Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

An overcast day, with occasional sunny intervals and a light/moderate south-south-easterly wind. During the seawatch, two Brent Geese, 45 Common Scoter, a Balearic Shearwater and one Little Egret flew north, whilst an Arctic Skua headed south. 

Thornwick Pools hosted a Pintail and a Green Sandpiper, whilst a Pomarine Skua harassed gulls off South Landing, where a Grey Plover, five Arctic Skuas and three Little Gulls were also recorded. Migrant passerines were scarce, but included a Pied Flycatcher at Old Fall. During a ringing session, a Sparrowhawk and three Goldcrests were caught amongst others. 

Single Red-backed Shrike, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart were noted at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Sparrowhawk, Flamborough, by Jim Morgan

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

The weather consisted of light south-west winds and largely sunny skies, with increasing cloud from mid-afternoon with a few light showers. During the seawatch, 11 Wigeon flew south, 17 Teal and 41 Common Scoter headed north, 219 Little Gulls also moved north, whilst a further 13 lingered offshore. Three Bonxies and two Arctic Skuas were also recorded. 

Thornwick Pools attracted a Pintail, whilst three Little Egrets remained on the beach below Beacon Hill. Passerine interest included two Yellow-browed Warblers (South Landing & Old Fall), four Grey Wagtails, a White Wagtail and a Lesser Redpoll.

West of the Dykes, the Red-backed Shrike and a Yellow-browed Warbler lingered at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, together with three Lesser Whitethroats and a Pied Flycatcher. A Marsh Harrier was seen near Bempton village.

Willow Warbler, Flamborough, by Paul Reed

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

An overcast day, with spells of rain in the afternoon and moderate south-westerly winds. During the seawatch, a pale-bellied Brent Goose flew north, three Little Gulls and a Bonxie headed in the opposite direction and two Arctic Skuas were logged.

Two Little Egrets fed on the beach near South Landing, but better still, a Bittern was located at Thornwick Pools near to dusk; only the sixth observatory record, although the third this year. West of the Dykes, the Red-backed Shrike and Yellow-browed Warbler remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Red-backed Shrike, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Paul Reed

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

A change in the weather with light south-westerly winds re-establishing during a largely overcast day. During the seawatch, a Little Egret, two Little Gulls and four Arctic Skuas flew past the headland.

A Hobby flew over the village, whilst a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Redstart represented remnants of the recent arrival. West of the Dykes, a Hobby, the Red-backed Shrike, a Yellow-browed Warbler and one Pied Flycatcher remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Pied Flycatcher, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

A sunny day, with decreasing north-north-westerly winds and generally benign conditions. During the seawatch, three Pintail, 141 Common Scoters, a Red-breasted Merganser, two Sooty Shearwaters, four Little Gulls and eight Bonxies flew north, whilst five Arctic Skuas moved in the opposite direction.

A total of 180 Pink-footed Geese flew south, two Little Egrets were again on the beach below the South Cliffs, whilst Thornwick Pools again hosted two Little Stints. Two Yellow-browed Warblers also remained in residence at Old Fall, a Grasshopper Warbler was located at Hartendale and other migrants included Pied Flycatcher and two Whinchats. Single Red-backed Shrike and Yellow-browed Warbler were present at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, together with a Little Egret, one Pied Flycatcher, a Sedge Warbler and two Lesser Redpolls.

Red-backed Shrike, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Paul Reed

Red-backed Shrike, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Paul Reed

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Moderate north-north-westerly winds predominated once again on a day of occasional sunny intervals and light showers. Seawatching highlights included two Gadwall, 24 Wigeon, a Pintail, 48 Teal, 294 Common Scoter and eight Sooty Shearwaters flying north, whilst 77 Red-throated Divers, a Little Egret, 24 Bonxies, a Pomarine Skua and a Merlin flew south.

Two Little Egrets fequented the beach at South Dykes, whilst the two Little Stints remained at Thornwick Pools, together with the Ringed Plover and a Knot. An adult Long-tailed Skua also flew ‘south’ past South Landing. Scarce migrant passerines included four Yellow-browed Warblers, a Barred Warbler south of the Lighthouse, with a Common Rosefinch in the same area. Other sightings included 22 Goldcrests and three Redstarts.

West of the Dykes, the Red-backed Shrike remained in residence at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, where a Pied Flycatcher was also present. 

Common Rosefinch, outer head, by Lee Johnson

Blackcap, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Light north-north-westerly winds increased in strength from mid-morning, with sunny intervals throughout. The seawatch was rewarded with two Pintail, 140 Teal, 351 Common Scoter, 25 Sooty Shearwaters, 60 Manx Shearwaters, two Balearic Shearwaters, an adult Sabine’s Gull, a Mediterranean Gull, 192 Common Terns, 21 Bonxies and 42 Arctic Skuas moving north. In addition, 94 Red-throated Divers and a Pomarine Skua flew south. 

Thornwick Pools attracted two Little Stints, seven Ruff frequented the Golf Course, whilst a Greenshank overflew South Landing. Passerine migrants included two Redwing, 20 Goldcrest, four Yellow-browed Warblers (including one caught and ringed at South Landing), five Lesser Whitethroats, one Sedge Warbler, a Reed Warbler, four Pied Flycatchers, four Spotted Flycatchers, a Tree Pipit, 110 Meadow Pipits, two Whinchats, three Redstarts, five Grey Wagtails and eight Siskin.

West of the Dykes, a creamcown Marsh Harrier hunted fields between North Dykes and Bempton village, whilst a Red-backed Shrike was located at the RSPB reserve.

Little Stint, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Yellow-browed Warbler, Old Fall, by Craig Thomas

Red-backed Shrike Bempton Cliffs by John Beaumont

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Strong northerly winds dominated once again, although the main feature of the day was the series of heavy and prolonged showers that were especially prevalent during the morning; seawatching was not for the faint-hearted! Once again, the latter provided the main highlights: 17 pale-bellied Brent Geese, two Red-breasted Mergansers, 100 Sooty Shearwaters, 65 Manx Shearwaters and 19 Bonxies flew north. Heading in the opposite direction were single Long-tailed Duck and Great Northern Diver, a juvenile Long-tailed Skua, two Pomarine Skuas and 39 Arctic Skuas.

Passerine interest included three Spotted Flycatchers, a Whinchat and a Lesser Redpoll.

West of the Dykes, a three-hour seawatch at Bempton Cliffs RSPB was rewarded with an exceptionally early Little Auk.

Purple Sandpiper, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Strong northerly winds developed during a day of sunny intervals and heavy showers, the latter featuring in particular during the morning. Seawatching highlights included four pale-bellied Brent Geese, 31 Wigeon, four Pintail, 80 Teal, 121 Common Scoter, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Little Egret, 67 Sooty Shearwaters, 168 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, one Little Gull, 75 Sandwich Terns, 219 Common Terns, ten Arctic Terns flying north. There were also five Eider, 61 Bonxies and 46 Arctic Skuas recorded heading south.

Six Ruff remained in residence on the Golf Course. Passerines located despite the strong winds included four Goldcrests, three Spotted Flycatchers, one Whinchat, a Redstart and a Grey Wagtail.

Pied Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Strong north-north-westerly winds in the morning gradually dropped in strength, whilst the day also consisted of sunny intervals and occasional showers. Seawatching provided the highlights once again, headlined by a Great Shearwater that showed well close inshore as it headed north during the evening. Other sightings included a Pink-footed Goose, 21 Red-throated Divers, a Storm Petrel, 90 Bonxies, 62 Arctic Skuas and one Long-tailed Skua flying south. Amongst species moving north were 106 Wigeon, 19 Pintail, 62 Teal, 378 Fulmar, 54 Sooty Shearwaters, 73 Manx Shearwaters, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, one Little Gull, 100 Sandwich Terns, 65 Common Terns and 30 Arctic Terns.

Six Ruff were on the Golf Course, whilst additional migrants included single Redstart and Spotted Flycatcher.

Teal, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

A part cloudy day, a westerly wind force 6 and 14c.

Again, a rewarding sea-watch with five Wigeon north, seven Common Scoter south, 15 Red-throated Diver south, 14 Fulmar south and 263 north, two Sooty Shearwater north, eight Manx Shearwater south and two north, Balearic Shearwater south, Grey Phalarope north, two Sandwich Tern south and 15 north, Roseate Tern north, 12 Common Tern north, four Great Skua south and three north, two Arctic Skua south, juv Peregrine north and a Swift.

Three Ruff were on the Golf Course and a Wheatear at Oceanview.

At Bempton a lone spotted Flycatcher.

Spotted Flycatcher by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

A mainly clear day with some cloud, winds west force 4 to north force 5 and 15c.

A reasonable sea-watch today with two Pink-footed Goose north, three Pintail north, four Eider south, five Common Scoter south and five north, 22 Red-throated Diver south, 25 Fulmar south and 355 north, two Sooty Shearwater south and four north, Little Egret south, 1cy Mediterranean Gull north, two Sandwich Tern south and 117 north, five Common Tern north, five Common/Arctic south and 11 north, 20 Great Skua south, 19 Arctic Skua south, 198 Razorbill south, Swift north and seven Meadow pipit in-off.

Some 20 Manx Shearwater were around the headland, 50 Shag and 34 Cormorants.

Nine Ruff were on the Golf Course and two late Sand Martin through.

West of the Dykes: An Osprey flew from Hunmanby south over Buckton Cliffs and a Hobby west and five Swift at Bempton. At nearby Buckton three Sand Martin, 40 Skylark and 150 Meadow pipit, all west. Buckton also had six Whinchat, four Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, four Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Tit.

Whinchat by Paul Reed

Monday, September 11th, 2017

A part cloudy day with south-west winds force 5 and 15c.

The morning sea-watch had a sprinkling of species with five Wigeon south, 12 Teal south, four Red-throated Diver south, one Manx Shearwater south and two north, Grey Plover south, juv Yellow-legged Gull north, 20 Sandwich Tern south and 157 north, six Common Tern north, Arctic Tern north and Great Skua north.

A Ruff was on the headland Golf Course, Osprey over Selwick’s Bay and then south, Barred Warbler still at Thornwick, a late Swift and also Sand Martin.

Great Skua by Geoff Carr

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

A day of mixed weather with sunny spells and some light rain showers during the late afternoon. Wind was a moderate SSW, increasing in strength through the day.

A decent morning sea watch produced Black Tern, 154 Sandwich Tern, 8 Common Tern, 6 Arctic Tern, Balearic Shearwater, 4 Sooty Shearwater, 11 Manx Shearwater, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Egret, 38 Common Scoter, 30 RT Diver, 8 Whimbrel, 8 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Skua, 7 Swift and 62 House Martin.

On the land the Barred Warbler remained at Thornwick camp, with a Little Egret on nearby Thornwick Pools. 2 Ruff flew over Holmes Gut and other totals included 3 Whinchat, 1 Lesser Redpoll and a Wheatear.

Little Egret, Thornwick Pools by Andy Hood.

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Another day of heavy showers and a westerly wind.

The good run of Greenish Warbler continued with one in private gardens on the outer headland early morning. Thornwick held the first Barred Warbler of the year, with 4 Ruff noted over the Gorse field and 8 Swift.

At Bempton a single Dotterel flew NW during the morning and was followed by a further 4 heading SE during late afternoon. Other sightings included a Marsh Harrier, Whimbrel, 4 Greenshank, Ruff, 5 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Skua and a Redstart. The Willow Tit continued at Buckton along with an escaped Saker Falcon.

Peregrine, Buckton by Paul Reed.

Friday, September 8th, 2017

Light rain showers during the morning gradually abated by the afternoon. Wind was a light to moderate westerly.

Counts from the outer headland included Marsh Harrier, 8 Swift and a Garden Warbler.

Buckton held 7 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear and 2 Swift, whilst at nearby Bempton a Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher, Hobby, 5 Swift and 8 Golden Plover were noted.

Whinchat, Buckton by Paul Reed.

Sandwich Tern, South Landing by Andy Hood.

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

A bright morning with increasing cloud and showers by mid afternoon. Wind was a light to moderate south westerly.

Highlight of the day was a Great Shearwater which flew north past the fog station at 09:45. Other notable birds on the sea watch included 15 Common Tern, 22 Sandwich Tern, 2 Arctic Tern, 3 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Swift and a Little Egret.

On the land a Little Owl was near the Village. Thornwick Pools held a Greenshank and another Little Egret was noted a South Dykes.

A Lapland Bunting was at Bempton early morning before flying off South east. Bempton also held a Redstart and 2 Wheatear, whilst nearby, totals from Buckton included the autumn’s first Brambling, Willow Tit, Marsh Harrier and 2 Whinchat.

Weasel by Andy Hood.

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

A rather cool day 12-15c, winds west force 4 and part cloud cover.

The headland sea-watch highlights had two Oystercatcher south and 48 north, four Curlew south, eight Turnstone south, 75 Black-headed Gull north, 24 Common Gull north, juv Yellow-legged Gull north, five Sandwich Tern north, two Common Tern north, two Arctic Tern south and four north, four Great Skua south and Arctic Skua south.

Elsewhere on the headland, two Sparrowhawk, 39 Swift including a group of 18 together over the Golf Course, Sand Martin, 51 Swallow, eight Chiffchaff, three Lesser Whitethroat, Redstart, Whinchat, two Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail and 30 Meadow Pipit.

Ringing at South Landing had Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and 15 Meadow Pipit.

Meadow Pipit by Jim Morgan

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

An overcast day with early continuous rain and showers later on a SSW force 2 wind.

Sea-watching from the headland recorded five Wigeon south and seven north, 166 Teal south, four Common Scoter south and 35 north, Marsh Harrier south, three Bar-tailed Godwit south, six Greenshank south, 12 Dunlin south, two Sandwich Tern south and 26 north, 24 Common Tern south and ten north, one Great Skua south and one north and a Pomarine Skua south.

Four Dunlin were at Thornwick Pools where also was a Barn Owl and White Wagtail. One late Swift recorded and 570 Great Black-backed Gull.

West of the Dykes at Bempton, seven Teal, 20 Common Scoter, nine Pintail, Yellow-legged Gull and two Yellow Wagtail all south-east. 

Immature Gannet by Geoff Carr

Monday, September 4th, 2017

Weather today was of cloud with drizzle and mist, a SSE wind force 4 and 17c.

An interesting sea-watch in the morning and late afternoon had five Pale-bellied Brent south and five north, 12 Wigeon north, four Shoveler south, Pintail north, 283 Teal south, ten Common Scoter south and 215 north, three Red-throated Diver south, Sooty Shearwater south, 32 Dunlin south, 24 Sandwich Tern north, 59 Common Tern south, two Great Skua south, three Arctic Skua south and two north and a Long-tailed Skua north. There were also 150 Shag present off the headland.

South Dykes had two Little Egret, 20 Redshank, eight Curlew, 45 Common Scoter and eight Rock Pipit with 44 Teal in Selwicks Bay. Other highlights were Marsh Harrier, four Whimbrel, two Ruff, 18 Turnstone, nine Dunlin, two Swift, 58 House martin, two Whinchat, Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, five Willow warbler, two Lesser Whitethroat, two Reed Warbler, 41 Pied Wagtail and two White wagtail.

West of the Dykes a Reed Warbler was caught and ringed at Buckton and three Wheatear at RSPB Bempton.

Turnstone by Andy Hood

Sunday, September 3rd, 2017

It was a day of moderate to strong south easterly winds and broken cloud.

Highlights on the morning sea watch included a Goosander, 1 Tufted Duck, 41 Teal, 26 Common Scoter, 2 RT Diver, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 3 Manx Shearwater, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Bonxie, 9 Arctic Skua and a Little Gull.

Still something of a local rarity, a Kingfisher was at Thornwick Pool late afternoon.

At Bempton, a single Ruff flew over and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was noted.

Kingfisher, Thornwick Pool by Andy Hood.

Peregrine and Buzzard, Buckton by Paul Reed.

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

A sunny day throughout with light northerly winds, swinging around to SSE by late afternoon.

The morning sea watch produced 2 Whimbrel, 10 Dunlin, 2 Sandwich Tern and a single Common Tern. 30 Common Scoter were off South Landing. Thornwick held 9 Dunlin, 9 Teal and a White Wagtail.

A Yellow-legged Gull, Marsh Harrier, Wheatear and 50 Common Scoter were noted at Bempton. A Whimbrel flew over Buckton.

Stoat, Bempton by Alan Walkington.

Friday, September 1st, 2017

It was bright and sunny for the majority of the day, with some brief showers late afternoon. Wind was a light westerly.

One, possibly two Greenish Warblers remained around the car park at Bempton, where there was also a reported sighting of a Black-browed Albatross late morning. Despite extensive searching by several observers, the there was no subsequent sign of the Albatross. Bempton also held a Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Treecreeper, 9 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Whimbrel, 26 Lapwing and 2 Bonxie. A Dotterel flew East over Buckton late morning and 7 Grey Partridge were at Speeton.

Highlights from the outer headland included 2 Teal, Whimbrel, 19 Dunlin, 1 Knot and a White Wagtail. 

Juvenile Gannet, Bempton by Don Hustings.

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

A sunny morning gave way to heavy showers by mid afternoon which continued through the evening. Wind was a light westerly.

A single Greenish Warbler remained around the car park at Bempton and showed well at times. A Pied Flycatcher was nearby, along the nature trail.

On the outer headland, a Yellow-legged Gull was noted. Wader totals included 5 Whimbrel, 17 Dunlin and Ruff, the latter flying over Thornwick Pools. There were some good counts of hirundines with 560 House Martin, 360 Swallow and 3 Sand Martin. Other passerines included a male White Wagtail in the lighthouse car park, a single Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 8 Yellow Wagtail and a single Corn Bunting.

Greenish Warbler, Bempton by Andy Hood

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

A cloudy day with late afternoon showers and a light southerly wind.

Records from the headland included, Pintail south, Little Egret at South Dykes, Hobby, Spotted Redshank south-west, Whimbrel south, 77 Redshank south in two flocks and 13 birds at South Dykes, also at South Dykes three Ringed Plover, two Curlew, three Dunlin and four Rock Pipit. Other birds present on the headland were two Swift, four Chiffchaff, 13 Willow Warbler, five Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, five Whitethroat, three Wheatear, two White Wagtail and four Yellow Wagtail.

At RSPB Bempton there was now two Greenish Warbler around the upper car park area. Other species highlights were Whimbrel south-east, 256 Herring Gull south-east and nine north-west, three Great Skua north-west, 14 Yellow Wagtail south-east and three north-west, Sedge Warbler, two Chiffchaff and Spotted Flycatcher. A Marsh Harrier was near Buckton Hall.

Greenish Warbler by Joanne Hood

Female Bullfinch by Irene Smith

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

A mixed number of species today and proof of some migration in poor weather conditions with drizzle and the wind swinging west, NNE and finally south.

The headland and east of the Dykes recorded 19 Teal, 18 Common Scoter, juv Marsh Harrier, three Whimbrel, three Curlew, Green Sandpiper, eight Swift, 34 Swallow, 120 House Martin, seven Chiffchaff, three Willow Warbler, two Lesser Whitethroat, three Sedge Warbler, five Reed Warbler, two Stonechat and 72 Goldfinch.

West of the Dykes at Buckton, nine Whitethroat, three Lesser Whitethroat, three Chiffchaff and two Willow Tit with one bird bearing a ring and caught by Mark Thomas there on 12/08/17. Nearby RSPB Bempton had the highlight of the day with a Greenish Warbler found at noon.  Other species there were three Marsh Harrier, Whimbrel, six Yellow Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, eight Whitethroat, five Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, two Pied Flycatcher and a Redstart.

Greenish Warbler by Paul Reed

Willow Tit by Paul Reed

Monday, August 28th, 2017

A hot, sunny day, with a moderate south-westerly wind developing and temperatures peaking at 26 degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, a Balearic Shearwater and an Arctic Skua flew north. 

A Little Egret was on the beach below the South Cliffs and Thornwick Pools attracted four Dunlin, a Redshank and a Ringed Plover. At least 200 House Martins and 75 Swallows were feeding over the village.

West of the Dykes, two Hobbies, a Ruff and a Swift were seen at Buckton, whilst seven Pintail flew south-east over Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Stonechat, Bay Brambles, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Another sunny day, with light southerly winds. Seawatching highlights included: a Great Crested Grebe flying south, a Balearic Shearwater moving north, 30 Redshank south, and 670 Common Terns, eight Arctic Terns, 30 Sandwich Terns and a juvenile Little Tern all flying north. During the evening, 400 Little Gulls were offshore, whilst six Arctic Skuas flew south and five Bonxies went north.

Small numbers of passerine migrants included a Pied Flycatcher on the outer head and two Grey Wagtails flying south.

Sightings from Buckton included a Marsh Harrier, 38 Lapwings flying west, a Whinchat, the Willow Tit and 12 Rock Pipits. Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted a Pied Flycatcher.

Grey Heron, Flamborough village, by Mike Smith

Whinchat, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

After a bright, but overcast start, it was a sunny day with light/moderate westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included a Cory’s Shearwater flying south past Thornwick Bay early evening, two Sooty Shearwaters, a Shoveler, 1055 Common Terns, ten Arctic Terns, 569 Sandwich Terns all flying north, whilst five Whimbrel headed in the opposite direction.

Two Little Egrets frequented the exposed shorelines on the outer head, a Hobby overflew Oceanview, a creamcown Marsh Harrier moved west over South Landing, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull was on the sea off Old Fall and single Whinchat and Garden Warbler were recorded.

Sightings from the Buckton/Bempton area included a juvenile Merlin, along with single Hobby, Marsh Harrier, Greenshank, Cuckoo and the Willow Tit.

Marsh Harrier, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Cuckoo, Buckton, by Craig Thomas

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Light south-westerly winds and bright, but overcast skies prevailed. During the seawatch, a Little Egret flew north, one Little Gull headed in the opposite direction, whilst 85 Sandwich Terns and 120 Common Terns moved north.

The highlight related to the return of the ringed adult Caspian Gull ‘PLEP’ which has appeared in late summer over the course of recent years, before it moves on to winter in the Midlands. It accompanied other large gulls in fields adjacent to Old Fall, where a single Ruff was also present. A scattering of passerine migrants included one Spotted Flycatcher, a Tree Pipit and three Grey Wagtails.

West of the Dykes, single Marsh Harrier, Kingfisher and Willow Tit were seen at Buckton.

Kingfisher, Buckton Pond, by Paul Reed

Southern Hawker, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

The weather consisted of sunny intervals and light westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included 30 Teal, a Greenshank, three Little Gulls, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 97 Sandwich Terns and 376 Common Terns flying south.

Elsewhere, a Little Egret flew north from Selwick’s Bay and a Cuckoo overflew Thornwick Pools.

West of the Dykes, a Kingfisher visited Buckton Pond and a Green Sandpiper flew over Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Yellow Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Light southerly winds were a feature once again, with generally overcast skies and occasional thundery showers. During the seawatch, a Sooty Shearwater flew north, 104 Teal, a Tufted Duck, a Gadwall and an Arctic Skua moved south, whilst 151 Sandwich Terns headed in the opposite direction.

A small arrival of passerines took place on the outer head for the first time post-breeding, with four Whitethroats, two Whinchats, four Stonechats, two Wheatear and a Garden Warbler south of the Lighthouse.

Wheatear, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

The day started with fog which was slow to clear, with misty conditions prevailing until the early afternoon, when sunshine eventually broke through; winds remained light and from the south. Seawatching highlights included two Wigeon flying south, 46 Teal and 117 Common Scoter north, three Sooty Shearwaters, 151 Oystercatchers and a Greenshank south, two Grey Plovers north, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, four Arctic Skuas and a Long-tailed Skua flying south, with 251 Sandwich Terns and 306 Common Terns heading north.

A Little Egret was on the rocks below Old Fall, whilst Thornwick Pools hosted four Ringed Plovers, nine Dunlin, three Greenshank and a Redshank.

Canary-shouldered Thorn, Pebble Prominent, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Monday, August 21st, 2017

After a bright start, the day was dominated by light cloud, whilst winds remained light. During the seawatch, four Sooty Shearwaters flew north, 280 Oystercatchers, 23 Redshank and seven Arctic Skuas moved south and 88 Sandwich Terns, eight Common Terns and four Bonxies headed in the opposite direction. 

Thornwick Pools attracted 14 Dunlin, two Common Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper, with a 1st-calendar year Mediterranean Gull at South Landing.

West of the Dykes, seven Whimbrel, four Whinchats and a Willow Tit were recorded at Buckton.

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Mediterranean Gull, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

There were moderate westerly winds and sunny intervals, with increasing levels of cloud in the afternoon. Seawatching highlights included 11 Manx Shearwaters, five Little Gulls, four Mediterranean Gulls, 27 Sandwich Terns, 33 Common Terns, six Arctic Terns and three Bonxies flying north, whilst eight Arctic Skuas moved south and two Little Egrets were in residence. 

Sightings elsewhere included two Greenshank, a Grey Wagtail and a Spotted Flycatcher. 

Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted a Little Egret, one Marsh Harrier, five Spotted Flycatchers and 220 Linnets.

Cormorant, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Increasingly strong westerly winds featured during a day of sunny intervals. During the seawatch, two Manx Shearwaters flew south and single Arctic Skua and Bonxie were recorded. 

The day’s highlight was the discovery of a Bittern at North Marsh; only the fifth observatory record. Thornwick Pools hosted a Black-tailed Godwit, 13 Dunlin, two Ringed Plovers and one Greenshank. A scattering of passerine migrants included single Spotted Flycatcher, Tree Pipit, Whinchat, two Wheatears and a White Wagtail. 

West of the Dykes, four Snipe and a Spotted Flycatcher were seen at Bempton Cliffs RSPB and 14 Dunlin flew south at Buckton.

Grey Heron, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Friday, August 18th, 2017

The sustained pattern of weather continued with another day of sunny intervals and moderate westerly winds. A pair of Grey Partridge accompanied three young on the Golf Course; a notable breeding record for a species that appears to be declining locally. Nearby, an adult Yellow-legged Gull loafed with other large gulls on the beach south of the Fog Station and two juvenile Stonechats were located below the Lighthouse. 

West of the Dykes, a Little Egret was present at Sewerby.

Sand Martin, Beacon Hill, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Another day where the winds remained in the south-west and sunny intervals prevailed after a damp start. Seawatching was disappointing, with little more than a Pochard, 67 Common Scoter and a Bonxie moving north of note. Thornwick Pools attracted a Ringed Plover and ten Dunlin.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included a Wood Warbler in the Dell; a Little Egret was at the nearby village pond.

Barn Owl, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Southerly winds gradually increased in strength during a largely sunny day, with temperatures reaching 20 degrees C. During the seawatch, 17 Oystercatchers, three Whimbrel and 15 Redshank flew south, with 76 Sandwich Terns and 28 Common Terns flying north.

A Little Egret appeared on a small pool near the Lighthouse, whilst Thornwick Pools attracted nine Ringed Plovers, 20 Dunlin and a Green Sandpiper. An additional two Ringed Plovers and 19 Golden Plovers also overflew the headland. A juvenile Cuckoo was located on the outer head, where hirundine numbers increased to 18 Sand Martins, 130 Swallows, 290 House Martins.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included two Marsh Harriers, 24 Golden Plover and 13 Snipe. Notable sightings at Buckton involved a juvenile Cuckoo and a Willow Tit. A Little Egret and nine Ringed Plovers were also recorded at Sewerby.

Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Cuckoo, Outer Head, by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Winds remained light and from the south-west, with sunny intervals throughout. Seawatching highlights included 128 Teal, 42 Common Scoters and two Little Egrets flying south, with 55 Sandwich Terns, five Common Terns, four Bonxies, two Pomarine Skuas heading north.

A Hobby flew over Thornwick, where 11 Teal, 14 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover were present.

West of the Dykes, the Alpine Swift once again made a brief appearance over Bempton Cliffs RSPB mid-morning and then again in the evening.

Sparrowhawk, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Monday, August 14th, 2017

After an overcast start to the day, sunny intervals established mid-afternoon, whilst an increasing south-south-east wind developed. During the seawatch, four Tufted Duck, a Manx Shearwater, 33 Redshank, five Sanderling, 55 Dunlin and an Arctic Skua flew south, with 55 Sandwich Terns heading north.

Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Egret, one Greenshank, a Ringed Plover and 17 Dunlin.

The Alpine Swift reappeared over Bempton Cliffs during the morning, with Little Egret and juvenile Yellow-legged Gull also recorded there.

Whimbrel, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

A  sunny day, with light west-north-west winds. During the seawatch, a Sooty Shearwater, three Manx Shearwaters, a Black-tailed Godwit, 77 Redshank, a Greenshank and two Arctic Skuas flew south, with 54 Sandwich Terns and four Bonxies moving north.

Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Egret, three Black-tailed Godwits, two Greenshank, eight Dunlin and two Snipe. A Marsh Harrier and eight Whimbrel also flew west over South Landing. 

The Alpine Swift re-appeared near the cliff top at Buckton late morning. Other sightings from there included two Marsh Harriers, a Hobby, four Golden Plover, a Grasshopper Warbler, 25 Yellow Wagtails and four Whinchat. 

Alpine Swift, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Alpine Swift, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Marsh Harrier, South Landing, by Mark Pearson

Black-tailed Godwit, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Greenshank, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

An overcast day, with showers and relatively light westerly winds, which switched to northerlies later. Seawatching highlights included 68 Common Scoters flying north, a winter-plumaged Great Northern Diver that drifted south on the sea, two Great Crested Grebes north, a Black-tailed Godwit heading south, with two Greenshank, two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls, 114 Sandwich Terns, 81 Common Terns and two Arctic Terns all flying north. 

Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Egret, 17 Dunlin and two Green Sandpipers. South Landing hosted a Bar-tailed Godwit, eight Whimbrel, five Curlew, 21 Dunlin and 46 Redshank. However, the day’s highlight was the re-appearance of the Alpine Swift; initially seen at Bempton Cliffs early morning, it later drifted south-east towards the Thornwick area. 

Additional sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included a Marsh Harrier, three Golden Plovers, 27 Redshank, a Black-tailed Godwit, one Cuckoo and 300 Linnets.

Little Egret, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Friday, August 11th, 2017

A day of light south-west winds and generally overcast skies. During the seawatch, three Eider, 75 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver, 307 Sandwich Terns, 18 Common Terns, an Arctic Tern, one Bonxie and three Arctic Skuas flew north. Flying south were four Golden Plovers, a Grey Plover, five Ringed Plovers, 37 Redshank and 191 Dunlin.

A mobile flock of 180 Common Scoters frequented Bridlington Bay off South Dykes. A flock of 23 Black-tailed Godwits also flew south over the outer head having headed over Bempton Cliffs earlier. Thornwick Pools attracted 19 Dunlin, two Greenshank and two Green Sandpipers. Migrant passerines included two Wheatears and a Garden Warbler.

West of the Dykes, single Hobby, Marsh Harrier, Short-eared Owl and a Willow Tit, together with four Whinchats, were seen at Buckton. Migrants at Bempton Cliffs included 14 Yellow Wagtails.

Hobby, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Green Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by John Beaumont

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

The weather consisted of light northerly winds and prolonged sunny spells. Seawatching highlights included 15 Teal, a Velvet Scoter, 124 Common Scoter, two Sooty Shearwaters, 51 Manx Shearwaters, 513 Sandwich Terns, 37 Common Terns, 11 Arctic Terns and 13 Bonxies flying north. Heading in the opposite direction were a Red-throated Diver, 120 Oystercatchers, a Grey Plover, 17 Ringed Plover, 22 Black-tailed Godwits, 125 Whimbrel, 48 Redshank, 79 Dunlin, an immature Pomarine Skua and three Arctic Skuas.

Five Greenshank (three at Thornwick Pools and two over Oceanview) and two Green Sandpipers (One Thornwick Pools and one Beacon Hill) were present. Thornwick Pools also attracted a Banded Demoiselle – an odonata species rarely recorded locally. A scattering of migrant passerines included a Pied Flycatcher.

West of the Dykes, a juvenile Cuckoo was present at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Teal, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Strong northerly winds lasted all day; the morning was overcast, with sunny intervals developing in the afternoon. Seawatching showed considerable improvement, with a Cory’s Shearwater offshore at 0757hrs that eventually flew south. However, the highlight related to a Red-necked Phalarope which flew north from 1815-1825hrs, albeit interspersed with spells on the sea. Other birds moving north included 63 Teal, two Eider, 230 Common Scoter, three Sooty Shearwaters, 60 Manx Shearwaters, four Golden Plover, two Little Ringed Plovers, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, 115 Sandwich Terns, 63 Common Terns and 16 Arctic Terns. A substantial movement of Kittiwakes started from 1600hrs and continued until late evening, with a peak of 8000 birds moving north per hour. Four Little Gulls were also observed feeding offshore. Southbound passage included six Shoveler, a Red-throated Diver, 471 Oystercatchers, five Whimbrel, a Greenshank, ten Bonxies and 26 Arctic Skuas. 

Thornwick Pools hosted a Greenshank and three Dunlin.

Bonxie, seawatch, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

The main feature of the day was rain; persistent and at times very heavy, along with an increasingly strong northerly wind. During the seawatch, 360 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver, one Manx Shearwater and a Common Tern flew north. Thornwick Pools attracted 20 Dunlin, one Snipe, a Green Sandpiper and one Ringed Plover.

Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Monday, August 7th, 2017

Light/moderate south-westerly winds reduced in strength during a largely sunny day. During the seawatch, two Shoveler, 183 Common Scoters, three Whimbrel, 35 Sandwich Terns and four Common Terns flew north, whilst 11 Oystercatchers, two Whimbrel, 19 Redshank, two Sanderling and 41 Dunlin flew south. However, the highlight was a Minke Whale that fully breached to the north-east of the Fog Station; quite possibly the same animal was later seen off Bempton Cliffs RSPB. Thornwick Pools attracted 36 Dunlin, two Ringed Plovers, a Greenshank and a Short-eared Owl.

The latter location went one better when an Alpine Swift was discovered mid-morning; it showed well from the cliff top vantage points until late morning when it drifted off north-west.

Alpine Swift, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Craig Thomas

Greenshank, Thornwick Pools, by John Beaumont

Sunday, August 6th, 2017

The weather consisted of light/moderate westerly winds and sunny intervals. During the seawatch, 91 Common Scoter, 18 Manx Shearwaters, 46 Sandwich Terns, nine Common Terns and an Arctic Tern flew north, whilst a Bonxie and five Arctic Skuas were also recorded. Elsewhere, a Greenshank, 12 Dunlin and seven Snipe frequented Thornwick Pools. 

West of the Dykes, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull flew north at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Linnet, South Landing, by Don Hustings

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

The prevailing wind again had a westerly component, although was north of west late morning; after a sunny day, heavy showers passed through the area in the evening. Seawatching highlights included 36 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater and a Great Crested Grebe flying north, 58 Oystercatchers and a Greenshank heading south, two Bonxies north, a sub-adult Pomarine Skua and five Arctic Skuas flying south, with a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, three Arctic Terns and 382 Puffins flying north.

Thornwick Pools attracted 11 Dunlin, two Redshank, a Green Sandpiper and a Greenshank. Five Willow Warblers were also in the Thornwick area, together with two Spotted Flycatchers.

A Minke Whale was seen off Bempton Cliffs RSPB, where a Cuckoo was also recorded. Nearby Buckton hosted single Willow Tit and Redstart.

Greenshank, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Chinese Character moth, South Landing, by Andrew Allport