Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Steady as she goes over recent days, with most of the notable activity being at or over the sea and a few familiar species continuing to dominate. Great Northern Divers were off the Brigg on 29th (two north) and the Gap today (two), Little Auks were off the Brigg on 27th (one), 28th (three south) and 29th (two south and one north), two Pomarine Skuas went south on 29th with another north on 27th, and a reasonable range of passing wildfowl on 29th included a Long-tailed Duck and a Goosander. The female Velvet Scoter was joined by a male at the Gap, also on 29th.

Up to four Snow Buntings are frequenting Carr Naze, and a Dark-bellied Brent Goose was at East Lea today. Late news of a Merlin around the Brigg on 25th.

Merlin on the Brigg, 25th (Peter Richman)

Merlin on the Brigg, 25th (Peter Richman)

A colour-ringed Cormorant present on the Brigg on several dates recently was ringed as a nestling on Puffin Island off the coast of Anglesey on 28th June this summer, and this is its first observed port of call since.

Colour-ringed Cormorant with Little Auks, 5th Nov (Mark Pearson)

Colour-ringed Cormorant with Little Auks, 5th Nov (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

A very quiet few days here at the Obs with little of note on land or sea. Of the former, four Snow and two Corn Buntings were on the Tip yesterday (25th), and of the latter, two Little Auks and a Goosander went south today (JS), six Whooper swans went south on 24th, and a single Little Auk went south on 23rd. The Velvet Scoter remains off Hunmanby Gap.

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Another day, another multiple count of Grey Phalaropes… one went south this morning, with another south at 1520 (JS, MJP), both of which were watched flying straight through beyond the bay towards Flamborough. Clearly even conservative estimates will make 2014 a record year for this species at Filey.

Goldeneyes (Matk Pearson)

Goldeneyes (Mark Pearson)

A Black-throated Diver and Little Auk were both close inshore in the bay corner shortly before dusk (MJP), and the Great Northern Diver and Velvet Scoter remained off Hunmanby Gap (KC).

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

The best of today was a Jay (present since 9th) and a late Ring Ouzel in Parish Wood. The Dams & East Lea are attracting low densities of waterbirds presently, but four Chiffchaffs, two Lesser Redpolls and eight Siskins were among good numbers of passerines there, while two Water Rails were in the reedbeds.

Great Northern Diver (Mark Pearson)

Great Northern Diver (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (19th) saw more quality seawatching, with another two Grey Phalaropes (MJP et al) late morning adding further to an already remarkable tally for this species in 2014; both birds came in from the north and continued south, with presumably the same birds subsequently recorded shortly after off Flamborough (and thus both were likely ‘new’).

Other highlights included two Great Northern Divers (one in almost full summer plumage), a Pomarine Skua and 24 Little Gulls south, and a total of 11 Little Auks (MJP, JS). 18th was less eventful, with 12 Little Auks and 26 Little Gulls (JS, MJP) during the morning’s seawatch; four Chiffchaffs and 12 Goldcrests were in the Church Ravine and Country Park area.

Coal Tit, Church Ravine (Mark Pearson)

Coal Tit, Church Ravine (Mark Pearson)

A Velvet Scoter remains offshore at Hunmanby Gap with commoner congeners (NCt) and a single Snow Bunting is still in the Carr Naze area.

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Recent days have seen some quality late autumn / early winter action around the Brigg and over the waves, with highlights today including yet another Grey Phalarope (this one heading south early on), two Great Northern Divers and two Long-tailed Ducks south, a late Sooty Shearwater and two Pomarine Skuas north, four Little Auks, and a Snow Bunting and a late Wheatear on Carr Naze (JS, MJP).

Long-tailed Ducks this morning (Mark Pearson)

Long-tailed Ducks this morning (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (16th) saw two Great Northern Divers, 37 Little Gulls, 21 Pomarine Skuas, a Sandwich Tern, 21 Little Auks (north, & five south), two Grey Phalaropes remaining and a White-beaked Dolphin offshore (JS, BP et al) as well as at least one Snow Bunting on Carr Naze.

On 15th, three Grey Phalaropes, a Pomarine Skua, 37 Little Gulls, a Sandwich Tern, five Little Auks and four Goosanders were in or off the Brigg area (MJP, JS et al) as well as eight Snow Buntings, the long-staying Whinchat and a Twite on Carr Naze.

Snow Bunting, 16th (Ian Robinson)

Snow Bunting, 16th (Ian Robinson)

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Highlights from the last few days include Little Auks (one 11th, five 12th, four 13th & six 14th), Grey Phalaropes (one 12th, two 13th, one 14th), Snow Buntings (up to seven on Carr Naze throughout), Twite (up to four), a Jack Snipe (also on Carrr Naze, 12th), and a Pomarine Skua and Long-tailed Duck (14th) (JS, MJP, CW et al).

Goosander (5th Nov - Mark Pearson)

Goosander (5th Nov – Mark Pearson)

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Today’s highlights included a Slavonian Grebe and a Velvet Scoter off Hunmanby Gap (NCt) and three Little Auks south (and one north) off the Brigg. An arrival of thrushes consisted mainly of Blackbirds, which totalled 220 (in off and grounded). A single Twite flew west along North Cliff and 16 Red-throated Divers were offshore there.

The 9th saw 102 Siskins and a single Snow Bunting south at the Gap, seven Snow Buntings remaining in the Carr Naze area, a total of 200 Pink-footed Geese south, and a Pomarine Skua feeding in the bay.

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Twite, 6th (Mark Pearson)

Twite, 6th (Mark Pearson)

Today’s headliners were not one but two Black Guillemots, the first of which drifted slowly south on the tide, with the second coming in from the north and heading into the bay late morning (MJP, BP, JS et al). The late Whinchat remained at Carr Naze pond (perhaps in both senses, possibly having succumbed to a Sparrowhawk), a Jack Snipe dropped into the Rocket Pole Field, a Snow Bunting was on Carr Naze with a further three over the Dams early a.m, small numbers of Siskins, winter thrushes and Skylarks were dropping in and / or moving through, while Chiffchaffs were at the Dams & East Lea (four) and Church Ravine (two).

Siskin at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Siskin at the Dams today (Mark Pearson)

A Jay was in Parish Wood this morning (with two north at the Dams and one at the Gap on 2nd). Yesterday (7th) saw more decent sea-watching returns with another Grey Phalarope, a Slavonian Grebe, a Great Northern Diver, a Little Auk and a Pomarine Skua, plus five Goosanders and two Velvet Scoters among a good range of migrating wildfowl (JS, BE).

Black Guillemot (Mark Pearson)

Black Guillemot this morning (Mark Pearson)

The 6th also produced from the Brigg hide, with 53 Little Auks and a Short-eared Owl over the waves and an arrival of passerines in off which included a Black Redstart and moderate numbers of thrushes and Starlings.

Fieldfares & Redwings arriving, 6th (Mark Pearson)

Fieldfares & Redwings arriving, 6th (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Short-eared Owl on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Short-eared Owl on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

A strong northerly encouraged all attentions to turn seawards today, and seven and a half hour’s observations didn’t disappoint. Highlights included three Grey Phalaropes south, 128 Little Auks north, 32 Pomarine Skuas and 20 Bonxies south, a Red-necked Grebe and a Long-tailed Duck south, six Velvet Scoters and a Goosander north, and 14 Little Gulls, two Great Northern Divers and 194 Red-throated Divers south (MJP, JS). Movements at sea off the Gap involved much the same species as above but for a Lapland Bunting south. A total of four Short-eared Owls came in off the sea, including one which rested on the Brigg (plus a fifth unidentified Asio south), and a Long-eared Owl was in the Top Scrub late afternoon (MJP).

Little Auks off the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Little Auks off the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

An otherwise quiet 4th produced a brief Great Grey Shrike on the Tip in the afternoon (TGD), while 3rd saw highlights of five Velvet Scoters, 13 Whooper Swans and 29 Little Gulls south off the Brigg.

Little Auk (just) passing the hide (Mark Pearson)

Little Auk (just) passing the hide (Mark Pearson)

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Today saw a Black Guillemot joining the Grey Phalarope (now present for a fourth day) off the Brigg, with highlights from Hunmanby Gap including 159 Siskins and 16 Twite through and 85 Little Gulls offshore. Another quality count of finches yesterday (1st) at the Gap included 263 Siskins, 13 Bullfinches and seven Twite through, along with a very late House Martin south. October ended with three Pomarine Skuas north and an Egyptian Goose and a Med Gull south (JS).

Grey Phalarope

Grey Phalarope (Mark Pearson)