15th September 2014
A busy day, much more productive than recently with a moderate NE lightening as the day progressed. Overcast skies gave way to intermittent drizzle and fog (often thick) as the afternoon wore on, providing classic fall conditions at and around Carr Naze.
The day began with much of the action happening at sea, with a close-in Balearic Shearwater north (MJP, JS), 12 Sooty Shearwaters (the best count so far this year), 11 Bonxies, 30+ Manxies, three Pintail north, and the Black Guillemot back in the bay. A first calendar year Mediterranean Gull was also in the bay, while an adult was at Hunmanby Gap and two Velvet Scoters were in the same area.
An increasingly rare Turtle Dove (CW) overflew Top Scrub early on, where a small number of migrants there included two Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher, two Willow warblers, three Chiffchaffs and eight Goldcrests (most of which were leftovers).
By mid-afternoon conditions had deteriorated and birds were arriving in waves. On Carr Naze, a Dotterel staged two vocal fly-bys several minutes apart (MJP), our second for the year (but only third in a decade), while grounded passerines included a fine cast of commoner migrants – a Ring Ouzel (new for the year), three Tree Pipits, three Redstarts, three Whinchats, two Garden Warblers, three Goldcrests, two Song Thrushes, a Sedge Warbler, three Willow Warblers and two Chiffchaffs, as well as twelve Wheatears (many of the latter in the neighbouring Rocket Pole Field, where another two Whinchats were also fresh in).
The Top Scrub held plenty of new arrivals, including a Red-breasted Flycatcher at the junction with Long Lane (MJP), three Pied and two Spotted Flycatchers (allowing all three species to be watched in the same group of trees), five Redstarts, single Fieldfare and Redwing (both new for the season), a Common Whitethroat, a Brambling, two Garden Warblers, two Willow Warblers, six Song Thrushes and two Chiffchaffs. In addition, a Lapland Bunting flew over with Skylarks, while Hunmanby Gap had three Whinchats and a Stonechat.