Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Another sunny day, with south-easterly winds gaining in strength until early afternoon, when they reduced once more; temperatures reached 18 degrees C. Seawatching was rewarded with two dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Sooty Shearwater and five Arctic Skuas flying north, with two dark-bellied Brent Geese, 21 Wigeon and 46 Teal moving south.

However, the day’s highlights related to an influx of drift migrants, especially during the afternoon: headlined by a Red-breasted Flycatcher between Old Fall and South Landing, two Yellow-browed Warblers (South Landing & Buckton) and a Wood Warbler caught & ringed at South Landing. A Merlin remained, but most attention was focussed on passerines, with three ‘continental’ Song Thrush, six Goldcrest, seven Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler, three Pied Flycatchers, two Spotted Flycatchers, 12 Whinchat, five Stonechat, seven Redstart and four Wheatear. A 900-strong flock of Linnets gathered in the setaside near Thornwick.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted a Pied Flycatcher, four Redstarts, two Stonechats, two Whinchat and a Grey Wagtail, whilst lone Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher and Whinchat were present at Buckton. In addition, at least 36 Bottlenose Dolphins moved south past RSPB Bempton Cliffs and latterly the Fog Station on the outer head late afternoon.  

Red-breasted Flycatcher, by Craig Thomas

Wood Warbler, by Jo Hood

Saturday, September 21st, 2019

The weather consisted of sunny skies throughout, moderate south-easterly winds and temperatures that peaked at 18 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included four Pintail, a juvenile Sabine’s Gull and an adult Pomarine Skua flying south; a Sooty Shearwater and a sub-adult Pomarine Skua also flew north. Two Pink-footed Geese and a Merlin frequented North Marsh. Passerine interest included three Goldcrests, 16 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, three Stonechat, two Whinchat, two Redstarts, two Grey Wagtails, a Siskin, 16 Yellowhammer and 15 Reed Buntings.

Bonxie, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Friday, September 20th, 2019

A sunny day with light/moderate south-east winds and temperatures reaching 16 degrees C. An adult Sabine’s Gull lingering offshore mid-morning before it headed north represented the seawatch highlight; other sightings included five dark-bellied Brent Geese, three Sooty Shearwaters, 100 Common Terns and 5560 Razorbills all flying north.

A skein of 45 Pink-footed Geese flew south over Buckton. Two more Pink-feet and 12 Teal frequented Thornwick Pools, whilst 29 Curlew, four Whimbrel and a Merlin were on the outer head. A Wryneck between Hartendale and South Dykes was presumably a result of the south-easterly airflow, as was a Black Redstart at RSPB Bempton Cliffs and a Common Redstart at Old Fall. Additional passerine migrants included nine Chiffchaffs, two Lesser Whitethroats, three Goldcrests, three Whinchat, one Stonechat and a Yellow Wagtail.  

Fox, Flamborough village, by Mike Smith

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

The weather consisted of light south-south-east winds, sunny skies and temperatures peaking at 19 degrees C. A juvenile Sabine’s Gull feeding offshore of the Seawatch Observatory early evening was the undoubted highlight; it eventually headed south into Bridlington Bay with Common Terns. Other seawatch records included eight Wigeon, 56 Teal and 38 Common Scoters flying north, 59 Red-throated Divers south, with two Sooty Shearwaters, five Manx Shearwaters and 14 Arctic Skuas moving north. 

A skein of 37 Pink-footed Geese flew south over Speeton, with two birds also touring the headland before settling on Thornwick Pools. Passerine interest included four Whinchat, two Stonechat, a Spotted Flycatcher and one Grey Wagtail, whilst a Pied Flycatcher frequented the Dell at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. 

Gannet, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Don Hustings

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

The day started cool with a moderate NW breeze which later backed to S.  Temperatures reached 15C during a largely sunny afternoon.

Seawatching highlights included a Pale-bellied Brent Goose south and 16 Brent Geese north were not subspecifically identified.  More wildfowl were noted than recent weeks with 92 Wigeon and 5 Pintail flying north while 90 Teal were offshore.  Sea-duck were represented by 2 Eiders (S) and 58 Common Scoters (43S, 15N).  Red-throated Divers were in good numbers (150S, 8N). Manx and Sooty Shearwaters were offshore again with respectively 46S and 22S.  Skua numbers were down on recent days, but included another adult pale-phase Pomarine.  A Siskin was seen to make landfall.

Migrant passerines were limited to 6 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, a Pied Flycatcher, 2 Wheatears, 4 Yellow Wagtails and a Lapland Bunting over the Gorse Field.

Bempton Cliffs managed to attract a single Pied Flycatcher and a fine Hawfinch which flew SE.

Then recent run of sightings of Bottle-nosed Dolphins continued with 11 off Bempton Cliffs and 6 off the Fog Station

Wheatear, South Landing (Alan Walkington)

Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Fog Station (Jo Hood)

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate northerly winds, prolonged sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 12 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included 24 Teal, 25 Wigeon, 67 Red-throated Divers south, a Balearic Shearwater, 41 Sooty Shearwaters and 54 Manx Shearwaters all north, 14 Arctic Skuas and 60 Bonxies south and two Pomarine Skuas (north & south); five Bottlenose Dolphins were off the Seawatch Observatory mid-evening. 

Fifteen Pink-footed Geese flew south over the outer head, whilst a juvenile Little Ringed Plover and three Dunlin frequented South Landing beach. Passerine interest included eight Goldcrests, two Stonechat and a Whinchat. Birds caught during a ringing session at South Landing included four Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs and four Meadow Pipits.

Little Ringed Plover, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Blackcap, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Monday, September 16th, 2019

A sunny day, with a light north-westerly veering northerly later and temperatures reaching 16 degrees C. The day’s standout sighting related to a Humpback Whale; first seen off RSPB Bempton Cliffs mid-afternoon, it headed south-east past the headland and was still present south-east of the Seawatch Observatory mid-evening. Three Bottlenose Dolphins were also present; initially seen off Bempton Cliffs, two animals were close inshore off South Landing in the evening. Avian seawatch highlights involved a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, three Sooty Shearwaters, 13 Manx Shearwater and a Balearic Shearwater flying north, with three Pomarine Skuas moving south.

Three Wigeon, three Shoveler and a Ringed Plover were seen from South Landing, with five Ringed Plovers at nearby South Dykes. Raptor passage was evident, with 32 Common Buzzards moving south-west, two Hobbies hawking over the village, a Merlin on the outer head and seven Sparrowhawks also moving south-west. A Cetti’s Warbler located in cliff top scrub immediately west of South Dykes represented the fourth record for the headland. Meanwhile, the Barred Warbler continued to show well in the Dell at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, where a Merlin was also present. 

Humpback Whale, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Ian Howard

Humpback Whale, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Ian Howard

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

Light south-westerly winds early morning, switching to north-westerlies later; a relatively overcast day with temperatures reaching 17 degrees C. During the morning seawatch, 26 Pink-footed Geese headed south, with 450 Black-headed Gulls, 45 Sandwich Terns, 30 Common Terns, four Bonxies and three Arctic Skuas flying north.

Sightings from the headland included two Bar-tailed Godwits, five Whimbrel, 24 Curlew, eight Swift, ten Wheatear, two Whinchat, a Grey Wagtail, one Yellow Wagtail and a confiding Lapland Bunting near North Marsh. RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted 15 Goldcrests, a Treecreeper, six Blackcap, two Stonechat and a Whinchat; best of all, a Barred Warbler was located in the Dell.

Lapland Bunting, Flamborough, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

The weather consisted of increasingly strong south-westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 20 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included 44 Pink-footed Geese, six Shelduck, 35 Teal, 15 Red-throated Divers and five Bonxies flying south; three Pomarine Skuas were also noted (one flew south, with another two individuals heading north). A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull lingered offshore, with five Bottlenose Dolphins also off the Seawatch Observatory during the evening. 

Additional sightings involved 26 Pink-footed Geese and ten Golden Plovers flying south, ten Teal on Thornwick Pools and 78 Cormorants on the beach below Beacon Hill. Passerine interest was limited to single Spotted and Pied Flycatchers and seven Goldcrest, whilst RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted two Whinchat and four Stonechat. Nearby Buckton attracted 200 Meadow Pipits; ten of these were ringed along with eight Blackcaps and five Robins. 

Migrant Hawker, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Friday, September 13th, 2019

Light westerly winds first thing, veering easterly by the afternoon; prolonged sunny intervals and temperatures reached 17 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included 17 Red-throated Divers, six Manx Shearwaters, 453 Common Gulls (north), four Bonxies and an Arctic Skua. Thornwick Pools attracted five Teal, a Little Ringed Plover and two Dunlin. Passerine interest included a Spotted Flycatcher, ten Wheatear, eight Whinchat, one Stonechat and two Redstarts. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included the headland’s third Barred Warbler of the autumn; in addition there were three Goldcrests, three Whinchat, three Wheatear and 24 Yellow Wagtails.

Wheatear, Thornwick, by Don Hustings

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

A warm, dry day despite the fresh south-westerly wind with temperatures reaching 22C.

South Landing produced waders again with 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Dunlin and a juvenile Knot while a Little Stint flew towards the beach there.  The juvenile Little Ringed Plover remained at Thornwick Pools joined by 2 Dunlin, a Snipe and 5 Teal. The Golf Course  held 43 Curlew and 5 Whimbrel while Bempton saw 7 Golden Plover flying south.

A juvenile Merlin hunted over the Outer Head while the number of Swifts was limited to only 8. Hirundines were still present in numbers with 340 House Martins and 165 Swallows.

Passerine passage remained at a relatively low ebb on the Outer Head with a Spotted Flycatcher at Old Fall otherwise there were 2 Wheatears, 6 Whinchats, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Garden Warblers and 7 Goldcrests.  A distinct increase in Meadow Pipit passage with 50 at Thornwick and 180 on Outer Head were joined by 2 Lapland Buntings.  Thornwick held 5 Corn Buntings. Bempton hosted a Spotted Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler, 4 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warblers, 6 Goldcrests and  5 Yellow Wagtails.

Juvenile Knot, South Landing (Andy Hood)

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

The day started damp with occasional light showers on a moderate south-westerly wind.  The cloud-cover eased late morning to give a largely sunny afternoon with the temperature reaching 17C.

The morning seawatching highlights included 20 Red-throated Divers (19S), a Whimbrel S, 5 Little Gulls along with 50 Sandwich Terns, a single Arctic Tern and 32 Common Terns all north.  Skuas were restricted to 3 Greats and 6 Arctics.

South Landing beach provided greatest wader interest with 10 Ringed Plover, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin, 10 Turnstone and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits.

Hirundine passage was evident with a single flock of 40 Sand Martins witnessed flying directly out into Bridlington Bay at South Landing, 108 House Martins (along with a single Swift) flying south at Bempton Cliffs.  Other passerines included a Spotted Flycatcher at Highcliffe while 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Whinchat, 5 Goldcrests and 15 Yellow Wagtails were seen at Bempton Cliffs.

Bar-tailed Godwits, South Landing (Alan Walkington)

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Light onshore winds, sunny intervals after an overcast morning and temperatures that reached 16 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included two Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 66 Common Scoters, a Sooty Shearwater, three Little Gulls, 46 Sandwich Terns, 308 Common Terns and four Bonxies heading north, with a Gadwall, 18 Teal, a Grey Plover, three Little Gulls and five Arctic Skuas moving south. South Landing attracted three Bar-tailed Godwits and four Dunlin, with 18 Teal, a Little Ringed Plover, two Snipe and three Dunlin at Thornwick Pools. A Barred Warbler in the Bay Brambles was new; additional sightings included three Swifts, two Garden Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, three Redstarts, a Wheatear, 13 Whinchat and three Yellow Wagtails.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted a Goldcrest, three Spotted Flycatchers, a Redstart, two Whinchat and 18 Yellow Wagtails.

Garden Warbler, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Reed Bunting, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Monday, September 9th, 2019

A relatively overcast day, with spells of light rain and a light/moderate south-westerly wind. During the morning’s seawatch, 52 Teal, 126 Common Scoters, four Sooty Shearwaters, a Little Gull, 49 Sandwich Terns, nine Bonxies, an adult Pomarine Skua and 12 Arctic Skuas all flew north; birds heading in the opposite direction included 133 Teal, three Pochard, 14 Red-throated Divers, eight Knot and 26 Common Terns. The day’s highlights related to a Barred Warbler that showed well at North Landing and an Icterine Warbler caught and ringed early morning at South Landing. Additional records involved a Hobby over North Marsh, a Whimbrel, two Bar-tailed Godwits, five Goldcrests, two Swifts, two Redstarts, four Wheatears and a Pied Flycatcher. 

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 26 Teal and 17 Oystercatchers flying south, a Hobby, a Green Sandpiper and 171 House Martins south, a Redstart, three Whinchat, a Stonechat and 23 Yellow Wagtails again moving south.

Barred Warbler, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

Sunny throughout, with light north-north-westerly winds during the morning, switching to easterlies later, when temperatures reached 15 degrees C. During the seawatch, northbound birds included two Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 38 Wigeon, 97 Teal, 195 Common Scoters, 26 Sooty Shearwaters, 145 Manx Shearwaters, three Balearic Shearwaters, four Mediterranean Gulls, 61 Sandwich Terns, 169 Common Terns, five Arctic Terns, 15 Bonxies, ten Arctic Skuas, a juvenile Long-tailed Skua and an adult Pomarine Skua; 30 Red-throated Divers moved south. Thornwick Pools attracted five Teal, a Little Ringed Plover, one Redshank and a Dunlin, with 165 Teal, four Bar-tailed Godwits and three Ringed Plovers at South Landing. In addition, there were 100 House Martins and three Swifts around the Lighthouse, five Goldcrests, ten Whitethroats, seven Lesser Whitethroats, Reed Warblers at Old Fall and Thornwick Pools, four Chiffchaffs, 20 Willow Warblers, a Wood Warbler on the outer head, four Pied Flycatchers, 430 Meadow Pipits (including 257 birds in off the sea heading north), one Whinchat and a Wheatear. 

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 50 Pink-footed Geese, eight Ringed Plovers and a Greenshank over, five Goldcrests, nine Whitethroats, two Lesser Whitethroats, six Blackcap, a Garden Warbler, four Chiffchaff, two Willow Warblers, four Whinchat, two Stonechats, 115 Meadow Pipits heading north-west, 34 Yellow Wagtails (including 14 south-east) and a Lapland Bunting that flew west mid-morning.

House Martins, Lighthouse, by Rob Little

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

Moderate/strong northerly winds gradually abated from mid-afternoon; it was relatively sunny throughout. Seawatching highlights included four Pale-bellied Brent Geese, a Great Northern Diver, 13 Sooty Shearwaters, 41 Manx Shearwaters, a Mediterranean Gull and 60 Sandwich Terns flying north. Birds heading south included 27 Red-throated Divers, 48 Oystercatchers, 37 Curlew, 21 Bonxies and 30 Arctic Skuas flew south.

Mediterranean Gull, Fog Station, by Andrew Allport

Friday, September 6th, 2019

A moderate/strong south-westerly during the morning, with a switch to a west-north-westerly late afternoon; sunny intervals prevailed after an overcast start, with temperatures reaching 19 degrees C. Seawatching produced two Teal south, nine Red-throated Divers (five on sea, four south), two Manx Shearwaters, eight Arctic Skuas south, nine Bonxies (five north, four south), 20 Common Terns (18 south, 2 north), one Arctic Tern north, 45 Sandwich Terns (38 north, 7 south) and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull flying south; 14 Swifts also flew south over the sea, with a Wheatear on the cliff top. Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Ringed Plover and eight Dunlin, with four Bar-tailed Godwits, two Whimbrel and two Dunlin on South Landing beach.  Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 42 Swifts and six Yellow Wagtails flying south, with two Goldcrests, two Willow Warblers, three Chiffchaffs present.

Little Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Matthew Binns

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

Overnight moderate/strong north-west winds gradually dropped in strength, backing westerly by the afternoon; sunny intervals throughout, with temperatures peaking at 17 degrees C. The conducive seawatching conditions produced a dramatic improvement, with highlights including: two summer-plumaged Great Northern Divers (flying south), 25 Red-throated Divers (20 south, five north), four Balearic Shearwaters (three north, one south), 51 Sooty Shearwaters (north), 371 Manx Shearwaters (357 north, 14 south), a Long-tailed Skua south, three Pomarine Skua (two south, one north), 83 Arctic Skuas (79 south, four north) and 135 Bonxies (121 south, 14 north), along with 34 Little Gulls (south). Elsewhere, South Landing beach attracted nine Bar-tailed Godwits, two Dunlin and two Ringed Plovers.

Ringed Plover, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

A day of strong westerly winds, temperatures reached 18 degrees C, with spells of sunshine and showers. During a seawatch, a Shoveler, three Red-throated Divers, a Manx Shearwater, two Ringed Plovers, 39 Curlews and 32 Swifts flew south. Thornwick Pools attracted four Teal, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, one Ringed Plover and three Dunlin, whilst South Landing attracted four Bar-tailed Godwits and 50 Turnstone. Pink-footed Geese were on the move, with three skeins totalling 72 birds heading south. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included three Goldcrests, three Wheatear, three Whinchat and 22 Swifts flying south.

Bar-tailed Godwits, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

South-westerly winds strengthened during a day that featured sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 22 degrees C. Autumn’s first Pink-footed Geese were heard heading south over the village late evening. The Thornwick area attracted six Teal, three Dunlin, a Snipe, 28 Swifts, 11 Wheatear and five Whinchat. Meanwhile, South Landing hosted a Bar-tailed Godwit and four Dunlin, with a Spotted Flycatcher at nearby South Dykes.

Bar-tailed Godwit, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate south-westerly winds, increasingly overcast skies, with occasional light showers. During a morning seawatch, two Manx Shearwaters, 46 Cormorants, a Snipe and four Bonxies flew south; an Arctic Skua moved in the opposite direction. 

Thornwick Pools attracted four Teal, two Dunlin and a Green Sandpiper, whilst two Greenshank overflew Oceanview. A Cuckoo also frequented the latter site, with a Hobby observed hunting around nearby Old Fall. Passerine interest included 26 Willow Warblers, the autumn’s first four Goldcrest, four Pied Flycatchers, two Redstarts, five Whinchat and five Wheatear. Impressive numbers of finches fed in setaside fields, including 880 Linnets and 380 Goldfinch.

Meadow Pipit, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Goldcrest, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

A largely sunny day, with blustery showers in the afternoon; westerly winds veered north-west mid-afternoon, with a subsequent reduction in temperatures from 18 to 12 degrees C. An evening seawatch produced single Red-throated Divers north and south, along with nine Manx Shearwaters, 136 Common Terns and single Arctic Skua and Bonxie all flying south. Thornwick Pools attracted two Grey Herons, four Teal, two Snipe, one Redshank, a Dunlin and one Ringed Plover; 22 Curlews frequented the Golf Course. A tally of 18 Wheatears represented a significant arrival, with additional sightings including a pair of Grey Partridge, 66 Swifts and four Whinchat.

Wheatear, Thornwick, by Craig Thomas

Moorhen, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Saturday, August 31st, 2019

A day of sunny intervals, blustery south-west winds and temperatures that reached 19 degrees C. Seawatching records included two Red-throated Divers, 11 Manx Shearwaters (ten south), five Bonxie and two Arctic Skuas moving north, with two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls and a juvenile Caspian Gull flying south; a Starry Smooth Hound Shark was also an unusual sighting.

Thornwick Pools attracted two Snipe and a Dunlin. A late influx of Swifts was evident during the evening, with a total of 110 birds present over the outer head. Migrant passerines included two Wheatear and a Whinchat near the Lighthouse, whilst lepidoptera interest was provided by the discovery of a Clifden Nonpareil at South Landing; the 11th Yorkshire record.

Starry Smooth Hound Shark, Fog Station, by Andrew Allport

Clifden Nonpareil, South Landing, by Allan Rodda

Friday, August 30th, 2019

Blustery south-west winds were a feature of a largely bright, but generally overcast day, with temperatures peaking at 22 degrees C. During the morning seawatch, two Red-throated Divers, 12 Teal and eight Common Terns flew south, with 18 Sandwich Terns and two Bonxies moving north; nine Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew south, part of an influx of 20 individuals noted during the day, all bar one juveniles. A gathering of 75 Grey Seals below the Seawatch Observatory also represented a significant increase.

An Osprey flew south over the sea at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, with a juvenile male wing-tagged Marsh Harrier that toured the outer head having originated from Norfolk. Nineteen Curlews were feeding on the Golf Course late on, with an additional six birds flying south. Three juvenile/first-winter Mediterranean Gulls associated with a gull flock below Beacon Hill. 

Marsh Harrier, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

The weather consisted of sunny intervals, a moderate south-westerly wind and temperatures peaking at 20 degrees C. An evening seawatch was quiet, with the highlight a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull flying south whilst Thornwick Pools attracted a Green Sandpiper. A ringing session at South Landing was rewarded by 56 birds being caught, including three Garden Warblers and eight Swallows.

Swallow, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

A largely overcast day, with spells of light rain; temperatures peaked at 23 degrees C, with winds from the south-west. The Wryneck remained in residence at North Landing, with a Pied Flycatcher, two Garden Warblers and three Whinchat there; two Whinchat and a Wheatear were located on the opposite side of the headland at Hartendale. A further nine Whinchats frequented the Lighthouse Grassland, with a juvenile Mediterranean Gull heading south past the nearby Fog Station. 

A Dotterel flew south(-east) over RSPB Bempton Cliffs. Buckton attracted a Marsh Harrier, a Merlin, a Grasshopper Warbler, four Reed Warblers, 20 Whinchat and five Wheatear.

Meadow Pipit, Thornwick Pools, by Rob Little

Roe Deer, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

Sunny throughout, with a light easterly breeze and temperatures reaching 24 degrees C. Another arrival of drift passerines took place, with most birds making landfall during the afternoon. A Wryneck was discovered near North Landing in the morning and was still present towards dusk. Other totals included 765 House Martins, 305 Swallows, seven Garden Warblers, 42 Pied Flycatchers on the headland (21 outer head; 12 Buckton, 9 RSPB Bempton), a Spotted Flycatcher, one Redstart, two Wheatear and 42 Whinchat on the headland (30 outer head; 3 Bempton, 9 Buckton). Wader interest included one Golden Plover, a Common Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit, 34 Curlew and a Whimbrel. An evening ringing session near Thornwick was rewarded by 55 birds being caught, including 43 Linnets.

In addition to the aforementioned Pied Flycatchers and Whinchat, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included single Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and Spotted Redshank flying south(-east), together a Wheatear and 45 Yellow Wagtails. Records from nearby Buckton included seven Whimbrel and a Wheatear.

Wryneck, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Pied Flycatcher, Holmes Gut, by Jo Hood

Migrant Hawker, Holmes Gut, by Jo Hood

Monday, August 26th, 2019

Another day of unbroken sunshine that also featured light south/south-east winds and temperatures that reached 21 degrees C. A Dotterel that initially flew east over RSPB Bempton Cliffs at 0930hrs and then latterly back west over Old Fall Steps on the outer head ten minutes later provided the day’s highlight. 

Sightings from Thornwick Pools included 23 Teal, single Marsh Harrier, Black-tailed Godwit and Greenshank, along with two Dunlin, two Redshank and two Ringed Plovers. Passerine migrants included four Garden Warblers, a migrant Reed Warbler, ten Pied Flycatchers, six Whinchat, a Redstart, ten Yellow Wagtails and a Grey Wagtail. A flock of 90 Tree Sparrows also toured the outer headland.

Records from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 17 Shoveler, 41 Knot and three Dunlin moving south(-east), along with Pied Flycatcher, three Whinchat and a Wheatear; nearby Buckton attracted a Marsh Harrier, ten Whinchat, three Wheatear, a Redstart, one Pied Flycatcher and six Yellow Wagtails.

Black-tailed Godwit, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Garden Warbler, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, August 25th, 2019

Another warm day with cloudless skies.  The temperature rose to 22C with light south-westerly winds backing to easterly by mid-afternoon.

Migrants early in the day were fewer than the yesterday but some arrivals occurred during the afternoon.  The highlights were an Icterine Warbler and Willow Tit (a rare bird on the Outer Head) at North Landing whilst a adult Rose-coloured Starling made a brief appearance by the Coastguard Cottages.  A supporting cast  of 16 Pied Flycatchers, 30 Whinchats, 3 Redstarts, 2 Garden Warblers, 5 Blackcaps were all seen east of the Dykes.   At Bempton there were 10 Willow Warblers, 8 Blackcaps , a Lesser Whitethroat, 15 Whitethroats, a Spotted Flycatcher, 7 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Redstarts, 8 Whinchat, 18 Yellow Wagtails with a further 24 over.

Other avian interest was restricted to a Black-tailed Godwit and a Little Grebe at Thornwick Pools where single Green Sandpiper flew over.  3 Whimbrels and a Marsh Harrier were also over the Outer Head.

Finally, an Ocean Sunfish was seen from the Bridlington Belle.

Willow Tit (Andy Hood)

Icterine Warbler ( Craig Thomas)

Adult Rose-coloured Starling (Rob Little)

Saturday, August 24th, 2019

A sunny day, with a light/moderate south-east wind and temperatures reaching 22 degrees C. The switch in wind direction resulted in an appreciable arrival of a select few passerines, including 66 Whinchat (inc. four Buckton, four Bempton), 34 Pied Flycatchers (inc. four Buckton, two Bempton), three Spotted Flycatchers and three Redstart. Other passerine totals included a juvenile Cuckoo at North Landing, 65 Willow Warblers, three Wheatears, six Yellow Wagtails and 490 Linnets. A Greenshank, two Whimbrel, a Ringed Plover and a Golden Plover also flew south over the headland, whilst juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and juvenile Mediterranean Gull loafed at Sewerby.

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 15 Canada Geese heading north, a Wheatear, ten Willow Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher and five Yellow Wagtails. In addition to the aforementioned Whinchats and Pied Flycatchers, nearby Buckton attracted a Hobby, Stonechat, three Willow Warblers, a Reed Warbler and seven Yellow Wagtails.

Cuckoo, North Landing, by Phil Buxton

Friday, August 23rd, 2019

A light south-westerly in the morning, with a light/moderate south-easterly developing in the afternoon; sunny throughout, with temperatures reaching 21 degrees C. The day’s undoubted highlight was the late morning discovery of an Ortolan Bunting along Hoddy Cows Lane, Buckton; unfortunately, it didn’t reappear after its discovery. An Osprey flew south there early afternoon and additional Buckton sightings included an immature Marsh Harrier, a Greenshank and single Pied and Spotted Flycatchers. 

Thornwick Pools hosted a Tufted Duck, two Teal, a Black-tailed Godwit, two Green Sandpipers and four Dunlin; a juvenile Cuckoo, one Garden Warbler, three Whinchats and three Yellow Wagtails were seen in the same area, whilst a Spotted Flycatcher remained in South Dykes.

Black-tailed Godwit, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

A relatively overcast day, with moderate south-west winds and an appreciable increase in temperature, with a peak of 21 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included a Garganey, 114 Teal, a Red-throated Diver, 39 Oystercatchers, a Grey Plover and two Arctic Skuas flying south; 58 Sandwich Terns and three Bonxies moved north.

A juvenile Black-necked Grebe lingered throughout at Thornwick Pools; it triggered considerable interest from local birders, for what is an extremely rare local bird, despite an increase in records over the last decade. Thornwick also attracted single Ringed Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, Redshank and three Dunlin, whilst South Landing held a Grey Plover. Passerine migrants included a Garden Warbler, four Whinchat, a Wheatear and a Spotted Flycatcher. 

RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted 19 Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Tree Pipit and four Yellow Wagtails, with a Hobby over the village. Buckton hosted a Merlin, four Golden Plover, single Reed and Sedge Warbler and two Whinchat.

Black-necked Grebe, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Black-necked Grebe, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Greenshank, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Black-tailed Godwit, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Reed Warbler, Thornwick, by Dave Simmonite

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

The weather continued in similar vein, with moderate south-west winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 20 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Sooty Shearwater, 94 Sandwich Terns, four Bonxies, two Arctic Skuas and a Puffin flew north; four Manx Shearwaters, a Red-throated Diver, a Common Buzzard, 81 Oystercatchers and 52 Common Terns moved south. The outer head attracted a Hobby and two Wheatears, with two Spotted Flycatchers also present.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted 40 Willow Warblers, two Spotted Flycatchers, a Pied Flycatcher, one Tree Pipit and 36 Yellow Wagtails; a Golden-ringed Dragonfly was an excellent first for the reserve, with two Southern Hawkers also notable. Records from nearby Buckton included a Marsh Harrier and five Wheatears. 

Spotted Flycatcher, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

A moderate westerly wind gradually dropped in strength during an overcast day, with temperatures reaching 19 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included 89 Common Scoters,  eight Manx Shearwaters, 146 Sandwich Terns, 61 Common Terns, seven Arctic Terns and two Bonxies flew north; a Sooty Shearwater, 20 Whimbrel, 26 Knot, 17 Dunlin and three Arctic Skuas flew south.

Thornwick Pools attracted single Little Egret and Greenshank; a single of the latter species also flew over the headland, but the day’s most notable sighting referred to a Kingfisher feeding from rocks below the cliffs at Thorwick. Passerine interest included a migrant Sedge Warbler, 24 Willow Warblers, four Whinchat, a male Stonechat, two Wheatear, the Black Redstart at Oceanview, three Spotted Flycatchers and 13 Yellow Wagtails.

Sighting from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 28 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler, two Wheatear, two Whinchat, three Spotted Flycatchers, 44 Yellow Wagtails and two Tree Pipits; the latter heading north-west. Nearby Buckton attracted single Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Cuckoo and Spotted Flycatcher.

Greenshank, Buckton Pond, by Kevin Groocock

Cuckoo, Buckton, by Alan Walkington

Monday, August 19th, 2019

The weather continued in a similar vein – moderate south-westerly winds, sunny intervals and an isolated shower. During the evening seawatch, two Manx Shearwaters flew north, two Bonxies and an Arctic Skua fed offshore, with 187 Common Terns and 20 Sandwich Terns moving south. Twelve Curlews were on the Golf Course mid-evening, whilst passerine interest included single Redstart and Whinchat south of the Lighthouse. 

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included two Golden Plover, two Garden Warblers, 15 Willow Warblers, three Spotted Flycatchers and eight Yellow Wagtails; five Bottlenose Dolphins also swam south-east. The Bempton-Buckton area attracted three Marsh Harriers, with the latter site also hosting a Hobby, a juvenile Cuckoo, five Willow Warblers and a Spotted Flycatcher. 

Greenfinch, Flamborough village, by Andy Hood

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

Another day of moderate/strong south-westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 19 degrees C. During the seawatch, three Shoveler, 15 Teal, a Great Crested Grebe, 19 Oystercatchers, two Golden Plovers, eight Black-tailed Godwits, seven Whimbrel, nine Redshank, 82 Common Terns and an Arctic Skua all flew south. Three Little Egrets also headed south past the Fog Station having dropped onto North Marsh earlier; one Bonxie lingered off the headland. Elsewhere, a Green Sandpiper flew south over the village, two Spotted Flycatchers frequented South Dykes and four Yellow Wagtails were on the outer head.

Fulmar, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Kevin Groocock

Bird Cherry Ermine, Flamborough village, by Mike Smith

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate south-west winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 19 degrees C. Seawatching was rewarded with 36 Teal, 23 Oystercatchers, five Whimbrel, 26 Knot, 26 Redshank, 312 Common Terns (during the year’s first notable evening roost movement) and a Little Gull heading south; moving in the opposite direction were 80 Common Scoters, two Little Gulls and 56 Sandwich Terns. Three Bonxies lingered offshore, whilst seven Yellow Wagtails flew south over the Seawatch Observatory.

A Greenshank also flew south over the headland, the Black Redstart remained in residence at Oceanview. A juvenile Cuckoo was seen at Buckton Pond.

Grey Heron, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Fox, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Friday, August 16th, 2019

An overcast day, with light rain from mid-morning before heavier rain until dusk; moderate southerly winds and temperatures that reached 15 degrees C. During the seawatch, 12 Teal, two Whimbrel, 14 Dunlin, 11 Knot and an Arctic Tern flew south, with 103 Sandwich Terns and three Bonxies moved north. A Merlin flew past the Lighthouse early morning, when there were also 32 Pied Wagtails and a Yellow Wagtail in the same area; two Wheatears were located, whilst the Black Redstart was seen again at Oceanview. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Marsh Harrier and 16 Willow Warblers. 

Kestrel, Flamborough Lighthouse, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate west-north-westerly winds, sunny intervals interspersed with occasional showers and temperatures that reached 18 degrees C. During the seawatch, 22 Common Scoter, 112 Sandwich Terns, 46 Common Terns and seven Arctic Terns flew north, whilst a Sooty Shearwater, three Bonxies and two Arctic Skuas moved south; in addition, two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls lingered off the headland this evening. Thornwick Pools attracted six Teal and three Dunlin, Buckton Pond two Teal and a Green Sandpiper.

A movement of Swifts occurred during the morning, with 101 heading west over 150 minutes. Passerine interest included the Black Redstart at Oceanview, a Wheatear on South Landing beach and five Yellow Wagtails. A Redstart was the highlight from RSPB Bempton Cliffs. 

Weasel, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

An overcast day, with a light/moderate south-west wind switching to a moderate south-easterly later in the day; temperatures peaked at a mere 15 degrees C, whilst there were occasional spells of light rain. During the seawatch, six Teal, an Arctic Skua, four Arctic Terns and 146 Sandwich Terns flew north, with one juvenile Mediterranean Gull, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and three Common Terns moving in the opposite direction; 11 Harbour Porpoise also represented an increase. Away from the sea, the Black Redstart was again seen at Oceanview.

Sedge Warbler, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Collared Dove, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019

Light, variable winds, with sunny intervals and temperatures peaking at 18 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included eight Teal, 62 Common Scoter, five Goosander, six Manx Shearwaters, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull and the year’s first Pomarine Skua all moving north. Thornwick Pools attracted seven Dunlin and two Yellow Wagtails, with South Landing hosting a Red-throated Diver, Little Egret, juvenile Mediterranean Gull and 39 Sandwich Terns. 

Two Marsh Harriers were present on the outer head early morning, with another hunting cliff top fields between Bempton and North Dykes. A Ruff frequented the stubbles at the latter location, seven Golden Plover flew south, whilst the Long-eared Owl made another appearance on the edge of the Gorse Field. Passerine interest included a Black Redstart at Oceanview, a Tree Pipit next to the Golf Course and a Wheatear.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted nine Curlew, with eight Willow Warblers remaining from yesterday’s influx. Buckton sightings included one Teal, a Green Sandpiper and 250 Swallows.

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Monday, August 12th, 2019

The weather consisted of overcast skies, with spells of mainly light rain. Winds were variable, but did develop into light north-westerlies for a time; temperatures were significantly lower, peaking at 14 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included five Shelduck, a juvenile Marsh Harrier, ten Turnstone, 28 Knot, 34 Bonxies and 33 Arctic Skuas flying south; a Red-throated Diver, 28 Manx Shearwaters, 113 Common Terns and 15 Arctic Terns headed north. Thornwick Pools attracted four Knot and four Dunlin. A juvenile Merlin frequented the outer head, where there were also seven Yellow Wagtails.

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 26 Golden Plover moving south-east, a Raven, an arrival of 60 Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler and four Yellow Wagtails. 

Knot, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

Another day of blustery south-west winds, relatively overcast skies with sunny intervals, but lower temperatures that only reached 18 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Red-throated Diver, one Golden Plover, 16 Oystercatchers, eight Whimbrel, 49 Knot, 22 Dunlin, 38 Redshank, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, four Common Terns, a Bonxie and 90 Swifts flew south; an additional 30 Swifts flew south over South Landing later. 

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 15 Knot and 68 Swifts moving south, with a Marsh Harrier, seven Willow Warblers, two Blackcap and a Garden Warbler also present. Two Green Sandpipers frequented Buckton Pond.

Yellow Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Saturday, August 10th, 2019

Moderate/strong south-easterly winds increased in strength during a day that was largely overcast, with occasional heavy showers; temperatures reached 20 degrees C. During the seawatch, 494 Knot flew south (including 90 south’-east’ past RSPB Bempton Cliffs), along with 86 Teal, 82 Oystercatchers, a Grey Plover, 16 Whimbrel, nine Turnstone and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull; 74 Swifts also moved south over the sea. Thornwick Pools attracted a Ringed Plover, four Dunlin, a Greenshank and a Green Sandpiper, whilst 25 Golden Plovers flew south over the village. Additional records from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included five Ringed Plovers, a Red Kite, a juvenile Marsh Harrier and 200 Swifts flying south. 

Greenshank, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Friday, August 9th, 2019

The day dawned with rain and moderate/strong east-south-east winds, followed by showers during the morning and heavy showers in the evening; temperatures reached 20 degrees C during the sunny intervals.  Seawatching highlights included 53 Common Scoters, nine Manx Shearwaters, a juvenile Caspian Gull, 103 Sandwich Terns, an adult Roseate Tern (first of the year), three Bonxies and five Arctic Skuas flying north; southbound birds included a Grey Plover, eight Turnstone, 174 Knot, a Ruff and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, whilst a Little Egret and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull were in residence off the Seawatch Observatory. Thornwick Pools attracted two Green Sandpipers. The only notable passerine record related to a Pied Flycatcher in Old Fall. Odonata interest included a female Red-veined Darter at Old Fall. 

Ringed Plover, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Common Tern, South Landing, by Brett Richards

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

A day of light/moderate westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 20 degrees C. Seawatching was quiet, with 35 Oystercatchers, two Knot, 21 Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern flying south. A Little Egret frequented South Landing beach early morning, a creamcrown Marsh Harrier flew south over Old Fall, whilst the best of a small smattering of passage waders was a Spotted Redshank eventually pinned down on Head Farm Pond. A juvenile Cuckoo lingered near Old Fall, 18 Willow Warblers represented an increase, a Garden Warbler was new at Old Fall, as were two Spotted Flycatchers at South Dykes. RSPB Bempton. An additional 15 Willow Warblers frequented RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Sanderling, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Butterflies at South Dykes, by June & Malcolm Fox

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate/strong south-west winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 20 degrees C. During the seawatch, 36 Oystercatchers, 14 Dunlin, 12 Redshank and eight Knot flew south, along with seven Common Terns and an Arctic Skua. Thornwick Pools attracted single Little Egret, Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper, with South Landing hosting three Ringed Plovers and three Sanderling. Another Little Egret frequented the rocky shore near High Stacks. Elsewhere, a Red Kite headed south-east over RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Little Egret, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Peregrine, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Poplar Hawkmoth, Flamborough village, by Dave Simmonite

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

A day of moderate/stromg south-westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 22 degrees C. During the morning seawatch 24 Oystercatchers, 14 Whimbrel, 25 Knot, three Sanderling and 45 Redshank headed south, whilst 68 Sandwich Terns, two Common Terns and an Arctic Tern flew north. South Landing attracted a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and two juvenile Mediterranean Gulls. The day’s highlight related to a juvenile Green Woodpecker seen in South Dykes, with a Cuckoo at nearby South Landing.

Two Green Sandpipers remained in residence at Buckton Pond, with a Marsh Harrier hunting the cliff top adjacent to Buckton Hall.

Green Sandpipers, Buckton Pond, by Alan Walkington

Mediterrranean Gull, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Mediterranean Gull, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Monday, August 5th, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate south-west winds, sunny intervals, occasional light drizzle and temperatures that reached 17 degrees C. During the seawatch, 142 Common Scoter and 111 Sandwich Terns flew north, with four Ringed Plover, a Greenshank and one Bonxie moving south. Five Bottlenose Dolphins off South Landing eventually swam north.

A juvenile Caspian Gull gave superb views when it dropped onto Thornwick Pools early afternoon, where a Green Sandpiper flew south. Passerine interest was headed by a Pied Flycatcher in Old Fall.

Caspian Gull, Thornwick Pools, by Rob Little

Caspian Gull, Thornwick Pools, by Rob Little

Straw Underwing, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

The day dawned with light, overcast skies and a light southerly breeze; sunny intervals established mid-morning and temperatures peaked at 20 degrees C; during the afternoon overcast skies established once again and a moderate south-easterly developed. Seawatching was rewarded with 44 Common Scoters, six Manx Shearwaters, 756 Sandwich Terns and three Arctic Skuas flying north, a juvenile Marsh Harrier and ten Common Terns moving south. In addition, two juvenile Caspian Gulls attended a fishing into Bridlington Bay late afternoon.

Thornwick Pools attracted single Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and four Dunlin; another Green Sandpiper and a Grey Plover flew south over the outer head. The Long-eared Owl made another appearance on the edge of the Gorse Field, where a creamcrown Marsh Harrier was hunting mid-morning. Two Cuckoos were located on the outer head, whilst 20 Yellow Wagtails represented another noteworthy record. Sightings from Buckton included three Green Sandpipers and a Snipe on the Pond and single Marsh Harrier, Cuckoo and Treecreeper.

House Martin, Hartendale, by Brett Richards