Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

It was a day of moderate north-westerly winds, generally cloudy skies with periodic drizzle. Seawatching highlights included two Eiders flying south, a Manx Shearwater north, 11 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern and 112 Puffins also north.

A White-fronted Goose frequented fields near Micklemires (opposite the entrance to Thornwick CP), three Tufted Ducks were on North Marsh, a Green Sandpiper on Thornwick Pools, three Whimbrel on the Golf Course and 44 Turnstones at South Landing. Passerine migrants included a White Wagtail, one Grey Wagtail and a Garden Warbler.

Wheatear, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Greenland Wheatear, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Oil Beetle, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Moderate south-westerly winds strengthened slightly, and had a more westerly component later, in a day that featured sunny spells. An appreciable arrival of migrants occurred, including 58 Wheatears. Additional tallies included a male Merlin, a Green Sandpiper at Thornwick Pools, three Whimbrel, two Hooded Crows together near the golf course, a Grasshopper Warbler near Old Fall, one Sedge Warbler, a Black Redstart, a White Wagtail, three Yellow Wagtails and a Mealy Redpoll near the Lighthouse. 

West of the Dykes, a Hobby sparred with local Peregrines at Buckton.

Chiffchaff, South Dykes, by Alan Walkington

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

After a brief spell of south-westerlies yesterday, winds resumed back to the dominant north-westerlies of late, though gentle, with sunny spells and highs of 15°C.

Between Old fall and the Outer Head a single Redstart, three Whitethroat, 11 each of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, eight Blackcap, four Yellow Wagtail, four Wheatear, single Fieldfare and three Redwing were noted. A Hooded Crow frequented bare fields near Northcliffe Marsh and Thornwick Pools held four Little Ringed Plover and three Snipe. 

A Whimbrel was opposite Thornwick Holiday Camp, with another at Oceanview. Five Wheatear were also present at the latter site.

Wheatear, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate south-westerly winds and, although the day started with sunshine, it was generally overcast. During the seawatch, 30 Common Scoters flew south, two Whimbrel went north, 30 Sandwich Terns were also logged, whilst a Bonxie headed south.

Two Grey Partridge on the outer head represented a good record of an ever scarcer species. Single Marsh Harrier and Grey Plover also flew south there. The switch in wind direction also prompted the arrival of migrants including ten Willow Warblers, single Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat and Sedge Warblers, three Yellow Wagtails, two White Wagtails, a Redwing and seven Wheatears. The Grasshopper Warbler remained at South Dykes.

Bempton Cliffs RSPB also attracted one Short-eared Owl and a Lesser Whitethroat. 

Yellow Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Another largely sunny day, with a moderate north-westerly wind again suppressing temperatures. Seawatching highlights included two Velvet Scoters and five Manx Shearwaters flying north and two Sandwich Terns moving south.

A pair of Shoveler, a pair of Red-breasted Merganser and six Eiders sheltered between South Landing and South Dykes. Thornwick Pools hosted three Snipe, three Little Ringed Plovers and a Snipe. The Grasshopper Warbler remained in residence at South Dykes, whilst a White Wagtail was on the nearby golf links; another White Wagtail frequented the golf course on the outer head. 

Little Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Monday, April 17th, 2017

It was a largely sunny day, with light/moderate northerly winds. Seawatching was rewarded with three Manx Shearwaters, 33 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern and an Arctic Tern all flying north.

Thornwick Pools again hosted duos of Little Ringed Plover, Snipe and Dunlin, with a single Grey Plover flying over. South Landing attracted a lone Ringed Plover.

West of the Dykes, Buckton Pond hosted a Green Sandpiper, with a Whitethroat and two Brambling nearby. Two Short-eared Owls were at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Short-eared Owl, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Cuckoo Bee, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

The weather consisted of light north-north-west winds, with sunny intervals during the morning and light rain in the afternoon. Seawatching highlights included a Blue Fulmar, 341 Fulmars, two Manx Shearwaters and three Sandwich Terns flying north.  

Thornwick Pools attracted two Little Ringed Plovers, two Dunlin and two Snipe. Elsewhere, sightings included two Whimbrel, one Hooded Crow, the Grasshopper Warbler at South Dykes, a Whitethroat, 12 Blackcaps, the Pied Flycatcher still at Old Fall and a White Wagtail.

West of the Dykes, two Short-eared Owls frequented Bempton Cliffs RSPB, with one Short-eared Owl, four Wheatears and three White Wagtails at Buckton.

Grasshopper Warbler, South Dykes, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

North-west winds were moderate, occasionally strong, during a day of sunny intervals and occasional showers. During the seawatch, six Shelduck and 260 Fulmars flew north, a Whimbrel went south, whilst six Sandwich Terns were also logged (four north, two south).

A Whimbrel was off South Dykes and other new arrivals included a male Pied Flycatcher in Old Fall and a Grasshopper Warbler at South Dykes. Additional migrants included four Willow Warblers, a Whitethroat and eight Blackcaps.

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Brett Richards

Friday, April 14th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate south-westerly winds, with occasional sunny spells and light showers. Seawatching produced three Red-throated Divers, 11 Sandwich Terns and four Lesser Black-backed Gulls moving north.

Two Whitethroats were the year’s first, with five Willow Warblers and two House Martins also fresh-in.

Sand Martin, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

A day of moderate westerly winds and sunny intervals in the morning, cloudier in the afternoon. During the seawatch, four Sandwich Terns flew south and 336 Fulmars together with 43 Puffins moved north.

Wildfowl in residence included a Wigeon and three Eider, whilst summer migrants records included 15 Chiffchaffs in South Dykes.

West of the Dykes, a Grasshopper Warbler was singing near the visitor centre at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Eider, South Dykes, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate north-westerly winds, sunny intervals and occasional showers. Seawatching was quiet, with five Sandwich Terns the only noteworthy sighting. Five Eider were on the sea near South Dykes, whilst a Common Buzzard, eight Chiffchaff, two Blackcaps and a Willow Warbler were in the nearby ravine. In addition, Oceanview hosted four Wheatear.

Meadow Pipit, Flamborough, by Don Hustings

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Winds remained moderate and from the west, whilst it was largely overcast in the morning and sunnier later in the day. North Marsh hosted a Little Grebe, single Willow Warbler and Blackcap were noted in South Landing, whilst four Wheatears and a White Wagtail were on the outer head.

Puffin, outer head, by Alan Walkington

Monday, April 10th, 2017

In contrast to this weekend a switch in weather saw brisk north-westerlies, overcast skies and temperatures barely registering double figures. Seawatching highlights include a single Manx Shearwater and Ringed Plover north, 720 Fulmar north, six Common Scoter north (one south), two Red-throated Diver north (one south) and two Greylag Geese in-off and north.

On land, four Wheatear, 13 Chiffchaff, two Yellow Wagtail, single White Wagtail, Blackcap and Redwing and four Sand Martin were present on the headland. Thornwick Pools held two Little Ringed Plover and three Snipe.

At Bempton Cliffs RSPB, two Short-eared Owl were present early evening.

Wheatear, Outer Head, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Moderate south-westerly winds strengthened during the warmest day of the year which featured virtually unbroken sunshine and temperatures that reached 19 degrees C.

Arriving migrants included a Whimbrel, 11 Swallows, seven Wheatears, three Redwing, five Ring Ouzels, four Willow Warblers, a White Wagtail, one Yellow Wagtail, two Crossbills and two Siskin.  

West of the Dykes, sightings at Buckton included a Merlin, two Ring Ouzels and a Yellow Wagtail.

Yellowhammer, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

Unbroken sunshine throughout, with light south-westerly winds. During the seawatch, a Grey Plover flew south and seven Sandwich Terns were logged.

A Whimbrel flew north, with additional migrants including three Swallows, a Willow Warbler, 29 Chiffchaffs, seven Blackcap, three Redwing, one Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail, two White Wagtails and a Brambling. 

Brambling, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Friday, April 7th, 2017

It was generally overcast, with light/moderate north-westerly winds, although sunny spells developed late afternoon. Seawatching was disappointing, with a single Sandwich Tern flying north the most notable sighting. In addition, other records included a Little Ringed Plover, one Swallow, a Raven near South Landing, a Black Redstart on the outer head, two Brambling and two Siskin.

White Wagtail, Golf Course, by Andrew Allport

Grey Seal, Outer Head, by Alan Walkington

Weasel, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

The weather consisted of light westerly winds and sunny skies. Seawatching highlights included the two Egyptian Geese flying south and 24 Sandwich Terns moving north.

The juvenile Glaucous Gull again loafed on the field adjacent to North Marsh. Passerine interest was provided by a Hooded Crow, one Willow Warbler, two Ring Ouzels, two Blackcap, a Black Redstart and one Fieldfare.

Glaucous Gull, North Marsh, by Andrew Allport

Glaucous Gull, North Marsh, by Andrew Allport

White Wagtail, Golf Course, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

A day of light/moderate north-westerly winds and largely sunny skies. Seawatching was rewarded with a juvenile Glaucous Gull flying south and a Hooded Crow moving north.

In the local context, the rarest sighting related to two Egyptian Geese located near North Marsh; with only a handful of local records, April is proving a typical month for wandering individuals. Passerine interest included three Ring Ouzels, 20 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, seven Goldcrest, the long-staying Hooded Crow at Oceanview, three White Wagtails and a Corn Bunting that toured the outer head.

Egyptian Goose, North Marsh, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Dawn broke with light south-westerly winds, but these soon switched to northerlies; the majority of the day was overcast, with sunshine from mid-afternoon. Seawatching highlights included a Pochard flying south, a Blue Fulmar north, five Sandwich Terns (four south, one north) and a Bonxie heading north.

Thornwick Pools hosted a Little Grebe, whilst two Hooded Crows were recorded on the southern side of the headland. A Willow Warbler at North Landing represented the first within the observatory recording area. The year’s first Yellow Wagtail flew north and a Blackcap at South Landing was also new. A Scandinavian Rock Pipit lingered at South Landing and additional migrants included two Brambling.

West of the Dykes, a Grey Plover was on the beach at Sewerby and three Short-eared Owls were present at Buckton.

Goldcrest, North Landing, by Craig Thomas

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

After an misty start to the day increasing south-south-east winds cleared any fog and sunshine prevailed. A Merlin was located at South Landing, the juvenile Glaucous Gull re-appeared near North Marsh and two Little Ringed Plovers visited Thornwick Pools. The Hooded Crow remained at Oceanview, with additional migrant records including 35 Redwing, five Fieldfare and a Brambling.

West of the Dykes, a Hooded Crow was located on fields near Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Peregrine, Flamborough, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

The weather consisted moderate north-westerly winds and heavily overcast skies during the morning, with lighter winds and sunnier skies by the afternoon. Two Little Ringed Plovers visited Thornwick Pools, whilst Hooded Crow and White Wagtail remained at Oceanview.

West of the Dykes, Bempton Cliffs RSPB hosted a Blue Fulmar and a Snow Bunting, whilst a Water Rail and 35 Redwing were noted at Buckton Pond.

Gannet, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Don Hustings

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

Winds remained light throughout a day that featured sunny spells and prolonged periods of overcast skies. Seawatching highlights included a Grey Plover flying south, single summer-plumaged adult Mediterranean and Little Gulls also south, and two Sandwich Terns moving north.

Eighty Pink-footed Geese flew north in the morning, whilst two Shoveler at North Marsh were new arrivals. The day’s highlight was the discovery of a Raven on the Outer Head early morning; after lingering south of the Lighthouse it flew west. Continuing the corvid theme, one Hooded Crow lingered on fields between South Landing and Old Fall. The Firecrest remained along the ‘motorway’ south of the Lighthouse and other sightings included 15 Redwing, a Scandinavian Rock Pipit and a White Wagtail. 

West of the Dykes, a Willow Warbler was located at Buckton.

Raven, Cattlemere, by Craig Thomas

Hooded Crow, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Friday, March 31st, 2017

The day started with moderate south-west winds and overcast skies, with sunshine later and temperatures reached 17 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included two Shoveler and two Tufted Ducks flying south, three Goosander, single Blue Fulmar and a Woodcock north, juvenile Iceland Gull and Glaucous Gull south (the latter a different individual to that of recent days), together with single Common Tern, Hooded Crow and Swallow north. In addition, a Minke Whale moved north 800m offshore. 

Thornwick Pools hosted three Little Ringed Plovers. Pride of place amongst passerine migrants was a Firecrest along the ‘motorway’ south of the Lighthouse. Three Hooded Crows were located at Oceanview and additional sightings included 11 Sand Martins, 56 Redwing, five Wheatears, six White Wagtails and five Siskin.

West of the Dykes, a male Snow Bunting was at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Little Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

After an overcast start, the afternoon featured sunny spells, with temperatures eventually reaching 16 degrees C in moderate south-westerly winds. Seawatching was relatively quiet, although a Sandwich Tern flew north.

The juvenile Glaucous Gull loafed on fields near North Marsh, whilst a Hooded Crow on the south side of the headland was new. Single House Martin and Sand Martin were recorded, along with two Wheatears and a White Wagtail.

Glaucous Gull, North Marsh, by Alan Walkington

Glaucous Gull, North Marsh, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

An overcast day, misty early on, with increasing south-westerly winds and temperatures reaching 13 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included three Little Egrets, two Shelduck and four dark-bellied Brent Geese flying south, with a Great Northern Diver also offshore.

Three Common Cranes were located near North Marsh early morning and, after touring the headland over the next 90 minutes, they eventually flew south-east at 1040hrs. Another highlight was the discovery of a Little Bunting in a village garden; present for ten minutes and associating with Yellowhammers, it then flew south and wasn’t relocated. Additional sightings included a Little Ringed Plover at Thornwick Pools, one Short-eared Owl at North Marsh, a Sand Martin, six Redwing, a female Black Redstart along Lighthouse Road and two Wheatears.

Sightings west of the Dykes included two White Wagtails at Bempton and a Jack Snipe, one Swallow, five Wheatears, 17 Redwing and a Brambling at Buckton.

Cranes (and Grey Heron), North Marsh, by Craig Thomas

Crane, Flamborough, by James Spencer

Little Bunting, Flamborough, by Craig Thomas

Little Bunting, Flamborough, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

An overcast day, misty at times with light variable winds. Two Woodcock were present at South Landing, with the juvenile Glaucous Gull re-appearing on fields near North Marsh mid-afternoon; presumably the same individual had earlier patrolled the cliffs at Bempton. Passerine sightings included 14 Goldcrests, 38 Chiffchaffs, a Grey Wagtail and a Lesser Redpoll. A ringing session was rewarded with 36 birds caught, including 12 Chiffchaffs and the aforementioned Lesser Redpoll.

West of the Dykes, two Short-eared Owls remained in residence at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Treecreeper, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Monday, March 27th, 2017

It was generally overcast with light easterly winds and temperatures a mere 7 degrees C. During the seawatch, three Tufted Duck and ten Common Scoter flew south, with a drake Goosander moving north.

A Great Northern Diver was on the sea near South Landing and the juvenile Glaucous Gull rested on cliff top fields near North Marsh again. Two White Wagtails were on the Outer Head, with a scattering of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrest across the area.

Immediately west of the Dykes, a Ring Ouzel and 60 Yellowhammers were located near Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Tufted Ducks, Flamborough, by Karen Bradley

White Wagtail, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

The weather consisted of north-easterly winds and sunny skies. Seawatching was quiet, with four Eiders flying south. A juvenile Glaucous Gull rested on fields near North Marsh; presumably the same bird had gone north and south earlier past Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

A Waxwing appeared in willows near the Golf Course and a White Wagtail was also new. Spring’s second Wheatear made landfall, whilst a Corn Bunting flew south over the Golf Course.

West of the Dykes, a Barnacle Goose accompanied by ten Canadas flew north-west over Bempton Cliffs RSPB and Buckton. Two Short-eared Owls and two White Wagtails were also noted at Bempton. Additional records from Buckton included single Short-eared Owl and Jack Snipe.

Glaucous Gull, North Marsh, by Brett Richards

Waxwing, Golf Course Willows, by Brett Richards

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Sunshine throughout, with virtually no wind and temperatures in the region of 12 degrees C. During the seawatch, 11 Eiders flew south and three Velvet Scoters headed north.

A Short-eared Owl was observed at Oceanview. However, the day’s highlight related to a Little Bunting that appeared briefly in a garden on the Outer Head before flying off. Additional passerine interest included 21 Chiffchaffs, 30 Goldcrests and five Lapland Buntings.

Records from Buckton included seven Snipe, a Jack Snipe, two Short-eared Owls and a Coal Tit, the latter less than annual there. 

A whole colony count of ‘rafting’ Puffins carried out over the last couple of days located 2868 individuals; as additional birds were on the cliffs this indicates a breeding population exceeding 1500 pairs.

Short-eared Owl, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Mike Smith

Friday, March 24th, 2017

A spring-like day, with almost unbroken sunshine, although a light north-easterly wind kept temperatures in check. Four Common Buzzards toured the headland, a Short-eared Owl hunted North Marsh and a Sandwich Tern flew over the outer head. Passerine migrants included 29 Goldcrests, 14 Chiffchaff, 21 Pied Wagtails, four Siskin and one Brambling.

West of the Dykes, Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted two Short-eared Owls and another was located along the cliff-top at Speeton.

Chiffchaff, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate north-easterly winds and relatively sunny skies, with temperatures reaching 9 degrees C. During the seawatch, single Blue Fulmar and Manx Shearwater flew north, as did 94 Puffins. The day’s highlight was a juvenile Glaucous Gull located near North Marsh. Sightings from South Dykes included a Scandinavian Rock Pipit, a Redwing and three Treecreepers. Four Goldcrests and four Chiffchaff were present, whilst a Brambling visited a village garden.

Razorbill, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

After an overcast start to the day, rain arrived late afternoon, with moderate south-south-easterly winds throughout. During the seawatch, three Velvet Scoters flew north. Passerine migrants included six Chiffchaffs and a Brambling. 

Skylark, Thornwick, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

It was a sunny, but relatively cold day, with strong westerly winds. Seawatching was quiet, with the only notable record relating to a Pink-footed Goose that flew south. Three Common Buzzards frequented the North Dykes area, whilst an influx of Chiffchaffs took place, with eight located despite the windy conditions. Other passerine migrants included single figures of Goldcrest, Redwing and Fieldfare.

Guillemots, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Don Hustings

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Sporadic rain and overcast skies featured throughout the day, with moderate south-west winds. The Long-tailed Duck remained off South Landing, with the Little Grebe still at North Marsh. Single Scandinavian Rock Pipit and Chiffchaff were also recorded.

West of the Dykes, 60 Yellowhammers were recorded near Bempton.

Puffin, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

It was generally an overcast day, with periods of rain and moderate westerly winds. Sightings from South Landing included one Long-tailed Duck, a 3rd calendar-year Mediterranean Gull flying south and three Scandinavian Rock Pipits. Passerine migrants included 17 Fieldfare, two Redwing, eight Goldcrests and three Chiffchaffs.

West of the Dykes, Bempton Cliffs RSPB hosted Short-eared Owl, Chiffchaff and 15 Corn Buntings.

Short-eared Owl, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Don Hustings

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Another dull day, with persistent drizzle and light north-west winds. A relatively quiet day, with single Great Northern Diver and Long-tailed Duck off South Landing and four Scandinavian Rock Pipits there. A Peregrine also flew over carrying a Woodcock, whilst additional sightings included 12 Goldcrests scattered around the headland.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Brett Richards

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Brett Richards

Friday, March 17th, 2017

It was an overcast day, with moderate westerly winds. After the spring-like weather of recent days, changing conditions had a dramatic effect. Even the auks had largely departed from the cliffs, with low hundreds present instead of many thousands. The only summer migrant remaining was a single Chiffchaff, with a handful of Goldcrests also present.

Fieldfare, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The weather consisted of sunny skies and moderate south-south-west winds. Sightings included two Shelduck, five Wigeon, 59 Teal, two Tufted Ducks and a Little Grebe. There was an appreciable increase in Meadow Pipits, with 152 recorded, including the majority moving west, seven Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff, the year’s first Wheatear and five Siskin.

Wheatear, Thornwick, by Andy Hood

Wheatear, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Another largely bright day, with light west-south-westerly winds. During the seawatch, three Shelduck flew south, with four Eider and a Manx Shearwater moving north.

A Hooded Crow overflew the outer head, a male Black Redstart appeared at Oceanview, and additional migrants included a Woodcock, 11 Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff, four Siskin and two Lapland Buntings.

West of the Dykes, two Short-eared Owls were recorded at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Black Redstart, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

A bright day, with a moderate south-westerly wind and temperatures eventually attaining 14 degrees C. During the seawatch, a juvenile Iceland Gull rested on the sea off the Fog Station before heading for High Stacks.

However, the most notable sighting related to two House Martins observed south of the Lighthouse. Additional records included single Woodcock, Fieldfare and Redwing, the male Black Redstart at the Fog Station and a lone Lapland Bunting.

Iceland Gull, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Iceland Gull, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Monday, March 13th, 2017

It was a day of light south-westerly winds, a largely sunny morning followed by a cloudier afternoon. A lone Barnacle Goose joined the Greylag flock, one Long-tailed Duck remained off South Landing, whilst a Little Grebe at North Marsh was the first of the year. Better still, a Red Kite toured the headland and accompanied the Raven at one point; the latter present for its second day. Five Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff and five Siskins were new, with 1200 Starlings also gathering. The male Black Redstart showed well at the Fog Station.

West of the Dykes, Short-eared Owls continued to show at Bempton Cliffs RSPB and the Hooded Crow again fed on the beach at Sewerby.

Red Kite and Raven, outer head, by James Spencer

Red Kite, outer head, by James Spencer

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

A light south-westerly wind was a constant, but periods of heavy overcast, mist, thick fog and even sunshine were all periodic. Seawatching highlights included a dark-bellied Brent Goose flying south, two Gadwall north and a drake Goosander south. In addition, the male Black Redstart remained around the Fog Station.

The day’s highlight consisted a Raven which eventually settled in fields north of Lighthouse Road; a species with only a handful of previous records. Other migrants included three Golden Plover and the year’s first Brambling. 

West of the Dykes, records included two Short-eared Owls and 87 Corn Buntings at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Raven, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

An overcast day, with light south-westerly winds. During the seawatch, four Eiders flew north, with 147 Puffins also recorded, including two back on the cliffs.

A minimum 40 Purple Sandpipers frequented the outer head, with 13 Snipe recorded at Thornwick. A Hooded Crow toured the outer head and presumably the same individual then returned to Sewerby. Six Chiffchaffs made landfall, with birds scattered between Thornwick Pools and High Stacks. The male Black Redstart remained as elusive as ever at the Fog Station, whilst migrants included two Goldcrests and a Siskin.

West of the Dykes, a drake Gadwall was on Buckton Pond, with 30 Yellowhammers nearby.

Peregrine, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Friday, March 10th, 2017

The weather consisted of overcast skies and increasing southerly winds, with rain during the afternoon. During the seawatch, five Eiders flew north and a Pochard headed south.

The male Black Redstart remained on the outer head, but a Chiffchaff in the Golf Course Willows was new, with eight Crossbill and a Lapland Bunting recorded at Oceanview.

West of the Dykes, Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted two Short-eared Owls and 60 Corn Buntings. In addition, the Hooded Crow remained in the vicinity of the beach at Sewerby.

Hooded Crow, Sewerby, by Andy Hood

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

A moderate north-westerly wind strengthened during the day, which was largely sunny. During the seawatch, 33 Red-throated Divers and three Little Gulls flew south, with two Crossbills heading north. A Long-tailed Duck remained off South Landing, whilst Thornwick Pools hosted two Gadwall, a Pochard and five Snipe. Two Lapland Buntings were on stubble near South Landing.

Bullfinch, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

An overcast start gave way to sunshine with light west-north-westerlies throughout. Seawatching highlights consisted of 25 Wigeon south, a single Velvet Scoter and two Common Scoter south, 26 Red-throated Diver south (two north), 25 Fulmar north and 10’s of thousands of Guillemot all southbound.

The Long-tailed Duck remained off South Landing with the Woodcock still nearby. The adult male Black Redstart was still present in and around the Fog Station, three Snipe were at Thornwick Pools, a single Lapland Bunting overflew Oceanview Farm and three scandinavian Rock Pipit were noted on the headland.

Fulmar, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Another spring-like day, with sunny skies and light west-north-westerly winds. A Long-tailed Duck remained on the sea off South Landing, where a Firecrest represented the first spring migrant. The male Black Redstart made another appearance at the Fog Station, with a Scandinavian Rock Pipit near North Marsh. Four Siskins signified a light passage, whilst six Lapland Buntings included four birds near North Marsh, where there was also a single Snow Bunting.

West of the Dykes, three Short-eared Owls were present at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Black Redstart, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Monday, March 6th, 2017

An overcast day, with light north-westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included single Pochard and Velvet Scoter flying south, a Bonxie south and 120 Puffins. A total of 30 Great Crested Grebes between South Landing and Sewerby represented a good local count, with two Long-tailed Ducks also present. The Woodcock again roosted in South Landing, whilst two pairs of Stonechat were on the outer head.

Stonechat, outer head, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

A day of south-westerly winds, bright skies in the morning and rain during the afternoon. Puffins continued to increase, with 11 seen off the headland and 12 at Bempton Cliffs. Twenty-three Teal and a Pochard frequented the freshwaters, a Lesser Black-backed Gull represented a migrant, whilst the male Black Redstart re-appeared on the cliff edge near the Fog Station.

West of the Dykes, three Short-eared Owls hunted the grasslands at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Short-eared Owl, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

After a misty start, the weather improved significantly, with sunny intervals and light winds resulting in spring-like conditions. A Long-tailed Duck was on the sea off South Landing, together with two Eider, whilst ten Great Crested Grebes were between the Fog Station and South Dykes. The male Black Redstart was seen again at the Fog Station.

West of the Dykes, two Puffins had returned to Bempton Cliffs, with four Short-eared Owls and 20 Corn Buntings at Buckton.

Cormorant, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood