Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

A warm and sunny end to the month after a murky start this morning, with the pick being a Firecrest in the Top Scrub with a passerine feeding flock (MJP) and a Great Northern Diver with 35 Red-throated Divers off Hunmanby Gap this afternoon (KC). 18 Goldcrests and six Chiffchaffs were also recorded, while 15 Reed Buntings, 140 Linnets, 35 Skylarks and 240 Goldfinches were in the Top Fields / Tip area. Single Jays came in off the sea today and yesterday (29th), which was otherwise quiet but for a total of 65 Pink-footed Geese in several flocks heading south, and a dark-bellied Brent Goose in the bay.

The ringing team were once again busy in the Top Scrub this morning, with 59 birds caught (retraps in brackets):

Dunnock (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Dunnock (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Willow Warbler 2, Chiffchaff 1, Goldcrest 2, Chaffinch 5, Greenfinch 13, Goldfinch 4, Coal Tit 4, Blue Tit 10, Long-tailed Tit 7, Dunnock 7, Wren 1 (3).

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

A warm and mostly sunny day with a generally light southerly wind saw a Balearic Shearwater off Hunmanby Gap (NCt, KC), and a Pomarine Skua off the Brigg. Otherwise, Pink-footed Geese numbered at least 97 for the day, the Top Fields feeding flocks include 270 Goldfinches, 120 Linnets, 40 Skylarks and five Wheatears, and Red-throated Diver numbers are increasing in the bay (with 20 present and 25 past today).

Red-throated Diver in the bay (Mark Pearson)

Red-throated Diver in the bay (Mark Pearson)

Goldfinches in the Top Fields (Mark Pearson)

Goldfinches in the Top Fields (Mark Pearson)

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

A quiet couple of days for notable grounded migrants and also on the sea, but flyovers made the headlines today with not one but two Hawfinches north-west at Hunmanby Gap (KC) this morning as well as three Corn Buntings through, 30 Little Gulls offshore, and six Common Buzzards over the same area later. The Hawfinches are the first this year of a less-than-annual species locally. Primrose Valley held eight Goldcrests and four Coal Tits with the growing feeding flocks, while the Glen also hosted four Goldcrests and three Coal Tits.

The ringing team continue their impressive autumn with no less than 93 birds trapped this morning in the Top Scrub. The Chiffchaff (pictured) bore a Norwegian ring – details to follow. Full counts (retraps in brackets):

Chiffchaff (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Chiffchaff (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Willow Warbler 1, Chiffchaff 3 (2), Goldcrest 3 (1), Yellowhammer 1, Reed Bunting 1, Blackcap 2, Greenfinch 18, Chaffinch 5, Goldfinch 1, Bullfinch (2), Long-tailed Tit 4, Coal Tit 4, Blue Tit 19 (3), Great Tit 3, Dunnock 12, Wren 1, Blackbird 2, Robin 3 (1), Sparrowhawk (1).

Yellowhammer (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Yellowhammer (Lucy Murgatroyd)

 

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

An otherwise quiet day with an unpromising south-westerly breeze produced a surprise quality find in the shape of a male Red-breasted Flycatcher, found feeding in clifftop scrub to the east of the Blue Dolphin holiday camp (NCt, AZ, MB). A Velvet scoter was the best of the morning seawatch and there’s been a general clear-out of passerine migrants in the northern area.

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

The productive period of recent weeks continues, although with all attentions focused on the sea over the last couple of days. Exceptionally numerous and transient feeding flocks of gulls, terns and other species (including skuas and shearwaters) have for the most part remained just beyond range, but counts of Little Gulls (one of the main species involved) have been impressive – a minimum of 500 with a further 192 north and 67 south were recorded today.

Barnacle Geese (Mark Pearson)

Barnacle Geese (Mark Pearson)

Other highlights from today’s nine and a half hours seawatch included single Long-tailed and Pomarine Skuas, 21 Barnacle Geese (20 north and one on the Brigg), 74 Sooty Shearwaters and a Red-breasted Merganser. Full counts are viewable here.

On the land, a total of 17 Wheatears and 250 Linnets were in the northern area, and 20 Pink-footed Geese flew south.

Yesterday (23rd) was quieter, with thick fog dominating much of the day, although two juvenile Pomarine Skuas were off Hunmanby Gap.

The ringing team did well to catch anything in the challenging conditions, with the following trapped in the Top Scrub (retraps in brackets): Redstart 1, Chiffchaff 2, Goldcrest 1, Blackcap, Goldfinch,  Greenfinch 2, Bullfinch 1, Chaffinch , Blue Tit 2, Great Tit 1 (1), Dunnock 2 (1), Wren 2 (2), Robin (1).

Wren (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Wren (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Another day, another star bird, with plenty of quality back-up. Today’s pick was a Great Shearwater which flew north at 0720 this morning (JS, CW), with a Long-tailed Skua and a Balearic Shearwater this evening (MJP). Other counts of note included another flock of Pink-footed Geese (57, after yesterday’s first of the autumn), 48 Little Gulls, 16 Sooty and 48 Manx Shearwaters, and a good total of 81 Barnacle Geese south (in flocks of 18, 39 & 24).

Herring Gull (and bar snack) (Mark Pearson)

Herring Gull (and bar snack) (Mark Pearson)

Passerines included two unringed Yellow-browed Warblers in the Top Scrub (JH, MJP) (thus one was ‘new’), a Snow Bunting in off the sea this evening (the first of the year), a good scattering of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, four Redstarts, a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Rocket Pole Field and 12 Goldcrests. Three White Wagtails (as well as three Yellow Wagtails) in with the increasing Pied Wagtail flocks on the Country Park were an unusual autumn record.

Some of today's southbound Barnacle Geese (Mark Pearson)

Some of today’s southbound Barnacle Geese (Mark Pearson)

The ringers were in action in Parish Wood this morning, catching (retraps in brackets): Redstart 1, Chiffchaff 2, Goldfinch 4, Bullfinch 2, Robin 2, Wren 4, Great Tit 6, Blue Tit 9 (1), Blackbird 3 (1), Dunnock 4 (1).

Redstart (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Redstart (Lucy Murgatroyd)

The results of the latest mammal trapping sessions at the Dams can be found here.

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Afternoon update: An already memorable week ended with a bang this morning, as all attentions turned away from the land and towards the sea. A strong northerly promised and emphatically delivered, the runaway highlight being a FEA’S (type) PETREL which moved slowly north at 0857hrs (MJP, JS, BP, CW, JB). Allowing several minutes of observation as it kept close company with a Manx Shearwater, the bird was tracked from Flamborough to the Farnes as it moved up the coast throughout the day.

Juvenile Long-tailed Skua (Mark Pearson)

Juvenile Long-tailed Skua (Mark Pearson)

A strong supporting cast was headed by nine Long-tailed Skuas (all juveniles, including a group of four), 141 Sooty Shearwaters, a Blue Fulmar and two Velvet Scoters. Other records included 17 Pink-footed Geese south (our first of the autumn), a Marsh Harrier and a Long-tailed Skua (KC) at Hunmanby Gap.

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

A day of strengthening north to north-westerly winds with thick cloud, some fog and periods of drizzle saw a continued trickle of new arrivals, although conditions made observing difficult and there was much less of an arrival compared with previous days.

Pick of the day was a new Red-breasted Flycatcher in the Top Scrub (MJP et al), with at least two Yellow-browed Warblers, one of which was trapped by the ringers (and showed a high fat score, suggesting it’s been around for a while). Three Balearic Shearwaters and a Minke Whale (KC) passed Hunmanby Gap this evening, two Ring Ouzels arrived together late morning in the Short Hedge area, a Sedge Warbler and a Garden Warbler were new on the tip of Carr Naze, three Bramblings were with 20 Chaffinches in the Country Park, while five Siskins, two Tree Pipits, five Redstarts, two Whinchats, five Wheatears, ten Robins, at least eight Kestrels and four Grey Wagtails were also present. 13 Ringed Plover and four Dunlin were at East Lea. Three Jays were new in the northern area.

Sedge Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Sedge Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Ringing totals today were as follows (retraps in brackets): Yellow-browed Warbler 1, Redstart 2, Blackcap 1, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Whitethroat 1, Goldcrest 1, Chiffchaff 2, Chaffinch 4, Greenfinch 5, Wren 2, Song Thrush 3, Dunnock 1 (1).

Song Thrush on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Song Thrush on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Friday, September 19th, 2014

A rather less headline-grabbing but still productive day locally, with a northerly wind and dark skies throughout. Potentially the bird of the day was our second candidate Siberian Lesser Whitethroat of the year which appeared – alongside a nominate bird from earlier – on Carr Naze this evening (MC, MJP). Three Yellow-browed Warblers were present in the northern coastal area, two of which were new and arrived simultaneously late morning (mo).

Candidate Siberian Lesser Whitethroat, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Candidate Siberian Lesser Whitethroat, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Other grounded migrants included 15 Redstarts, 12 Willow Warblers, 10 Chiffchaffs, 10 Wheatears, four Whinchats, 25 Song Thrushes, a Fieldfare, 13 Robins (including four on the Brigg), seven Siskins, a Brambling and 38 Chaffinches. Tree Pipits continue their excellent run of late with another four birds today, while a minimum of seven Kestrels and four Sparrowhawks were in the northern coastal strip alone.

Redstarts on Long Lane (Mark Pearson)

Redstarts on Long Lane (Mark Pearson)

A juvenile Long-tailed Skua, six Sooty Shearwaters and four Little Gulls were the pick of the sea. An exceptional passage of Wigeon, the vast majority of which cut off the Brigg and headed NW, totalled 1150 for the day (from intermittent observations), as well as 250 Teal, 37 Shelduck, four Pintail and a Shoveler; a further 130 Teal and hundreds of Wigeon were in the bay (but excluded from the final counts).

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

More promising conditions and more great birds on the land today. What was presumably yesterday’s brief Rustic Bunting on Carr Naze was (re)found, but again it didn’t stick for long (DL); a new Red-breasted Flycatcher at the Tip (DL) led to the discovery of a Long-eared Owl there (IR et al), while a Yellow-browed Warbler (HJW, MJP et al) in the Top Scrub shared a sycamore with Filey’s first Little Bunting in 13 years (and only the second this century) (DL, MJP et al).

Rustic Bunting on Carr Naze (Dan Lombard)

Rustic Bunting on Carr Naze (Dan Lombard)

Little Bunting, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

Little Bunting, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

Birds observed arriving in off the sea and / or (often exhausted) on Carr Naze included up to 40 Chaffinches, five Bramblings, 15 Siskins,  seven Willow Warblers, three Garden Warblers, a Sedge Warbler and three Whinchats; common migrants were otherwise well scattered without being numerous. A total of at least seven Tree Pipits contues a good period for this species, and another Jack Snipe was found in the Top Fields, while another Lapland Bunting was at the Blue Dolphin.

Red-breasted Flcatcher, Tip (Dan Lombard)

Red-breasted Flcatcher, Tip (Dan Lombard)

A Convulvulus Hawkmoth was trapped at Hunmanby Gap (NCt, KC et al), where both Hobby and Merlin were also recorded.

Convulvulus Hawkmoth (Dan Lombard)

Convulvulus Hawkmoth (Dan Lombard)

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Morning update: damp and foggy with a brisk NW wind making observations difficult this morning, but a Jack Snipe (the first of the autumn) was at Carr Naze pond, and three Goldcrests, five Song Thrushes, and single Merlin, Ring Ouzel, Redstart, Tree Pipit and Willow Warbler were on Carr Naze.

Jack Snipe in the fog (Mark Pearson)

Jack Snipe in the fog (Mark Pearson)

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Another day of promising conditions for continental drift migration, and another day of pleasing returns. With easterly winds and fog (with intermittent drizzle) dominating the morning and early afternoon, attentions were focused on the land and in particular the Carr Naze and Country Park area, and a good selection of grounded passerines were on show.

Wood Warbler, Long Lane (Mark Pearson)

Wood Warbler, Long Lane (Mark Pearson)

Pick of the day was an elusive Wood Warbler (MJP et al) in Long Lane in the afternoon, but much of the activity occurred in the morning, with several waves of new arrivals and birds appearing on the plateau and slopes of Carr Naze before filtering inland. Totals for the area included 20 Redstarts, 10 Garden Warblers, seven Whinchats, 12 Wheatears, 13 Robins, six Chiffchaffs, 15 Willow Warblers, 25 Song Thrushes, 13 Redwings, 2 Fieldfares, five Bramblings, two Sedge Warblers, one (possibly two) Reed Warblers, three Tree Pipits, 12 Goldcrests and nine Siskins.

Two Garden Warblers newly arrived on the clifftop in the fog (Mark Pearson)

Two Garden Warblers newly arrived on the clifftop in the fog (Mark Pearson)

Many of the Willow Warblers showed characteristics of the northern / eastern races, and likewise many Robins were of the continental race. Waders on the move included up to 30 Golden Plovers, two Whimbrel and a Bar-tailed Godwit, while the bay is currently hosting up to 80 Common Scoter and 170 Teal as well as a few Wigeon, Red-throated Divers and Great Crested Grebes.

Brambling and Redstart (Mark Pearson)

Brambling and Redstart (Mark Pearson)

The ringers enjoyed a good selection in the Top Scrub, with final totals of 4 Willow Warblers, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Redstarts, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Brambling, 1 Chaffinch, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Goldcrests and 3 Robins.

Male Redstart, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Male Redstart, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Monday, September 15th, 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.

Tree Pipit, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Tree Pipit, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

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.

Fieldfare, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

Fieldfare, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

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).

Redstart, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

Redstart, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

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).

Garden Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Garden Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

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.

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

A promising day with the wind in the east and increasing cloud delivered the year’s first Yellow-browed Warbler to Parish Wood by mid-afternoon (MJP), and a candidate Eastern Lesser Whitehroat to Long Lane late morning (MJP). The Black Guillemot returned to its favoured feeding spot just south of the Brigg.

Juvenile Bullfinch, Parish Wood (Mark Pearson)

Juvenile Bullfinch, Parish Wood (Mark Pearson)

Other records included a Pied Flycatcher fresh-in at the top of Long Lane (also mid-afternoon), a Pintail south over the bay, five Wheatears well scattered, two Whinchats and the Stonechat still on Carr Naze (with another Whinchat at Hunmanby Gap), 215 Teal and 14 Wigeon in the bay, 305 Common Scoter and a Ruff north at the Gap, c15 Chiffchaffs, 12 Goldcrests, 10 Willow Warblers and two (nominate) Lesser Whitethroats in the northern area.

Saturday, September 13th, 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)

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

The juvenile / first winter Black Guillemot returned to the north of the bay for its third day this morning, while a small arrival of passerines in the Top Scrub in the late afternoon included an exceptionally early Brambling, single Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, 12 Goldcrests and 10 Chiffchaffs (the latter now very much usurping Willow Warblers, as expected at this time of year).

Brambling, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

Brambling, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

The sea remains very quiet, although wildfowl have inevitably begun to move, with 150 Teal and 202 Common Scoters past this morning. 20 Wigeon and 17 Teal were also in the bay.

Yesterday’s ringing totals are now posted – see that post for further details.

 

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

A much quieter day today, with a brisk south-easterly breeze and sunny skies. The Black Guillemot returned to the north of the bay for a second day, however, and a Common Buzzard flew south at Muston Sands; otherwise, the best of the sea was a single Sooty Shearwater, and the wetland reserves were generally quiet.

Yesterday's Bonxie on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday’s Bonxie on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

FBOG’s crack mammal trapping team will be in action in the Country Park on this Saturday and Sunday mornings – click here for more details.

The ringing team caught an impressive 70 birds this morning (retraps in brackets):

Meadow Pipit 13, Blackcap 4, Willow Warbler 2, Chiffchaff 4, Goldcrest 3, Greenfinch 11, Goldfinch 2, Bullfinch 1, Robin 1, Coal Tit 2, Blue Tit 7 (1), Great Tit 10 (2), Dunnock 7 (1), Wren 1 (1), Reed Warbler (1).

Goldcrest (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Goldcrest (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Very much a day of quality over quantity, with a fine selection of notable birds (but not a great deal in the way of numbers). Top billing goes to a juvenile/first winter Black Guillemot (MJP) in the north of the bay in the late morning, the first of the year of this locally less than annual species. Similarly unusual, a summer-plumage Black-throated Diver flew close inshore this evening before veering out towards Flamborough (MJP).

Black Guillemot in the bay (Mark Pearson)

Black Guillemot in the bay (Mark Pearson)

Another Balearic Shearwater went north at Hunmanby Gap (KC, NCt), where a wing-tagged Marsh Harrier came in off the sea sporting a green wing-tag from the Sculthorpe Moor ringing programme in Norfolk. Another came in off at the Brigg this morning, in no rush to find dry land and even finding time to chase gulls in a skua-like fashion! Similarly odd circumstances saw three Great Tits come in off the sea at 0700hrs this morning.

One of this morning's Marsh Harriers (Mark Pearson)

One of this morning’s Marsh Harriers (Mark Pearson)

A minimum of three Sooty Shearwaters, 40 Manxies and 10 Bonxies were counted in the morning, with another five Bonxies this evening – one of which is unfortunately the victim of a pollutant which is clearly hindering its movements in the Brigg area. Arctic Skuas totalled seven for the day, two Common Buzzards were over the town, a Gadwall was on Carr Naze pond first thing, and Wigeon, Red-throated Divers and Great Crested Grebes are firmly back in the notebook.

One of this mornin'g inbound Great Tits (Mark Pearson)

One of this morning’s inbound Great Tits (Mark Pearson)

Monday, September 8th, 2014

A generally quiet weekend locally, with little reported from the land and a steady reduction in the cast of waders at East Lea and the Dams. Visible migration has been muted until this morning when over 1,000 Meadow Pipits overflew Hunmanby Gap in three hours (994 south and 38 north), plus four Little Egrets and a Hobby (also south).

A Balearic Shearwater went north early morning of 6th, and 5th was notable for a brief Wood Warbler reported from Parish Wood (J&TGD), unfortunately not relocated, and the autumn’s first Red-necked Grebe off Hunmanby Gap.

Additionally, a Sooty Shearwater was reported to Birdguides today and there was another belated report of a Caspian Gull briefly off the brigg early morning on 5th.

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

The easterly airflow of recent days fulfilled its promise this morning in the shape of a Red-breasted Flycatcher in Short Hedge (MJP), and a much better supporting cast of passerines were scattered across the northern area.

Hold the front page - the money shot of this morning's Red-breasted Flycatcher (Mark Pearson)

Hold the front page – the money shot of this morning’s Red-breasted Flycatcher (Mark Pearson)

Five Pied Flycatchers, seven Whinchats, two Redstarts, two Tree Pipits, three Grey Wagtails and a scattering of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers constituted the best day of the autumn thus far on the land. Four Avocets were in the south of the bay early on (KC, NCt), and raptor passage continued with the first Osprey of the autumn (J&TGD), a Marsh Harrier and two Common Buzzards.

Ringing totals from the Top Scrub this morning were as follows: 25 birds (22 new, 3 re-traps) – Chiffchaff 2, Willow Warbler 1, Whitethroat 1, Blackcap 1, Garden Warbler 1, Great Tit 2 (1), Blue Tit 6 (1), Dunnock 3, Wren 1 (1), Greenfinch 3, Sparrowhawk 1

Sparrowhawk (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Sparrowhawk (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

An intitally murky day with a light easterly wind, becoming warm and mostly sunny by the afternoon. Visible migration was again notable, with at least 11 Common Buzzards moving generally south-east through the area between 1100 and 1700hrs. Passerine action came mainly in the shape of Meadow Pipits, which totaled 595 at Hunmanby Gap and 165 over the northern area (as well as at least 50 in the Top Fields), and hirundines, with 220 Swallows and 100 House Martins heading south-east during the middle of the day.

Yellow Wagtails are present or overhead daily in single figures, and seven Grey Wagtails (five past Hunmanby Gap and two north over Top Scrub) was a notable count for the area today.

House Martin, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

House Martin, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Grounded migrants were once again very hard to come by, although a total of four Whinchats (one at the Tip, one in the Top Fields and two at East Lea) were fresh in. Waders included 10 Ruff and four Dunlin at East Lea, three Greenshank over Hunmanby Gap, a couple of Green sandpipers and 25 Lapwings at the Dams, and a Common Sandpiper on the rocks off North Cliff.

Yesterday (2nd) was generally quiet but for a Balearic Shearwater off Hunmanby Gap (NCt, KC) and a similar cast of waders at East Lea and the Dams, which included 13 Ruff; four Common Buzzards headed east over the former site, while a Sparrowhawk came in off the sea at Carr Naze.

Conservation work and habitat creation at our East Lea reserve is well underway – details of where we’re at and how you can help can be found here.

House Martins, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

House Martins, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The new month began with a 1st calendar-year Mediterranean Gull at the Dams (plus a late report of one past the Brigg yesterday), an increase in wader numbers at East Lea (a similar cast overall but there are now no less than 16 Ruff there), and Marsh Harrier and Little Egret over the tip.

Pied Flycatcher (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Pied Flycatcher (Lucy Murgatroyd)

The ringers were in action in the Top Scrub and caught 22 birds during eight hours of sterling effort (17 new, 5 retraps): Linnet 2, Robin 1, Whitethroat 1 (1), Great Tit 3, Swallow 1, Pied Flycatcher 1, Spotted Flycatcher 1, Dunnock 1 (1), Greenfinch 3, Chiffchaff 2, Wren 1 (2), Blackcap (1).

Spotted Flycatcher (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Spotted Flycatcher (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Late news from last week: An Anomalous was caught in a moth trap at Hunmanby Gap (KC) on 27th August, apparently constituting a first for VC61 and therefore an amazing find!

Anomalous, Hunmanby Gap, 27th Aug (Keith Clarkson)

Anomalous, Hunmanby Gap, 27th Aug (Keith Clarkson)