Thursday, December 12th, 2019

After a relatively bright and frosty start, cloud increased during the morning and heavy rain arrived after; south-westerly winds increased in strength. During the morning seawatch, two Velvet Scoters flew south and single Eider and Puffin flew north; Guillemots were back on the cliffs, with thousands flying past the headland from first light. A pair of Stonechat was also near the Fog Station.

Curlew, outer head, by Phil Buxton

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

A relatively cool day, with temperatures reaching five degrees C by late morning, sunny intervals and a moderate/strong south-westerly wind. Two Velvet Scoters flying south represented the highlight of the morning’s seawatch. Two Short-eared Owls continued to show well at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, whilst 20 Snow Buntings remained on the cliff top south of the Lighthouse.

Blackbird, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

Gale force southerly winds replaced yesterday’s gale force northerly winds, with spells of rain including heavy showers and temperatures reaching eight degrees C. During the seawatch, a Great Northern Diver initially on the sea eventually flew north. A lone Bonxie flew north, whilst a Snipe in off the sea was relatively unusual. 

Stonechat, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Monday, December 9th, 2019

Gale force north-north-west winds were the main feature of a day that featured heavy showers during the morning, with brighter intervals later. Seawatch highlights included two Manx Shearwaters moving north, with a juvenile Iceland Gull and two Bonxies heading in the opposite direction. 

Goldcrest, Bempton, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

The weather consisted of strong south-westerly winds and blustery showers. During the morning’s seawatch, a Great Northern Diver flew south. The goose flock that lingered in the vicinity of North Marsh contained single Pink-footed and White-fronted Geese. A Jay in South Dykes was an unusual local record, whilst a Waxwing frequented the hedgerows near the entrance of the Golf Course; the latter had been colour-ringed near Aberdeen on 23rd November. 

Waxwing, Old Fall Steps, by Rob Little

Saturday, December 7th, 2019

After a relatively calm and bright start, an increasingly strong south-westerly wind and overcast skies developed. The flock of geese near North Marsh contained two Tundra Bean Geese, a Eurasian White-fronted Goose and one Pink-footed Goose, with 23 Wigeon also present. A flock of 33 Curlew toured the outer head, with passerine interest including two Goldcrests, one Fieldfare and a Chiffchaff. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included two Short-eared Owls and a Lapland Bunting.

Tree Sparrow, Flamborough village, by Rob Little

Friday, December 6th, 2019

The day started with overcast skies, with spells of light rain with brighter intervals later; moderate south-west winds also featured and temperatures peaked at a mild 11 degrees C. During the seawatch, two Pochard, two Red-breasted Mergansers and 26 Red-throated Divers flew south. On the land, a Whooper Swan rested on fields near North Landing and two Waxwings flew from the Golf Course entrance west towards the village. Two Short-eared Owls frequented RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Rock Pipit, Fog Station, by Phil Buxton

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

A mainly cloudy day with a fresh and strengthening south-westerly.  Daylight temperatures were between 5 and 7C.

Red-throated Divers again provided the main interest on the morning seawatch with 47S and 25N.  A single Pink-footed Goose passed south and 5 Common Scoters north.

Birding on land was quiet with a single Chiffchaff at Greenacres and a Stonechat near the Fog Station.   The number of Wigeon present was 22.

Common Scoter, Fog Station (Brett Richards)

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

The day was slightly cooler than of late with the temperature peaking at 7C after an overnight ground frost. Generally sunny with a light south-westerly breeze.

Seawatching was largely uneventful with the highlights being 32 Red-throated Diver flying north and 9 south and a Lesser Black-backed Gull wandering north.

A Black Redstart lingered at the Fog Station whilst 15 Snow Buntings were nearby at Cattlemere.  South Dykes held a Chiffchaff.

Three Short-eared Owls quartered the fields at RSPB Bempton Cliffs where a Goldcrest and 4 Stonechats were also present.

Stonechat, Buckton (Mike Smith)

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

A mainly sunny day with light to moderate westerly and the temperature reaching 9C.

Few birds passed during the morning seawatch though these did include a Great Northern Diver, a Goosander and a Goldeneye with 3 of the latter also offshore.

On the Outer Head, 108 Pink-footed Geese flew south and a Woodcock was in a local garden.

A couple of Chiffchaffs remained at Buckton Pond and a Short-eared Owl was present at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Rock Pipit, South Landing (Brett Richards)

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

A quiet day from a  weather perspective.  Light westerlies with variable cloud and temperatures rising from 2C to 8C.

The morning’s seawatch was relatively uneventful, the best sightings being a redhead Goosander and an adult winter Mediterranean Gull both heading southwards.

Curlews put in another good count with 34 (31 by Old Fall hedge) while 2 Stonechats were by the Golf Course.

A couple of Stonechats also featured at Buckton by the Heligoland trap  where 50 Corn Buntings and 65 Yellowhammers were also present.  In addition, 2 Chiffchaffs were at Buckton Pond.

Corn Buntings, Buckton (Mike Smith)

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

A moderate north-westerly brought sunny spells and the occasional shower with temperatures ranging between 4 and 7C.

Yesterday’s adult Kumlien’s Gull put in another appearance, passing north at the Fog Station during the morning seawatch.  Other highlights included a Sooty Shearwater heading north and a juvenile Pomarine Skua also offshore. Also notable (second highest ever total) was a flock of 330 Cormorants which came out of Bridlington Bay while 103 off South Landing /South Dykes were possibly part of the same movement. 

A Goosander and 8 Great Crested Grebes were off South Dykes.  On land, 2 Chiffchaffs frequented South Dykes.

Stonechat, Outer Head (Lynn Wraith)

Saturday, November 30th, 2019

It was the brightest day some time being mainly sunny with a light northerly wind which had backed easterly by midday. After a frosty start, the temperature eventually reached 8C.

Without doubt the star bird of the day was an adult Kumlien’s Gull which passed close north at the Seawatching Observatory late afternoon.

Single Chiffchaffs were present at South Landing and Hartendale  and 100 Pink-feet overflew Head Farm.

At Bempton, a Waxwing flew north mid-morning, 2 Lapland Buntings flew SE towards the Outer Head and 15 Snow Buntings NW.

Red-throated Diver, South Landing (Craig Thomas)

Friday, November 29th, 2019

Colder than of late, the temperature rising from 4C to 6C before falling again late afternoon.  A fresh northerly brought several showers.  

The highlights from the Fog Station included a Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 3 Wigeon, 156 Common Scoter (82S, 74N) and a single Little Auk.  In addition, 30 Snow Buntings flew overhead.

The Snow Bunting flock at Cattlemere held 40 birds (presumably including the 30 above) and a Chiffchaff lingered at South Landing.

At Bempton, 100 Pink-footed Geese were in the fields whilst a Chiffchaff and 2 Stonechat  were at the reserve.

Snow Bunting, Cattlemere (Andy Hood)

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

Another overcast day until late afternoon when the cloud started to break up.  Feeling cold in a strong northerly with frequent drizzle, the temperature slowly fell from 9C early morning to 6C by late afternoon.

A morning seawatch from the Fog Station was more productive than in recent days.  A single Dark-bellied Brent Goose and Long-tailed Duck went north whilst 63 Common Scoter went south.  Lone Great Northern Divers passed both north and south whilst Red-throated Divers numbered 26S and 5N. Two juvenile Pomarine Skuas and a Bonxie also passed south.

Little of note was seen on the Outer Head while the Water Rail frequenting the ditch on Cliff Lane , Bempton was still present and 12 Corn Buntings were also present on the reserve.

Juvenile male Sparrowhawk, Flamborough village (Rob Little)

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

Weather-wise it was a thoroughly miserable day.  It seemed as though it didn’t get properly light all day and steady rain persisted throughout daylight hours pushed on by a moderate northerly breeze. Temperatures ranged between 8 and 9C.

Seawatching at the Fog Station during the morning saw 7 Common Scoters and 40 Red-throated Divers heading south with 8 of the latter going in the reverse direction.

Due to the weather birding elsewhere was limited with nothing of note reported.

Curlew, South Landing (Alan Walkington)

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

The dismal weather theme continued with another damp, dull, overcast day with drizzle from midday.  There was a  moderate south-easterly and temperature didn’t budge from 9C all day.

The biggest surprise while sea-watching was a female-type Marsh Harrier that drifted south. Numbers of Red-throated Divers was much improved with 122S and 15N, Wigeon numbered 15 and 2 Pintail also passed.

A Black Redstart was at The Fog Station and a single Chiffchaff in South Dykes.  The count of 38 Curlew is a day record for the month of November.

Marsh Harrier, Fog Station (Brett Richards)

Monday, November 25th, 2019

It was a dreary November day.  Damp, dull and overcast throughout with drizzle starting early afternoon.  The wind was a moderate south-easterly and temperature remained unchanged at 9C all day.

The morning seawatch produced 8 Eiders, 17 Common Scoters, a Red-breasted Merganser and 2 Little Gulls passing whilst 35 Red-throated Divers and 4 Great Crested Grebes were on the sea. 

Lapland Bunting was the bird of the day with 1 over the Lighthouse and a further 8 found frequenting the stubble at Northcliff where there were also 80 Tree Sparrows, 2 Corn Buntings and 138 Skylarks. Elsewhere, a lone Chiffchaff was at South Landing.

At Bempton, 2 Snow Buntings graced the cliff top.

 

Snow Bunting, RSPB Bempton Cliffs (Alan Walkington)

Sunday, November 24th, 2019

A much quieter day weather-wise.  Winds were light from a southerly quarter and although it was dull and overcast all day there was no rain. Temperature reached 9C.

Passage at the Fog Station included a Sooty Shearwater and a Great Skua whilst ducks were also passing with 65 Eider, 5 Common Scoter, 4 Gaswall 24 Wigeon and 3 Teal. Purple Sandpipers numbered 40 and Turnstones 22.

A small influx of new birds was apparent on the Outer Head with a Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaffs, 21 Fieldfare and 3 Redwing.

At Bempton, 3 Lapland Buntings headed SE, a Snow Bunting still present along with 2 Stonechat, a Brambling and 2 Short-eared Owls while 90 Pink-footed Geese passes overhead.

Short-eared Owl, Northcliff Marsh (Andrew Allport)

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

Wind strengthened overnight to an easterly gale and brought constant driven rain, occasionally heavy, throughout the morning, turning to drizzle early afternoon. 8C was the maximum temperature.

A Manx Shearwater and a ‘Blue’ Fulmar  made the morning’s seawatch worthwhile although other than 2 Common Scoters and 11 Red-throated Divers there was little else of note to keep the interest going.

The awful weather thoroughly dampened any enthusiasm for searching for birds away from any shelter today.

Stock Dove, Flamborough village (Rob Little)

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

Today’s weather brought overcast skies and occasional showers on a strong south-easterly and temperatures maxing out at 7C.

There is a distinct sense that autumn birding has now lost all momentum and we are transitioning into winter.  There were few birds passing on the morning’s seawatch where the highlights were 2 Eiders, 3 Common Scoters and 5 Red-throated Divers. 

Away from the Fog Station, a Water Rail continued to frequent a ditch on Cliff Lane, Bempton and a Snow Bunting was again at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Water Rail, Bempton (Trevor Charlton)

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

A strong easterly blew all day and with the overcast conditions temperatures didn’t exceed 7C.

A seawatch at South Landing produced a Mediterranean Gull, a Pomarine Skua, 5 Eiders and 5 Common Scoters passed east whilst a Velvet Scoter, 11 Common Scoters, a Long-tailed Duck and an Arctic Skua were offshore.  At the Fog Station where the highlights were 16 Eiders passing north and 4 Common Scoters south.

South Landing also held 4 Chiffchaffs and otherwise the only passerines of note were 2 Goldcrests.  Wader interest included a Woodcock and a Snipe.

The only report from Bempton relates to a Snow Bunting by the cliff top path.

Rock Pipit, South Landing (Andrew Allport)

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Today’s moderate wind came from a southerly direction.  Occasionally sunny, temperatures peaked at 8C.

The morning seatwatch was generally quiet, the highlights being a single Great Skua and 183 Fulmars heading north and 2 Common Scoters south.

Birding on the Outer Head was equally uneventful with very little of note seen.

Meanwhile, at Bempton, the Hume’s Warbler was still present and has now been there for a fortnight.   A Water Rail was on Cliff Lane and 3 Lapland and 2 Snow Buntings passed overhead and a further 2 Snow Buntings were on the cliff top path.

Lapland Bunting (Rob Little)

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

After a frosty start to the day, the temperature climbed to 6C before falling away again during the afternoon.  It was mainly a clear,fine day with little cloud cover and light winds from a westerly quarter.

Highlights from the morning’s seawatch included a Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 140 Pink-footed Geese, single Black-throated and Great Northern Divers and a Sooty Shearwater.  A Snow Bunting and 2 Twite were also seen.

The passage of Pink-footed Geese at the Fog Station was reflected elsewhere on the headland with 200 over the village and a further 467 over Bempton while 7 Whooper Swans headed east over the southern cliffs during the morning.  

The Hume’s Warbler at Bempton Cliffs remained and 35 Corn Buntings were also logged there.  On the Outer Head 36 Snow Buntings were at Cattlemere while 2 Chiffchaffs, 12 Siskins and 3 Stonechats were also seen.

Pink-footed Geese, Flamborough (Andrew Allport)

Monday, November 18th, 2019

A cold day with a strong north to north-easterly wind and a few showers, some wintry.  Temperatures didn’t exceed 7C all day.

At the Fog Station, single Black-throated and Great Northern Divers passed south along with 38 Red-throated (also 15N).  Otherwise, seawatching was rather thin.

The flock of Snow Buntings at Cattlemere saw an increase with 53 now present.  Other passerines seen around the Outer Head included 2 Waxwings flying along Lighthouse Road, 6 Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest, a Brambling and 2 Siskin.  The sea at South Landing continued to attract birds with 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Long-tailed Duck, a single Velvet and 13 Common Scoters.

The Hume’s Warbler at Bempton Cliffs was still occasionally showing well.  The most incongruous sight of the day must have been a juvenile Shag sat in a garden in Bempton village before flying off towards the cliffs.

Snow Bunting, Cattlemere (Andrew Allport)

Sunday, November 17th, 2019

The day was dull with a moderate north-easterly throughout with the temperature reaching 9C.

Seawatching produced small number of Little Auks again with 3 passing north at the Fog Station during the morning along with 2 Long-tailed Ducks. At South Landing another 3 Little Auks passed late afternoon while 31 Common Scoters, a Velvet Scoter and a Long-tailed Duck were offshore there.

On the Outer Head, numbers of Teal have increased with 38 logged and Wigeon numbered 18, both principally at North Marsh.  Cattlemere held 28 Snow Buntings and other passerines noted included 3 Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest and a Stonechat.

The Hume’s Warbler at Bempton was till present and a Woodcock was also seen there. Waxwings also put in an appearance with 5 along Hoddy Cows Lane.

Hume’s Warbler, Bempton Cliffs (Alan Walkington)

Saturday, November 16th, 2019

There was a very light north-westerly wind throughout the day, mainly overcast with long spells of drizzle and light rain.  The temperature rose to 9C.

Seawatching produced Little Auks (2N) and Pomarine Skuas (2S) again. Other highlights included a single Great Northern Diver each way, 49 Eiders and a Long-tailed Duck heading north. A Black Redstart remained at the Fog Station.  

Highlights around the Outer Head included a single Little Egret, Short-eared Owl, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and a Waxwing.

West of the Dykes was more productive. At Bempton, the Hume’s Warbler continued its sojurn, a Black-throated Diver flew NW and a Mediterranean Gull SE and a Lapland Bunting was also seen overhead.  Buckton also provided some late autumn interest with a Long-eared Owl in off, a Waxwing at Buckton Pond, 2 Siberian Chiffchaffs and 4 Snow Buntings.

Eiders, Fog Station (Andrew Allport)

Friday, November 15th, 2019

Another day of fresh north-easterly winds.  Mostly overcast, the temperature rose to 9C during the early afternoon and rain arrived yet again after dark.

Seawatching at the Fog Station was more eventful than in recent days.  Little Auks were passing again with 13N while skuas included 4 Bonxies and 5 Pomarine north (also 1 south).  Duck passage was also improved; 10 Wigeon, 106 Teal, 7 Scaup, 161 Eider and a Long-tailed Duck all passed north while a Goosander went south.

The sea was also watched at North Landing where 3 Mediterranean Gulls passed while at South Landing 11 Eiders went east.  Bempton also provided some interest over the sea with a Little Auk, a Great Skua, 53 Eiders and 8 Common Scoters going north and a Great Northern Diver south.

On land, the Hume’s Warbler at Bempton was present for its tenth day joined by a Chiffchaff and a Snow Bunting while a Black Redstart was at the Fog Station.

Grey Heron, South Landing (Alan Walkington)

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

The day dawned cold and blustery with a north-easterly gusting up to force 8 with rain, often heavy, from mid-morning. Temperatures struggled, never exceeding 7C.

Sea-watching was relatively quiet though there was some highlights in the form of 6 Little Auks, a Pomarine Skua, an Arctic Skua and a ‘blue’ Fulmar.  Sea-ducks were limited in numbers again with 3 Eiders and 20 Common Scoter passing during the morning and 2 Velvet Scoters flying north mid-afternoon.

Land-based birding was heavily curtailed by the atrocious weather conditions though the Hume’s Warbler at Bempton Cliffs was reportedly still present.

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

After an overnight frost the day was bright and sunny with variable light winds and a maximum temperature of 8C.

The main interest during the morning seawatch were divers with a winter-plumaged Black-throated briefly landing on the sea before continuing north, 18 Red-throated flying south with another north and 35 on the sea. Duck passage was at a low ebb with numbers limited to 2 Eiders north, 3 Common Scoter south and 10 Teal north.

Again, the Hume’s Warblers at Bempton Cliffs and Old Fall remained, the latter joined by a Yellow-browed Warbler.  Greenacres still retained a Siberian Chiffchaff though other warbler species were limited t0 8 Common Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap.  Siskins were again in evidence with 106 seen across the Headland.  A count of 164 Skylarks on the stubble on the northern cliffs was notable.  

Arguably, the biggest surprised of the day was an Avocet which appeared at Thornwick Pools and what was presumably the same bird was seen later at South Landing beach.

Avocet, Thornwick Pools (Andrew Allport)

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

A cool day with a fresh, blustery WNW wind that brought occasional rain, the temperature ranging between 5 and 8C during daylight hours.  

The principal feature of the morning’s seawatch was 610 Pink-footed Geese flying south in three groups between 0935 and 0955.  Other highlights included 77 Common Scoter, 1 Wigeon, 2 Tufted Duck and 24 Red-throated Divers all passing south.

The Hume’s Warblers at Bempton Cliffs RSPB and Old Fall were both reported to be still present.  A further 200 Pink-footed Geese overflew North Landing while other birds on the Outer Head included a Water Rail, 2 Woodcock, a Stonechat and a Chiffchaff.

Turnstone, South Landing (Rob Little)

Monday, November 11th, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate westerly winds, sunny intervals after a damp start to the day, with temperatures reaching seven degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, two Velvet Scoters and a Great Crested Grebe flew south.

Seven Whooper Swans moved west over the village during the morning. The long-staying Hume’s Warblers lingered at both Old Fall and RSPB Bempton Cliffs, with additional sightings including two Grey Wagtails, 44 Siskins and a Lesser Redpoll. Bempton Cliffs also attracted 20 Siskins, a Lapland Bunting and 22 Corn Buntings. 

Hume’s Warbler, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, November 10th, 2019

Moderate north-easterly winds gradually dropped in strength during a day of sunny intervals and periods of extensive cloud; temperatures again reached eight degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, 28 Common Scoters flew south, whilst an Arctic Skua and eight Little Auks flew north. 

Twenty-five Pink-footed Geese toured the headland throughout the day. The two Hume’s Warblers continued to show at both Old Fall and RSPB Bempton Cliffs. A Waxwing lingered at the entrance to Thornwick Camp, with 70 Siskins and 14 Snow Buntings on the outer head.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted one Short-eared Owl, a Willow Warbler, 16 Snow Buntings and three Lapland Buntings, with a Black Redstart at the Chalet Park in the nearby village.

Hume’s Warbler, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Waxwing, Thornwick Camp, by Andrew Allport

Saturday, November 9th, 2019

A relatively calm day, with light north-easterly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures peaking at eight degrees C. During the seawatch, two Velvet Scoter, 41 Common Scoter and 46 Red-throated Divers flew south, with a Great Northern Diver and two Little Auks moving north. 

The two Hume’s Warblers continued in residence at Old Fall and RSPB Bempton Cliffs. Four Whooper Swans initially over Buckton and Bempton later flew south over Hartendale, whilst 125 Pink-footed Geese also moved south. A Water Rail frequented the outer head, with other migrant totals including eight Chiffchaff, a Siberian Chiffchaff, eight Blackcap, three Stonechats, 34 Siskins, six Snow Buntings and two Lapland Buntings.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted two Short-eared Owls, two Siberian Chiffchaffs, six Chiffchaffs, five Stonechat, eight Siskin and 43 Corn Buntings. Nearby Buckton attracted a Water Rail, a Siberian Chiffchaff, a Lapland Bunting and 50 Corn Buntings.

Hume’s Warbler, Old Fall, by Lee Johnson

Friday, November 8th, 2019

Strong north-north-east winds gradually dropped in strength during the afternoon, with light rain at times and temperatures reaching eight degrees C. Seawatch highlights included three Brent Geese, 109 Common Scoters and two Pomarine Skuas flying south, with eight Eider, two Velvet Scoters, three Long-tailed Duck, three Goldeneye, two Great Northern Divers, a Great Crested Grebe, a juvenile Glaucous Gull and four Little Auks heading north; a Sandwich Tern also fed offshore. Furthermore, there were three Goldeneye and a Velvet Scoter off South Landing.

The two Hume’s Warblers remained at Old Fall and RSPB Bempton Cliffs respectively, with two Siberian Chiffchaffs also continuing in residence. Other sightings included three Woodcock, 17 Goldcrest, a Yellow-browed Warbler (Old Fall), 11 Chiffchaffs, 70 Redwing and a Snow Bunting. RSPB Bempton Cliffs also attracted three Chiffchaffs, 25 Fieldfare and a Black Redstart.

Sparrowhawk, Flamborough village, by Rob Little

Thursday, November 7th, 2019


A fresh easterly wind and dull, overcast conditions persisted all day with rain only appearing late afternoon and the temperature reaching 9C.

The morning’s seawatch provided highlights of a ‘Blue’ Fulmar, single Pomarine and Great Skuas, 3 Velvet Scoters and 13 Little Auks.  In addition, 10 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 3 Eider, a Tufted Duck and 44 Common Scoter passed.

The two Hume’s Warblers at Old Fall and Bempton were still present while a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Brambling were also seen at Old Fall.  Two late Swallows were at Greenacres along with a Woodcock.

 Also at Bempton, the Siberian Chiffchaff was still in residence and was accompanied by 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrest and  2 Brambling.

Goldfinch, Bempton Cliffs (Don Hustings)

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

Light northerly winds, increasing cloud cover after a relatively bright start to a cold day, with temperatures reaching eight degrees C. Seawatch highlights included a Velvet Scoter (north), 283 Common Scoters, eight Goldeneye, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Great Northern Diver (south), one Bonxie, a Pomarine Skua (north), a Sandwich Tern and two Little Auks (north).

The day’s highlight related to the discovery of two Hume’s Warblers; one at Old Fall and other at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. Additional migrants were 15 Whooper Swans flying south over Beacon Hill, three Woodcock, a Long-eared Owl at Old Fall, one Lesser Whitethroat, five Redpoll, 40 Siskin, 12 Brambling and nine Snow Buntings.

In addition to the aforementioned Hume’s Warbler, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs involved 60 Pink-footed Geese flying south, one Woodcock, a Siberian Chiffchaff, 30 Siskin, one Snow Bunting and 101 Corn Buntings.

Whooper Swans, Beacon Hill, by Mike Smith

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

The weather consisted of strong north-north-east winds, overcast skies with spells of rain. Seawatching highlights included two Velvet Scoters south, 214 Common Scoters, three Long-tailed Ducks north, seven Goldeneye, single Goosander, Great Northern Diver and Sooty Shearwater north, a juvenile Glaucous Gull that lingered around the outer head, nine Bonxies, 17 Pomarine Skuas and an Arctic Skua all south and 26 Little Auks north; a Short-eared Owl came in off the sea.

The male Red-breasted Flycatcher was still present in the Bay Brambles, whilst two Siberian Chiffchaffs also lingered. Additional migrants included a Water Rail, 11 Woodcock, a Short-eared Owl along Old Fall Hedge, five Swallows, 22 Goldcrests, nine Chiffchaff, 146 Fieldfare, 256 Redwing, 55 Song Thrush, 95 Blackbirds, one Black Redstart, 18 Siskin and two Snow Buntings. Another Black Redstart frequented RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Glaucous Gull, outer head, by Andy Malley

Glaucous Gull, Golf Course, by Andy Hood

Monday, November 4th, 2019

A relatively overcast day once again, with spells of rain and a light south-easterly wind. During the morning seawatch, two Goldeneye, two Little Gulls and a Little Auk flew south, with another Little Auk also heading north. A juvenile Glaucous Gull flew east past South Landing and later flew past the Seawatch Observatory. 

The Radde’s Warbler remained in the Lighthouse Grassland until early afternoon when it moved to the edge of the Gorse Field before disappearing, whilst the male Red-breasted Flycatcher lingered in the Bay Brambles. Other migrants included three Woodcock, 19 Goldcrest, a Yellow-browed Warbler, two Siberian Chiffchaff, 14 Chiffchaff, five Song Thrush, 11 Redwing, 49 Fieldfare, 115 Blackbirds, a Waxwing in off the sea, a Black Redstart at the Fog Station, three Grey Wagtail, three Brambling, two Twite and four Snow Bunting.

Black Redstart, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Snow Bunting, outer head, by Andy Hood

Sunday, November 3rd, 2019

A day of light south-westerly winds and generally overcast, with occasional sunny intervals.

Six Whooper Swans flew south over Old Fall, while three flocks of Pink-footed Geese totalled 153 birds; a Velvet Scoter rested on the sea off Booted Gully and a Long-tailed Duck did likewise below the Golf Course. During the morning, a Short-eared Owl hunted the outer head. The discovery of a Radde’s Warbler in the Lighthouse Grassland mid-morning provided the day’s highlight – it showed sporadically until late afternoon. Additional passerine interest included a Woodlark south over Greenacres, 81 Fieldfare, 22 Redwing, a Firecrest, 18 Goldcrests, one Yellow-browed Warbler (South Dykes), three Siberian Chiffchaffs, five Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, the long-staying male Red-breasted Flycatcher, 33 Siskin, two Brambling and a Lapland Bunting.

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 80 Pink-footed Geese south, two Short-eared Owls, a Siberian Chiffchaff and four Stonechat.

Lesser Redpoll, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Saturday, November 2nd, 2019

A day of variable winds, ending with a moderate north-easterly, with rain arriving from early afternoon. A late afternoon seawatch was rewarded with five Eider, a Velvet Scoter and nine Little Gulls moving north, with a Sandwich Tern and another Little Gull moving south.

Hood’s Pool attracted five Wigeon and eight Curlew. The male Red-breasted Flycatcher continued its stay in the Bay Brambles, whilst two Lapland Buntings and two Twite overflew the Golf Course. Two Siberian Chiffchaffs continued to frequent RSPB Bempton Cliffs, with a Lapland Bunting heading south there. 

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Bay Brambles, by Alan Walkington

Friday, November 1st, 2019

A day of southerly winds, drizzle during the morning, with foggy conditions prevailing in the afternoon. Seawatching was quiet, with 12 Wigeon and 11 Eider flying south. The Red-breasted Flycatcher continued its temporary residence in the Bay Brambles, whilst a Woodcock was located at South Landing. RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted three Woodcock and two Siberian Chiffchaffs

Oystercatcher, Thornwick, by Don Hustings

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

A day of moderate south-easterly winds, with sunny intervals developing after an overcast morning and temperatures reaching nine degrees C. Seawatch highlights included 45 Eider, three Velvet Scoters, 53 Common Scoters, a Sandwich Tern, one Arctic Skua and a Little Auk moving north; a Great Northern Diver headed south.

Fourteen Eider, four Velvet Scoters, 109 Common Scoters, a Long-tailed Duck, one Goldeneye and three Little Auks sheltered off the South Cliffs between Old Fall and South Landing; six Woodcock were also located on the headland. Passerine interest included a Jay at South Dykes, 110 Skylarks, ten Chiffchaffs, a Siberian Chiffchaff, one Lesser Whitethroat, 41 Goldcrests, 860 Starlings, 54 Fieldfare, six Stonechats and 85 Siskins (all flying east early morning over the outer head). The day’s highlight was the discovery of a male Red-breasted Flycatcher present during the afternoon in the Bay Brambles near the Golf Course Willows.

Buckton attracted a Great White Egret that flew low over the trap and, after landing briefly, it headed east at 0855hrs.

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Bay Brambles, by Craig Thomas

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate easterly winds, sunny intervals and occasional light showers. During the seawatch, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 71 Eider (including a flock of 23 birds moving over Old Fall), two Velvet Scoters, 144 Common Scoters, one Long-tailed Duck, a Red-necked Grebe and 25 Little Auks flew north; single Long-tailed Duck, Great Northern Diver and Little Auk headed south. 

Two Great White Egrets that flew south over North Landing at 1340hrs landed briefly at Head Farm, before they then flew off south over Bridlington Bay. A ringtail Hen Harrier was also watched coming in off the sea at the Seawatch Observatory carrying prey early afternoon. Additional migrants included four Woodcock, a Jack Snipe, 110 Blackbird, 30 Redwing, 87 Fieldfare, two Mistle Thrush, 25 Goldcrest, a Siberian Chiffchaff, 14 Chiffchaff, two Lesser Whitethroats, five Blackcap, a Common Redstart, 13 Siskin, a Twite and ten Brambling, together with Snow Bunting and Lapland Bunting.

Lesser Whitethroat, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by John Harwood (29/10)

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

A moderate north-easterly wind gradually dropped in strength during a largely sunny day with occasional showers; temperatures reached 11 degrees C. Seawatching highlights consisted of 22 Brent Geese (including 17 pale-bellied north), 74 Wigeon, a Pintail, 16 Velvet Scoter (12 north, four south), 563 Common Scoter, five Long-tailed Ducks (four north, one south), two Red-breasted Mergansers, 22 Eider, two Great Northern Divers north, a Black-throated Diver north, two Sooty Shearwaters north, a Grey Phalarope south, 56 Little Gulls north, five Bonxies, 21 juvenile Pomarine Skuas (19 north, two south), three Arctic Skuas, 102 Little Auks (101 north, one south) and 15 Puffins. 

Sightings on the headland included two Whooper Swans, a Pink-footed Goose and 18 Woodcock, whilst two Short-eared Owls came in off the sea. Passerine interest involved 120 Blackbirds, 14 Fieldfare, seven Redwing, three Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, five Blackcap, four Lesser Whitethroats (including at least one Siberian Lesser Whitethroat), a Black Redstart, 12 Brambling, nine Siskin, six Twite and four Snow Buntings, including an individual in off the sea. RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted both Siberian Lesser Whitethroat and Siberian Chiffchaff.

Siberian Lesser Whitethroat, Gorse Field, by Craig Thomas

Siberian Chiffchaff, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by John Harwood

Monday, October 28th, 2019

A cold day, with moderate north-west winds, sunny intervals and heavy showers; temperatures reached eight degrees C. Seawatching highlights included 11 Brent Geese south, ten Eider, 341 Common Scoters, three Velvet Scoters north, two Long-tailed Ducks (drake north/juvenile south), 11 Goldeneye, 17 Goosander south, four Red-breasted Mergansers, two Great Northern Divers and six Sooty Shearwaters north. Additional northbound totals included 20 Little Gulls, three Arctic Terns, five Pomarine Skuas and nine Little Auks

Long-tailed Duck and three Velvet Scoter sheltered off South Landing, with single Waxwing, Snow Bunting and Lapland Bunting nearby. Both Merlin and Black Redstart, along with nine Snow Buntings, were noted in the vicinity of the Fog Station, whilst a Yellow-browed Warbler remained at Old Fall. 

Long-tailed Duck, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Sparrowhawk, Flamborough village, by Andy Hood

Sunday, October 27th, 2019

The weather consisted moderate/strong westerly winds with sunny skies throughout and temperatures reaching 11 degrees C. Wildfowl interest was provided by 19 Whooper Swans and a Tundra Bean Goose that flew south-west. A Great Northern Diver flew north/south past the Fog Station. Three Woodcock and a Merlin frequented the outer head, whilst Short-eared Owls included a single at Thornwick and two at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. Passerine interest included two Yellow-browed Warblers at Old Fall, a Black Redstart at North Landing, three Twite at Cattlemere, a Lapland Bunting at North Marsh and a lone Snow Bunting at the Fog Station.

Whooper Swans, Old Lighthouse, by Mark Pearson

Saturday, October 26th, 2019

Persistent rain until late afternoon, with a light northerly wind and midday temperatures of five degrees C. During the seawatch, four Eiders, 12 Common Scoters and a Great Northern Diver flew south, with two Puffin moving north.

Fourteen Whooper Swans flew east over the headland late afternoon. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Woodcock, a Siberian Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler and two Brambling.

Wigeon, Flamborough, by Mike Smith

Friday, October 25th, 2019

Light south-westerly winds at the start of the day gradually increased in strength ahead of the arrival of rain from early afternoon that got heavier towards dusk. During the morning’s seawatch, 11 Tufted Duck and a Red-breasted Merganser flew south, with three Eiders moving north; single Common and Arctic Terns fed offshore.

Four Whooper Swans flew south over the outer head, where migrants included a Woodcock, one Short-eared Owl, 25 Goldcrests, three Yellow-browed Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, two Blackcap, a Black Redstart (Fog Station) 18 Siskin and a Mealy Redpoll (Old Fall).

Yellowhammer, Flamborough, by Don Hustings

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

A day of light south-westerly winds, overcast skies during the morning, with heavy rain arriving during the afternoon. During a relatively quiet seawatch, two Pintail flew south, whilst a tally of 38 Wigeon included 35 birds off South Landing. Twelve Ringed Plover frequented South Landing, with a migrant Woodcock nearby. Two Yellow-browed Warblers remained: at Old Fall and South Landing, with an eastern Lesser Whitethroat at the former location. Other sightings included 43 Blackbirds, 41 Fieldfare, 206 Redwing, a Grey Wagtail and 21 Siskin.

Pink-footed Goose, Flamborough, by Alan Walkington