Thursday, July 31st, 2014

The month ended relatively quietly, although a Marsh Harrier flew west over the Dams, four Little Egrets were at East Lea and four Snipe were present (two at the Dams and two at the Tip). A high count of 19 Common Darters were along Long Hedge.

Overnight, a trapping session on the Brigg netted four European Storm-petrels, with a similar number around the nets (as well as a larger bird present, likely a Leach’s).

Yesterday (30th), the season’s first Wheatear was on Carr Naze, with 59 Sandwich Terns briefly on the Brigg and 17 Sanderlings there amongst small numbers of other common waders.

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

The pick of this morning’s seawatch was a Marsh Harrier heading south several hundred metres offshore and towards Flamborough at 0830; it or another was reported from the Dams at a similar time. The latter site held a Green Sandpiper, a Redshank and 12 Lapwings, plus the long-staying three juvenile Shelducks and three Teal. Odd Little Egrets continue to drop in.

Knot (Mark Pearson)

Knot (Mark Pearson)

The Brigg is hosting a few more waders over the last few days, with up to seven Sanderling, 18 Knot, two Ringed Plover, 15 Dunlin and 15 Turnstone, as well as odd Whimbrels and Curlews. Yellow Wagtails are being recorded daily in single figures, and migrant Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers are now filtering through.

Movements over the sea are still modest, with the regulation cast of waders heading past in small numbers, as well as several hundred Common Scoter and double figures of the three commoner tern species on most days of late, with yesterday’s highlight being four Little Terns south mid-morning.

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

(early p.m. update) The Dams hosted two Little Egrets this morning, while a Large Red Damselfly was in a garden at Hunmanby Gap. Yesterday’s (26th) highlight on a still generally quiet sea was the year’s first Roseate Tern south (JS), and a recently almost as rare juvenile Stonechat in the bay corner – with just a handful of records last year, and one or two early this year (after being lost as a breeding species in 2012).

Juenile Stonechat (Mark Pearson)

Juenile Stonechat (Mark Pearson)

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Little Egrets continue to make the headlines over the last two days, with no less than ten (six roosting and four over) at the Dams yesterday (24th), plus a single there briefly this afternoon and a further four in to roost. A Green Sandpiper, two juvenile Shelducks and a Dunlin were also at the Dams, but the sea remains very quiet, with just the odd skua and a few waders on the move. Yellow Wagtails totalled seven today, with four through and three in the Carr Naze area.

Little Egret at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Little Egret at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

A quiet day in the area but for a juvenile Mediterranean Gull heading north (CW), with moderate northerly winds delivering very little over the sea and local wetlands remaining wader-free.

Yesterday (22nd) was notable mainly for the continuing upsurge in dispersing Little Egrets, with a day record of at least 16 logged – groups of five, four and seven came in off the sea, while four at the Dams and a single on the Brigg may have involved some of the above. In what is the traditional window for arrivals of this species into the area, this year is clearly a record-breaking one, with over thirty birds recorded in the last couple of weeks.

Sedge Warbler at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Sedge Warbler at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Also yesterday, The Tip held a Snipe and a Curlew, while Yellow Wagtails are now a daily feature overhead and at marshy locations – as well as on the Brigg end this morning (see below).

Yellow Wagtail (Mark Pearson)

Yellow Wagtail (Mark Pearson)

A late report of a  Blue Fulmar (likely the same small bird in wing moult seen recently near Scarborough) was the highlight of 21st.

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

A much quieter day on the sea with a trickle of expected waders and a fraction of yesterday’s Manxie total, while two Green and a Common Sandpiper were at the Dams. A European Storm-petrel was trapped and ringed on Carr Naze this evening at 2339hrs and at least two other birds were present around the nets (despite sub-optimal conditions).

European Storm-petrel (Mark Pearson)

European Storm-petrel (Mark Pearson)

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

The steady build-up in activity over the sea reached a season’s-peak-so-far today – a total of 12 hours watching resulted in especially high counts of 805 Manx Shearwaters (the biggest tally since 2008), 329 Oystercatchers and 264 Whimbrel (both recent day records) amongst a good cast of species. See Trektellen for full counts.

33 of a flock of 36 Manx Shearwaters this morning (Mark Pearson)

33 of a flock of 36 Manx Shearwaters this morning (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Another hot and sunny day with an intially light and variable wind becoming brisk and easterly by early afternoon. An entertaining day for the time of year began with a flock of seven Little Egrets coming in off the sea and over the town at 0600 (with an additional bird at the Tip bringing the day count to eight), and continued with a juvenile Goldeneye at the Dams early on (very unusual) and a Common Sandpiper there. Sea passage included three Little Gulls and 40 Manx Shearwaters past, plus single Knot, Turnstone and Sanderling with 20 Dunlins on the Brigg.

Juvenile Goldeneye (Mark Pearson)

Juvenile Goldeneye (Mark Pearson)

The highlight of the day however was found at the Tip this afternoon – a male Red-veined Darter hunting in the north crop (MJP). Of only a handful of previous records for the area, the last occurred just shy of a year ago at the same site.

Male Red-veined Darter (Mark Pearson)

Male Red-veined Darter (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday saw six Little Terns heading south at sea (JS), and over 90 Dunlins and 100 Redshanks through.

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Four Little Egrets came in off the sea and briefly visited the bay corner before heading north this morning; otherwise quiet but for a total of five Yellow Wagtails through.

Marbled White, Arndale (Mark Pearson)

Marbled White, Arndale (Mark Pearson)

Highlights on 13th saw 20 Whimbrel, a Little Egret and a Little Gull past the Brigg, and a Hobby near the Dams.

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Today’s highlights were an unexpected White Wagtail which spent a few minutes at Carr Naze pond (where two juvenile Yellow Wagtails also dropped in), and a moulting adult Hobby which came in off over north Cliff late this evening.

The sea was again generally quiet today (although thick fog hampered morning watches), with the pick once again being waders – 62 Redshank and 41 Dunlin flew south, with another 26 Dunlin on the Brigg, together with two returning Purple Sandpipers.

Purple Sandpiper and Dunlins (Mark Pearson)

Purple Sandpiper and Dunlins (Mark Pearson)

A Little Egret flew over the town yesterday (11th), when 121 Manx Shearwaters went north and a Greenshank, two Redshanks and a Common Sandpiper were at the Dams in the evening.

Hobby (Mark Pearson)

Hobby (Mark Pearson)

Five Red-breasted Mergansers off the Glen on 10th were likely the same five that flew south onto the bay two days previously.

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

This morning’s northerly gales produced modest returns, but a gradual improvement in movements over the sea included 112 Manx Shearwaters yesterday (8th) when there were also five Little Gulls and 560 Common Scoters on the move. Wader quality and quantity is also on the up, with small numbers of Black- and Bar-tailed Godwits, Whimbrels, Dunlins, Knot and Curlew moving through on most days.

At least two Minke Whales has been recorded on several occasions in the last few days, but sightings are relatively brief and distant so far.

Gannet in the bay corner this morning (Mark Pearson)

Gannet in the bay corner this morning (Mark Pearson)

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Still quiet of late, although waders are beginning to trickle through, with a Green Sandpiper, four Lapwings and three Dunlins new at the Dams.

Yesterday’s highlight was a Velvet Scoter with the Common Scoter flock off Reighton (NC).

Black-tailed Skimmer (Mark Pearson)

Black-tailed Skimmer (Mark Pearson)