Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

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

Redshank, South Dykes, by Jo Hood

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

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

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

Sanderling, South Dykes, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

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

Mediterranean Gull, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Richard’s Pipit, Thornwick, by Andrew Allport

Monday, November 20th, 2017

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

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

Roe Deer, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

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

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

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

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

Stonechat, by Don Hustings

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

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

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

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

Rough-legged Buzzard, Buckton, by John Beaumont

Friday, November 17th, 2017

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

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

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

Norwegian ringed Rock Pipit by Andy Hood

Common Seal by Alan Walkington

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

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

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

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

Turnstone by Geoff Carr

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

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

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

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

Grey Heron at South Landing by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

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

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

Purple Sandpiper by Andy Hood

Monday, November 13th, 2017

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

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

Shore Lark by Andy Hood

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

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

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

Corn Bunting, North Dykes, by John Beaumont

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

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

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

Blackcap, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Friday, November 10th, 2017

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

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

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

Shore Lark, Cattlemere, by Andrew Allport

Snow Bunting, Cattlemere, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

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

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

Whooper Swans, outer head, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

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

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

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

Shore Lark, Cattlemere, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

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

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

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

Water Rail, Thornwick Pool, by Andrew Allport

Monday, November 6th, 2017

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

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

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

Siberian Chiffchaff, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

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

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

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

Pink-footed Geese, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

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

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

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

Eider, Beacon Hill, by Mike Smith

Common Scoters, Beacon Hill, by Mike Smith

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

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

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

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

Glaucous Gull, outer head, by Andy Hood

Siberian Chiffchaff, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Jo Hood

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

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

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

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

Whooper Swans, North Marsh, by Andrew Allport

Siberian Chiffchaff, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Dave Aitken

Water Pipit, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

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

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

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

Nuthatch, South Dykes, by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

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

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

Cormorant, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Monday, October 30th, 2017

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

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

Grey Heron, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, October 29th, 2017

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

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

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

Common Seal, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Saturday, October 28th, 2017

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

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

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

Curlew, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Friday, October 27th, 2017

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

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

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

Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

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

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

West of the Dykes, Buckton hosted a Ring Ouzel.

Ring Ouzel, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

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

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

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

Lesser Redpoll, outer head, by John Beaumont

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

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

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

Whooper Swans, Thornwick, by Don Hustings

Teal, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

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

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

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

Stonechat, outer head, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

Strong and rather cool westerly winds featured throughout a largely sunny day after a wet start. Seawatching highlights included 11 Pink-footed Geese, 43 Wigeon, a Pintail, two Eider, six Velvet Scoter, three Goldeneye, two Great Northern Divers, a Manx Shearwater, a Mediterranean Gull, 29 Bonxies, a Pomarine Skua and 25 Arctic Skuas flying south, with 163 Little Gulls moving in the other direction. Single Jack Snipe and Woodcock also came in off the sea at the Fog Station.

Thirteen Whooper Swans flew south over South Landing, with an additional four birds on North Marsh; a Little Grebe and seven Grey Partridge were also present at the latter location. Two Little Egrets toured the headland, a Marsh Harrier frequented the Dykes, a Ruff flew over Old Fall, whilst 14 Snipe, a Jack Snipe and one Woodcock came in off the sea at South Landing.

The day’s highlight related to a Pallid Swift; potentially the individual seen on 20th, which was initially observed coming in off the sea and low over the Bay Brambles at 0935hrs. It re-appeared off the Fog Station from 1055-1110hrs, before drifting east out of view. Passerine interest included five Yellow-browed Warblers, two Lesser Whitethroats, 330 Redwings, 58 Fieldfare, six Ring Ouzels, six Mealy Redpolls and a Lapland Bunting

West of the Dykes, sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included six Whooper Swans, a Ring Ouzel and two Yellow-browed Warblers.

Redwing, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Strong southerly winds strengthened during the day, with heavy rain arriving in the afternoon. During the seawatch, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, eight Eider and a Goosander flew north, six Velvet Scoters headed south, a Little Egret, two Little Gulls and a Mediterranean Gull flew north and a pale morph juvenile Long-tailed Skua went south.

Passerine interest included two Ring Ouzels and two Yellow-browed Warblers.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included one Pintail, a Water Rail, one Woodcock, a Swallow, two Ring Ouzels and four Brambling. Buckton hosted a Ring Ouzel and one Wheatear.

Brambling, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Friday, October 20th, 2017

A day of light, variable winds, overcast skies during the morning, with prolonged sunny spells later. Seawatching highlights included the following birds flying south: nine Pink-footed Geese, eight dark-bellied Brent Geese, 211 Wigeon, 19 Shoveler, two Pintail, 114 Teal, 92 Common Scoter, five Goldeneye, a Sooty Shearwater, 30 Little Gulls and a Sandwich Tern. Heading north were three dark-bellied Brent Geese, two Gadwall, 27 Eider, eight Little Gulls and six Bonxies. In addition, a Long-eared Owl flew in off the sea at 1105hrs. Potentially the best bird was a Swift sp. offshore at 1036hrs which showed several features of a Pallid, but views were insufficient to be conclusive.

Thornwick Pools attracted three Water Rails, with three Woodcock also noted on the headland. Passerine interest included 3455 Redwing, 905 Blackbirds, 520 Song Thrush, 29 Fieldfare, seven Ring Ouzels, 760 Starlings in off, 14 Yellow-browed Warblers, 17 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 14 Blackcap, two Lesser Whitethroats, 35 Goldcrests, six Grey Wagtails, 78 Robins, two Wheatears, a Black Redstart, two Hawfinch (Lighthouse Road & Old Fall), 193 Bramblings, 16 Reed Buntings and a Lapland Bunting.

West of the Dykes, a Ring Ouzel was in the Bempton Chalet Park and a Yellow-browed Warbler and four Lapland Buntings at Buckton.

Blackcap, Hartendale, by Mike Smith

Hawfinch, Old Fall, by Rachel Gibson

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Winds remained relatively light and generally from the south-east; early morning fog was slow to clear, only to be replaced by heavy rain until dark. A substantial arrival of thrushes occurred during the afternoon, although due to the inclement conditions, the numbers recorded must have been a fraction of those actually making landfall.

Two Woodcock were located on the headland, with a Water Rail frequenting the Bay Brambles. Thrush numbers included 3100 Redwing, 475 Blackbirds, 155 Song Thrush, 42 Fieldfare and five Ring Ouzels. A Great Grey Shrike was located along Hartendale mid-morning. Seven Yellow-browed Warblers were present, along with 42 Goldcrests, 15 Chiffchaffs and four Blackcap. Single Wheatear and Whinchat remained, with 62 Brambling also present. Unfortunately, a dead Minke Whale was washed offshore near Old Fall.

Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted two Yellow-browed Warblers and a Ring Ouzel, as well as witnessing the impressive thrush arrival.

Ring Ouzel, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Treecreeper, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Light winds shifted from a northerly to an easterly direction, whilst sunny intervals featured occasionally. During the seawatch, a Manx Shearwater, three Bonxies, seven Arctic Skuas, eight Little Gulls and a Minke Whale were recorded.

Thornwick Pools attracted four Wigeon, 22 Teal, a Water Rail and one Jack Snipe, with an additional two Water Rails in the Thornwick ‘cafe’ reedbed. Migrant passerines included 35 Goldcrests, 75 Skylarks, three Yellow-browed Warblers, six Chiffchaff, six Blackcap, one Ring Ouzel, 65 Blackbirds, 13 Fieldfare, 30 Song Thrush, 785 Redwing, 25 Robin, four Wheatear, a Whinchat, 94 Brambling, a Hawfinch, ten Bullfinch, 460 Linnet, 56 Lesser Redpolls, 236 Siskin and a Lapland Bunting

The day’s highlight was the discovery of a Radde’s Warbler along the nature trail at Bempton Cliffs RSPB; other sightings from the reserve included a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher. Buckton attracted single Water Rail and Ruff, two Fieldfare, one Ring Ouzel and 15 Lesser Redpoll.

Minke Whale, Fog Station, by Colin Scott

Ring Ouzel, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Fieldfare, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Another day of strong westerly winds and largely sunny skies. Ten Shelduck, 13 Wigeon, two Scaup, 70 Common Scoter, and a Leach’s Petrel flew south, whilst 15 Little Gulls moved north.

A Whooper Swan circled Thornwick, whilst 165 Pink-footed Geese flew south. A Water Rail frequented Thornwick Pools, as did the two Bearded Tits. A male Black Redstart was seen in the village, whilst 19 Rock Pipits and two Grey Wagtails fed on South Landing beach.

Bearded Tit, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Monday, October 16th, 2017

The weather was mixed: a little light rain, a little fog, a little sunshine, but mainly hazy cloud with a red sun. After starting with light south-west winds, south-easterlies developed during the middle part of the day, before strong south-westerlies set in mid-afternoon. During the seawatch, 22 Common Scoter flew north and two Little Egrets headed south.

Twenty Shelduck, 40 Wigeon and a Little Egret flew past Danes Dyke, where the Nuthatch remained at the car-park. Thornwick Pools attracted 27 Teal, a Snipe, one Water Rail and the two Bearded Tits.

Passerine migrants included one Reed Warbler, a Yellow-browed Warbler, five Chiffchaff, one Ring Ouzel, 120 Redwing, 30 Blackbirds, a Whinchat, one Wheatear and one Black Redstart.

Redwing, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Grey Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

Winds were again strong and from the south-west, with sunshine breaking through after an overcast start to the day; temperatures attained 19 degrees C. During the seawatch, ten Whooper Swans and a Goosander flew south.

The two Water Rails again frequented Thornwick, whilst the Little Owl continued its residence at Oceanview. Far from an annual visitor to Flamborough, two Bearded Tits – a male and young female – were discovered at Thornwick Pools. Four Yellow-browed Warblers were present, including a potential new arrival in the Golf Course Willows, as were two Willow Warblers. Last week’s Nuthatch remained in South Dykes, but after only a handful of local records previously, amazingly a second bird was located in Old Fall. A Richard’s Pipit was flushed from cliff-top fields near North Dykes; potentially the bird present on 13th. Other sightings included three Whinchat and 17 Lesser Redpolls.

West of the Dykes, a Yellow-browed Warbler was at Sewerby Hall.

Whooper Swan, Fog Station, by Colin Scott

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

Strong south-south-west winds were a feature of a day of light cloud, sunny intervals and temperatures that again peaked at 21 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Little Egret, one Mediterranean Gull and three Arctic Skuas flew north, with a Little Gull and a Bonxie heading south. 

Two Water Rails continued in residence at Thornwick Pools. Passerine interest included a Ring Ouzel, eight Yellow-browed Warblers, four Whinchat, a Wheatear, 200 Tree Sparrows and seven Lesser Redpolls.

Sightings from Sewerby included a Little Egret, two Mediterranean Gulls, 1100 Black-headed Gulls and 100 Common Gulls.

Yellow-browed Warbler, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Moderate/strong southerly winds featured throughout a generally light overcast day, with temperatures rising to 21 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Great Northern Diver and a Mediterranean Gull flew north, whilst a Velvet Scoter and a Pomarine Skua headed in the opposite direction.

Away from the sea, three Pink-footed Geese overflew the headland in the morning. A Great White Egret – Flamborough’s seventh record – flew south past North Landing at 1450hrs, before eventually settling in the South Landing area; it flew west over South Dykes at 1600hrs. The Nuthatch remained in South Dykes, Old Fall still hosted a Yellow-browed Warbler. However, better still a Richard’s Pipit was located in the North Landing vicinity, with a Ring Ouzel and a Whinchat nearby.

Buckton attracted a Ruff, five Coal Tits, a Willow Tit and one Whinchat.

Great White Egret, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

The weather consisted of overcast skies and moderate west-south-westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included single Shoveler and Goosander flying north, a Red-breasted Merganser, one Balearic Shearwater, two Little Egrets, seven Golden Plover, a Grey Plover and a Mediterranean Gull flying south, whilst five Bonxies, four Arctic Skuas and a Long-tailed Skua also headed north. 

A total of 26 Golden Plovers flew south over the headland. The Nuthatch remained in residence at South Dykes, whilst migrants included seven Yellow-browed Warblers, ten Chiffchaffs, 60 Redwing, 80 Blackbirds, a Wheatear, 22 Lesser Redpolls and four Brambling.

Nuthatch, South Dykes, by Mark Pearson

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

An overcast day, with a strong westerly wind and rain during the afternoon. During the morning’s seawatch, three Snipe flew north, ten Dunlin headed south, with a Bonxie and three Arctic Skuas also flying north. In the evening, another two Arctic Skuas were recorded, along with 116 Little Gulls

Thornwick Pools attracted 12 Teal, three Dunlin and five Snipe; four more Snipe were nearby, along with a Water Rail in Thornwick Reedbed. Elsewhere, a Mute Swan flew west past South Dykes/Sewerby. The day’s best sighting was a Nuthatch, a species with only a handful of local records, that attended feeders at South Dykes car-park.

Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

A relatively overcast day, with a moderate westerly wind. During the seawatch, two Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull and one Bonxie flew north, whilst two Arctic Skuas headed south.

A total of 460 Pink-footed Geese flew south over the headland, a Barnacle Goose frequented North Marsh and a Red-breasted Merganser was seen off the Fog Station and Old Fall. Two Little Egrets were feeding in rock pools below the Golf Course, whilst an exhausted Short-eared Owl was picked up and taken into care at Oceanview. Passerine interest was headlined by the Hawfinch that was caught and ringed at North Landing. Additional sightings included 64 Blackbird, 90 Redwing, three Whinchat, six Yellow-browed Warblers, three Brambling and eight Lesser Redpolls.

West of the Dykes, a Ruff visited Buckton Pond.

Short-eared Owl, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Hawfinch, North Landing, by Jo Hood

Monday, October 9th, 2017

A light westerly breeze strengthened during the course of the day; after an overcast start, sunny intervals featured in the afternoon. 

A total of 235 Pink-footed Geese flew south, with other wildfowl sightings including a Barnacle Goose, 130 Wigeon that flew north past South Landing, 600 Common Scoter and a Red-breasted Merganser. Three Jack Snipe were logged, including an individual in off the sea. Raptor sightings included 13 Common Buzzards, a Merlin and eight Sparrowhawks. Three Water Rails were located in the Thornwick area, with a single Short-eared Owl on the outer head. Migrant passerines included 47 Goldcrests, 20 Yellow-browed Warblers, two Garden Warblers, 560 Starlings, four Fieldfares, 170 Blackbirds, 270 Redwing, 55 Song Thrush, a Black Redstart, four Whinchat, 42 Brambling, 40 Lesser Redpolls, 16 Siskin and two Hawfinch.

West of the Dykes, records from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included 190 Pink-footed Geese, a Fieldfare and seven Lesser Redpolls. A Water Rail was seen at Buckton.

Redwing, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

Very light northerly winds and light, overcast conditions until a sunny end to the day; perfect finding conditions, with a significant arrival of migrants throughout the day. Seawatching highlights included 54 Pink-footed Geese, four Barnacle Geese, 51 Wigeon, two Pintail, 58 Teal, 152 Common Scoter, two Goldeneye, a Great Northern Diver, a Sooty Shearwater all flying north. Amongst birds heading south were four Velvet Scoter and a Black Guillemot, whilst 15 Little Gulls were also logged. 

Additional seawatch records from South Landing included two more Great Northern Divers flying north, whilst 24 Pink-footed Geese flew south. Thornwick Pools hosted a Barnacle Goose, six Snipe and a Water Rail; another of the latter was also present in Thornwick reedbed. Single Jack Snipe and three Woodcock evidently came in off the sea, as did two Short-eared Owls.

Passerine interest was headlined by a Richard’s Pipit near North Marsh, three Red-breasted Flycatchers and 33 Yellow-browed Warblers. Other sightings included a Jay, 16 Coal Tits, 55 Goldcrests, three Lesser Whitethroats, a Reed Warbler, three Willow Warblers, a Fieldfare, 210 Blackbirds, 60 Song Thrush, 540 Redwing, 13 Whinchat, 19 Stonechats, two Wheatear, a Redstart, a Black Redstart, a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher, 38 Lesser Redpolls, three Siskin, 130 Chaffinch, a Hawfinch (in off and west) and 95 Brambling.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included 28 Barnacle Geese, three Velvet Scoter, 50 Blackbirds, 46 Redwing, a Lesser Whitethroat, five Stonechat and four Brambling.

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Thornwick Reedbed, by John Harwood

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

After a brief interlude of north-westerly winds over the last two days, the winds switched back to the south-west; after a wet start, it was mainly cloudy with light rain and then sunshine late afternoon.

Seawatching was rewarded with: 90 Wigeon, a male Velvet Scoter, two Eider, a Goosander, one Sooty Shearwater, two Sandwich Terns, ten Bonxies and an Arctic Skua flying north. Birds moving south included a dark-bellied Brent Goose, eight Pintail and 40 Red-throated Divers. A second-winter Mediterranean Gull lingered offshore, but better still, a Minke Whale surfaced off the headland mid-afternoon.

The day’s highlight was undoubtedly the discovery of Flamborugh’s second-ever Cetti’s Warbler, located at Thornwick Pools late afternoon; two Water Rails were also on site.

Additional sightings included 140 Pink-footed Geese heading south, four Ruff, a Little Owl at Oceanview, four Coal Tits and four Siskin. 

Kestrel, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Friday, October 6th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate/strong north-westerly winds that gradually abated; sunshine also prevailed after an overcast start. Seawatching highlights included: 57 Wigeon, a Pintail, single Scaup and Velvet Scoter, three Goosander, 58 Common Scoter, a Storm Petrel, 13 Sooty Shearwaters, 26 Manx Shearwaters, a Jack Snipe, one Little Gull, two Mediterranean Gulls, 488 Common Gulls, two Little Auks and eight Puffins all flying north. Amongst the birds heading south were 79 Red-throated Divers, 31 Bonxies, 35 Arctic Skuas and a juvenile Long-tailed Skua.

A Water Rail remained at Thornwick Pools, a Marsh Harrier appeared over South Landing, five Ruff were once again down Water Lane, whilst four Little Gulls were also off South Landing. A Little Owl was calling from Oceanview early evening. Passerine sightings included 38 Redwing, eight Goldcrest, 12 Chiffchaff, a Yellow-browed Warbler at South Landing, a White Wagtail, a Brambling, two Siskin and six Lesser Redpolls.

West of the Dykes, a male Black Redstart was at Buckton.

Goosander, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Mediterranean Gull, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Lesser Redpoll, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Strong north-north-westerly winds gradually decreased in strength during a largely sunny day. Seawatching was rewarded with a Scaup, 47 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, 27 Bonxies, nine Arctic Skuas flying south and a Sooty Shearwater and ten Little Gulls moving north.

A total of 200 Pink-footed Geese flew south, with five Ruff on Water Lane. Passerine interest included 12 Redwing, 30 Goldcrest, 17 Chiffchaffs and a Mealy Redpoll.

West of the Dykes, Buckton attracted a Ruff, a Lesser Whitethroat, nine Stonechats, 300 Goldfinch and 300 Linnets.

Ruff, Buckton Pond, by Paul Reed

Linnet & Goldfinch, Buckton, by Paul Reed