Sunday, November 29th, 2015

 

Polish Mediterranean Gull (Mark Pearson)

Polish Mediterranean Gull (Mark Pearson)

A quiet few days with a blustery (often strong) west and south-westerly airflow and few sightings of note. One the sea, a Velvet Scoter went north on 27th, while single Snow Bunting and Great Northern Diver were in the Brigg area yesterday (28th). A first winter Mediterranean Gull dropped into East Lea and later the Dams on 27th (MJP), bearing a colour ring from a Polish program – thus, while, more information is awaited, the bird has likely travelled a thousand miles westwards since leaving its natal home.

On the subject of ringing, we’re very happy to introduce a brand new feature here on the website – FBOG’s crack ringing team have begun publishing an ongoing blog, via the ringing link on the homepage menu (but whenever new entries appear, we’ll also be linking to them here for convenience). There’ll be plenty of commentary, photos, background, and more – stay tuned for some high quality content, and check out the first post here

Polish Mediterranean Gull (Mark Pearson)

Polish Mediterranean Gull (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Single Black-throated Diver and Sooty Shearwater went north this morning and an Iceland Gull did likewise yesterday morning (JS, CW), while a Little Auk was by the Brigg yesterday afternoon (MJP) and at least one Great Northern Diver is also in situ. Single Snow Buntings came in off on both days, while (yet another) Short-eared Owl did likewise this morning.

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Two Waxwings (MC, IR) visited the Wharfedale estate this morning (around Collingham Way) after an initial report there yesterday, the (pintail-less) male Pintail remains at the Dams, where a Barn Owl reappeared this evening and a Common Buzzard has put in several appearances recently. 170 Pink-footed Geese are still in the northern area, with another 20 over the town – with a single Brent Goose – this morning. The Black Redstart was seen in the Bay Corner again yesterday (CC).

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Waxwings were reported yesterday briefly in Sycamore Ave (three) and today in Collingham Way (two), two Great Northern Divers, two Goldeneyes, 11 Great Crested Grebes and 71 Wigeon were in the bay today, with a brief Slavonian Grebe, a Black-throated Diver, and two Great Northern Divers there yesterday.

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Little Auk (Mark Pearson)

Little Auk (Mark Pearson)

A weekend dominated by a cold northerly airflow was thus dominated by sea-watching, with impressive returns. Today saw a moderate NNW swinging N to NNE gusting stronger at times, with frequent wintry showers and low temperatures, but a significantly less extreme swell (allowing more passage to be observed).

Glaucous Gull (Mark Pearson)

Glaucous Gull (Mark Pearson)

Eight hours observations from the Brigg produced plenty of quality, with highlights including 82 Little Auks, a juvenile Glaucous Gull, three Red-necked Grebes, a Black-throated Diver,  three Long-tailed Ducks, a Pomarine Skua, a Mediterranean Gull, a Velvet Scoter, and at least 11 Great Northern Divers, plus 30 Goldeneyes, a Snow Bunting and a Short-eared Owl in off the sea and a Woodcock on Carr Naze (MJP, JS, CW et al). Four Stonechats were new, with a male fresh-in on the Brigg this afternoon.

Red-breasted Merganser (Mark Pearson)

Red-breasted Merganser (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (21st) saw storm force (9) northerlies and challenging conditions (with a very heavy swell), but another eight hours observations from first light produced 50 Little Auks, two Scaup, a Pomarine Skua, a Balearic Shearwater, three Velvet Scoters, three Long-tailed Ducks, four Great Northern Divers and a brief Black-necked Grebe (the latter also seen off Reighton today) (MJP, JS, T&JD et al).

Stonechat on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Stonechat on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Additional news of a Jack Snipe at the Tip and a Short-eared Owl at the Rocket Pole Field on 20th, and a late Swallow on 19th.

Little Auk (Mark Pearson)

Little Auk (Mark Pearson)

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Woodlark (Dan Lombard)

Woodlark (Dan Lombard)

A moderate westerly wind wasn’t too promising, but disguised a more productive change in the weather system (with a front of cold air moving through the area) that brought a good arrival to the north of the area this morning – the best of which was a Woodlark (DL), our third for the year of a less-than annual species. Also fresh-in around the Top fields / North Cliff area were 23 Snow Buntings, four Woodcocks, 140 Blackbirds, 30 Fieldfares and five Redwings, with 170 Pink-footed Geese still in the same area. In addition, 15 Whooper Swans, two Great Northern Divers and a Woodcock went south on the sea this morning.

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

A generally quiet few days, although the Whooper Swan tally continues to rise on a daily basis, with over 500 heading  south now recorded this autumn: 12 were briefly at the Dams early morning of 17th (with presumably the same 12 circling East Lea before heading south an hour or so later), 32 went south over Primrose Valley on 18th, and 23 did likewise at the Gap this morning.

Woodpigeons over the Dams this morning (Mark Pearson)

Woodpigeons over the Dams this morning (Mark Pearson)

Pink-feet are a constant presence with at least 160 in residence in the northern area, six Pintail are in amongst the Wigeon flocks at the Dams and East Lea, Great Northern Divers were off the Brigg on 17th and south on 18th, while a Velvet Scoter went south and three Twite were around Carr Naze, also on 17th. A Short-eared Owl was sadly found dead in the Top fields yesterday, while Woodpigeon movements are in the thousands most days of late (with over 4,500 this morning).

Pintails and Wigeons at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Pintails and Wigeons at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Additional news of three Whooper Swans by the road at Lowfields Caravan site on 7th.

Monday, November 16th, 2015

The mild, bluster south-westerly airflow continues, with more notable late autumn passage over the sea in the last two days. Whooper Swans again warrant top billing, with a total of 64 through the area today, and an exceptional 108 yesterday; with an already healthy tally for the season before this week, it’ll be interesting to see the totals for the season overall in a few week’s time. likewise, Pink-footed Geese continue to move through in substantial numbers, with a surge today totalling 1337 in all.

Whooper Swans passing Filey lifeboat yesterday (Mark Pearson)

Whooper Swans passing Filey lifeboat yesterday (Mark Pearson)

A Black-throated Diver went south late morning today (MJP), while Great Northern Divers are hard to miss presently; an exceptional total of six went south today, with a single in the bay off the Gap – two also went south yesterday, when at least one was also in the bay. It was a good day for skuas, with nine Bonxies and five Arctics backing up an immature, pale morph Pomarine (MJP), which was perhaps the same bird around the Brigg yesterday afternoon (MJP). Six Twite and a Snow Bunting came in off and headed south late morning.

Common Seal, bay corner (Mark Pearson)

Common Seal, bay corner (Mark Pearson)

Saturday, November 14th, 2015

Whooper Swans over the bay (Mark Pearson)

Whooper Swans over the bay (Mark Pearson)

A similarly late autumnal cast over the last two days, with the particularly notable season for southbound Whooper Swans continuing unabated; 29 (seven, seven and 15) passed through the area this morning, with 46 (11, 14, 17, three and one) yesterday. Pink-footed Geese are also still very much feature, with at least 300 in the northern area this morning and 220+ yesterday. On the sea, three Great Northern Divers and an adult Mediterranean Gull were the highlights this morning, while a Snow Bunting overflew the bay corner yesterday, when decent finch movements at the Gap included 12 Bramblings and 94 Siskins.

Whooper Swans over the bay (Mark Pearson)

Whooper Swans over the bay (Mark Pearson)

The Dams and East Lea combined are holding up to five Snipe, three Dunlin, 65 Wigeon, 55 Teal, two Little Egrets, four Shovelers, six Gadwall and 45 Moorhens.

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Most of today’s highlights were from the vismig team at Hunmanby Gap, with a late Swallow north, nine Whooper Swans south, and 287 Siskins and two Twite among southbound passerines. A further four Whooper Swans were in the north of the bay and 40 Pink-footed Geese were in the Top Fields area. Two Little Egrets and a pair of Pintail were at the Dams.

Hen Harrier, Brigg - 11th (Mark Pearson)

Hen Harrier, Brigg – 11th (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday’s (11th) highlight was a Hen Harrier – our third of the year of a less-than-annual species – which came in from the north, over the Brigg and headed south-east out to sea mid-morning (MJP). At least Six Whooper Swans were in the bay off Reighton, a Twite went south and a Goosander north off the Brigg, over 270 Pink-footed Geese were in the area, and 3575 Woodpigeons and 171 Siskins headed south at the Gap.

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

Goosanders heading south (Mark Pearson)

Goosanders heading south (Mark Pearson)

A relatively quiet few days, with a warm south-westerly airflow and passage restricted to expected late autumn migrants. Single Great Northern Divers headed south off the Brigg on 8th and 9th, Whooper Swans were south off the Brigg (six on 7th) and at the Dams / East Lea (three on 8th), while notable visible migration at the Gap on 8th included five Goosanders, 98 Siskins, two Twite, seven Bullfinches and a single Snow Bunting.

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Argentatus Herring Gull (left), Country Park (Mark Pearson)

Argentatus Herring Gull (second left), Country Park (Mark Pearson)

A blustery SW wind and dull skies saw a good variety of mainly southbound notables today, including two White-fronted Geese, a Jay, a Snow Bunting, 705 Lapwings, 178 Siskins and 26 Whooper Swans from the Gap (KC), and two Great Northern Divers, two Whooper Swans, three adult Pomarine Skuas (offshore intermittently through the morning), and 71 Pink-footed Geese from the Brigg (MJP, JS). A Kingfisher was around the Brigg and a Short-eared Owl was in the Carr Naze area.

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

A mild, dark and drizzly day with a southerly wind saw a surge of waders over the sea and an incoming arrival of late autumn migrants at the Brigg / Carr Naze this afternoon. Of the former, Dunlins numbered over 1oo, Sanderlings 65, Purple Sandpipers 46 and a steady procession of southbound Lapwings low over the waves totalled 173, while of the latter, fresh-in were six Woodcocks, 475 Fieldfares, 230 Redwings and 55 Blackbirds (with most of the thrushes also arriving low over the water). Two Short-eared Owls and three Twite came in off, and single Snow Bunting and Black-throated Diver went south (MJP).

Sparrowhawk (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Sparrowhawk (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Yesterday (4th) saw a Black-throated Diver off Hunmanby Gap (KC), two Tawny Owls and a Woodcock at Parish Wood, two Short-eared Owls and a Barn Owl at the Tip, and 100 Pink-feet in the same area  The ringers were busy both this morning and last, with totals as follows.

Today: 44 birds – 33 new, 11 re-traps. Goldcrest 2, Fieldfare 2, Redwing 4, Song Thrush 1, Blackbird 19 (6), Robin 2, Dunnock 2 (1), Wren 1 (1), Great Tit (1), Blue Tit (2).

Yesterday: 113 birds – 84 new, 29 re-traps. Sparrowhawk 1, Goldcrest 1, Redwing 2, Song Thrush 3, Blackbird 59 (4), Robin 4, Dunnock 4 (1), Wren 1, Chaffinch 1, Tree Sparrow 2, Long-tailed Tit (14), Great Tit 1 (2), Blue Tit 5 (9).

Additional reports include a Jack Snipe at the Tip for much of the week and c20 Whooper Swans in the bay and then south on 3rd.

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

A cooler day today with low cloud, poor visibility and a brisk southerly wind, which was once again notable for Pink-footed Geese – a minimum of 700 were in the area today. The ring-tail Hen Harrier was again along the North Cliff, towards Newbiggin today, with two Short-eared Owls also on the coastal strip. A Snow Bunting and two Twite were flyovers in the Brigg area, where a small arrival of thrushes was also evident and the Kingfisher remained.

Blackbird fresh-in on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Blackbird fresh-in on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (2nd) was foggy but for a sunny window early afternoon, which saw the Kingfisher on the Brigg, 200 Pink-footed Geese south, a Snow Bunting over the Top Scrub, two Twite over Carr Naze and 12 Long-tailed tits again u-turning there after following the coast from North Cliff.

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Hen Harrier at dusk (Mark Pearson)

Hen Harrier at dusk (Mark Pearson)

A great start to the new month, particularly given the very pleasant, sunny and warm (and therefore unpromising) conditions. Highlights involved a Woodlark south over Hunmanby Gap this morning (KC, NCt), a ring-tail Hen Harrier hunting along North Cliff this evening (DL et al), and a Tundra Bean Goose in off last thing (MJP).

Pink-footed Geese - with abberant bird, second from right (Mark Pearson)

Pink-footed Geese (with aberrant bird, third from right) (Mark Pearson)

A good movement of Pink-footed Geese totalled at least 850 and included an aberrant individual with partially pale plumage, five Whooper Swans went south, Short-eared Owls were along north Cliff (two) and at Gristhorpe Bay, and a totals of four Goosanders and six Red-breasted Mergansers passed the Brigg. The Dams held a Little Egret, 35 Wigeon, and a Chiffchaff, and a flock of ten Long-tailed Tits headed out off the Brigg before u-turning.

Colour-ringed Turnstone on the Brigg today - this bird was one of the first to be ringed by the FBOG ringing team on 19th February 2012 - that's a lot of miles between here and the Arctic since... (Mark Pearson)

Colour-ringed Turnstone on the Brigg today – this bird was one of the first to be ringed by the FBOG ringing team on 19th February 2012 – that’s a lot of miles between here and the Arctic since… (Mark Pearson)

Insects were abundant in the unseasonably mild conditions, with two Common Darters fresh-in on the Brigg and another ovipositing at the Dams, while at least eight Small Tortoiseshells and four Red Admirals were noted.

Pink-footed Geese (Mark Pearson)

Pink-footed Geese (Mark Pearson)

The ringing team were active again this morning, with a good haul of 41 birds – 37 new, 4 re-traps: Treecreeper 1, Goldcrest (1), Lesser Redpoll 3, Bullfinch 1, Greenfinch 3 (1), Tree Sparrow 1, Long-tailed Tit 20 (1), Blackbird 6, Song Thrush 1, Wren 1, Dunnock (1).

Long-tailed Tit (Lucy Murgatroyd)

Long-tailed Tit (Lucy Murgatroyd)