26th April 2014

Plenty of activity today, although for a change the headline-makers were non-avian: a pod of at least nine Bottlenose Dolphins (including several calves) headed north along the cliffs and up the coast late morning.

Bottlenose Dolphins (Mark Pearson)

Bottlenose Dolphins (Mark Pearson)

(More photos of the dolphins are viewable here)

The Dams provided plenty of interest with transient visitors including a Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank, a male Goosander, a Little Ringed Plover and three Snipe, while an elusive Scaup-type Aythya is likely a female Pochard x Tufted Duck hybrid. A Black-tailed Godwit and two Dunlin were in breeding plumage at East Lea, along with a Redshank, a Curlew, 20 Oystercatcher and a Yellow Wagtail there.

An acredula-type Willow Warbler was in the churchyard, while Wheatears arrived in reasonable numbers, with at least 15 along the clifftops from North Cliff to Reighton, while the first two Swifts of the year headed over in the morning. A total of 20 Willow Warblers, 20 Blackcaps and 15 Chiffchaffs were in the northern coastal area, where two Redstarts (a male and a female) were on Long Hedge, a Yellow Wagtail and two Snipe were on the Tip and a Marsh Harrier overflew Newbiggin.

Male Redstart (Mark Pearson)

Male Redstart (Mark Pearson)

A foggy and damp day yesterday (25th) provided a few notable arrivals, including a male Pied Flycatcher, a male Redstart, a Tree Pipit and a Ring Ouzel, while an Iceland Gull was belatedly reported at sea.