Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

A quiet end to the year, with five Velvet Scoters and two Dark-bellied Brent Geese at Hunmanby Gap, and 108 Oystercatcher in the Brigg high tide roost.

Happy New Year to all, and especially to FBOG members and supporters – thanks for your continued support, your positive feedback and your involvement over the last twelve months.

2013 was a great year for the Observatory, both front-of-house and behind the scenes, with much progress made in many areas, talented new blood adding to an already highly-skilled team, and a great enthusiasm within the group.

There’s plenty of positive developments on their way in 2014 (which members will hear about first via newsletters – plenty to get involved with should you wish!) and plenty more to come via this website – keep checking back, there’ll be new material added regularly in the near future.

Mark, Communications Officer



Saturday, December 28th, 2013

The Wigeon and Pink-footed Goose flocks in the Dams / East Lea area have grown to 215 and 47 respectively today. Yesterday’s (27th) highlights included a first winter Iceland Gull south off Primrose Valley (JH), a Marsh Harrier south and a Great Northern Diver north (JS), while a Long-tailed Duck has been off the Brigg intermittently since Christmas Day.

Pink-footed Geese this afternoon (Mark Pearson)

Pink-footed Geese this afternoon (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Happy Christmas from FBOG! Pretty much as is over the last couple of days, although the Snow Bunting flock reached 68+ on 24th; the eight Velvet Scoters remain in the bay, and two Great Northern Divers were reported there this morning.

Snow Buntings, Christmas Eve (Mark Pearson)

Snow Buntings, Christmas Eve (Mark Pearson)

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

11 Whooper Swans and a (the?) Great Northern Diver flew across the bay this morning, while eight Velvet and 210 Common Scoters remain there (KC, JS). A White-beaked Dolphin offshore was belatedly reported yesterday. Of interest, 45 Snow Buntings and three Lapland Buntings were reported to Birdguides.

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

More reports from recent days include eight Velvet Scoters, 180+ Common Scoters and 30 Red-throated Divers in the southern part of the bay today (KC) and a Great Northern Diver in the bay corner yesterday (MJP).

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

A fairly quiet week, with most of the few highlights coming from the sea: a Black-throated Diver on 16th, 1194 Guillemots on 15th, a Great Northern Diver on 12th and up to seven Velvet Scoters in the bay off Reighton on 15th (with up to 75 Wigeon off the town today). Single Snow Buntings were on Carr Naze on several dates, with a report of 30 from the top fields on 16th.

Kestrel, Carr Naze, 19th Dec 2013 (Mark Pearson)

Kestrel, Carr Naze, 19th Dec 2013 (Mark Pearson)

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Three Whooper Swans visited the Dams today. We’ve just received details of a colour-ringed Common Gull present there on the 6th – the only re-sighting so far of the bird involved – from North Thames Gull Group. Full details are available here.

Colour-ringed Cockernee Common Gull, 6th Dec 2013 (MJP)

Colour-ringed Cockernee Common Gull, 6th Dec 2013 (MJP)

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Quality off the Brigg this afternoon included a Black-throated, two Great Northern and 14 Red-throated Divers (as well as 23 of the latter past), plus a female Long-tailed Duck, good numbers of the commoner auks and small numbers of Eiders and Common Scoters (MJP). Two Great Northern Divers and a Merlin were the best of the morning seawatch (JS).

The past week has remained relatively steady, with Great Northern Divers on 8th (two past the Brigg, one past the Gap and one in the bay) and 7th (one past), Long-tailed Ducks on 8th (two past the Brigg and two in the bay), 7th (one) and 4th (one), Velvet Scoters (up to four in the south of the bay on several days) and small numbers of the commoner species in the bay. The Dams remains quiet but for up to 45 Wigeon, four Gadwall and the odd common wader.

The Brunnich’s Guillemot was a first for Yorkshire and indeed a (live) first for mainland England; more on the bird here.

Brunnich's Guillemot, 3rd Dec 2013 (MJP)

Brunnich’s Guillemot, 3rd Dec 2013 (MJP)

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

STOP PRESS: BRUNNICH’S GUILLEMOT off the town seafront late this afternoon (MJP)

Brunnich's Guillemot, Filey,  3rd December 2013

Brunnich’s Guillemot, Filey, 3rd December 2013

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Highlights from recent days have been confined to the sea and the bay. A good haul on the 30th included three Little Auks and three Sooty Shearwaters (MJP, JS, CW), while one or two Great Northern Divers, Long-tailed Ducks, Velvet Scoters and Snow Buntings have been a feature of several recent seawatches.

The wider bay is attracting better numbers of the regular species, with up to twenty Great Crested Grebes, ten Eiders, 250 Common Scoters, 20 Red-throated Divers and 35 Wigeon over recent days (although note birds are well spread between the Brigg and Reighton). Three Velvets were with the Common Scoter flock this morning (KC).

The Dams is fairly quiet, but up to two Little Egrets and a Black-tailed Godwit are amongst commoner species there, counts of which included 128 Mallard and 46 Moorhens today.