Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

A dark, mild and stormy day today saw a Great Northern Diver and a Little Auk off the Brigg, with a Great Northern Diver present and a Little Auk south yesterday. Highlights of 21st included two Great Northern Divers off the Brigg, plus one north and one present at Hunmanby Gap (likely involving the same birds, although the exact numbers remain unclear).

Little Auk this morning (Mark Pearson)

Little Auk this morning (Mark Pearson)

An impressive movement on 20th was dominated by Fulmars, with 6909 north and 52 south off the Brigg constituting a new day record (while over 1500 were counted from the Gap); six Pomarine Skuas (plus one south on 19th), a Great Northern Diver and an adult Mediterranean Gull also went south off the Brigg, while at the Gap, four Whooper Swans, two Bonxies, a Great Northern Diver, a single Pom and the same Med Gull went south (JS, BP, KC).

Great Northern Diver off the Brigg this morning (Mark Pearson)

Great Northern Diver off the Brigg this morning (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

The quiet early winter period continues, with low pressure systems and winds from the west and the majority of highlights coming from the sea and the bay:- Black-throated Divers passed the Brigg yesterday and on 15th (JS), while up to two Great Northern Divers have been off the Brigg and also off the Gap (with several birds involved), with singles also passing by the Brigg on several dates.

The Dams and East Lea are currently holding about 30 Teal and 50 Wigeon as well as 13 Curlews and a few Redshanks.

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Twelve days of distinctly marine-flavoured highlights, as would be expected at this time of year: A Slavonian Grebe was off the seafront on 4th (J&TGD); Great Northern Divers have been recorded on many days, with singles present off the Brigg on 7th & 9th, two present on 12th & 13th, and another two north on 13th (with two off Hunmanby Gap on 5th and singles there on several other dates); three Pomarine Skuas went past the Brigg on 2nd, with one past the Gap on 3rd; a Velvet Scoter was off the Gap on several dates, with one also off the Brigg on 5th; a Black Redstart arrived in the bay corner on 11th, and is still present today; a single Snow Bunting was on Carr Naze up to 6th, with four Twite south at the Gap the previous day; 14 Little Auks went north on 2nd, with odd ones and two on several other dates; and Sanderlings were up to 33 on 7th, with 29 Purple Sandpipers on the same date.

Red Fox, Filey Dams (Lez Day)

Red Fox, Filey Dams (Lez Day)

Monday, December 1st, 2014

What seemed like unpromising conditions for this morning’s seawatch in fact provided a star fly-by and plenty of quality back-up, with the runaway highlight being a WHITE-BILLED DIVER south at 1025hrs (MJP). An adult in transitional plumage, it was seen passing Flamborough 13 minutes later (at an estimated flight speed of 32mph).

White-billed Diver (Mark Pearson)

White-billed Diver (Mark Pearson)

It was very much a case of quality over quantity, with a Bean Goose low and north-west over Carr Naze at dawn, single Great Northern and Black-throated Divers south (as well as 50+ Red-throated Divers – completing a set of four Gavia species in an hour), single Long-tailed Duck and Little Auk south, and a Pomarine Skua north (MJP).

Little Auk (Mark Pearson)

Little Auk (Mark Pearson)

A Mistle Thrush on the end of Carr Naze, as well as two Blackbirds and a Robin on the Brigg, indicated new passerine arrivals, while three Snow Buntings remained in the same area (with another single south).

More photos of the diver and others are viewable here.

Apologies in advance for a lack of updates over the coming days – anything rare will be reported here as usual and a full summary will follow mid-month.