Monday, December 11th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate north-north-easterly winds, overcast skies and occasional showers, often of a wintry nature. During the seawatch, a Pink-footed Goose, two Velvet Scoters and 66 Kittiwakes flew north; the latter a relatively good tally for the time of year.

Thornwick Pools attracted 46 Teal, a Water Rail, the first returning Coot after the breeding season, and one Jack Snipe. A ringing session on South Landing beach was rewarded with four Rock Pipits.

Wood Mouse, South Landing beach, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

An overcast day, with temperatures eventually reaching three degrees C, with moderate easterly winds. During the seawatch, 71 Red-throated Divers flew north, a Great Northern Diver headed in the opposite direction, whilst a Blue Fulmar, 276 Fulmars, a Bonxie and a juvenile Pomarine Skua also all headed north.

Eighteen Sanderling represented an above average local tally, whilst two Jack Snipe remained at Thornwick Pools.

Nuthatch, South Dykes, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

A sunny day, with temperatures reaching a maximum of three degrees C in light north-west winds. Seawatch highlights included a Long-tailed Duck flying south, 63 Red-throated Divers moving north, two Bonxies, with single Little Auk and Puffin flying north.

The Thornwick area attracted six Pink-footed Geese, a Water Rail, five Common Snipe and two Jack Snipe. A single Richard’s Pipit remained in residence on the cliff top near North Dykes.

Sightings off Sewerby included one Shelduck, a Great Northern Diver and 12 Great Crested Grebes.

Oystercatcher, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Friday, December 8th, 2017

A sunny day, with moderate and cold west-north-west winds and temperatures that reached three degrees C. Seawatching highlights included four Common Scoter, 33 Red-throated Divers, 195 Fulmars and a Blue Fulmar flying north, along with an adult Mediterranean Gull.

A second-winter Mediterranean Gull was recorded off South Landing, together with 260 Black-headed Gulls, 960 Common Gulls, 1160 Herring Gulls and 130 Great Black-backed Gulls.

Sightings at nearby Sewerby included a Great Northern Diver, 13 Great Crested Grebes and six Purple Sandpipers.

Purple Sandpiper, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

It was a day of overcast skies and occasional showers. Wind was a moderate south westerly, increasing in strength and turning northwest through the day. 14 RT Diver, 18 Kittiwake and 3 Common Scoter were noted on the morning sea watch. 143 Shag left the roost near the fog station and at least one Nuthatch remained around the feeders at South Dykes.

Nuthatch, South Dykes by Andy Hood

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

It was an overcast day with light to moderate south westerlies. The morning sea watch included 11 Common Scoter, 24 RT Diver, 19 Fulmar and 25 Shag.

Elsewhere on the headland the two Nuthatch remained at South Dykes, 10 Great crested Grebe were off Sewerby and 28 Teal were noted.

Interesting news was received regarding a Goldfinch ringed at Buckton on 26th September 2017, which was re-trapped at Livermere, Suffolk (216km SSE) on 12th November 2017.

Peregrine by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

A mild, overcast day with a light westerly wind, gradually increasing in strength during the afternoon. The morning sea watch was relatively quiet with 39 Fulmar, 23 Common Scoter and 8 RT Diver representing the highlights.

A single Chiffchaff was ringed at South Landing. Other notable sightings from the outer headland included a Mealy Redpoll, 7 Siskin, 4 Yellowhammer, 6 Purple Sandpiper, 105 Turnstone, 24 Teal and 4 Wigeon.

Sanderling, South Landing by Andrew Allport.

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Sunny skies featured throughout a day of moderate westerly winds. During the seawatch, a Velvet Scoter flew north and three Eiders moved south.

On the headland, wildfowl interest was provided by 16 Wigeon and 54 Teal, whilst a Red-necked Grebe was off South Landing. Three Water Rails were still present, along with two Woodcock, whilst a search of North Marsh and other wetlands located five Jack Snipe and 41 Snipe. Fields near North Dykes continued to attract a lone Richard’s Pipit, with three Corn Buntings nearby. A hybrid Lanner x Peregrine cross sporting jesses was photographed along the cliff top north of Thornwick.

Richard’s Pipit, North Dykes, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, December 3rd, 2017

After a cloudy start and occasional light rain, sunny intervals developed later; winds were moderate from the west-north-west. During the seawatch, five Shelduck, 20 Eider and a Black-throated Diver flew north and 38 Red-throated Divers flew south. A Blue Fulmar fed offshore, whilst hundreds of Guillemots were present, including significant numbers visiting the cliffs.

Additional sightings included eight Great Crested Grebes off South Dykes, where the two Nuthatches remained, a Jack Snipe and three Snipe at Thornwick Pools and 25 Siskin.

Blue Fulmar, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

The weather improved, with sunny intervals and lighter winds. Nine Whooper Swans frequented Beacon Hill and, nearby, 16 Great Crested Grebes were off South Dykes and a Puffin at South Landing. A ringing session at the latter site was rewarded with three Mealy Redpoll and a Lesser Redpoll, whilst a Snow Bunting was also recorded.

Whooper Swans, Beacon Hill, by Brett Richards

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Another day of moderate/strong northerly winds, sunny intervals and sleet showers. Seawatching highlights included a Shelduck, 38 Eiders, a Great Northern Diver, a Blue Fulmar, 555 Common Gulls, two Bonxies and an Arctic Skua flying north, with single Velvet Scoter and Long-tailed Duck heading south.

Eight Great Crested Grebes and two Goldeneye sheltered on the sea off Sewerby, Thornwick Pools attracted single Jack Snipe and Water Rail, whilst four Purple Sandpipers and 11 Sanderling frequented South Landing beach. In addition, the two Nuthatch remained in residence at South Dykes.

Purple Sandpiper, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

The day had a particularly wintry feel with the strong northerly wind continuing throughout and frequent snow, sleet, hail and rain showers.

The morning sea watch was relatively productive with single Long-tailed DuckScaup, GN Diver and Goldeneye. Other notable counts included 17 Shelduck, 39 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 16 Common Scoter, 9 RT Diver and 464 Fulmar.

A female Red-breasted Merganser was at South Landing, with other counts from the outer headland including 3 Water Rail, 58 Turnstone, 14 Sanderling and 4 Purple Sandpiper.

A Little Auk was picked up exhausted in a Bempton village garden early during the morning before being taken into care.

Great spotted Woodpecker, South Dykes by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

A strong northerly wind persisted throughout the day, with occasional snow and sleet showers interspersed with sunny spells.

Highlights during the sea watch included 3 Little Auk, 2 Pom Skua, 4 Bonxie, 1 GN Diver, 44 RT Diver and 554 Fulmar including two blue morphs.

The two Nuthatch remained at South Dykes and were observed caching food, suggesting they are looking to hang around for a while yet. A Blackcap in a village garden was particularly noteworthy, as was a Red Kite which flew north over mid-dykes early morning.

Nuthatch, South Dykes by Alan Walkington.

Blackcap,Village garden by Paul Reed.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

A day of moderate north-westerly winds and heavy showers, occasionally wintery, with temperatures peaking at five degrees C. During the seawatch, a Blue Fulmar flew north and two Bonxies headed south. South Landing beach attracted 73 Turnstones and ten Sanderling, whilst a Lapland Bunting overflew the outer head.

West of the Dykes, the Rough-legged Buzzard again frequented the cliff top opposite Buckton Hall.

Peregrine, North Cliffs, by Andrew Allport

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Sunshine and occasional showers featured throughout, with increasingly strong westerly winds dominating. Four Whooper Swans rested in a stubble field on the outer head before flying south, with three Pink-footed Geese doing the same. One Water Rail was seen and the two Nuthatch remained in South Dykes. A field near North Dykes attracted four Lapland Buntings and two Corn Buntings. 

West of the Dykes, the Rough-legged Buzzard was again present east of Buckton Hall.

Whooper Swans, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Whooper Swan, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Lapland Buntings, North Dykes, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

A largely sunny day, with a moderate westerly wind. The seawatch was quiet, with four Eider flying north the highlight, whilst three Water Rail remained at Thornwick Pools.

West of the Dykes, the Rough-legged Buzzard re-appeared at Buckton. Additional sightings there included 13 Grey Partridges, a Merlin, the long-staying Willow Tit, two Stonechat, 30 Tree Sparrows and 150 Linnet.

Grey Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

After a frosty start, sunny throughout with light westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included a Bonxie flying south, whilst two Lapland Buntings also flew south over the Fog Station. The Thornwick area hosted a minimum of one Water Rail and an adult Mediterranean Gull.

Skylark, Cattlemere, by Alan Walkington

Friday, November 24th, 2017

A day of sunny skies and light/moderate westerly winds, although temperatures didn’t exceed five degrees C. During the seawatch, 484 Common Scoters flew north (with 92 south), a Goosander also headed north, a Great Northern Diver and a Bonxie moved south, and a Sooty Shearwater flew north. Another Great Northern Diver was on the sea off the Fog Station.

A total of 355 Pink-footed Geese flew south, a Little Egret overflew Thornwick, two Woodcock were located, whilst four Water Rails were also present at Thornwick: one of the latter in the reedbed adjacent to the cafĂ© and three at Thornwick Pools. An adult Mediterranean Gull followed the plough there and a Short-eared Owl frequented North Dykes. During a ringing session, a Blackcap was caught at South Landing. The two Richard’s Pipits remained in residence on the cliff top near Thornwick; other sightings included a Brambling, 24 Siskins, two Lapland Buntings near North Dykes and a Snow Bunting at South Landing.

Sightings from Buckton included two Common Buzzards and two Stonechats.

Mediterranean Gull, Thornwick, by Andrew Allport

Richard’s Pipit, Thornwick, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

A largely sunny day with increasingly strong south-west winds. During the seawatch, a Great Northern Diver flew south; presumably the same individual had earlier flown south past Bempton Cliffs RSPB. Low numbers of Starlings, thrushes and finches were also observed flying in off the sea, including 17 Fieldfares. Elsewhere, a Water Rail remained in residence at Thornwick Pools, 16 Curlew frequented Cattlemere, a Blackcap was in bushes near the Lighthouse and three Corn Buntings were nearby.

Redshank, South Dykes, by Jo Hood

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

A relatively overcast day, with increasingly strong and eventually near gale force south-westerly winds. The highlight of the seawatch conducted from North Landing was a Great Northern Diver flew north.

Sightings on the headland included one Water Rail and the Nuthatch; the latter still present in South Dykes.

Sanderling, South Dykes, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

It was a wet start to a day that featured increasingly strong south-west winds. Sightings included one Water Rail, a Woodcock, three Purple Sandpipers at South Landing, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull at Thornwick Pools and two Richard’s Pipits on the cliff top north of Thornwick.

Mediterranean Gull, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Richard’s Pipit, Thornwick, by Andrew Allport

Monday, November 20th, 2017

A relatively overcast day, with light rain during the morning and light south-west winds, sunny intervals then featured during the afternoon. Seawatching highlights included five Wigeon, 106 Teal, a Tufted Duck, 45 Common Scoter, seven Goldeneye, a Great Northern Diver, one Blue Fulmar, a juvenile Glaucous Gull and a Bonxie all flying north. 

Elsewhere, a Pink-footed Goose, 40 Teal and two Water Rails were recorded; the latter at Thornwick Pools, where single Snipe and Dunlin were also present.

Roe Deer, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

A near, full morning sea-watching on the headland recorded four Eider south and one north, 20 Common Scoter south and ten north, two Black-throated Diver north, Great Northern Diver north, Balearic Shearwater north, 21 Common Gull south and 177 north and two Little Auk north. Present were 115 Shag and 15 Oystercatcher.

At South Landing were ten Oystercatcher, 65 Turnstone, Sanderling, Purple Sandpiper, 15 Redshank, 26 Tree Sparrow, five Bullfinch and four Siskin. A Snow Bunting flew over Oceanview early morning.

West of the Dykes, the Rough-legged Buzzard frequented the Buckton area until late afternoon again and at nearby Bempton RSPB 26 Pink-footed Goose north-west and a probable Bean Goose in the same group, Goosander north-west, 37 Golden Plover south-east, Woodcock south-east and one probable dead on the sea below the cliffs. 13 Siskin flew north-west and present were two Peregrine, five Stonechat, five Rock Pipit and five Bullfinch. At Sewerby 95 Pink-footed Geese flew north-west, male and female Goldeneye on the sea as well as eight Great Crested Grebe. A juvenile Glaucous Gull flew from the headland into Bridlington Bay to roost.

Rough-legged Buzzard, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Darren Ward

Stonechat, by Don Hustings

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

The morning sea-watch recorded 48 Common Scoter south, 24 Red-throated Diver south and four north, Black-throated Diver north, 50 Common Gull south and 24 north, Glaucous Gull north, Great Skua south, Little Auk north and two Snow Bunting north.

At Thornwick Pools, two Water Rail and two Snipe, South Landing 11 Common Scoter, five Oystercatcher and 14 Redshank, Cattlemere had two Snow Bunting in the field and two Long-tailed Duck on the sea.

West of the Dykes: a Rough-legged Buzzard flew north-west over Bempton towards Buckton where it remained until the end of the afternoon. A Merlin was also recorded at Buckton.

Rough-legged Buzzard, Buckton, by John Beaumont

Friday, November 17th, 2017

The usual early morning sea-watch at the headland had two Dark-bellied Brent Goose south, 13 Teal South, 57 Common Scoter north, Goldeneye north, ten Red-throated Diver south and three north and Great Northern Diver south. Present were 16 Red-throated Diver, 61 Shag, six Curlew and 50 Common Gull.

At Thornwick Pools, two Water Rail, two Snipe and Barn Owl and at South Landing eight Oystercatcher, three Curlew, Purple Sandpiper, 26 Redshank and 17 Rock Pipit. 15 Rock Pipits were also at South Dykes including another Norwegian colour-ringed bird and the third of the autumn.

West of the Dykes at Buckton there were 350 Pink-footed Goose and 30 Brambling.

Norwegian ringed Rock Pipit by Andy Hood

Common Seal by Alan Walkington

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

The early morning sea-watch produced four Pink-footed Goose south, two Goldeneye north, nine Red-throated Diver south, Great Northern Diver south, 21 Gannet south and 72 north. 12 Turnstone were present off the headland.

Other records were 15 Wigeon, Water Rail and Jack Snipe at Thornwick Pools, Goosander and two Nuthatch at South Dykes. A Chiffchaff was along the motorway hedge at the headland.

West of the Dykes six Snow Bunting flew west over Bempton RSPB.

Turnstone by Geoff Carr

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

The morning headland sea-watch produced three Eider south, eight Common Scoter south and nine north, Goldeneye north, 28 Red-throated Diver south and six north, Great Northern Diver south, Balearic Shearwater north, 122 Gannet north, seven Skylark north and out to sea, eight Meadow Pipit south for off the sea and Lapland Bunting north.

Present off the headland were 80 Shag, ten Turnstone and 20 Purple Sandpiper.

South Landing had 44 Common Scoter, 20 Turnstone, Knot, five Purple Sandpiper, Grey Heron and 19 Redshank with two Great Crested Grebe at Sewerby, 11 Rock Pipit, Woodcock and Chiffchaff at South Dykes. Two Nuthatch were present on the feeders at Danes Dyke and 30 Siskin on feeders at Oceanview. At Thornwick Pools were two Water Rail, four Snipe and a Jack Snipe. A Ring Ouzel, 60 Blackbird, Brambling was at Old Fall and a Dark-bellied Brent south over here. At Cattlemere were three Shorelark, Snow Bunting, Lapland Bunting and two Long-tailed Duck on the sea.

Grey Heron at South Landing by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

The early seawatch off the headland had Tufted Duck south, 17 Common Scoter north, Little Auk south and six Siskin north. Present off the headland were 53 Common Scoter, 14 Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, 84 Shag, 16 Oystercatcher, Bar-tailed Godwit, 20 Redshank, 98 Black-headed Gull, 52 Common Gull and 17 Rock Pipit. A short, mid-morning seawatch had a Black-throated Diver south into Bridlington Bay, two Wigeon, 30 Common Scoter and two Curlew.

Other FBO sightings were three Purple Sandpiper and Water Rail at South Landing, Woodcock, two Chiffchaff, 26 Wren, 98 Blackbird, 50 Tree Sparrow, Brambling, 14 Greenfinch, 5-6 Hawfinch over Flamborough Village, three Siskin and ten Yellowhammer.

Purple Sandpiper by Andy Hood

Monday, November 13th, 2017

The headland sea-watch highlights were, 55 Teal north and seven south, two Tufted Duck north, Velvet Scoter north, 93 Common Scoter north and 21 south, seven Long-tailed Duck north, three Goldeneye north and one south, 12 Red-throated Diver north and eight south, two Great Northern Diver north and one south, 82 Fulmar north, Manx Shearwater north and one south, Red-necked Grebe north, Glaucous Gull south, Great Skua north and one south and 17 Little Auk north.

A concentrated effort over the wider FBO area had, 18 Wigeon, 22 Teal, 82 Common Scoter, two Goldeneye, Long-tailed Duck, six Red-throated Diver, Goosander, three Water Rail, 74 Turnstone, two Sanderling, five Purple Sandpiper, 36 Redshank, Grey Plover, four Little Auk, 92 Stock Dove (all time day record), three Shorelark, 75 Skylark, 25 Wren, 410 Starling, 140 Blackbird, 64 Redwing, two Stonechat, 36 Dunnock, 33 Rock Pipit, Twite, Lapland Bunting and 45 Snow Bunting.

Shore Lark by Andy Hood

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

The weather consisted of increasingly strong north-north-west winds and very heavy, squally showers that meant seawatching on the outer head was abandoned 90 minutes after first light. During that time, single Manx Shearwaters flew north and south and a juvenile Pomarine Skua also flew south. Three Shore Lark and 32 Snow Buntings remained in the Cattlemere area.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included two Goosander and six Bullfinch.

Corn Bunting, North Dykes, by John Beaumont

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

A sunny day with a moderate west-north-west wind. Eleven Whooper Swans were recorded, including the two now resident individuals, whilst 500 Pink-footed Geese flew south. A Long-tailed Duck was on the sea off Cattlemere, with the latter location providing the day’s highlights: two Shore Larks, a Lapland Bunting and 32 Snow Buntings all frequented the area south of the Lighthouse. Additional sightings included single Great Northern Diver and Water Rail at South Landing, three Woodcock, one Chiffchaff, a Ring Ouzel at Old Fall, 14 Siskin and a Corn Bunting.

West of the Dykes, Buckton attracted 350 Pink-footed Geese, a Willow Tit, six Stonechat, five Bullfinch, ten Lapland Buntings and 16 Snow Buntings. Sightings from Sewerby included 110 Common Scoter and an adult Mediterranean Gull.

Blackcap, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Friday, November 10th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate/strong north-west winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching was rewarded with eight Eider and a Great Northern Diver flying north, with two Goosander and two Bonxies flying south.

The two Whooper Swans lingered, parties of nine and five overflew the headland, whilst nine Pink-footed Geese were also present. Additional sightings included a Water Rail, one Jack Snipe, six Goldcrest, the six Shore Larks, 27 Siskin, a Lapland Bunting and 17 Snow Buntings.

West of the Dykes, the Siberian Chiffchaff remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB. Buckton hosted four Whooper Swans, 400 Pink-footed Geese, a Ruff, one Long-eared Owl, 80 Skylark and 130 Linnets.

Shore Lark, Cattlemere, by Andrew Allport

Snow Bunting, Cattlemere, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

A day of light south-west winds and sunny intervals after an overcast, and at times, wet morning. During the seawatch, 34 Wigeon, a Tufted Duck, a Great Northern Diver and 10,000 Guillemots flew south, whilst three Pintail and 17 Eider flew north. A Twite also flew in off the sea. 

Three Whooper Swans flew south over Cattlemere, with the resident two near North Marsh; an additional seven Eider flew east at South Landing, where a Little Egret fed along the shore. Two Water Rails included a bird at Greenacres. Migrants included the six Shore Larks still present south of the Lighthouse, 360 Blackbirds, a Chiffchaff, three Brambling, 23 Siskin and 12 Snow Buntings.

Whooper Swans, outer head, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

An overcast start to the day after heavy overnight rain; skies soon cleared to leave a sunny day and north-west winds dropped in strength. During the seawatch, 70 Wigeon, three Scaup, 19 Eiders, a Little Gull and a Bonxie flew north.

Two Whooper Swans remained near North Marsh, with another duo on the sea off South Dykes. Ninety Pink-footed Geese, included ten lingering at North Marsh, whilst drake Goldeneye, 70 Common Scoter, ten Eider, a Great Created Grebe and six Sanderling were at South Dykes. Migrants included 11 Woodcock and 33 Lapwing, but the day’s highlight related to the discovery of six Shore Larks on the cliff top plough south of the Lighthouse. Large numbers of thrushes again featured, with 830 Blackbirds, along with 63 Fieldfare, 135 Redwing, seven Song Thrush and one Ring Ouzel. Other sightings included a Chiffchaff, one Blackcap, 31 Siskin, two Redpoll, three Brambling and 13 Snow Buntings.

West of the Dykes, the Siberian Chiffchaff remained in residence at Bempton Cliffs RSPB and 175 Pink-footed Geese continued to linger on fields at Speeton.

Shore Lark, Cattlemere, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

An overcast day, with a moderate/strong southerly wind and rain arriving from late morning until dark. Seawatching highlights included single Great Northern Divers north and south, 19 Lapwing and a Short-eared Owl in off the sea.

Two Whooper Swans and two Water Rails were located, whilst an influx of thrushes took place, including 175 Blackbirds and 80 Fieldfares, with 140 Starlings also in off. However, coverage was poor due to the conditions, so the true numbers arriving would have undoubtedly been immeasurably higher.

West of the Dykes, the Siberian Chiffchaff remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, along with 500 Blackbirds, 100 Redwing and two Mealy Redpoll

Water Rail, Thornwick Pool, by Andrew Allport

Monday, November 6th, 2017

The weather consisted of light westerly winds and sunny skies, whilst the morning brought the first significant frost of the season. During the seawatch, seven Whooper Swans and two Great Northern Divers flew south, with a Sooty Shearwater moving north. 

Two Bean Geese flew west over Thornwick and 194 Pink-footed Geese were also recorded. Five Water Rails represented a good local count, with a similar number of Woodcock present and a second-winter Mediterranean Gull frequented South Landing. A Richard’s Pipit again overflew North Landing, with four Snow Buntings and three Lapland Bunting present on the outer head.

West of the Dykes, the Siberian Chiffchaff remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Siberian Chiffchaff, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

A moderate westerly wind later changed into a north-westerly and heavy showers developed in the afternoon after a bright start. Seawatching highlights included 71 Pink-footed Geese, 51 Wigeon, a Shoveler, seven Eider, a Great Northern Diver, a juvenile Glaucous Gull and one Little Auk all flying north. In addition, three Woodcock, 28 Starling, seven Siskin and 25 Chaffinch flew in off the sea.

Two adult Whooper Swans remained on the headland, with 50 Pink-footed Geese flying south over South Landing; nearby Oceanview hosted a single Woodcock.

West of the Dykes, the Siberian Chiffchaff continued to linger at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Pink-footed Geese, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

The day started with heavy rain that persisted until mid-morning, with sunny intervals arriving by the afternoon; winds remained light and from the west.

Ten Whooper Swans continued their stay, 19 Eiders and 136 Common Scoters were off Beacon Hill, where two Ring Ouzels came in off the sea. Nearby, two Water Pipits frequented South Landing beach accompanying a minimum of 15 Rock Pipits.

West of the Dykes, 350 Pink-footed Geese fed in a stubble field near Speeton. The Siberian Chiffchaff remained in residence at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Eider, Beacon Hill, by Mike Smith

Common Scoters, Beacon Hill, by Mike Smith

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

An overcast day, with light south-west winds. Seawatch highlights included 16 Shelduck and 56 Teal flying south, with an adult Mediterranean Gull and a juvenile Black Guillemot heading north.

The 11 Whooper Swans lingered near North Marsh, 43 Pink-footed Geese and a Little Egret flew south, whilst 25 Woodcock included three coming in off during the seawatch. A juvenile Glaucous Gull loafed on the rocks near the outer head, accompanied by 23 ‘argentatus’ Herring Gulls. Two Richard’s Pipits were located in the cliff top field immediately east of North Landing, but both proved mobile and later flew north beyond Thornwick Camp. The Water Pipit also remained in residence at South Landing. An arrival of thrushes too place, including 590 Fieldfare, 610 Blackbirds, 245 Redwing, whilst additional interest was provided by a Lesser Whitethroat, 114 Siskin and two Snow Buntings.

West of the Dykes, the Siberian Chiffchaff remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, where a Swallow and eight Snow Buntings overflew the reserve.

Glaucous Gull, outer head, by Andy Hood

Siberian Chiffchaff, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Jo Hood

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

A moderate north-north-westerly wind, sunny intervals and showers. Seawatching highlights included nine Whooper Swans, four Shelduck, a Great Northern Diver and one Great Crested Grebe flying north. A total of 38 Siskins also flew in off the sea.

The aforementioned Whooper Swans joined the two resident birds on North Marsh. Two Water Rails, a Jack Snipe and three Woodcock were on the headland, with a juvenile Glaucous Gull flying west past South Landing. A Richard’s Pipit was discovered on fields immediately east of North Landing, whilst the Water Pipit was relocated on the beach at South Landing; four Twite were in the same area. 

West of the Dykes, 50 Golden Plover were in fields near Buckton. The Siberian Chiffchaff remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Whooper Swans, North Marsh, by Andrew Allport

Siberian Chiffchaff, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Dave Aitken

Water Pipit, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

An overcast day with light south-westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included two pale-bellied Brent Geese, two Great Northern Divers, five Little Gulls and a Bonxie flying south, with a Velvet Scoter moving in the opposite direction. 

Two Whooper Swans remained, a dark-bellied Brent Goose and four Great Crested Grebes were in the Sewerby/South Dykes area and at least two Woodcock were present. The day’s highlight related to two Great White Egrets that flew south over the outer head late afternoon. An ‘eastern’ Lesser Whitethroat was seen in gardens in the same area, with 35 Siskins at South Landing.

Sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included Merlin, Woodcock, Short-eared Owl and a Siberian Chiffchaff, with a Mediterranean Gull nearby.

Nuthatch, South Dykes, by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

A rather damp, overcast start to the day, with brighter skies later; winds were light/moderate from the south-west. During the seawatch, six Scaup, a Velvet Scoter, 173 Common Scoters, three Goldeneye, a Black-throated Diver, two Manx Shearwater, two Little Gulls, 532 Kittiwakes, a juvenile Long-tailed Skua and four Little Auks flew north. Two Woodcock, 91 Starlings and 11 Fieldfares flew in off the sea. 

Single dark-bellied Brent Goose and a Mediterranean Gull frequented South Dykes beach, whilst 39 Rock Pipits were located at South Dykes/South Landing. Sightings from the rest of the headland included two Whooper Swans and two Water Rails.

Cormorant, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Monday, October 30th, 2017

A day of light north-westerly winds, sunny intervals and occasional light showers early morning. A northerly passage during an excellent seawatch included a dark-bellied Brent Goose, five pale-bellied Brent Geese, 47 Wigeon, 34 Mallard, 336 Common Scoter, a Long-tailed Duck, eight Goldeneye, four Red-breasted Merganser, two Great Northern Divers, two Sooty Shearwaters, eight Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, a Red-necked Grebe, 3836 Kittiwakes, 22 Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull, a juvenile Glaucous Gull, two Arctic Terns, 18 Little Auks, 47,500 Guillemots, 900 Razorbills and three Puffins. Two Goosanders flew south, whilst a Woodcock and 14 Twite flew in off the sea.

Away from the sea, two Whooper Swans and 60 Teal frequented the North Marsh area.

Grey Heron, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

Strong northerly winds lasted throughout the day, although gradually eased in strength; with occasional showers and sunny intervals. Seawatching highlights included nine Goldeneye flying north (four south), along with a Red-breasted Merganser, one Great Northern Diver, two Sooty Shearwaters, three Manx Shearwaters, an Arctic Tern and one Little Auk. Heading south were 22 Red-throated Divers, two adult Mediterranean Gulls, eight Bonxies and four Arctic Skuas.

Four Whooper Swans and a Woodcock were seen from Beacon Hill, with six more Whooper Swans on the sea between South Dykes and Sewerby. The two Nuthatch remained in residence in South Dykes.

West of the Dykes, a Sooty Shearwater flew north at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, two Blue Fulmars headed in the opposite direction, whilst Buckton hosted two Snow Buntings.

Common Seal, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

The weather consisted of strong westerly winds and generally overcast skies. During the seawatch, single Long-tailed Duck, Goldeneye and Black-throated Diver flew north, as did four Little Gulls, whilst a Great Northern Diver, ten Bonxies and four Arctic Skuas moved south.

Two ringtail Hen Harriers flew north low over the sea past the Fog Station mid-afternoon, whilst the best migrant passerine was a Mealy Redpoll; 36 Rock Pipits were on South Landing beach.

Sightings from Sewerby included 23 Whooper Swans flying south. Records from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included two Goosander and a Mediterranean Gull flying north. 

Curlew, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Friday, October 27th, 2017

A day that started with moderate northerly winds that gradually abated, whilst prolonged sunny spells featured throughout. Seawatching highlights included 14 Wigeon flying south, three Eider, a Goldeneye and 183 Little Gulls heading north, with two Bonxies and six Arctic Skuas also recorded. A Snow Bunting and nine Siskin also flew in off the sea.

Four Whooper Swans remained on the headland, as did three Water Rails at Thornwick Pools. Three Woodcock were located near Old Fall. Thrushes were again in evidence, with 195 Blackbirds outnumbering much lower number of Song Thrush and Redwing; a Ring Ouzel also flew in off the sea at the Fog Station.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Sewerby included 12 Goldeneye, 1200 Black-headed Gulls, 700 Common Gulls and an adult Mediterranean Gull. A male Merlin overflew the road between Bempton village and the Dykes, whilst records from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included 115 Pink-footed Geese and a Great Northern Diver flying south-east.

Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

An overcast day, with rain in the middle and light west-north-west winds. During the seawatch, two dark-bellied Brent Geese flew north, a Great Northern Diver headed south, 21 Little Gulls were logged, an Arctic Tern flew south, with an Arctic Skua moving in the opposite direction.

Fifteen Whooper Swans flew south over the headland, two Little Egrets remained, as did a Water Rail, whilst three Little Grebes were unusual. Nine Ringed Plover were on South Dykes beach, with an influx of 1420 Woodpigeons recorded. The bird of the day was a Water Pipit that fed at the top of the beach at South Landing. Two Ring Ouzels, 225 Blackbirds, two Nuthatch, 24 Lesser Redpolls and 42 Siskin were also present.

West of the Dykes, Buckton hosted a Ring Ouzel.

Ring Ouzel, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

A day of sunny intervals and light overcast skies with a moderate westerly wind. During the seawatch, 95 Little Gulls and two Arctic Skuas flew north; single Ring Ouzel, Goldcrest and Mealy Redpoll also flew in off the sea.

Eight Whooper Swans and 355 Pink-footed Geese flew south over the headland. An adult Caspian Gull rested on the Golf Course during the morning, an adult Mediterranean Gull frequented Thornwick Bay, whilst single Swallow and House Martin were recorded. Two Nuthatches attended the feeders in South Dykes, with additional passerine interest including two Yellow-browed Warblers, 300 Blackbird, 460 Redwing, 22 Fieldfare, five Ring Ouzel, 158 Siskin, six Lesser Redpolls, two Brambling and a Snow Bunting.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included the aforementioned Pink-footed Geese, one Water Rail, a Yellow-browed Warbler and 29 Siskin. As well as these geese, a further 320 Pink-feet flew south over Buckton.

Lesser Redpoll, outer head, by John Beaumont

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Moderate south-westerly winds, heavy rain at the start of the day, with showers later. The four Whooper Swans were still in residence on the outer head, with a further group of 24 birds flying south past North Landing late afternoon. 

An influx of thrushes and starling occurred from mid-afternoon with birds making landfall low over the cliffs on the outer head before proceeding westward. A total of 2335 Redwing, 245 Blackbirds, 28 Fieldfare, two Ring Ouzels and 1595 Starlings came in off, along with single Woodcock and Lapwing. One Yellow-browed Warbler remained on the outer head.

Whooper Swans, Thornwick, by Don Hustings

Teal, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

The weather consisted of light south-westerly winds and generally overcast skies. Seawatching highlights included three dark-bellied Brent Geese, four Eider, one Goldeneye and a Red-breasted Merganser. A total of 197 Little Gulls flew north, as did a Mediterranean Gull. A scattering of thrushes and finches made landfall including a Twite.

Two Goosander flew south over the headland and a Short-eared Owl later flew south offshore. A total of 83 birds were rung during the day, including three Yellow-browed Warblers at North Landing and a Ring Ouzel at South Landing. Another Ring Ouzel fed alongside the Golf Course, another Yellow-browed Warbler frequented the outer head, whilst ten Twite fed on stubbles near North Marsh and a Mealy Redpoll was recorded. 

West of the Dykes, a Bearded Tit flew north-west at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, a Yellow-browed Warbler was also present and a Lapland Bunting headed south-east. Sightings from Buckton included a Yellow-browed Warbler and one Ring Ouzel.

Stonechat, outer head, by Alan Walkington