Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Another day, another rare flava at East Lea, when a male Grey-headed Wagtail (M.f.thunbergi) dropped in during the early evening (MJP). Not quite as exotic as last week’s Spanish (M.f.iberiae), it’s still a rare bird, with an average of one or two annually in Yorkshire in recent years; Filey’s last was in 2007.

Grey-headed Wagtail (Mark Pearson)

Grey-headed Wagtail (Mark Pearson)

A total of 16 Yellow Wagtails (13 males and three females), three Pied and one White Wagtail were also present over the course of several hours there, as were two Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper. A Long-tailed Duck passed the Brigg this morning (JS) a total of 12 Arctic Terns went north, a Cuckoo sang from Arndale, three Wheatears and a Rock Pipit were on Carr Naze, and the year’s first Swift was over Hunmanby Gap this evening.

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Two Red  Kites high over Carr Naze on 24th (Mark Pearson)

Two Red Kites high over Carr Naze on 24th (Mark Pearson)

A cold, mainly sunny day (with a heavy overnight frost) was generally quiet, although expected summer migrants continue to trickle through, with e.g. Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats and Reed Warblers edging upwards in number; after many Swallows reoccupied breeding sites over the last couple of weeks, so House Martins are now attending at least two local colonies and Sand Martins are prospecting several spots.

Yellow Wagtail (Mark Pearson)

Yellow Wagtail (Mark Pearson)

Numbers of Swallows and Sand Martins reached 95 and 40 respectively at the Dams / East Lea yesterday, while a White Wagtail was at the former and three Yellow Wagtails at the latter today. A colour-ringed Herring Gull, first seen on 20th of this month, was present at East Lea again today – ringed by one of the Filey ringing team 3km east of York exactly a month earlier!

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

A hot and sunny morning on 24th encouraged two Red Kites and a Hobby to thermal high over Carr Naze (MJP) and the first scattering of Lesser Whitethroats to begin singing, a Glaucous Gull went north this morning (possibly the same 2cy bird seen several times lately), and the year’s first Reed Warbler was singing at the Dams on 23rd. White & Yellow Wagtails continue to drop in at East Lea and Wheatears at the Tip and Carr Naze.

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

A (presumed) SPANISH WAGTAIL briefly visited East Lea this afternoon (MJP), fortunately posing for a few hastily-grabbed photos and calling several times before being chased away by the resident male Pied Wagtail. More photos here.

Presumed Spanish Wagtail (Mark Pearson)

Presumed Spanish Wagtail (Mark Pearson)

Other sightings today included a Glaucous Gull on the Brigg, the first singing Cuckoo of the year at the Dams and two White Wagtails on the golf course. More to follow.

(Mark Pearson)

(Mark Pearson)

 

Monday, April 20th, 2015

A predictably quiet day with high pressure, sunshine and a cool easterly breeze. A Whimbrel, five Sand Martins and a Wheatear were in the Carr Naze / Brigg area, while the first brood of Mallards were at East Lea (with eleven ducklings braving the open water).

Wheatear, David Eccles

Wheatear (David Eccles)

Our team down at Hunmanby Gap aren’t just about the visible migration, and the moth traps there produced two highlights on 13th and 14th respectively – a White-marked (the first ever record for VC61) and a Red Sword-grass.

White-marked (Dan Lombard)

White-marked (Dan Lombard)

Red Sword-grass (Dan Lombard)

Red Sword-grass (Dan Lombard)

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

Manxie heading north this evening (Mark Pearson)

Manxie heading north this evening (Mark Pearson)

An evening seawatch in strong northerly winds produced a single Manx Shearwater and 84 Common Gulls north, with 39 Purple Sandpipers in the high tide roost. Yesterday (18th) saw the year’s first Little Ringed Plovers (two) at East Lea, while both Iceland and Glaucous Gulls were reported from the Brigg (AD). Three Wheatears on Carr Naze were the pick of a quiet 17th, while the two Great Northern Divers remain off Hunmanby Gap.

Little Ringed Plover at East Lea yesterday (Mark Pearson)

Little Ringed Plover at East Lea yesterday (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

 

Ring Ouzel heading north at Muston Sands (Mark Pearson)

Ring Ouzel heading north at Muston Sands (Mark Pearson)

More migration activity over the last couple of days included a White Wagtail in at the Brigg and a Jack snipe on Carr Naze this morning, with a Greenland-type Wheatear on Reighton golf course, while yesterday (15th) an Iceland Gull went north (JS), a male Redstart (the first of the year) was at the Tip in the afternoon, and the first few hours of the day were again productive for visible migration:

Sparrowhawk south at Muston Sands (Mark Pearson)

Sparrowhawk south at Muston Sands (Mark Pearson)

At Muston Sands, a Ring Ouzel and two White Wagtails went north, two House Martins were the first of the year and two Corn Buntings went south (MJP), while at Hunmanby Gap, a Corn Bunting went north and over 600 Linnets and 100 Goldfinches were on the move (mainly north) (KC). Over a thousand Meadow Pipits went north and/or west overall (including 616 north at the Gap), and thee two Great Northern Divers remain in the south of the bay.

The year's first House Martin heading south (Mark Pearson)

The year’s first House Martin heading south (Mark Pearson)

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Long-tailed Duck heading over the town (Mark Pearson)

Long-tailed Duck heading over the town (Mark Pearson)

Most news came from visible migrations watches today, from both Hunmanby Gap (0600-0930) and Muston Sands (1020-1220). Highlights from the former included a Marsh Harrier and a Ring Ouzel north (KC), from the latter a Long-tailed Duck (northwest over the town) (MJP), and combined totals of 507 Meadow Pipits, 415 Linnets and three Yellow Wagtails (all north). Two Great Northern Divers remain offshore, while two Common Sandpipers were at the Dams this morning and 14 Golden Plovers headed north there this afternoon.

Monday, April 13th, 2015

A relatively quiet few days, with a trickle of migrants and a generally benign sea. 11th saw a blue Fulmar and 414 Common Gulls south, three Wheatears on Carr Naze and Goosander over the Country Park, with two Great Northern Divers remaining in the south of the bay and six each of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff at the Dams yesterday (12th). Swallows and (particularly) Sand Martins are now well represented, with odd Blackcaps also now present.

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Barn Owl, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

Barn Owl, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

A window of high pressure over the last few days has allowed a good variety of spring migrants to move through the area, with firsts for the year including Willow Warbler (East Lea) and Ring Ouzel  (Tip) today, Wheatear (Carr Naze) and Common Tern (Brigg) yesterday (9th), and Blackcap (Hunmanby Gap) and Sandwich Tern (Brigg) on 7th.

Willow Warbler, East Lea  (Mark Pearson)

Willow Warbler, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

Other notable records have included White Wagtails (one at the Dams today and one in the Rocket Pole Field on 7th), Swallows (from 7th, with 12 today through East Lea / Dams), Sand Martins (up to 30 today, ditto), Common Buzzards (with six west of the Dams on 7th), two Bramblings through at the Gap on 7th, a Ringed Plover at East Lea on 8th, and over 1000 Meadow Pipits through NW on 7th.

Bottlenose Dolphins (Mark Pearson)

Bottlenose Dolphins (Mark Pearson)

Echoing a similar occurence almost exactly a year ago, a pod of 18 Bottlenose Dolphins spent some time in Filey waters on 9th after arriving from the north and then moving south to Bempton and Flamborough.

Bottlenose Dolphins (Mark Pearson)

Bottlenose Dolphin (Mark Pearson)

 

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Red Fox vixen at the Dams (Pete Dunn)

Red Fox vixen at the Dams (Pete Dunn)

A week of minimal signs of spring, with prevailing conditions continuing to hold up northbound migrants and very little of note over the sea. Highlights from the last few days have included a Snow Bunting over on 2nd, a Swallow (the year’s first) and over a thousand Meadow Pipits north at Hunmanby Gap on 29th, and small numbers of Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs moving through. The bay has been equally quiet but for up to two Great Northern Divers, usually in the southern area.

Azure Damselfly nymph, Top Scrub pond (Dan Lombard)

Azure Damselfly nymph,
Top Scrub pond (Dan Lombard)

Large Red Damselfly nymph, Top Scrub pond (Dan Lombard)

Large Red Damselfly nymph, Top Scrub pond (Dan Lombard)