Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

The weather consisted of a moderate westerly wind, overcast skies and rain from mid-afternoon, with temperatures reaching 13 degrees C. During the seawatch, single Manx Shearwater and Bonxie moved north, with a Whimbrel and five Sandwich Terns heading in the opposite direction. Passerine migrants were thin on the ground, but included the first Reed Warbler of the year.

Meadow Pipit, Thornwick, by Andrew Allport

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

A largely overcast day, with a few sunny intervals and feeling cooler in a moderate west-south-westerly wind. During the seawatch, two Whimbrel and 11 Sandwich Terns flew past the Fog Station.

Thornwick Pools hosted a Little Ringed Plover, with a Greenshank again on Stainforth’s Flash. The year’s first Pied Flycatcher was located in South Dykes and the small patch of bushes adjacent to the Lighthouse sheltered a Firecrest all day. Nine Yellow Wagtails and a White Wagtail were also logged, whilst the Ring-necked Parakeet overflew the village early morning.

Greenland Wheatear, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Firecrest, Lighthouse, by Craig Thomas

Yellow Wagtail, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate southerly winds , sunny intervals with a band of light rain crossing the area mid-afternoon – temperatures increased significantly once the rain had cleared and peaked at 18 degrees C. The undoubted highlight was the discovery of two Red-rumped Swallows over Hartendale early evening; a single that flew west over Oceanview was relocated with a second individual over Hartendale; both then spent 20 minutes feeding over the edge of the village before drifting off west.

Seawatching produced two Shoveler, two Tufted Duck, six Eider, a Bar-tailed Godwit, one Whimbrel, five Knot, 78 Sandwich Terns and six Arctic Terns all flying south. The Water Rail again showed at Thornwick Pools, where Little Ringed Plover and Dunlin were present, whilst a Greenshank dropped onto Stainforth’s Flash and three Snipe remained on the headland. Migrants also included the year’s first Grasshopper Warbler, a Ring Ouzel, 65 Swallows, 35 Sand Martins, 11 House Martins, 17 Willow Warblers, 17 Chiffchaffs, 17 Lesser Whitethroats, five Common Whitethroats, nine Blackcap, 26 Wheatear, one Whinchat, five Yellow Wagtails and a White Wagtail.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included four Lesser Whitethroats, two Common Whitethroats, four Willow Warblers and a Firecrest; a Bonxie also flew south-east. A Red Kite in the morning eventually departed west over Buckton, where there were also four Lesser Whitethroats, Common Whitethroat and three Wheatears.

Red-rumped Swallow, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Red-rumped Swallow, Hartendale, by Craig Thomas

Black Oil Beetles mating, outer head, by Jo Hood

Melecta albifrons, Common mourning bee, outer head, by Jo Hood

Saturday, April 21st, 2018

A light south-easterly breeze gradually increased in strength during a largely sunny day, with temperatures reaching 13 degrees C. During the seawatch, eight Eiders, two summer-plumaged Black-throated Divers, 30 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Tern all flew south. 

A Merlin hunted the outer head early morning, whilst wader interest included a Common Sandpiper at Stainforth’s Flash, an Avocet that initially flew north then south past the headland and a Green Sandpiper at Thornwick Pools, where a Water Rail was also present. A Hooded Crow blogged south/north past the Fog Station before settling near North Marsh and a Firecrest was also located on the outer head. Other migrants included two Goldcrests, 24 Chiffchaffs, ten Willow Warblers, five Blackcap, 18 Lesser Whitethroats, a Common Whitethroat, two Sedge Warblers, five Wheatears, three Yellow Wagtails and five Siskin. In addition, a flock of 100 Linnets lingered near North Dykes.

West of the Dykes, a Water Rail was caught at Buckton, where five Yellow Wagtails were present in the evening. Sightings between Bempton and North Dykes included lone Ring Ouzel and Redstart, with the escaped Ring-necked Parakeet also recorded on several occasions.

Green Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Les Day

Water Rail, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Friday, April 20th, 2018

A day of very light, variable winds, sunny skies and temperatures that reached 18 degrees C. The seawatch highlight was undoubtedly two summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebes initially drifting south off the Fog Station, before flying into Bridlington Bay at 1045hrs. In addition, four Shelduck, an Eider and four Sandwich Terns headed south.

Thornwick Pools attracted two Tufted Duck and single Little Ringed Plover and Ringed Plover. Another Little Ringed Plover overflew the Gorse Field, whilst Stainforth’s Flash hosted a Common Sandpiper and two Whimbrel headed over Oceanview. A Merlin flew over Thornwick, two Grey Partridge were seen in the North Dykes area, while the escaped Ring-necked Parakeet appeared over the village during the evening, having been over Oceanview early morning. A significant increase in migrant passerines produced counts as follows: 13 Willow Warblers, 26 Lesser Whitethroats, three Common Whitethroats, a Sedge Warbler, a Redwing, 19 Wheatear, a Whinchat, one Black Redstart, a Yellow Wagtail, three Brambling and three Siskin. Meanwhile, an impressive flock of 47 Corn Buntings frequented North Dykes. Peacock Butterflies and Small Tortoiseshells were prevalent across the headland, with a single Painted Lady at North Dykes.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included two Ring Ouzels and a Hawfinch; the latter lingering around the car-park/feeding station.

Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Little Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

A sunny, but at times misty day, with temperatures reaching 19 degrees C in a light south-west wind. Seawatching highlights included two Eider, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Grey Plover, two Jack Snipe, seven Whimbrel, a Mediterranean Gull, 25 Sandwich Terns, 13 Common Terns and 40 Arctic Terns flying south.

A Marsh Harrier initially over the outer head later flew south, whilst a Little Ringed Plover remained on Thornwick Pools.  Seven Yellow Wagtails included three that flew south past the Fog Station. A relatively early Whinchat at North Marsh was the year’s first, whilst the Thornwick area hosted a Ring Ouzel and a Brambling remained in the village. There were 28 birds caught during a ringing session at South Landing, including three Lesser Whitethroats, two Blackcap and a Chiffchaff. 

West of the Dykes, a Ring-necked Parakeet frequented the area around the feeding station at RSPB Bempton Cliffs; however, pictures showed a ring on its left leg.

Ring-necked Parakeet, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Tony Dixon

Ring-necked Parakeet, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Tony Dixon

Sand Martin, Thornwick Pools, by Jo Hood

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

A relatively bright day, with significantly increased temperatures in a light southerly wind. Seawatching was quiet, with relatively few auks present, although 25 Purple Sandpipers remained in residence and a Sandwich Tern flew south. 

North Marsh attracted a female Shoveler, whilst an increase in migrants was reflected by the arrival of two Black-tailed Godwits and a Little Ringed Plover; both new for the year. A Ring Ouzel and Lesser Whitethroat frequented the Bay Brambles during the morning, with four Brambling attending a feeder in the village.

Black-tailed Godwit, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Wheatear, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

An overcast day, with a moderate/strong south-westerly wind and temperatures that reached 15 degrees C. During the seawatch, two Tufted Duck, two Grey Herons and a Bar-tailed Godwit moved south, whilst three Sandwich Terns also flew past the Fog Station.

A couple of Pink-footed Geese remained with the Greylag flock, with single figures of Swallow, Sand Martin, Chiffchaff, Blackcap logged, together with two Wheatears and a Lesser Whitethroat. In addition, there were four Siskin, a Redpoll and five Brambling.

Three Siskins also fed on a feeder at Bempton.

Shelduck, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Black Oil Beetle (female), Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Monday, April 16th, 2018

The weather consisted of light/moderate south-westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 14 degrees C. The highlight of the seawatch was the Osprey that flew north over the sea at 0900hrs.

A Merlin flew over the Golf Course early morning, with a Short-eared Owl on the cliff top near Thornwick later. Two House Martins were new, a Ring Ouzel frequented the Bay Brambles morning only and the Golf Course attracted two Black Redstarts. A White Wagtail was also present, whilst seven Brambling and two Hawfinch were seen in the village near the Church.

Hawfinch, Flamborough village, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

Light south-easterly winds increased in strength during the morning, but after an increasingly bright morning, fog returned early afternoon; temperatures were pegged back to a maximum of nine degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, a Tufted Duck, 15 Sandwich Terns and an Arctic Tern flew north. 

A Pink-footed Goose lingered with the Greylag flock, 16 Teal frequented North Marsh and a pair of Little Grebes was on Hood’s Flash. Two Little Egrets flew south early morning, when two Ring Ouzels were on the outer head. Generally passerine migrants were in lower numbers than the previous day, although two White Wagtails were recorded, along with 11 Brambling and a Hawfinch; the latter attending a garden feeding station in the village. A Willow Warbler caught at North Landing was the first to be ringing this year.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included single House Martin, Lesser Whitethroat,  Common Redstart and Yellow Wagtail.

Hawfinch, Flamborough village, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, April 14th, 2018

A dramatic change in the weather, with spells of sunshine, light southerly winds and temperatures that peaked at 13 degrees C. Northbound tallies during the seawatch included six Teal, ten Red-throated Divers, a Manx Shearwater, a Sandwich Tern and 1649 Puffins. 

The day’s highlight was a Crane that initially flew east over the village at 1605hrs, before circling over the outer head and then heading north towards Bempton. Wader interest was provided by three Woodcock, a Jack Snipe near South Landing that was a clear migrant, with single Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit and Common Sandpiper also new.

A Firecrest was fresh-in in the Bay Brambles and a total of 46 Chiffchaffs represented a sizeable influx, as did 15 Blackcap, with three Willow Warblers and seven Goldcrests also located. Migrant thrushes included a Ring Ouzel, 82 Fieldfare, 68 Redwing and 16 Song Thrush. Additional migrant totals included two Common Redstarts, 16 Wheatears, nine Swallows, four Sand Martins, a White Wagtail, two Yellow Wagtails, seven Siskin and nine Brambling. Three Hawfinch were also present; the duo continued to tour the outer head and a single frequented the Bay Brambles early morning.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Marsh Harrier, a Short-eared Owl, 11 Swallows, a Firecrest, a Yellow Wagtail, 281 Meadow Pipits flying north-west, a Tree Pipit, one Common Redstart, a Black Redstart, ten Siskin, seven Brambling and 16 Corn Buntings. A Raven that lingered around the cliffs stole the headlines, although arguably of more importance was the count of 4105 Puffins between the Fog Station and Speeton. Buckton attracted five Tufted Duck, a Green Sandpiper and seven Wheatear.

Common Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Wheatear, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Friday, April 13th, 2018

Another foggy day, clearing slightly by the afternoon; it remained relatively cold, with light southerly winds. A Gadwall flew north over the sea off North Landing, whilst a Woodcock, one Jack Snipe and four Snipe were located in the Thornwick area. Migrants included two Swallows, a Ring Ouzel at Hartendale, seven Fieldfare, 23 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, two Blackcap, two Wheatear, a White Wagtail, six Brambling and two Hawfinch; the latter at Oceanview.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Ring Ouzel, 14 Redwing, one Black Redstart and four Brambling.

Hawfinch, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Brambling, South Dykes, by Brett Richards

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Another overcast day, with thick mist at times and light northerly winds. A Green Sandpiper overflew Thornwick Pools, where a Jack Snipe remained, and two Marsh Harriers hunted the fields proximate to Old Fall. Two ‘new’ Firecrests were located including one along Lighthouse Road, with 12 Goldcrests, 25 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, 16 Fieldfare, a Redwing and two Brambling also present.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Ring Ouzel, two Black Redstarts, four Wheatear, a Lesser Redpoll, four Brambling and seven Corn Buntings.

Brambling, South Dykes, by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Another overcast, misty and cold day, with a light/moderate northerly wind. Two Firecrests were located in South Landing, a Black Redstart re-appeared in the village and a Wheatear frequented Beacon Hill, whilst two Hawfinch visited garden feeders in the village.  A Siskin was also present at the same feeding station, with the equivalent at South Dykes attracting a Nuthatch and two Brambling.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Woodcock, ten Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, 19 Redwing, three Fieldfare, 17 Robins, a Lesser Redpoll and 15 Corn Buntings.

Hawfinch, Flamborough village, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018

An overcast day, with rain during the morning replaced by thick fog later; temperatures reached a mere seven degrees C. The day’s only notable record related to two Avocets that  frequented Thornwick Pools. 

Avocet, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Avocet, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Monday, April 9th, 2018

Although fog predominated, there were also sunny intervals, light winds and temperatures approaching the seasonal norm. Coverage was light, although a Black Redstart frequented a garden in the centre of the village and a Brambling lingered at Oceanview.

Puffin, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Black Redstart, Flamborough village, by June & Malcolm Fox

Sunday, April 8th, 2018

A mild and still day with hazy cloud. Highlight of the day was the discovery of a Great White Egret at Northcliffe Marsh during mid-afternoon. Once a mega rarity on the headland, this species has seen a considerable up turn in records in the last few years. Also in the Northcliffe Marsh area were a Little Grebe, 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and a Pink-footed Goose. Yesterday’s Firecrest remained in Old Fall hedge, whilst three Black Redstarts included birds at Thornwick and Bempton RSPB. The Bempton area also held 2 Ring Ouzel, Blackcap, Brambling and a House Martin. 2 Willow Warbler were at Thornwick, with single Blackcap, Brambling, Golden Plover and 30 Fieldfare noted on the outer headland.

The year’s first Arctic Tern flew south on the morning sea watch, with Sandwich Tern, a blue morph Fulmar and a Swallow also recorded. A Great Northern Diver was on the sea off Cattlemere during the morning.

Great White Egret, Northcliffe Marsh by Andy Hood

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

An overcast day, with a brief period of light rain in the morning, and light variable winds. Seawatching highlights included two dark-bellied Brent Geese and six Sandwich Terns flying north, with a Golden Plover moving south. In addition, a Yellow Wagtail flew north past the Fog Station.

The Pink-footed Goose remained in residence, whilst a Swallow on the outer head was new. Two Firecrests were present: the long-stayer at South Landing and a new arrival on Old Fall Hedge. Two Black Redstarts were on the outer head, whilst a male Hawfinch lingered at Old Fall Steps. Other migrants included 13 Goldcrests, 15 Chiffchaffs, three Blackcaps and a Grey Wagtail.

Tawny Owl, outer head, by Craig Thomas

Hawfinch, Old Fall Steps, by Brett Richards

Friday, April 6th, 2018

A day of increasingly strong south-easterly winds and feeling relatively cold under overcast skies. Seawatching highlights included two dark-bellied Brent Geese and 17 Common Scoters flying south, with two Sandwich Terns heading north.

A Little Grebe at North Marsh was the first of the year, whilst a Jack Snipe and two Woodcock were also present. The Firecrest remained at South Landing, with single Black Redstart and White Wagtail frequenting the Gorse Field. Additional migrant tallies included 14 Goldcrests, 20 Chiffchaffs and three Brambling. 

Chiffchaff, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Mistle Thrush, South Dykes, by June & Malcolm Fox

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

A sunny day, with moderate north-westerly winds slackening during the afternoon. Two Brent Geese remained at North Marsh, a Red Kite drifted east over North Landing and a lone Woodcock lingered.

Three Firecrests were present: at South Landing, Thornwick Pools and on the edge of the Gorse Field, whilst two Hawfinches frequented trees on the eastern fringes of South Landing early morning. Other migrants included the year’s first Sand Martin, a White Wagtail, 15 Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps, five Brambling and three Siskin.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted a Short-eared Owl and the Great Grey Shrike that made a re-appearance late afternoon. The Firecrest was also still present at Buckton.

Brent Goose, North Marsh, by Andy Hood

Firecrest, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Brambling, South Dykes, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

A generally overcast day, with increasingly heavy showers and light/moderate westerly winds. The highlight of the morning’s seawatch related to four Sandwich Terns moving north. A Jack Snipe lingered at Thornwick Pools and two Woodcock were also located. The headlines were three Firecrests, including an individual around the car park at Thornwick Pools, and a Hawfinch along Lighthouse Road. Other migrant sightings involved five Blackcap, nine Chiffchaffs, a White Wagtail, six Brambling and four Siskin. 

West of the Dykes, records from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Black Redstart and two White Wagtails. Nearby, Buckton attracted a Water Rail, one Firecrest, three Chiffchaff and a Brambling.

Firecrest, Thornwick, by Andrew Allport

Siskin, Flamborough village, by Mike Smith

Brambling, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Trevor Charlton

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

Spring sprung into action at last. It was a largely overcast day, with heavy showers from mid-afternoon; crucially, temperatures increased substantially to 13 degrees C in a light/moderate southerly wind. 

The highlight of the morning’s seawatch pertained to three Sandwich Terns that flew north. Two Brent Geese and a lone Pink-foot remained at North Marsh. An immature male Marsh Harrier and a Red Kite overflew the headland during the morning; the latter having earlier flown through Bempton and a Short-eared Owl also frequented Thornwick.

Three Firecrests were located, including an individual at South Landing, whilst two Black Redstarts were also in residence. However, the day’s highlight related to the evening discovery of a female Bluethroat at Thornwick Pools. Meanwhile, the Old Fall Steps area hosted a Hawfinch mid-afternoon. Further migrants included the year’s first Willow Warbler, 17 Chiffchaffs, 23 Goldcrests, 121 Blackbirds, 50 Robin, three Wheatears, three White Wagtails and eight Brambling.

West of the Dykes, a Great Grey Shrike headlined at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, where additional interest was provided by the aforementioned Red Kite, a White Wagtail, 214 Meadow Pipits flying north-west and 22 Robins.

Firecrest, North Landing, by Andrew Allport

Brambling, South Dykes, by Alan Walkington

Monday, April 2nd, 2018

Rain persisted throughout a day with moderate easterly winds and temperatures that rose from three degrees in the morning to five degrees by mid-afternoon. A Great Northern Diver flew past South Landing, Thornwick Pools hosted four Snipe and two Jack Snipe, whilst a Brambling fed in a garden in the centre of the village.

Jack Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

A cloudy day with occasional showers and a moderate northerly wind. For the second day running a Great Northern Diver flew north on the sea watch, whilst notable counts included 24 Red-throated Diver, 227 Fulmar (including 1 dark morph), 2 Wigeon (south), 4 Teal, 5 Eider, 5 Common Scoter and 12 Puffin.

On the land 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese were on the Golf Course before moving to fields near Northcliffe Marsh, with the pair of Tufted Duck also remaining at the latter location. Three Jack Snipe were in the Thornwick area, with a single Woodcock logged at Holmes Gut. Despite the northerly wind some obvious passerine movement was occurring with a Black Redstart in private gardens, Wheatear at Cattlemere, 10 Chiffchaff and 2 White Wagtail. Brambling visited feeders at Oceanview and in the village during the morning.  There was also a notable movement of Robins with 18 around Cattlemere and 17 at Bempton.

Peregrine by Andy Hood.

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

A cloudy day with persistent rain and a moderate north easterly wind. The morning sea watch was conducted from South Landing where single Long-tailed Duck and Great Northern Diver both flew north. Other highlights included 9 Eider, 20 Common Scoter, 12 Red-throated Diver, a second calendar year Mediterranean Gull and two Sandwich Tern, the latter representing the first record for the year.

On the land, there was an arrival of chiffchaff, with 12 across the headland. A male Brambling was briefly at the feeding station at the Living Seas Center, whilst a single Nuthatch remained on feeders at South Dykes. A pair of Tufted Duck were at Thornwick fishing pond and later North Marsh.

Reed Bunting, Oceanview by Andy Hood.

Friday, March 30th, 2018

A day of light south easterly winds with patchy mist first thing, clearing to sunny spells before clouding over again during the afternoon. The first Whimbrel of the year flew north on the morning sea watch, along with 91 Fulmar (including 1 blue morph), 1 Velvet Scoter (south), 3 Shelduck, 2 Pintail, 21 Eider, 9 Common Scoter, 30 Red-throated Diver and 74 Puffin.

A minimum of 3 Lapland Bunting remained in the fields between Thornwick and North Dykes, along with a single Snow Bunting. There was a small but notable movement of Goldcrest with five on the outer headland, whilst a single Chiffchaff was at Bempton and a White Wagtail was at Cattlemere. The Pink-footed Goose remained with the Greylag flock. An adult Mediterranean Gull was near Bempton and a Water Rail frequented the golf course willows.

Lapland Bunting, Thornwick/North Dykes area by Brett Richards

Cormorant, Thornwick Pools by Brett Richards

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

A cool day with a light south westerly wind, clouding over as the day went on. The days highlight pertained to a ringtail Hen Harrier, which flew north over Oceanview and latter Cattlemere, whilst a Lapland Bunting was also at the latter location.

Singles of both Jack Snipe and Pink-footed Goose remained on the headland, the former at Thornwick Pools.  24 Yellowhammer and 16 Reed Bunting were counted at Oceanview, where a Coot was also logged overflying during the night representing a particularly noteworthy record.

The morning sea watch was generally quiet with 11 Red-throated Diver and 99 Fulmar the highlights. A Blue morph Fulmar was logged at Bempton.

Yellowhammer, Oceanview by Andy Hood

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

The morning headland sea-watch recorded a pair of Eider past, 18 Red-throated Diver, 20 Fulmar, 300+ Guillemont and Razorbill, four Jackdaw and six Carrion Crow. On the sea were two Tundra Bean Goose at 0845.

Elsewhere was an Eider off South Landing, 18 Common Scoter, 11 Oystercatcher, 22 Curlew and two Redshank. Two Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, three Great Spotted Woodpecker, 15 Skylark, two “White” Wagtail, Chiffchaff, 68 Blackbird, 22 Dunnock, two Siskin, 16 Reed Bunting and 12 Yellowhammer. The escape Harris Hawk was at South Landing and at the same location 12 birds were ringed including two Goldcrest and a Treecreeper.

Guillemot by Don Hustings

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

A rather poor day with the weather. Rain and drizzle, a southerly F5 wind and 4c.

At the headland a Long-tailed Duck flew north, 12 Red-throated Diver, 29 Puffin and two Carrion Crow.

Due to the weather birding was limited with two Sparrowhawk, a Coot on the pond between Micklemires and North Marine Road, ten Curlew, five Snipe, Barn Owl, 20 Blackbird, Chiffchaff, 171 Starling, 24 Tree Sparrow, Siskin, 15 Yellowhammer and eight Reed Bunting.

Yellowhammer by Andy Hood

Monday, March 26th, 2018

Morning sea passage from the headland amounted to two Wigeon, 11 Common Scoter and 20 Red-throated Diver all south. Just over 700 Gannet passed north and south, 19 Puffin, 15 Carrion Crow north and both single Siskin and Meadow Pipit in off.

Other parts of the recording area had three Brent Goose over Marine Drive, Great Northern Diver and eight Red-throated Diver off South Landing, 14 Wigeon, 42 Teal, five Buzzard, Red Kite over South Landing, Water Rail Golf Course Willows, six Curlew, Ringed Plover, 11 Redwing, five Goldcrest, 24 Linnet, Snow Bunting and ten Lapland Bunting in Grange Farm fields. An escape Harris Hawk was present at Sykes Plantation. 

Goldcrest by Geoff Carr

Sunday, March 25th, 2018

A sunny and mild day with light north westerly wind. Though quieter than the previous day, birds were still on the move on the sea watch, amounting to 4 Greylag Goose, 2 Shelduck, 2 Mallard, 2 Teal, 11 Common Scoter and 22 Red-throated Diver. As is typical for this time of year there was also a small movement of corvids offshore, with  26 Carrion Crow, 2 Jackdaw and a Rook.

The two Russian White-fronted Geese remained on the headland along with 64 Greylags and 8 Canada Geese, whilst Black Redstarts in the walled compound on the golf course had reduced down to one female. A single Brambling was in gardens in the village. Other counts included 10 Wigeon, 29 Teal, 2 Chiffchaff and 7 Redwing.

At Buckton, the Willow Tit which has overwintered was heard singing, whilst 80 Redwing, 6 Fieldfare, Water Rail and Woodcock were also in the area.

Siskin, Oceanview by Andy Hood

Saturday, March 24th, 2018

A cloudy but mild day with a light north westerly wind. The sea watch was particularly productive for the time of year, with a summer plumaged Black Guillemot north at 10:58 being the stand out highlight. A single Manx Shearwater was also logged along with 39 Fulmar (including one blue morph), 102 Red-throated Diver, 9 Puffin, 35 Purple Sandpiper, 67 Common Scoter, 8 Eider, 2 Mallard, 12 Wigeon, 3 Greylag Goose and 3 Canada Goose.

The year’s first Avocet was on Stainforth’s flash early morning. 15 Lapland Bunting remained in fields around North Dykes, whilst 2 Black Redstart were in the walled compound on the golf course. Further signs of spring were provided by 4 Chiffchaff and 2 White Wagtail. The two Russian White-fronted Geese continued off North Marine Road along with a lone Pink-foot. Other wildfowl counts included 11 Canada Goose and 3 Whooper Swan, the later flying north. 2 Woodcock and 2 Water Rail were also logged.

Overnight sound recording at Buckton produced two fly over Water Rail, three owl species, Golden Plover, Pintail, several Wigeon flocks, Teal, Lapwing and 48 Redwings.

Rock Pipit, Fog Station by Brett Richards

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

A quiet morning sea-watch with Pochard, three Common Scoter, nine Red-throated Diver, 89 Fulmar through. 67 Starling in off the sea as was a single Blackbird.

 Two Russian White-fronted Goose were still in the area, three Buzzard, four Curlew, two Woodcock (Holmes Gut and Old Fall), Water Rail (motorway path), ten Stock Dove, 34 Magpie, 48 Blue Tit, 25 Great tit, 12 long-tailed Tit, 37 Blackbird, 11 Redwing, 24 Robin, 16 Dunnock, 29 Chaffinch and seven Bullfinch as an interesting collection of more common species.

Water Rail by Andy Hood

Grey Seal pup by Andy Hood

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

A cloudy start but improving to a sunny day and a warm 13c.

Sea-watching produced 16 Common Scoter south, 47 Red-throated Diver south and 11 north, a Great Northern Diver south, 134 Fulmar north, 158 Kittiwake south and 688 north. Present at the headland were 24 Red-throated Diver, Great Crested Grebe, 55 Shag, seven Oystercatcher, 13 Curlew, 28 Purple Sandpiper, 425 Kittiwake and a male Black Redstart near the Fog Station.

Elsewhere a good recording day with two Russian White-fronted Goose, 16 Wigeon, 26 Teal, 19 Lapwing, 16 Curlew, four Redshank, Jack Snipe at Thornwick Pools and at North Cliff, seven Snipe, three Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, five Goldcrest, 36 Skylark, 740 Starling, 49 Blackbird, eight Song Thrush, two Stonechat, two White Wagtail, ten Meadow Pipit, three Rock Pipit, two Siskin, 22 Lapland Bunting and 26 Corn Bunting (Cliff-top fields between Thornwick and North Dykes) and five Reed Bunting.

White Wagtail by Andrew Allport

Lapland Bunting by Andrew Allport

Black Redstart by Brett Richards

Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

A bright day with light south-west winds and up to 7c

Movement off the headland during the sea-watch were 24 Wigeon south, 18 Common Scoter south and three north, 30 Red-throated Diver south and eight north, 72 Fulmar north, 154 Kittiwake south and 63 north and two Puffin south. At the headland were 55 Shag, four Oystercatcher, six Curlew and a Black Redstart.

Other highlights within the observatory recording area were three Buzzard, two Russian White-fronted Geese off north Marine Road and five Barnacle Geese past South Landing. A Barn Owl was at the Lighthouse fields, Water Rail near the Golf Course and two Chiffchaff in the Golf Course Willows.

Barn Owl by Andy Hood

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

The easterly wind of previous days began to ease and turned more north easterly. Skies were again cloudy, with some scattered showers during the morning. A productive morning sea watch yielded the first Sooty Shearwater of the year, 2 adult summer Mediterranean Gull, 2 Pintail, 21 Eider, 1 Velvet Scoter, 7 Common Scoter, 44 Red-throated Diver, 237 Fulmar, 351 Gannet, 343 Kittiwake and 4 Puffin.

The male Black Redstart remained around the fog station, whilst another female type was seen in private gardens. 2 Grey Partridge at Cattlemere indicated the species is still hanging on in the area, whilst 32 Lapwing was a notable count.

Cormorant by Andy Hood

Grey Partridge, Cattlemere by Brett Richards

Monday, March 19th, 2018

A more pleasant day than of late, with sunny skies during the morning but clouding over later. A moderate easterly wind continued. The sea watch was again conducted from North Landing, where 5 Shelduck, 5 Eider, 20 Red-throated Diver, 382 Fulmar, 565 Gannet, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 363 Kittiwake were logged.

The recent run of Black Redstart sightings continued with a male at the lighthouse. Four Little Gull were battling the strong breeze at South Landing, whilst elsewhere on the headland 22 Wigeon, 82 Teal, a single Jack Snipe and a Woodcock were noted.

Little Gull, South Landing by Andrew Allport

Sunday, March 18th, 2018

Strong easterly winds continued, though there was the occasional breaks in the cloud and temperatures crept up to 1 degree centigrade.

Poor weather meant the fog station was again abandoned for the relative shelter of North Landing for the morning sea watch. This yielded a single Manx Shearwater, 130 Fulmar, 6 Red-throated Diver, 3 Eider and a single intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull, whilst the Black Redstart remained on the beach. 

A single Nuthatch was still present at South Dykes. Notable counts elsewhere from the headland included 48 Redwing, 11 Song thrush, 39 Blackbird and 7 Teal.

Black Redstart, North Landing by Brett Richards

Saturday, March 17th, 2018

Another wintry day with strong easterly winds, frequent snow and hail showers and temperatures barely reaching above freezing.

Due to the poor weather the morning sea watch was undertaken from South Landing. Movement on the sea was particularly quiet with 300 Herring Gull the only notable count. Three Rock Pipit, of which at least two were of the race Littoralis were on the beach, whilst the ravine held a single Woodcock.

Elsewhere on the headland, the female type Black Redstart remained at North Landing, a Jack Snipe was at Thornwick Pools, two White Wagtail and a single Pink-footed Goose were logged. A count of 44 Lapwing was very noteworthy, given the relative scarcity of the species on the headland over recent years. 

Treecreeper, South Dykes by Alan Walkington

Friday, March 16th, 2018

A rather steady day today with single Common Scoter and Red-throated Diver, 13 Fulmar and 131 Herring Gull, all north at the headland. Birds present at the headland were 12 Common Scoter, seven Oystercatcher, 100 Herring Gull and a Rock Pipit. Other birds in the area were two Shelduck, Grey Heron, 13 Curlew, two Redshank, 18 Blackbird, four Song Thrush, three Pied Wagtail and a female Black Redstart in Marine Valley, North Landing.

Oystercatcher by Andrew Allport

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

A cold, cloudy day and a strong south-east wind force 8 during the sea-watch.

Nine Red-throated Diver south, 88 Fulmar south, three Purple Sandpiper south, 87 Great Black-backed Gull south, 327 Herring Gull south and 15 north. Present at the headland were 13 Red-throated Diver, Black-throated Diver, two Great Crested Grebe, 32 Shag, 25 Cormorant, five Oystercatcher, Woodcock and three Curlew.

A surprise Hawfinch at Oceanview, a male Black Redstart on Marine Road, Barn Owl south Dykes and a White Wagtail opposite Oceanview. Elsewhere, 12 Fieldfare, 21 Pied Wagtail and seven Greenfinch. 

Hawfinch by Andy Hood

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

The usual morning sea-watch recorded three male Eider north, 55 Fulmar north, 22 Kittiwake south and 100 north and five Puffin as the highlights. Present off the headland were 75 Red-throated Diver, two Great Crested Grebe, 27 Shag and 120 Kittiwake.

At South Landing and South Dykes were seven Common Scoter, five Oystercatcher, two Curlew, Woodcock, two Great Spotted Woodpecker, eight Skylark, 11 Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, two Treecreeper, 25 Blackbird, five Song Thrush, eight Redwing, 23 Chaffinch, seven Bullfinch and seven Yellowhammer. A male Wheatear was at High Holme and a “littoralis” Rock Pipit at Thornwick Pools.

Wheatear by Andrew Allport

“littoralis” Rock Pipit by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

The sea-watch had thousands of Guillemot and Razorbill passing on the sea as well as large numbers of Gannets, 102 Fulmar and a lone Puffin. Present off the cliffs were 120 Red-throated Diver, four Great Crested Grebe and 25 Shag.

Around the South Landing loop were nine Great Crested Grebe, four Oystercatcher, five Curlew, Woodcock, Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, five Bullfinch and five Yellowhammer.

A pair of Goldeneye on Thornwick Pools, two Russian White-fronted Goose “albifrons” seen from North Marine Road and a Siskin at Oceanview.

Goldeneye on Thornwick Pools by Andy Hood

Monday, March 12th, 2018

A poor weather day with full cloud, rain and back to 5c.

However, a few birds around with 18 Red-throated Diver past on the sea-watch and present off the headland, a male Eider, eight Common Scoter, ten Red-throated Diver, five Great Crested Grebe, eight Oystercatcher, three Curlew, five Redshank, 49 Turnstone, Purple Sandpiper, four Rock Pipit and one “littorallis”type Rock Pipit.

Curlew by Andrew Allport

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

There was a spring like feel to the day with cloud first thing, clearing by late morning and temperatures up to 13 degrees centigrade. The conditions heralded the first spring migrant in the form of a Chiffchaff at Thornwick. Four Woodcock were present, including two in Old Fall, whilst two Russian White-fronted Geese and a Pink-foot were along North Marine Road. Two Corn Bunting remained in fields at North Dykes, with nine Golden Plover also in the area. Other notable counts included 10 Lapwing at Cattlemere, 17 Yellowhammer and 18 Reed Bunting at Oceanview.

The sea watch yielded a single Long-tailed Duck north, 31 Fulmar (including one ‘blue morph’) and 175 Red-throated Diver. An additional 56 Red-throated Diver were logged off Bempton, with 48 off the southern side of the outer headland.

Chiffchaff, Thornwick Pools by Brett Richards

Saturday, March 10th, 2018

Thick fog from first light only started to clear mid-afternoon, whilst it rained for the vast majority of daylight hours. Seawatching proved impossible, whilst the most notable record pertained to six Siskins visiting garden feeders in the village. 

Attendees to the AGM at the Links Clubhouse, South Dykes were heralded by two territorial Tawny Owls.

Barn Owl, Whelkie Winds, by Brett Richards

Friday, March 9th, 2018

The morning sea-watch recorded 166 Pink-footed Geese north, a pair of Pintail north, ten Red-throated Diver south and 123 north, 77 Fulmar north, 97 Gannet south and 1478 north, two Curlew north, 127 Kittiwake north and four Skylark south, four north. Present were 18 Red-throated Diver, two Great Crested Grebe, 120 Kittiwake and 25 Great Black-backed Gull.

Other areas had 14 Wigeon, 21 Teal, nine Great Crested Grebe, three Buzzard, seven Oystercatcher, 88 Lapwing, 19 Curlew, five Turnstone, five Redshank, five Dunlin, Jack Snipe (outer head), seven Woodcock (with five together at Booted Gully), Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, 63 Skylark, Treecreeper, 23 Rock Pipit plus one “littoralis”, 13 Reed Bunting and 31 Lapland Buntings; the latter near North Dykes.

Lapland Bunting by Andrew Allport

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Early snow and rain not ideal for sea-watching but persistence had seven Common Scoter south, seven Red-throated Diver south and 20 north, 22 Fulmar north, 185 Gannet south and a large movement of 1474 north and an adult summer Mediterranean Gull south. On the sea were 13 Red-throated Diver and a Great Crested Grebe.

Throughout the remaining recording area were Pink-footed Goose, two Shelduck, 22 Wigeon, 34 Teal, two Grey Heron, 157 Lapwing, ten Curlew, three Redshank, Jack Snipe, two Barn Owl, two Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, seven Skylark and 28 Carrion Crow.

Shelduck by Geoff Carr

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018

A two hour morning sea-watch produced 15 Red-throated Diver south and two north, 109 Fulmar north, 164 Gannet south and 289 north, nine Kittiwake south and 24 north, seven Skylark south and one north. Present off the headland were 60 Shag and three Rock Pipit.

Thornwick Pools had eight Teal, Dunlin, two Shelduck, two Cormorant, Barn Owl, Sparrowhawk and two Song Thrush. Elsewhere were two Woodcock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, five Skylark and a female type Black Redstart along the motorway hedge and at Bay Brambles.

Cormorant at Thornwick Pools by Mike Smith

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Mist at dawn cleared to leave a largely overcast day, with light southerly winds and temperatures reaching six degrees C. The highlight of the morning’s seawatch related to a Blue Fulmar that flew south, with four Eider on the sea off the Fog Station.

Grey Heron, Beacon Hill, by Mike Smith