13th September 2014

Today’s varied highlights included the autumn’s first Lapland Bunting in the Top Fields late this afternoon with Skylarks (MJP), a Kingfisher in the Brigg area (JS), a Spotted Redshank and two Balearic Shearwaters past Hunmanby Gap this morning (KC, NCt), and the Black Guillemot back for its fifth day in the north of the bay.

Stonechat, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Stonechat, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Grounded passerines were thin on the ground, although two Stonechats (one at Carr Naze Pond, the other at the Tip) were notable of a species which is recorded only a handful of times annually in recent years; three Whinchats may have been some of yesterday’s birds, while five Wheatears and small numbers of Song Thrushes, Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests were well scattered.

Stonechat & Whinchat, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Stonechat & Whinchat, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

The real story of the day however concerned an exceptional movement and grounding of Meadow Pipits in the north of the area, particularly this morning. No doubt strongly connected with the localised fog and cloud overnight / early morning, 818 headed south-east before 0730, a further 300 followed between 0730 and 1130, and at least 1200 birds were grounded in the ploughed areas of the Top Fields before 0930 – many of which then left en masse as the conditions improved. Whether the grounded birds involved some of those that were previously seen to leave the area is unknown, but a minimum of 2,000 seem likely to have been involved. Interestingly, almost none were recorded at Hunmanby gap, indicating the birds continued on their SE trajectory over the bay.

Waders were on the move, with the likes of Bar-tailed Godwit and Green Sandpiper overhead, plus a Greenshank and, oddly, a Turnstone briefly on the Tip pools.

Yesterday was relatively quiet, but for five Whinchats on Carr Naze, two Redstarts and single Pied and Spotted Flycatchers in Top Scrub.

Ringing in the Top Scrub resulted in a total of 43 birds trapped as follws (retraps in brackets): Willow Warbler 2, Chiffchaff 2 (2), Goldcrest 1, Wren 1 (1), Robin 2, Bullfinch 1, Goldfinch 1, Chaffinch 7, Greenfinch 11, Meadow Pipit 3, Dunnock 5 (1), Song Thrush 1
Blue Tit (2).

Chaffinch in the hand (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Chaffinch in the hand (Lucy Murgatroyd)