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

A day of relatively light, variable winds, sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 18 degrees C. An evening seawatch proved productive, with an adult Sabine’s Gull flying north close inshore. Other sightings during the day’s seawatch were: 13 Wigeon, 90 Teal, three Sooty Shearwaters, 12 Manx Shearwaters and four Bonxies moving north, with four Red-throated Divers, nine Whimbrel and six Arctic Skuas heading south. Wader interest included a Ringed Plover on Thornwick Pools, along with a Common Sandpiper, whilst two Spotted Flycatchers represented the most notable passerine migrants.

West of the Dykes, a Dotterel flew south over RSPB Bempton Cliffs, where additional records included seven Whimbrel, single Whinchat and Redstart.

Ringed Plover, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Red Underwing, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

A dull start, with rain at midday. This cleared by early afternoon to sunny skies. Wind was a light to moderate north westerly. There were a few grounded migrants, with highlights including single Spotted and Pied Flycatchers at South Landing and Booted Gully respectively, a Whinchat and 4 Yellow Wagtail. 2 Corn Bunting toured the headland. A clear movement of hirundines was taking place with 124 Swallow and 68 House Martin, along with 2 Swift.

Thornwick pools hosted a Water Rail, White Wagtail and 2 Ruff. A Common Sandpiper and three Whimbrel were logged. Wildfowl tallies consisted of 182 Greylag Geese, 46 Teal, 18 Mallard and a single Shoveler. A Little Egret flew over South Landing.

Bempton held 10 Yellow Wagtail and 17 Willow Warbler, with 2 Corn Bunting over. 

Pied Flycatcher, Booted Gully by Andy Hood.

White Wagtail, Thornwick Pools by Andrew Allport.

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

An overcast day, calm first thing, before a light south-westerly developed, and temperatures peaking at 19 degrees C. South Landing hosted single Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone and four Dunlin. A scattering of migrant passerines included a Tree Pipit at North Landing, Garden Warbler and Reed Warbler near the Lighthouse/Bay Brambles and a Spotted Flycatcher at Danes Dyke. 

The day’s highlight was located west of the Dykes, with a ringtail Hen Harrier hunting the cliff top at Buckton. Other sightings from the same area included a Marsh Harrier, Hobby, two Swifts and 20 Yellow Wagtails.

Whimbrel, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Yellow Wagtail, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Monday, August 27th, 2018

A moderate/strong westerly wind dominated a day of sunny intervals. An evening seawatch was rewarded with a Manx Shearwater flying north, a Grey Heron in off, three Red-throated Divers south and another north, 12 Whimbrel and seven Oystercatchers south, five Bonxies north and three south, three Arctic Skuas, 50 Sandwich Terns and 85 Common Terns flying south; 56 of the latter also headed north.

A ringtail Hen Harrier came in off the sea at the outer head, whilst the stretch of beach between South Landing and South Dykes attracted 11 Curlew, two Whimbrel, one Bar-tailed Godwit, three Redshank and five Dunlin.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Buckton included six Grey Partridge, a Marsh Harrier, five Golden Plover, a Whinchat and two Corn Buntings.

Sedge Warbler, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Whinchat, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

The weather during the morning consisted of overcast skies and increasing winds, whereas strong southerly winds and driving rain featured throughout the afternoon. During the seawatch, the following flew north: 335 Manx Shearwaters, three Balearic Shearwaters, 40 Sooty Shearwaters, 112 Sandwich Terns, 305 Common Terns, two Black Terns, two Pomarine Skuas, a Long-tailed Skua, 26 Bonxies and 14 Arctic Skuas; a Goosander also flew south past the Fog Station. Thornwick Pools attracted two Green Sandpipers during the afternoon rain.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Little Egret flying north-west, an adult Hobby moving south-east, a juvenile Cuckoo, a Wheatear and six Yellow Wagtails. Records from Buckton included the aforementioned Little Egret, five Willow Warblers, five Sedge Warblers, a Garden Warbler and one Whinchat.

Bar-tailed Godwit, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, August 25th, 2018

A sunny day, with a light/moderate north-westerly wind with a switch to lighter easterlies later. In a late summer notably lacking a northerly influence, there was always the potential for an improved seawatch and so it proved. Twelve Teal, three Red-throated Divers, 14 Sooty Shearwaters, 161 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, one Great Shearwater, a Greenshank, one Little Gull, 55 Sandwich Terns, 100 Common Terns, 1535 Commic Terns, 17 Bonxies, three Pomarine Skuas and 16 Arctic Skuas flew north. In addition, 53 Oystercatchers, six Golden Plovers, 12 Bonxies and 26 Arctic Skuas moved south. 

A Little Egret headed over the village, South Landing beach attracted four Ringed Plover, four Sanderling a Bar-tailed Godwit, one Knot and a Whimbrel, whilst a Merlin overflew the nearby ravine. Stainforth’s Flash attracted a Marsh Harrier and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull.

West of the Dykes, three Whimbrel flew over Bempton village, where a Tawny Owl was also present, whilst sightings from the nearby RSPB reserve included nine Golden Plovers over, a Reed Warbler, one Garden Warbler, six Willow Warblers, four Wheatear and 12 Yellow Wagtails.

Whimbrel, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Pied Crow, Thornwick, by Don Hustings

Friday, August 24th, 2018

A much cooler day, with temperatures hardly feeling their peak of a mere 16 degrees C in a strengthening westerly wind and heavy, at times, thundery showers of rain and hail. During the seawatch, a Sooty Shearwater, 75 Sandwich Terns, 220 Common Terns and six Arctic Terns flew north, 13 Manx Shearwaters, three Bonxies and six Arctic Skua flew south, whilst two Black Terns fed offshore. However, easily the most notable record related to two Fin Whales that fed distantly offshore on and off for the best part of 90 minutes from 0755hrs.

The Short-eared Owl remained at North Marsh, but passerines were difficult to locate in the conditions, with five Wheatear, one Whinchat, a Spotted Flycatcher and a White Wagtail. In addition, 40 Pied Wagtails roosted at Thornwick Pools.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted ten Willow Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Brown Hawker dragonfly.

Wheatear, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

The weather consisted of light variable winds, overcast skies with occasional light showers and sunny intervals. Seawatching highlights included seven Wigeon, 19 Teal, a Red-throated Diver and 19 Manx Shearwaters flying past the Fog Station, together with a Balearic Shearwater, a Yellow-legged Gull and 297 Common Terns heading north; one Greenshank, a Little Gull, another Yellow-legged Gull, 13 Bonxies and five Arctic Skuas moved south. 

A Little Egret was on the beach at Hartendale, 15 Dunlin and a Redshank at Thornwick Pools, with nine Dunlin and a juvenile Little Ringed Plover at Stainforth’s Flash. North Marsh hosted a Short-eared Owl. Passerine interest included a Wheatear, two Whinchat, one Redstart, three Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher and good numbers of Willow Warblers, including 25 at South Landing alone.

The day’s highlight was discovered at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, when an Ortolan Bunting visited the car park early morning only; other sightings there included 40 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler and two Pied Flycatchers.  Nearby, Buckton attracted a Short-eared Owl, a Whinchat and six Willow Warblers.

Spotted Flycatcher, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

The weather consisted of increasing south-south-west winds, generally overcast skies and temperatures reaching a sultry 24 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included single Gadwall, Pintail and Tufted Duck, 52 Teal, 27 Oystercatchers, two Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull flying south, with three Eider, 41 Common Scoter, nine Manx Shearwaters, 38 Sandwich Terns, 672 Common Terns, 34 Arctic Terns, four Bonxies and two Arctic Skuas heading north. An additional six Arctic Skuas lingered offshore and two Common Sandpipers fed on rocks near the Fog Station.

Thornwick Pools attracted nine Teal during the morning, with an additional bird at North Marsh. Wader interest included a Grey Plover, three Whimbrel, 26 Dunlin, five Snipe and single Green Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull loafed at Stainforth’s Flash early morning. An increase in hirundine numbers was apparent, with 470 Swallows recorded, including good numbers moving south, and 260 House Martins. Passerine interest included 42 Willow Warblers, a Grasshopper Warbler at Old Fall, two Spotted Flycatchers, seven Pied Flycatchers and a White Wagtail.

Insect interest included a Common Hawker, several Small Red-eyed Damselflies and a Brown Argus butterfly.

Yellow-legged Gull, Stainforth’s Flash, by Andrew Allport

Migrant Hawker, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

After an overcast start, sunny periods prevailed throughout a day featuring light winds and temperatures reaching 20 degrees C. During the morning seawatch, 23 Teal, 18 Common Scoter, 32 Manx Shearwaters, 24 Sandwich Terns, 221 Common Terns and an Arctic Tern flew north, with two Tufted Ducks and a Bonxie heading in the opposite direction. However, the morning’s highlight related to a Balearic Shearwater that fed with Gannets offshore. 

A Little Egret visited Thornwick Pools, whilst a Green Sandpiper flew over South Landing. Migrant passerines included a Whinchat, two Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher and one White Wagtail. Meanwhile, the Pied Crow once again frequented the centre of the village. Insect interest included a Long-winged Conehead at Oceanview. 

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included five Whimbrel, two Golden Plovers, 11 Willow Warblers, three Pied Flycatchers and two Spotted Flycatchers.

Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Long-winged Conehead, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Southern Hawker, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Monday, August 20th, 2018

A day of light onshore winds, generally overcast skies with intermittent fog/mist and temperatures reaching 19 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included two Manx Shearwaters and 18 Sandwich Terns flying north, with 132 Oystercatchers, eight Black-tailed Godwits and 15 Redshanks moving south. 

A Little Egret frequented South Landing, with a Kingfisher seen along the adjacent cliff top, whilst Thornwick Pools attracted five Dunlin, along with lone Greenshank, Snipe and Knot. Two Green Sandpipers also flew south over the headland. The day’s main feature was an arrival of passerines, in particular 122 Willow Warblers, together with four Spotted Flycatchers, a Grasshopper Warbler, single Redstart and nine Wheatears on the outer head alone. 

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Common Sandpiper flying south, 42 Willow Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher and four Wheatears; in addition, a Minke Whale was watched from the viewpoints. Records from Buckton included a Greenshank over, ten Willow Warblers and a Tree Pipit.

Greenshank, Thornwick Pools, by June & Malcolm Fox

Whitethroat, Bay Brambles, by Steve Meredith

Sunday, August 19th, 2018

Moderate south-westerly winds and occasional sunny spells yielded another good day for scarce larids with both juvenile Caspian Gull and Mediterranean Gull south past the Fog Station during the morning. A further 2 Med Gulls were at South Landing. Other seawatching highlights included single Red-throated Diver and Whimbrel, whilst tern passage included 70 Sandwich, 3 Common and 2 Arctic.

Counts from the outer headland included single Spotted Flycatcher and Whinchat, 14 Swift, 25 Willow Warbler, Tree Pipit and a Pied Flycatcher, the latter around the car park at South Landing. Stainforth’s Flash held an impressive total of 19 Dunlin, whilst a Green Sandpiper was logged at South Landing. The Pied Crow remained in the Thornwick area.

The Bempton and Buckton area held Marsh Harrier (trapped and ringed), 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 23 Willow Warbler, 12 Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, Wheatear and 4 Swift. A Black Darter dragonfly at RSPB Bempton Cliffs represented the first record for the site.

Marsh Harrier, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Sparrowhawk, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Dunlin, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Saturday, August 18th, 2018

Another day of moderate south westerly winds and patchy cloud. Counts from the morning sea watch included 14 Common Scoter, 8 Manx Shearwater, 1 Little Egret, 2 Golden Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 4 Whimbrel, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 129 Sandwich, 18 Common and 1 Arctic Tern, 2 Arctic Skua and 3 Bonxie.

On the land, the juvenile Red-backed Shrike remained. A Green Sandpiper was at Northcliffe Marsh. 3 Tree Pipit, 20 Swift, Merlin, a single Wheatear and a Hobby were between the outer headland and South Landing. Buckton held Marsh Harrier and a Whinchat.

Wheatear by Brett Richards

Friday, August 17th, 2018

A mostly sunny day with moderate to strong south westerly winds. The juvenile Red-backed Shrike continued to perform along the hedge south of Head Farm. Other highlights from the outer headland included a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Tree Pipit, Little Egret, 67 Willow Warbler, 36 Yellow Wagtail and fly over Green and Wood Sandpipers . South Landing yet again attracted several Mediterranean Gulls with numbers peaking at three during the day, a Greenshank was also on the beach.

The morning sea watch was relatively quiet with 2 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Tern, 16 Common Tern, 70 Sandwich Tern, 10 Manx Shearwater, 4 Whimbrel and a Shoveler.

Birds moving through Bempton included a Marsh Harrier, 4 Whimbrel, Greenshank, 32  Swift and a Wheatear.

In insect news; at least one White-letter Hairstreak remained at South Dykes, whilst odonata counts from the outer head included 1 Small Red-eyed Damsel and good numbers of Emerald Damsel, Ruddy Darter and Migrnat Hawker.

Small Red-eyed Damsel, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Conditions were overcast during the morning, with brighter skies in the afternoon and a moderate south westerly wind. Highlight of the morning sea watch was a juvenile Black Tern which flew north just after 11am, additional birds included a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 27 Common Scoter, 2 Manx Shearwater, 63 Sandwich Tern, 13 Common Tern, 2 Arctic Tern, a single Arctic Skua and a Swift.

On the land, the juvenile Red-backed Shrike remained along the hedge south of Head Farm, with a nearby Whinchat in the Gorse field. Two juvenile Mediterranean Gull were at South Landing, whilst an adult Yellow-legged Gull frequented Stainforth’s Flash. A Little Egret was again on rocks south of the fog station and a Marsh Harrier overflew South Dykes.

Ringed Plover, South Landing by Andy Hood.

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

A day of moderate south-west winds, sunny intervals and temperatures peaking at 25 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included eight Teal, 16 Manx Shearwaters, 284 Sandwich Terns, 18 Common Terns, three Arctic Terns and an Arctic Skua flying north, with four Whimbrel, 12 Dunlin and 18 Redshank moving south.

A Little Egret fed on the rocky beach near the Lighthouse, single Wood Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper were on Thornwick Pools, ten Dunlin frequented Stainforth’s Flash and a Greenshank also flew south. South Landing attracted an adult Yellow-legged Gull and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull. A juvenile Red-backed Shrike in hedges on the eastern edge of the Gorse Field represented the first scarce drift migrant of the autumn; additional migrants included a Cuckoo and one Wheatear.

West of the Dykes, records from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Marsh Harrier and a Whinchat.

Wood & Green Sandpipers, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Cuckoo, Gorse Field, by Alan Walkington

Red-backed Shrike, Gorse Field, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

A day of light south-west/southerly winds, overcast skies with sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 21 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included 22 Common Scoter, two Sooty Shearwaters, 57 Manx Shearwaters, a Grey Plover, a Mediterranean Gull, 144 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern, nine Arctic Tern, a Bonxie and two Arctic Skuas flying north, with three Whimbrel, a Greenshank, six Common Terns, a Bonxie and two Arctic Skuas heading south. 

Two Little Egrets overflew South Landing, where lone Mediterranean and Yellow-legged Gulls were present, a Greenshank flew south over the headland and a Green Sandpiper dropped onto Thornwick Pools. Migrant passerines included a Tree Pipit that headed south over Old Fall. In addition, the Pied Crow continued to frequent Thornwick camp. 

West of the Dykes, sightings from Buckton included two un-tagged creamcrown Marsh Harriers, 35 Curlew flying north, 27 Common Whitethroats, three Wheatear, two Whinchat, seven Yellow Wagtails and 22 Reed Buntings. 

Cormorant, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Wheatear, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Monday, August 13th, 2018

An overcast day, with light/moderate northerly winds and temperatures reaching 18 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Shelduck, 18 Common Scoter, one Sooty Shearwater, 186 Sandwich Terns, 82 Common Terns, three Arctic Terns flew north, whilst three Wigeon, 32 Manx Shearwaters, four Bonxies and an Arctic Skua headed in the opposite direction. 

Sightings from South Landing included a Little Egret, three Mediterranean Gulls and two Yellow-legged Gulls. A Black-tailed Godwit flew east, lone Sanderling and Green Sandpiper were present, whilst a juvenile Cuckoo frequented the cliff top near Old Fall. The Brown Argus butterfly remained in residence at South Landing.

The wing-tagged Marsh Harrier present at Buckton recently was a juvenile male, ringed as a chick at Burnham Norton, Norfolk on 28th June 2018.

Mediterranean Gull, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Cuckoo, near Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Migrant Hawker, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, August 12th, 2018

A relatively overcast day, with a light/moderate south-west wind and periods of light rain. During the seawatch, 47 Common Scoter, a Blue Fulmar, two Golden Plover, 267 Sandwich Terns, two Common Terns, two Arctic Terns, a Bonxie and an Arctic Skua flew north, with 36 Teal, 12 Manx Shearwaters and two Bonxies moving in the opposite direction.

West of the Dykes, a total of 115 House Martins at Buckton included 110 flying south-east; a cream crown Marsh Harrier, 60 Swallows and two Golden Plover were recorded at the same location.

Common Blue, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Saturday, August 11th, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate westerly winds, generally overcast skies with occasional sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 18 degrees C. During the seawatch, three Manx Shearwaters, a Whimbrel, one Little Gull, 29 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern and an Arctic Skua flew north, whilst a Grey Heron and a lone Arctic Skua headed in the opposite direction. Thornwick Pools hosted a Grey Heron, two Snipe and a Dunlin, with 12 more Dunlin on Stainforth’s Flash. South Landing attracted four Whimbrel, seven Willow Warblers and a Siskin.

West of the Dykes, sightings included two Sanderling and 33 Sandwich Terns at Sewerby, with a Common Sandpiper on Buckton Pond.

Grey Heron, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Emperor Dragonfly, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Friday, August 10th, 2018

A day of light/moderate south-westerly winds, generally cloudier with occasional sunny intervals. During the seawatch, 49 Common Scoters and a Red-throated Diver flew north, whilst a Sooty Shearwater, 29 Redshank and an immature Long-tailed Skua flew south. However, the stand out was a Fin Whale feeding three miles offshore of the Fog Station from 0720-0732hrs; plenty of fish were clearly present, with a minimum of 25 Common Porpoises and 37 Grey Seals also present. 

Elsewhere, two Shoveler overflew the headland, seven Dunlin frequented Stainforth’s Flash, whilst 23 Willow Warblers and five Yellow Wagtails were scattered across the headland. 

West of the Dykes, 35 Yellow Wagtails frequented fields at Buckton, along with a Wheatear and a Corn Bunting. 

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Wheatear, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Grey Seals, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

A cooler day than of late, with increasing amounts of cloud interspersed by brighter intervals. Three Teal lingered at Thornwick Pools, where a Grey Heron, one Little Ringed Plover, 11 Dunlin, two Green Sandpiper and a Snipe and two Yellow Wagtails were also recorded. Eleven Willow Warblers included nine at South Landing, whilst a Pied Flycatcher remained in the Golf Course willows. Nearby, three Corn Buntings flew west over the Gorse Field.

Teal, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

A day of light/moderate south-west winds, occasional sunny intervals during a cloudier day and temperatures peaking at 21 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included three Teal, 68 Common Scoters and two Manx Shearwaters heading north, with 37 Oystercatchers, four Common Terns, an Arctic Tern, an adult Pomarine Skua, one Bonxie and an Arctic Skua flying south.

Thornwick Pools hosted six Dunlin, a Redshank and a Little Ringed Plover. Two creamcrown Marsh Harriers toured the headland, whilst a Hobby hunted South Landing during the morning. Five Crossbills were noted at South Landing.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Marsh Harrier and eight Willow Warblers, whilst records from Buckton included eight Grey Partridge, a Hobby, two Marsh Harriers, a Bar-tailed Godwit flying east and four Willow Warblers. Two Minke Whales were located on a boat trip four miles off the headland.

Curlew, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Small Copper, outer head, by Andy Hood

Brimstone butterfly, Flamborough village, by June & Malcolm Fox

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

A day of light, variable winds, prolonged sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 21 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included 43 Common Scoter, a Tufted Duck and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull flying north, with three Manx Shearwaters and an Arctic Skua moving south. 

Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Egret. Wader interest included 14 Whimbrel, two Bar-tailed Godwits and four Knot south over the headland, 14 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover on Stainforth’s Flash and three Snipe at Thornwick Pools. A juvenile Merlin was seen at North Landing and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull below Old Fall. Migrant passerines included 20 Willow Warblers, ten Yellow Wagtails and two Pied Flycatchers. Insect interest included the headland’s first Red-eyed Damselflies, a Common Hawker which represented only the second local record, and a Brown Argus butterfly that gave good views at South Landing. 

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Pied Flycatcher and eight Willow Warblers.

Little Egret, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Willow Warbler, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Common Hawker, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Brown Argus, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Monday, August 6th, 2018

The weather consisted of very light south-westerly winds, occasional sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 24 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Tufted Duck, 22 Oystercatchers, three Sanderling, 12 Dunlin, 12 Redshank and 28 Common Terns flew south, whilst four Eider, six Manx Shearwaters and 35 Sandwich Terns moved north.

A juvenile Marsh Harrier overflew in the Golf Course early morning, 17 Dunlin frequented Stainforth’s Flash and an additional 21 Thornwick Pools. Migrant passerines included a Pied Flycatcher at Old Fall, a Whinchat near Beacon Hill and 100 Swallows roosting at Thornwick Pools. A minimum of four White-letter Hairstreaks remained at South Dykes, whilst a Brown Argus was also located at South Dykes.

Grey Heron, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Brown Argus, South Dykes, by Les Day

Sunday, August 5th, 2018

The weather again consisted of light winds, sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 20 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included a Shoveler, 65 Common Scoters, five Manx Shearwaters and an Arctic Tern flew north, with nine Teal, 45 Oystercatchers, a Golden Plover, five Whimbrel, 65 Redshank and 13 Common Terns moved south. 

Two Shoveler were located on North Marsh, Stainforth’s Flash attracted six Dunlin, three Green Sandpipers, two Snipe and a Turnstone, whilst 14 Dunlin and two Green Sandpipers visited Thornwick Pools, where a flock of 11 Black-tailed Godwits flew south in the evening. A Marsh Harrier was seen at North Dykes and a Red Kite headed north-west over Hartendale. Passerine interest included 22 Willow Warblers spread across several sites and a Crossbill over Hartendale.

West of the Dykes, two juvenile Marsh Harriers frequented Buckton, where 56 birds were ringed including 14 Whitethroats, seven Willow Warblers, a Reed Warbler and 17 Swallows. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Grasshopper Warbler, two Willow Warblers, a Minke Whale and a Brown Argus.

Turnstone, Stainforth’s Flash, by Andy Hood

Yellow Wagtail, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Saturday, August 4th, 2018

The weather consisted of light northerly winds and sunny intervals, with temperatures reaching 19 degrees C. During the seawatch, 47 Common Scoter, a Common Buzzard and ten Common Terns flew north, whilst ten Teal, two Red-throated Divers, 61 Oystercatchers, 48 Whimbrel, six Sanderling, 66 Sandwich Terns, a Pomarine Skua and three Arctic Skuas moved south. 

Stainforth’s Flash attracted four Shelduck, two Avocet and 11 Dunlin, Thornwick Pools hosting 18 Dunlin and a Green Sandpiper, whilst a Greenshank overflew South Landing. More noteworthy still, a Honey Buzzard flew west over South Landing late morning, with a Hobby near the same location. Passerine interest included a Crossbill at South Dykes. Insect sightings included a male Banded Demoiselle located near Thornwick Pools’ lower hide, at least two White-letter Hairstreaks at South Dykes and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the village.

West of the Dykes, the singing Grasshopper Warbler and a minimum of 80 Yellow Wagtails were seen at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.  Buckton attracted a juvenile Marsh Harrier.

Skylark, Thornwick, by Don Hustings

Linnet, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

 Another day of light south-westerly winds, sunny intervals in the morning, with increasing amounts of cloud later, and temperatures again reaching 23 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included 119 Common Scoter, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 52 Sandwich Terns flying north, with nine Manx Shearwaters, three Balearic Shearwaters, a Great Crested Grebe, one Golden Plover, five Whimbrel, 20 Sanderling, 184 Dunlin, 81 Redshank, four Common Terns and an Arctic Skua flying south.

Two Shoveler remained on Stainforth’s Flash, but a Red Kite flew west along the cliff top at North Dykes and a Merlin over the outer head were new. Wader interest included 12 Dunlin at Thornwick Pools, three Dunlin at Stainforth’s Flash and a Green Sandpiper over the outer head. Passerine migrants included four Pied Flycatchers between Thornwick and North Landing, with another two Pied Flycatchers, eight Willow Warblers, two Sedge Warblers, two Lesser Whitethroats and two juvenile Treecreepers in the immediate vicinity of the Bay Brambles. A thorough search of South Dykes revealed the presence of five White-letter Hairstreaks, following the first ever Flamborough record of this butterfly earlier in the week.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Marsh Harrier, seven Whimbrel flying east, a Grasshopper Warbler, 62 Yellow Wagtails and the reserve’s first record of an Emerald Damselfly.

Willow Warbler, Thornwick, by Alan Walkington

White-letter Hairstreak, South Dykes, by Andrew Allport

White-letter Hairstreak, South Dykes, by Andrew Allport