Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

A quiet end to the month, with just a handful of Dunlin and two Black-tailed Godwits at the Dams and a Little Egret on the Brigg. As expected at this time of year, there have been several of the latter kicking around locally in recent days. A late report of six Little Terns past the Brigg on the 29th.

Black-tailed Godwits at the Dams (c Mark Pearson)

Black-tailed Godwits at the Dams (c Mark Pearson)


Monday, July 29th, 2013

Evening update: the Dams hosted seven Ruff, Five Wood Sandpipers, two Greenshank, five Dunlin, two Black-tailed Godwits and a Green Sandpiper through the course of today.

Update for the last few days: It’s been mostly about the waders of late, with an impressive array of species either dropping in at the Dams or heading south / dropping in at the Brigg. At the Dams, the best of the bunch so far was a confiding trio of three Avocets, as well  as four Wood Sandpipers this morning, up to six of both Green and Common Sandpipers, up to four Greenshank, up to two Black-tailed Godwits, up to 56 Lapwing, up to six Dunlin, and up to four of both Ruff and Common Snipe.

On Brigg and / or sea-watches, Knot, Sanderling, Turnstone and Whimbrel have been especially numerous, with Purple Sandpipers, Ringed Plovers, Dunlins, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks and others making up the (plentiful) numbers.

Expected but welcome migrants include several Hobbys, more Little Egrets, small numbers of Little Gulls, at least two Pomarine Skuas and a Little Tern south.

Avocets at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Avocets at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Avocets at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Avocets at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Three Avocets arrived at the Dams early this morning, staying all day; three Ruff arrived soon after, but were soon on their way. At least five each of Green and Common Sandpiper and a single Shoveler were also there. On the sea, three Little Gulls and plenty of waders (especially Knot and Sanderling) were on the move, and a flock of up to 500 Common Scoters off Primrose Valley included a drake Velvet Scoter.

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

We’re all set for this Saturday’s Woodcock music mini-festival, kicking off at 2pm in the bandstand in the Crescent Gardens, overlooking the spectacular panorama of Filey Bay.

The bill is now confirmed, and features Morning Bride (Filey),The Flivvers (Flamborough), Alan & Bill (Filey folk Club), The Headlanders (Flamborough), The Ramshackle Shanty Men (Filey), Valmai (Hunmanby), The Shufflers (Filey), George Stoyle (Muston), and John Law (Spurn). The running order will be available on the day, but don’t be too surprised if we run a little late….

There will be stalls with information and FBOG merchandise (and the new Filey bird report, hot off the press!), and also a raffle with some really excellent prizes kindly donated by our friends, including a Yorkshire Coast Nature wildlife tour and an RSPB Skua & Shearwater cruise! The raffle will be called at 5pm – well worth a punt…..

Any queries, please email Mark at

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Monday, July 22nd, 2013

A Pomarine Skua flew south and several Crossbills are around Carr Naze (including two which came in off the sea). At least three Minke Whales remain the area (with up to six observed yesterday evening).

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Early update – At least TEN MINKE WHALES were present at 0840 this morning.

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

A minimum of NINE MINKE WHALES were observed off the north of Carr Naze by late morning, and even more exceptionally, five ATLANTIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS headed south mid-afternoon and at least six Harbour Porpoise were offshore. Single Little Tern, Little Gull, and reasonable wader passage including ten Black-tailed Godwits were also recorded.

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Four Minke Whales frequented the area north of the Brigg again today, while 558 Common Scoters and five Arctic Skuas also passed at sea; an Egyptian goose briefly visited the Rocket Pole field, and two Crossbills were on Carr Naze this evening.

Minke Whale this afternoon (c Mark Pearson)

Minke Whale this afternoon (c Mark Pearson)

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Even more amazing scenes offshore today, with a SEI WHALE watched north of the Brigg for about 30 minutes early this afternoon by multiple observers as it slowly moved north, as well as at least six Minke Whales, eight Harbour Porpoise and two unidentified dolphin sp. Feeding frenzies and volumes of fish are extraordinary and may well attract more star turns over coming days.

Monday, July 15th, 2013

A minimum of six Minke Whales were counted simultaneously off the Brigg today (in all likelihood an underestimate of the true numbers present): observed at various distances but often fairly close inshore and viewable with the naked eye, the whales are best looked for feeding along silver lines of water, and especially at seabird feeding frenzies – often surfacing exactly where the congregations are. Three White-beaked Dolphins were also recorded.

A European Storm-petrel was trapped on the Brigg in the early hours of this morning (and another buzzed around the nets). There were probably some other birds around today too, but we were too distracted by the whales.

One of six Minke whales off the Brigg today (c Mark Pearson)

One of six Minke whales off the Brigg today (c Mark Pearson)

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Little of note today, although yesterday saw the first returning Purple Sandpipers (two) and Sanderling to the Brigg, as well as the roughly consistent daily tallies of up to a hundred Manx Shearwaters and several hundred Common Scoters. Today’s highlight was a male Banded Demoiselle at East Lea (MJP, DL), the first record since 2010 and only the fifth or sixth ever.

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

The autumn’s first Sooty Shearwater drifted elegantly south this morning, while four Arctic Skuas, a Bonxie and 249 Common Scoters and four Whimbrels were also on the move. An adult Mediterranean Gull south into the bay was also the first of the season. Yesterday’s Little Egret spent the day commuting between the Dams and East Lea, while a (the) Minke Whale was seen again around midday heading south.

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Late update: a Minke Whale showed beautifully north of the Brigg before dusk, and a Little Egret came in off the sea.

Red-backed Shrike (c Ian Robinson)

Red-backed Shrike (c Ian Robinson)

A male Red-backed Shrike unexpectedly materialised at the Tip this afternoon, hunting in the area around the owl box (J&TGD et al). Please do not enter the field, which is protected for breeding birds and other wildlife. A Greenshank dropped in to the Tip pond a little later.

Red-backed Shrike, 9th July (Mark Pearson)

Red-backed Shrike, 9th July (Mark Pearson)

Before the shrike, there was little of note to report over previous days in the grip of a hot and sunny high pressure system, although wildfowl, Manxies and odd skuas continue to move at sea.

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Update for the last few days: A Hobby and an Osprey overflew the Tip on the 4th; otherwise fairly quiet, with Common Scoters still going through in three figures per day.

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

A notable early morning movement of Swifts (ahead of two weather fronts) totaled about 400, while Common Scoters were moving north in increasingly large numbers (about 1300 by midday). No sign of the Surf Scoter either today or yesterday.

Monday, July 1st, 2013

The drake Surf Scoter remains in the bay, present for its sixth day today. Otherwise quiet throughout the recording area.

Surf Scoter c John Harwood

Surf Scoter c John Harwood