Monday, October 21st, 2019

After overnight rain, the day was mainly cloudy with a fresh northerly wind, temperatures struggling to reach 12C.

Birds passing the Fog Station was the main focus for the day and this provided top-notch late autumn seawatching.  Although the number of birds were never great, there was constant interest with plenty of variety and included some high quality birds.  The undoubted main feature was a White-billed Diver which passed north at 0950, other divers included a Black-throated, 4 Great Northerns and 49 Red-throats.  Most birds were heading into the wind and other highlights comprised a Storm Petrel, 13 Sooty and 24 Manx Shearwaters, 17 Great, 20 Pomarine, 17 Arctic and 3 Long-tailed Skuas. Amongst the steady stream of auks was 193 Puffins and 42 Little Auks.  Wildfowl was also well represented by 5 Whooper Swans, 9 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 125 Wigeon, 47 Teal, a Pintail, 19 Eider, 3 Velvet and 132 Common Scoters and 3 Goldeneye. Also seen were a Grey Phalarope, a single Sabine’s, 2 Mediterranean and 24 Little  Gulls, a Sandwich, 3 Common and 11 Arctic Terns.  Owls were also noted coming in off the sea with a Short-eared, a Long-eared and two other unidentified Asios.  Five Twite also flew over.  

Though the sea drew most of the attention, land-based birding also proved profitable with a few new migrants being found.  Two Yellow-browed Warblers were both considered new arrivals as were a Richard’s Pipit, 8 Mealy Redpolls, 10 Siskin and 18 Brambling. Seventeen Whooper Swans headed south over South Landing where the Velvet Scoter remained along with a House Martin overhead. Other immigrants included 2 Woodcock, 13 Goldcrest, 9 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcaps and 2 Grey Wagtails.  Thrushes, particularly Redwings, were fewer than in recent days though Blackbirds still numbered 150.  

Meanwhile, at Bempton there were 2 tristis Chiffchaffs, including a new one, a blythi Lesser Whitethroat, a Willow Warbler and a Bonxie feeding on carrion.

Mealy Redpoll,
Old Fall (Andy Hood)

Sunday, October 20th, 2019

The weather consisted strong north-north-west winds, rain showers until md-morning followed by sunny intervals. Seawatch highlights included four Velvet Scoter (one south, three north), 77 Common Scoters south, a Goldeneye north, four Red-breasted Mergansers, four Goosanders and a Great Northern Diver south, two Sooty Shearwaters, 17 Manx Shearwaters, a Great Crested Grebe and 41 Little Gulls north. Eight Bonxies and seven Arctic Skuas flew south and three Little Auks north, whilst a second-winter Glaucous Gull and a Mediterranean Gull headed south.

A total of 27 Whooper Swans were recorded (19 south, 8 North Marsh), along with 37 Pink-footed Geese. Additional migrants included a Woodcock, one Short-eared Owl, two Yellow-browed Warblers, a Willow Warbler, three Ring Ouzel, a Whinchat, two Common Redstarts, 1830 Fieldfare west, 450 Redwing west, 95 Brambling west and 26 Siskin.

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included two Siberian Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, one Lesser Whitethroat, 15 Goldcrests, a Mealy Redpoll and eight Brambling.

Chiffchaff, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Trevor Charlton

Common Redstart, Flamborough, by Jacob Davies

Saturday, October 19th, 2019

A day of light south-west winds and relatively overcast skies, with heavy showers during the afternoon. Seawatch highlights included four dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Mandarin Duck, six Goosander, a Sooty Shearwater, a Red-necked Grebe, 423 Little Gulls and two Mediterranean Gulls flying south; two Great Northern Divers were recorded, with the first heading north and another south.

Two Whooper Swans overflew the village, three Short-eared Owls frequented the outer head, but rarer still in the local context, a Little Owl was located on the edge of Thornwick Camp. A late Common Swift near the Lighthouse late afternoon was a surprise; additional migrants included single House Martin and Swallow, four Ring Ouzel, 1180 Redwing, eight Fieldfare, 56 Goldcrests, three Yellow-browed Warblers, a Siberian Chiffchaff (Bay Brambles), eight Stonechat and six Brambling.

Sightings from Bempton included one Ruff, a Merlin, three Short-eared Owls, 1100 Redwing, 32 Fieldfare and single Ring Ouzel, Yellow-browed Warbler, Siberian Chiffchaff, Whinchat and Black Redstart, together 200 Skylark and 15 Twite.

Little Owl, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Yellowhammer, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Friday, October 18th, 2019

A day of moderate south-west winds that also featured sunny intervals, after a damp start to the day. During the morning’s seawatch, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, a Grey Plover and 12 Little Gulls flew south; at least 20 Bottlenose Dolphins performed offshore, whilst a Long-eared Owl flew in off the sea. A late afternoon seawatch off South Landing witnessed an impressive southerly movement of 2244 Little Gulls, along with 17 Common Terns, an Arctic Tern, two Mediterranean Gulls and three Arctic Skuas.

Sixteen Whooper Swans frequented the headland during the morning, of which 14 flew south, as did a skein of 42 Pink-footed Geese. The Velvet Scoter was again off South Landing, with a Great White Egret flying east over Old Fall at 1430hrs; wader interest included single Grey Plover and Woodcock. Notable passerine records included a Jay at Old Fall, 178 Redwing, 66 Song Thrush, four Ring Ouzels, six Yellow-browed Warblers, seven Stonechat, a Whinchat and five Brambling.

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 242 Pink-footed Geese (200+42), one Merlin, four Short-eared Owls, a Jay, 90 Redwing, a Whinchat, four Stonechat and a Black Redstart.

Stonechat, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Comma, Thornwick, by Mike Smith

Brindled Ochre, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

A cold night with a touch of ground frost at dawn gave way to a largely sunny day with a light SSW wind.  The temperature peaked at 14C.

The morning seawatch produced 18 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 6 Eider, 10 Common Scoter, a Goosander and 2 Red-throated Divers all heading south. A single Knot and 90 Little Gulls (11S, 70N), 3 Great and 2 Arctic Skuas also passed.

Birding interest around the Outer Head was again dominated by incoming birds though in lower numbers than in recent days.  Highlights included 823 Redwings, 4 Ring Ouzels, 17 Brambling, 12 Siskin while 3 Whinchats, 8 Stonechats, a Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Blackcaps, Siberian Chiffchaff and 4 Yellow-browed Warblers were considered to be lingering having made landfall earlier in the week. Two House Martins passed over South Landing where a Water Rail was by the car park.   Wildfowl were also in evidence with 37 Pink-feet wandering around the Outer Head, 9 Whooper Swans, and 2 Wigeon.

At Bempton a Great White Egret flew south and 2 Ring Ouzels were also present.

Stonechat (Mike Smith)

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

The weather consisted moderate south/south-westerly winds, light rain throughout the morning and sunny spells later. During the morning’s seawatch, single Velvet Scoter, Arctic Skua and Mediterranean Gull flew north, with a Grey Plover moving south; 35 Little Gulls were present offshore.

In addition to the two Whooper Swans on North Marsh, nine Whooper Swans flew south (six & three). A Short-eared Owl remained in residence in the Gorse Field. The day’s highlight only showed to visitors – a Little Bunting on the eastern flank of the Gorse Field. Other passerine records included two Yellow-browed Warblers at Old Fall, six House Martins, four Ring Ouzel, two Lesser Whitethroats, two Wheatear and a Grey Wagtail. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included single Short-eared Owl, Siberian Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Ring Ouzel and Black Redstart.

Whooper Swans, North Marsh, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

After a night of heavy rain and backing easterly winds, the skies cleared after an hour of drizzle from first light; occasional sunny intervals developed by the afternoon, with relatively light winds from the west. A very substantial arrival of Redwing occurred, with large numbers heading west from first light and smaller flocks continuing to arrive throughout the day. There was also evidence of an arrival of smaller passerines from late morning, with highlights involving a Radde’s Warbler discovered late afternoon in Old Fall, a Pallas’s Warbler caught & ringed at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, two Richard’s Pipits (south of the Lighthouse & Buckton) and five Siberian Chiffchaffs (including one at RSPB Bempton Cliffs).

The following totals were also recorded: two Whooper Swans, four Woodcock, 44 Lapwing west, three Jack Snipe, five Short-eared Owls (including one in off the sea), eight Yellow-browed Warblers, three Lesser Whitethroats, 36 Blackcap, a Garden Warbler, 7295 Redwing, 21 Ring Ouzels, 69 Fieldfare, two Mistle Thrush, 90 Robins and single Black Redstart (South Landing beach), Common Redstart, Whinchat, Pied Flycatcher and Snow Bunting (over Old Fall), along with 85 Brambling. Seawatch highlights included six dark-bellied Brent Geese, 157 Wigeon, a Mediterranean Gull and a Pomarine Skua flying south, with two Velvet Scoters heading north; the single Velvet also remained off South Landing.

Woodcock, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Monday, October 14th, 2019

Very little wind at the start of the day, with a south-easterly developing later; it remained overcast throughout, with rain arriving mid-afternoon. The morning’s seawatch was rewarded with three Gadwall, two Red-breasted Merganser, 29 Red-throated Divers, 668 Black-headed Gulls and 109 Little Gulls moving south, with a juvenile Pomarine Skua flying north.

Four Whooper Swans referred to two birds that visited North Marsh, a lone bird that flew south and a single at Thornwick. A total of 190 Pink-footed Geese were logged moving south, whilst the Velvet Scoter lingered off South Landing; a Short-eared Owl frequented North Marsh.

The day’s highlight related to a party of six Bearded Tits that landed briefly at North Marsh before gaining height and heading south. Other totals involved: a Turtle Dove at Old Fall, a Shore Lark in off the sea near South Landing, 76 Goldcrests, two Firecrests (Bay Brambles/Old Fall), eight Yellow-browed Warblers, 23 Blackcap, a Lesser Whitethroat, 40 Chiffchaff, 780 Redwing, 30 Song Thrush, eleven Ring Ouzel (including a single at RSPB Bempton Cliffs), four Mistle Thrush, 15 Stonechat, three Whinchat, a Black Redstart (South Landing beach), two Wheatear, nine Grey Wagtails, 15 Brambling, 65 Chaffinch, 14 Lesser Redpoll, 220 Siskin, 97 Reed Buntings, 45 Yellowhammers and a Corn Bunting. 

A concerted ringing effort as part of ‘migweek’ resulted in 199 birds being caught, including a Ring Ouzel, 27 Robin, ten Blackcap, 52 Goldcrests, five Chiffchaff and two Lesser Redpolls. 

Black Redstart, South Landing, by Tony Dixon

Lesser Redpoll, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

An overcast day, with rain throughout and a south-east backing north-north-westerly wind. Seawatching highlights included 34 Whooper Swans, three Gadwall, a Little Gull and a Mediterranean Gull flying south, with a Pomarine Skua and two Little Gulls moving north. Sightings on the headland itself included 80 Pink-footed Geese flying south, one Short-eared Owl, a Sand Martin, 275 Redwing, 40 Song Thrush, ten Fieldfare, five Ring Ouzel, two Firecrests (both Bay Brambles), five Yellow-browed Warblers, a Willow Warbler, 29 Chiffchaff, a Lesser Whitethroat, two Lesser Redpoll, 340 Siskin and nine Brambling.

Records from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 22 Whooper Swans flying south (seen later past the outer head), a Ring Ouzel, 50 Redwing, 60 Blackbirds, three Fieldfare, a Mistle Thrush, ten Song Thrush, 25 Goldcrest and 13 Chiffchaffs. 

Bullfinch, South Landing, by Don Hustings

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

The weather consisted light/moderate south-westerly winds and prolonged sunny intervals. Seawatch highlights included 39 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver and two Bonxies flying south; single Velvet Scoter, Great Northern Diver, Red-necked Grebe and Mediterranean Gull flew north, whilst 100 Little Gulls fed offshore. 

A total of 1038 Pink-footed Geese moved south (including 218 on the seawatch). In addition, 15 Whooper Swans (2,4, 9) and at least two Tundra Bean Geese headed south over the headland, with a Short-eared Owl coming in off the sea early afternoon. Passerine interest included four Ring Ouzel, eight Yellow-browed Warblers (including two caught & ringed at South Landing), a Common Whitethroat, a Nuthatch at Hartendale, four Whinchat, eight Stonechat, a Wheatear, one Redstart, a Brambling, 12 Bullfinch, 12 Crossbill, 16 Lesser Redpolls and seven Lapland Buntings; the latter in off during the seawatch. 

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included nine Whooper Swans on the sea (the same birds seen later over the outer head), the Pink-footed Goose movement, four Stonechat and a Black Redstart.

Pink-footed Geese, South Dykes, by Mike Smith

Yellow-browed Warbler, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Friday, October 11th, 2019

An overcast morning with spells of relatively light rain; sunny intervals developed during the afternoon; moderate south-westerly winds throughout. Seawatch highlights included a Velvet Scoter, 16 Red-throated Divers, a Manx Shearwater, a Golden Plover, 90 Knot, 26 Dunlin, a Snipe, 104 Little Gulls and a Mediterranean Gull flew south; single Velvet Scoter and Bonxie lingered offshore. 

A skein of 23 Pink-footed Geese flew south over the headland. Passerine migrants included three Ring Ouzels, five Yellow-browed Warblers, two Willow Warblers, five Blackcap, a Firecrest (South Landing), a Red-breasted Flycatcher at Old Fall, a Redstart, six Stonechat and three Grey Wagtails. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Ring Ouzel, one Lesser Whitethroat and 150 Skylarks heading south.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Another day of strong westerly winds, increasing amounts of cloud after a sunny start, with light showers by late afternoon and temperatures peaking at 13 degrees C. During the seawatch, 140 Pink-footed Geese, three Red-breasted Mergansers and an Arctic Skua flew south; 30 Little Gulls moved north; a Merlin also hunted the outer head. Thornwick Pools hosted ten Teal, a Jack Snipe and a Grey Wagtail.

A further 148 Pink-footed Geese flew south over the headland and a flock of 53 rested near Stainforth’s Flash late in the day; a female Velvet Scoter was also located on the sea off South Landing. Two Red Kites flew south-west over South Landing and latterly South Dykes in the morning. Passerine interest included four Ring Ouzels, two Firecrests (Bay Brambles, South Landing), six Yellow-browed Warblers (two Old Fall, two South Landing, one North Landing, one village), a Reed Warbler, two Whinchat, a Black Redstart near the Old Lighthouse and a Tree Pipit. An impressive tally of 917 Tree Sparrows included many flocks heading south-west over the outer head early morning, whilst a lone Crossbill overflew the Lighthouse. A Lapland Bunting was seen on the cliff top at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, with a Yellow-browed Warbler at nearby Buckton.

Red Kite, South Dykes, by Mike Smith

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

A day of blustery south-west winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that peaked at 12 degrees C. During the seawatch, two Red-breasted Mergansers, six Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Tern flew south, with 52 Little Gulls moving north.

A skein of 100 Pink-footed Geese flew south over the headland, whilst Thornwick Pools attracted 12 Teal and a Wigeon. A Little Egret that flew south past the Fog Station was later seen at South Landing; a Short-eared Owl frequented the Gorse Field. Passerine interest included six Ring Ouzels, the Shore Lark (overflew the Fog Station), the Cetti’s Warbler at South Landing, a Siberian Chiffchaff (allotments), three Yellow-browed Warblers, a Willow Warbler, one Lesser Whitethroat, a Redstart, seven Stonechat, two Whinchat, five Wheatear, two Grey Wagtails and three Brambling.

Ring Ouzel, Flamborough, by Alan Walkington

Redstart, South Landing, by Tony Dixon

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

Moderate westerly winds strengthened during a largely sunny day. During the seawatch, single dark-bellied Brent Goose and Goosander flew south, as did a Velvet Scoter that dropped onto the sea off High Stacks and 31 Little Gulls headed north. Thornwick Pools attracted eight Teal, two Dunlin and a Jack Snipe

Three Whooper Swans and 223 Pink-footed Geese flew south, whilst a Red Kite that toured the headland eventually headed north-west. One of the day’s highlights related to a juvenile Honey Buzzard that flew south over Thornwick at 1310hrs and eventually went south over Bridlington Bay at 1321hrs; a lone Short-eared Owl was also present. The two Red-breasted Flycatchers remained in residence at Old Fall and North Landing, with the Shore Lark still frequenting the cliff top near the Fog Station and the Cetti’s Warbler lingered at South Landing. Migrant totals included eight Ring Ouzels, 92 Goldcrests, two Firecrests (caught & ringed at South Landing), ten Yellow-browed Warblers, four Willow Warblers, 33 Chiffchaff, two Lesser Whitethroats, ten Blackcap, two Wheatear, two Stonechat, two Whinchat, two Redstarts, a Spotted Flycatcher, 28 Rock Pipits, two Grey Wagtails, six Siskin and six Brambling. RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted ten Goldcrests, four Chiffchaff and a Yellow-browed Warbler.

Goldcrest & Firecrest, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Old Fall, by John Elvidge

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Old Fall, by John Harwood

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Tony Hood

Red Kite, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Shore Lark, Fog Station, by Andy Hood

Monday, October 7th, 2019

An overcast day, with occasional showers and a blustery southerly wind. During the morning’s seawatch, two Gadwall flew south, a juvenile Sabine’s Gull flew north before it fed off the Fog Station,  181 Little Gulls flew south (13 north) and a juvenile Pomarine Skua flew north.

Ten Goosander flying west past Hartendale represented a notable record, whilst two Woodcock were located. Two Red-breasted Flycatchers were present: a single at North Landing and the male remaining in Old Fall, whilst the Shore Lark continued to show well near the Fog Station. Further migrant totals included 23 Ring Ouzel, 579 Redwing, 65 Blackbirds, 212 Song Thrush, five Fieldfare, 92 Goldcrests, eight Yellow-browed Warblers, 25 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, seven Blackcap, a Common Whitethroat, four Lesser Whitethroats, a Reed Warbler at North Landing, 57 Robins, five Redstarts, three Wheatear and 22 Brambling.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted four Ring Ouzels, 380 Redwing, 60 Song Thrush, four Fieldfares, 30 Goldcrest, a Willow Warbler, three Siskin and 13 Brambling.

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Sunday, October 6th, 2019

An overcast day throughout, with heavy rain from dawn until late morning, lighter drizzle through to mid-afternoon, before a dryer interlude; strong easterly winds gradually dropped in strength, although birding remained challenging. Seawatch highlights included  11 dark-bellied Brent Geese (six north, five south), 273 Wigeon, two Pintail, 66 Teal and six Tufted Ducks all flying south, with a Velvet Scoter, one Sooty Shearwater, a juvenile Sabine’s Gull, 65 Little Gulls and six Arctic Terns moving north. Thornwick Pools hosted 12 Teal and single Jack Snipe, Dunlin and Water Rail. Seventeen Wigeon and a Short-eared Owl frequented North Marsh.

Although the conditions limited coverage, it was clear a considerable arrival of passerines had taken place, especially of thrushes. A total of 133 Redwing was recorded coming in off the sea during the seawatch, with 300+ downed on the outer head during the heavy rain; although the majority quickly headed inland. Ten Ring Ouzels included two birds at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, with the hedgerows sheltering 160 Song Thrush and seven Fieldfare. A juvenile Red-backed Shrike at Old Fall was the year’s first record, with a Siberian Chiffchaff and a male Red-breasted Flycatcher in the same location. A Shore Lark gave good views near the Lighthouse, with three Yellow-browed Warblers and a Firecrest nearby.  Additional records included one Woodcock, another two Yellow-browed Warblers at Old Fall, one Common Whitethroat, a Reed Warbler, one Pied Flycatcher, three Redstarts and two Brambling.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted a Jack Snipe, 350 Redwing, 11 Fieldfare, 80 Song Thrush, 16 Goldcrests, a Willow Warbler and three Brambling.

Shore Lark, Lighthouse Grassland, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, October 5th, 2019

Winds were light from the north-west at the start of the day, switching to a moderate south-easterly from early afternoon, with relatively overcast skies throughout. Seawatch highlights included three dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Pintail and three Velvet Scoter flying north, a Goldeneye, one Sooty Shearwater and a Red-necked Grebe south. Two juvenile Sabine’s Gulls flew north (at 1124hrs), as did 415 Little Gulls during the morning (with 209 south in 45 minutes in the evening) and two juvenile Long-tailed Skuas also moved north.

Four Gadwall were on the sea off the Fog Station late afternoon, eight Grey Herons included a flock of four flying south, four Jack Snipe were present at North Marsh and two Short-eared Owls included a single in off the sea. Twenty Yellow-browed Warblers represented the highest year’s highest tally to date; this included three birds caught & ringed at South Landing, three at Old Fall and a single caught & ringed at Buckton. Additional passerine interest included two Ring Ouzel (including one caught & ringed at South Landing), 1125 Redwing in off, 90 Song Thrush, three Mistle Thrush, 35 Goldcrests, a Willow Warbler, three Lesser Whitethroats, a Willow Tit at Old Fall, three Stonechat, a Whinchat, three Wheatear, four Redstarts, three Grey Wagtails, seven Brambling, 59 Reed Buntings and four Corn Buntings.

Migrants at RSPB Bempton Cliffs/Buckton included the aforementioned Yellow-browed Warbler at Buckton, a Grey Plover flying north-west, one Willow Warbler, a Ring Ouzel at Bempton and two Brambling.

Ring Ouzel, South Landing, by Mark Pearson

Willow Tit, Old Fall, by Lee Johnson

Willow Tit, Old Fall, by Lee Johnson

Friday, October 4th, 2019

Light north-westerly winds during the morning, with a switch to moderate north-easterlies in the afternoon; generally overcast, with occasional drizzle, although brighter skies developed later. During the seawatch, 581 Wigeon, 190 Little Gulls, seven Common Terns, ten Arctic Terns, two Bonxies and an Arctic Skua flew north. 

Five Grey Plover flew south over the headland, three Jack Snipe were new (Lighthouse, Old Fall, Thornwick), whilst an arrival of 730 Redwing occurred during the afternoon. Seventeen Yellow-browed Warblers were scattered around the headland (including two at RSPB Bempton Cliffs & one at Buckton), with additional passerine records including 70 Song Thrush, a Ring Ouzel, 25 Robins, 18 Goldcrests, 38 Chiffchaffs, two Lesser Whitethroats (including one putative ‘Siberian’), a Redstart, three Stonechat, three Grey Wagtails, two Brambling and five Siskin. Two Lesser Whitethroats (including a Siberian) were also present at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. Nearby Buckton attracted 320 Redwing, 20 Song Thrush, one Willow Warbler, a Common Whitethroat and two Stonechat. 

Lesser Whitethroat, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

After a bright start, increasing amounts of cloud arrived during the afternoon, when a cool south-easterly wind also developed. Seawatch highlights included a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 47 Wigeon, 49 Teal, a Velvet Scoter, 123 Common Scoters, nine Sooty Shearwaters, 30 Manx Shearwaters, 120 Little Gulls and 17,500 Razorbills all flying north; two juvenile Pomarine Skuas lingered offshore.

Eleven Yellow-browed Warblers were present on the headland, as detailed below. Notable records from the outer head involved 260 Pink-footed Geese moving south/west, a Short-eared Owl, seven Goldcrest, two Mistle Thrush, 26 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing, seven Yellow-browed Warblers, 16 Chiffchaff, two Willow Warblers, two Lesser Whitethroats, one Redstart, a Wheatear, five Stonechat, one Grey Wagtail, and single Brambling, Twite and Corn Bunting.

Two Yellow-browed Warblers frequented RSPB Bempton Cliffs, with one caught & ringed, along with a Barred Warbler; other sightings there included 80 Skylarks moving west, 20 Redwing, 20 Goldcrests, ten Chiffchaffs, a Siberian Lesser Whitethroat and three Stonechats. Sightings from nearby Buckton included 60 Pink-footed Geese moving south, a Ring Ouzel, 45 Redwing, 57 Skylarks south, two Yellow-browed Warblers, 12 Chiffchaff, a Common Whitethroat, three Stonechat and a Whinchat.  

Barred Warbler, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Dave Aitken

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

The weather consisted of strong north-westerly winds, overcast skies after a bright start and temperatures peaked at 12 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included 29 dark-bellied Brent Geese, two Barnacle Geese, two Red-breasted Mergansers and 101 Common Scoters flying north, 60 Red-throated Divers and a Great Northern Diver moving south, seven Sooty Shearwaters, two Slavonian Grebes and 132 Little Gulls north, a Mediterranean Gull south, three Pomarine Skuas (two south, one north) and 13,000 Razorbills flying north.

Passerine interest included the Cetti’s Warbler at South Landing, three Yellow-browed Warblers (two Old Fall, one South Landing), a ‘Siberian’ Lesser Whitethroat at Old Fall, 20 Goldcrests, 55 Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps, a Nuthatch at South Landing, a Fieldfare, two Redwing, two Spotted Flycatchers, two Redstarts, a Wheatear, two Grey Wagtails and two Lesser Redpolls.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted single Lesser Whitethroat, Yellow-browed Warbler and Pied Flycatcher.

Pied Flycatcher, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

The day had distinct autumnal feel being overcast with a brisk north-easterly,  frequent rain till midday and temperatures struggling to reach 12C.  

The sea was watched nearly all day revealing single Long-tailed and Pomarine Skuas heading north while totals for both Arctic and Great Skuas were in the teens.  Sooty and Manx Shearwaters were also seen heading north with 23 and 205 respectively.  Wildfowl were also a feature; a Mute Swan, an unexpected species here, flew south as did 69 Barnacle Geese.  Numbers of Common Scoter reached 98N and 14 S.  Razorbills were passing in huge numbers with an estimated 24,500 while other auks were less well represented by 58 Puffins and 11 Guillemots – all flying north.

Birding on the land was curtailed by the poor weather.  Nevertheless, those observers that did venture out managed to find a Yellow-browed Warbler at South Landing where the Cetti’s Warbler remained. Other birds seen included 19 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 3 Goldcrests, 5 Redwing and a Grey Wagtail.

Long-tailed Tit, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Monday, September 30th, 2019

The day started bright and sunny with a moderate NW which veered to NE by evening with increasing cloud bringing rain after dusk.

The best of the seawatch saw 63 Pink-feet flying south. Velvet Scoter put in another appearance (1S,2N) while 70 of its congener Common Scoter also passed (19S, 51N).  Few shearwaters were seen again with 6 Sooties and 19 Manx heading N while skuas were also in short supply (Arctic 3N and Great 1S, 4N) though there was a juvenile Pomarine.

The main event of the day was land-based.  Around Flamborough, Chiffchaffs seemed to be almost everywhere with 117 counted at various places, the best count for six years. This fall also included 8 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Grasshopper Warbler, 10 Blackcaps, 5 Lesser Whitethroats and 42 Goldcrests. Immigration of thrushes seems to be gaining momentum with 47 Redwings and Blackbirds being seen in greater numbers. Other passerines of note included the Cetti’s Warbler still present at South Landing, 6 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Redstarts, 2 Wheatear, single Grey and Yellow Wagtails and a flyover Lapland Bunting at Old Fall.  Geese were also moving with 38 Barnacles and 18 Pink-feet over the Outer Head.  The colour-ringed Norwegian Rock Pipit present at South Landing last winter has returned.

Bempton and Buckton reflected the day’s theme with 30 Chiffchaffs, 38 Goldcrests, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 4 Redwing, a Pied Flycatcher and a Redstart.  Pink-feet (75S) and Barnacle Geese (17S) passed over while raptor interest included a Marsh Harrier and 9 Common Buzzards.

Rock Pipit, South Landing (Andy Hood)

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

Moderate/strong easterly winds at dawn, swinging to north-easterlies late afternoon; relatively heavy rain at either end of the day, with a dryer interlude between. Seawatch highlights included 64 Red-throated Divers flying south, a Sooty Shearwater north, four Pomarine Skuas (three north, one south), 17 Bonxie south, five Long-tailed Skuas south (three adults, an immature, one juvenile), one Mediterranean Gull feeding offshore and a Swift flying north. 

Fifteen Golden Plovers flew south over the headland, where passerine interest included: 31 Redwing, eight Song Thrush, 14 Goldcrests, a Yellow-browed Warbler at Old Fall, seven Willow Warblers, 29 Chiffchaffs, five Blackcap, two Lesser Whitethroats, six Spotted Flycatchers, a Wheatear, two Yellow Wagtails and two Brambling.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted nine Redwing, a Ring Ouzel, 15 Goldcrests, ten Chiffchaffs, a Yellow-browed Warbler, three Spotted Flycatchers, a Pied Flycatcher, one Stonechat and a Whinchat.

Spotted Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Colin Scott

Saturday, September 28th, 2019

Blustery west-south-west winds brought heavy showers during the morning, with sunny intervals later. Seawatching was rewarded by 350 Pink-footed Geese, five Teal, two Eider, 17 Common Scoter, 33 Red-throated Divers, two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull and two Arctic Skuas moving south. A creamcrown Marsh Harrier flew south over the headland, while three Swifts remained. Passerine interest included 20 Goldcrests, the Cetti’s Warbler still at South Landing, two Yellow-browed Warblers (outer head & South Landing), 33 Chiffchaffs, seven Willow Warblers, a Common Whitethroat, two Lesser Whitethroat, four Blackcap, a Pied Flycatcher, two Stonechats, a Whinchat, five Wheatear, a Grey Wagtail, two Siskin and 36 Yellowhammers. 

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 44 Pink-footed Geese, five Golden Plover and a Swift south, 15 Goldcrests, a Yellow-browed Warbler, ten Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, five Blackcaps, one Stonechat, a Pied Flycatcher and three Spotted Flycatchers.

Bar-tailed Godwit & Oystercatcher, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Friday, September 27th, 2019

The weather consisted of blustery south-westerly winds and heavy showers, the latter especially prevalent during the afternoon. Seawatch highlights included 64 Pink-footed Geese, a Tufted Duck, 33 Red-throated Divers and two Grey Plovers flying south, with a Velvet Scoter and another Grey Plover heading in the opposite direction. An Ocean Sunfish was a surprise late morning and attracted the attention of gulls, including a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull.

Thornwick Pools attracted two Pink-footed Geese, 19 Teal and two Snipe, with a Swift overhead. The Cetti’s Warbler was caught & ringed at South Landing, where two Yellow-browed Warblers were present. Another Yellow-browed Warbler was seen in the Dell at RSPB Bempton Cliffs; 50 Pink-footed Geese, 12 Golden Plover, 63 Swallows and 60 Skylark also flew south there, with grounded migrants including a Pied Flycatcher and a Whinchat.

Cetti’s Warbler, South Landing, by Rob Little

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate south-westerly winds, temperatures reaching 18 degrees C in spells of sunshine which were punctuated by heavy showers or longer spells of rain. During the seawatch, ten Wigeon, 27 Teal, 46 Red-throated Divers, 13 Knot, a Mediterranean Gull and five Arctic Skuas flew south; a single dark-bellied Brent Goose and a Sooty Shearwater headed north. Thornwick Pools attracted two Pink-footed Geese, 13 Teal, two Dunlin and a juvenile Little Stint; the latter a colour-ringed individual originally rung at Makkevika Giske, Giske, More & Romsdal in Norway on 10th September. The Cetti’s Warbler was heard singing at South Landing once more, whilst ten Goldcrests represented an increase. Elsewhere on the headland, RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted a Yellow-browed Warbler.

Pink-footed Goose, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Little Stint, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

A light south-easterly wind developed late morning in generally overcast skies. No fewer than three Sabine’s Gulls were seen off the headland: an adult and one juvenile flew south, with another juvenile feeding offshore for most of the day. A Goosander, 119 Teal, 47 Red-throated Divers, two Little Gulls and a juvenile Pomarine Skua flew south, whilst a Mediterranean Gull went to roost.

Thornwick Pools attracted two Pink-footed Geese, three Dunlin and a juvenile Arctic Tern. The year’s third Cetti’s Warbler was heard near the Whale Bridge in South Landing, where one of two Yellow-browed Warblers was seen; the other frequented gardens on the outer head. There were also a Ring Ouzel, one Redwing, two Wheatear, three Whinchat, two Stonechat and a Redstart.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted three Golden Plover, six Goldcrests, a Pied Flycatcher, four Whinchat, two Stonechat and a Yellow Wagtail. Speeton hosted three Goldcrests and a Grey Wagtail. 

Wheatear, Flamborough, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

A moderate south-easterly wind, largely overcast skies, with mist and periods of heavy rain. Seawatch highlights involved 17 Wigeon, 85 Teal, a Mediterranean Gull, two Arctic Skuas and two adult Pomarine Skuas flying south; a Sooty Shearwater lingered offshore. A Bar-tailed Godwit and a Norwegian-ringed Dunlin frequented South Landing beach. RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted 30 Blackbirds, 15 Song Thrush, one Redstart, two Whinchat, one Stonechat and a Pied Flycatcher; single Grey Plover and Siskin also flew over. 

Dunlin, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

A day of increasing south-west/southerly winds, sunny intervals after an overcast start and temperatures reaching 18 degrees C. Seawatching was rewarded with a Gadwall, 63 Wigeon, 774 Teal (record day count, surpassing the previous best of 651), 74 Common Scoter, 30 Red-throated Divers and a juvenile Long-tailed Skua all flying south; two Sooty Shearwaters moved north, whilst an adult Sabine’s Gull and first-winter Yellow-legged Gull and Mediterranean Gull lingered offshore. Sightings on the headland included two Pink-footed Geese, four Whimbrel, one Swift, a Yellow-browed Warbler near North Landing, three ‘continental’ Song Thrush, 15 Whinchat, three Stonechat, two Redstarts, one Pied Flycatcher and four Grey Wagtails.

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included one Swift, a Redwing, one Fieldfare, two Garden Warblers, two Pied Flycatchers and a minimum of two Bottlenose Dolphins.

Robin, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Feathered Ranunculus, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

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

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

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

Red-breasted Flycatcher, by Craig Thomas

Wood Warbler, by Jo Hood

Saturday, September 21st, 2019

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

Bonxie, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Friday, September 20th, 2019

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

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

Fox, Flamborough village, by Mike Smith

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

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

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

Gannet, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Don Hustings

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Wheatear, South Landing (Alan Walkington)

Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Fog Station (Jo Hood)

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

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

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

Little Ringed Plover, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Blackcap, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Monday, September 16th, 2019

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

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

Humpback Whale, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Ian Howard

Humpback Whale, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Ian Howard

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

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

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

Lapland Bunting, Flamborough, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

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

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

Migrant Hawker, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Friday, September 13th, 2019

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

Wheatear, Thornwick, by Don Hustings

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

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

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

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

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

Juvenile Knot, South Landing (Andy Hood)

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

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

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

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

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

Bar-tailed Godwits, South Landing (Alan Walkington)

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

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

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

Garden Warbler, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Reed Bunting, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Monday, September 9th, 2019

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

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

Barred Warbler, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

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

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

House Martins, Lighthouse, by Rob Little

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

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

Mediterranean Gull, Fog Station, by Andrew Allport

Friday, September 6th, 2019

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

Little Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Matthew Binns

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

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

Ringed Plover, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

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

Bar-tailed Godwits, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

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

Bar-tailed Godwit, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

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

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

Meadow Pipit, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Goldcrest, South Landing, by Andy Hood