Thursday, March 31st, 2016

The month ended with a sunny day and a light but cool northerly wind, which failed to deter several long-distance migrants – the year’s first Swallow whipped north over the Country Park, seven Sand Martins did likewise, a Scandinavian Rock Pipit was by Carr Naze pond (MJP), a small scattering of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests was evident in coastal cover, and the Surf Scoter remained in the same area by the Brigg.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Ian Robinson)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Ian Robinson)

Yesterday (30th) saw the year’s first Wheatear briefly on Carr Naze, a Brambling in Top Scrub and two Sand Martins north at Carr Naze, while Meadow Pipit passage has been notable on all recent days, with a clear peak of 220 in off over three hours on 29th (and 60 present in the Carr Naze area); the same day saw the year’s first Red Kite skirting the south of the recording area (NP). The high tide Purple Sandpiper roost continues to hold good numbers, with 77 yesterday.

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Shelduck at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Shelduck at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Early spring migration has continued to stutter in over the last few days, with a modest but encouraging mix of departing northern and returning southern breeders in changeable conditions. The year’s first Sand Martins made an appearance yesterday (27th) when five were recorded in the town area through the course of the afternoon, while Chiffchaffs have been an increasingly numerous presence, with a steady arrival of birds (mainly in the northern coastal area) of up to 10 on each of the last three or four days.

Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

The Surf Scoter remains a popular guest star off the Brigg (with dozens of visitors over the Easter weekend), while outgoing migrants have included a Jack Snipe at Carr Naze pond on 25th (CW), a female Pintail over Carr Naze on 26th, two Whooper Swans on a flash west of the Dams today, and single figures of both Redwings and Fieldfares (including two of the latter in off today); small numbers of Redwings and Blackbirds have been audible heading over the town on several nights this week.

Thursday, March 24th, 2016

A welcome addition to the year-list today dropped in at the Dams in the shape of an Avocet (GD et al.), staying most of the day and favouring the area in front of the East Pool hide (where five Snipe were also feeding). The Surf Scoter remained off the Brigg (accompanying a male Eider today), and incoming passerines there included four Skylarks and five Starlings. Last night, multiple Blackbirds were heading low and north and contact-calling over the town.

Avocet (Henry Teahan)

Avocet (Henry Teahan)

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Generally settled conditions with some early spring sunshine over the last few days have as yet failed to encourage any trans-Saharan migrants into our area, but notable sightings northbound species include an Iceland Gull over Carr Naze on 20th (SC) and a Snow Bunting over the Brigg on 21st (MJP). The Surf Scoter remains in its favoured area off the south of the Brigg, where yesterday’s high tide wader roost included 77 Purple Sandpipers.

Purple Sandpiper (Mark Pearson)

Purple Sandpiper (Mark Pearson)

 

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

A generally quiet early spring week with unhelpful conditions and a northerly airflow. An adult summer Mediterranean Gull (MJP et al,) was at the Dams today – oddly, displaying to a Common Gull – where 30 Teal, 18 Wigeon, two Little Grebes, two Gadwall and four Shelduck (including birds at East Lea) are also present.

Med Gull at the Dams today (Mark Pearson)

Med Gull at the Dams today (Mark Pearson)

Otherwise, the young male Surf Scoter remains in his favoured area south of the Brigg, from which a second-year Glaucous Gull was seen on 15th and a blue Fulmar on 16th (JS).

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Monday, March 14th, 2016

Rock Pipit, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Rock Pipit, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

A relatively quiet and calm couple of days here at the Obs, with high pressure holding and a trickle of outbound migrants taking advantage. Of these, 12 Redwings and five Fieldfares were brief visitors on 12th, single figures of Lapwings and small numbers of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks are likewise northbound, 18 Snipe were in the Rocket Pole Field and 150 Pink-feet headed north-west (also on 12th), while the sea and the wetlands remain quiet but for the Surf Scoter still in situ and good numbers of auks and Kittiwakes on and around the cliffs. Up to 74 Purple Sandpipers are in the high tide roost.

Surf Scoter (Will Scott)

Surf Scoter (Will Scott)

 

Friday, March 11th, 2016

Whooper Swan (Mark Pearson)

Whooper Swan (Mark Pearson)

A change in conditions over the last couple of days has prompted a little more activity, with a Black Redstart near the churchyard yesterday (J& TGD), and several notable records today – a Black-necked Grebe was briefly off the Brigg (JS, CW), a littoralis Rock Pipit (MJP) was on Carr Naze (from a total of eight of that species), a flock of 32 Whooper Swans headed north over the Brigg, and the Surf Scoter remains in its usual place. Of interest, a Ring Ouzel was reported to the bird news services – any further information welcomed.

Surf Scoter (Mark Pearson)

Surf Scoter (Mark Pearson)

Monday, March 7th, 2016

The generally quiet period continues, with the Surf Scoter still faithful to the south side of the Brigg, a Blue Fulmar and two adult summer Med Gulls south on 5th and a Great Northern Diver north on 3rd (JS), up to 60 Purple Sandpipers in the Brigg area, and two Scandinavian Rock Pipits there on 2nd (MJP).

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

The new month began with little of note to report but for the Surf Scoter still in residence off the Brigg, small numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls trickling through (with one of the adults from the breeding pairs returning to a traditional nest site in the town), and Stonechats at Carr Naze (the long-staying pair) and Hunmanby Gap (another pair).

Stonechat, Hunmanby Gap (Will Scott)

Stonechat, Hunmanby Gap (Will Scott)