Sunday, July 31st, 2016

The month ended with activity at the Dams and East Lea picking up (as expected at this point in the season), with combined wader totals including ten Black-tailed Godwits on 29th (eight Dams, two East Lea), single Ruff & Greenshank (both Dams, 29th, with the same Ruff at East Lea on 30th), up to ten Dunlins at the Dams, three Snipe at East Lea, up to three each of Green and Common Sandpipers, with up to 50 Lapwing and the juvenile Marsh Harrier at both sites.

Marsh Harrier at the Dams (Mike Cole)

Marsh Harrier at the Dams (Mike Cole)

A still quiet sea has seen small numbers of the commoner late summer migrants (and no significant movements of e.g. skuas or shearwaters as yet), but Little Terns have passed the Brigg on 29th (two) and 30th (one), with another juvenile Yellow-legged Gull north on 29th (JS).

Comma (Mike Cole)

Comma (Mike Cole)

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Two juvenile Marsh Harriers again frequented the northern area today, one again at the Dams and East Lea and another in the Carr Naze / Country Park area. On the sea, the odd Great and Arctic Skua and small numbers of the common terns are the best of a continuing quiet period, with a similarly modest cast at the Dams, which includes up to four Green and two Common Sandpipers, 54 Lapwing and 16 Teal.

Whimbrels off the Brigg (Mal Richardson)

Whimbrels off the Brigg (Mal Richardson)

Ongoing efforts courtesy of the FBOG ringing team resulted in another five Storm-petrels being trapped overnight.

Meadow Pipit (Mal Richardson)

Meadow Pipit (Mal Richardson)

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Early raptor movements have begun over the last couple of days, with a Hobby at the Dams on 24th and Marsh Harriers at North Cliff yesterday and at the Dams today. Otherwise, the latter site is holding up to four Green and two Common Sandpipers (with one of each at East Lea), as well as 35 Lapwings and 17 Teal, but except for odd Yellow Wagtails, passage remains quiet. Single Black-tailed Godwits were also East Lea and the Dams yesterday.

Marsh Harrier at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Marsh Harrier at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

The ringing team had more success with the seventh Storm-petrel trapping session of the year last night, catching seven birds (of which six were unringed). This brings the running total of birds caught per night to 41 so far this season.

Marsh Harrier & Sparrowhawk at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Marsh Harrier & Sparrowhawk at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

Wader passage picked up significantly today over the sea, with combined (rough) totals from Hunmanby Gap and the Brigg of c150 Whimbrel, 150 Dunlin, 80 Redshank, 70 Knot and as many as 150 unidentified Calidris waders. Also recorded were c180 Sandwich Terns north and an adult summer Little Gull feeding off the Brigg before heading south.

Common Scoters off the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Common Scoters off the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

At the Dams, a Kingfisher was present late morning (BP) but not since, with single Green and Common Sandpipers, Redshank and Black-tailed Godwit and two Greenshank. Yesterday (22nd), a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull (DL) was at the Dams and East Lea, our second of the season.

 

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Black Tern (Mark Pearson)

Black Tern (Mark Pearson)

Today’s highlight was a Black Tern which headed south off the Brigg late afternoon, the second of the year (MJP). Other seawatch records today included a good passage of waders in the morning, which included 130 Knot, 112 Dunlin, 42 Sanderling and 54 Redshank; 28 Manxies also went south. At the Dams, waders have included two Knot, two Black-tailed Godwits and two Green Sandpipers today and two Little Ringed Plovers on 18th, while a Little Egret was at the Tip yesterday.

Four-spotted Chaser at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Four-spotted Chaser at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Our fifth attempt at catching Storm-petrels was a success again last night, with four birds caught – three new, and one control (pictured); she has a fascinating story to tell, which we’ll write up here on the site soon.

European Storm-petrel (Mark Pearson)

European Storm-petrel (Mark Pearson)

 

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

The highlight of the last few days was a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull which followed a fishing boat north past the Brigg this morning (MJP) – the first this year. A dark-morph Arctic Skua went south yesterday (16th) on what has been a quiet sea so far this July.

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull (Mark Pearson)

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull (Mark Pearson)

The 14th saw the first returning Purple Sandpiper on the Brigg end with various other waders which included eight Turnstones and 22 Redshanks, while the Little Ringed Plover from the previous day remained at East Lea. Knot and Whimbrel have trickled through daily in single figures, as have Yellow Wagtails, Manx Shearwaters and the odd Common and Arctic Tern. One or two Grey Wagtails have been recorded daily, with Common Sandpipers at the Dams and East Lea.

Purple Sandpiper (Mark Pearson)

Purple Sandpiper (Mark Pearson)

A further six European Storm-petrels were trapped overnight on 13th/14th and another three on 15th/16th, bringing the overall tally this week to 30 from five sessions.

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Today’s seawatching produced single Great and Arctic Skuas, 442 Common Scoters north, 25 Manx Shearwaters, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 230 Fulmars north, with six Knot and a Turnstone among small numbers of waders on the Brigg and a juvenile Grey Wagtail at Carr Naze pond; East Lea hosted a Little Ringed Plover, two Shelducks, a Shoveler and a Common Sandpiper. Yesterday (12th), a Little Owl was close to a potential breeding site south of the town (a rare bird locally in recent years), while 11th saw 28 Redshanks, 10 Knot and five Sanderlings among wader passage south over the sea and a pale-bellied Brent Goose on the Brigg.

Dunlin on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Dunlin on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

16 Manxies and a Bar-tailed Godwit flew south on 10th, when a Little Egret dropped in at the Dams, 69 Whimbrel, a Grey Wagtail and three Pochard headed south at the Gap, and Common Sandpipers were there, at the Dams, East Lea and the Brigg. The ringing team’s petrel-trapping success had continued, with a further three caught on the night of 9th/10th and seven on 11th/12th.

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

More activity over the last couple of days has included impressive Swift movements, peaking yesterday (8th) with a minimum of 2025 heading south (the majority in the morning). A Velvet Scoter and a Mediterranean Gull (JS) were sea-watching highlights this morning, while a Black-tailed Godwit dropped in at the Dams today and a Hobby (KC, WS), 63 Common Scoter and 200 Puffins were the best of at the Gap. Wader passage is still modest but is improving, now including up to 15 Whimbrel and single figures of Redshanks, Knot, Dunlins and Curlews daily.

Swift, Muston Sands (Mark Pearson)

Swift, Muston Sands (Mark Pearson)

The FBOG ringing team began this season’s Storm-petrel trapping season with a bang last night, catching ten birds (of which six were unringed and four were controls). See the home page for details of upcoming sessions (including tonight’s).

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Bar-tailed Godwit (Mark Pearson)

Bar-tailed Godwit (Mark Pearson)

Passage over the sea has picked up slightly in the last two couple of days, the best of being a total of 635 Common Scoter north and 58 south on the morning of 5th, when wader passage included a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Knot on the Brigg and 33 Redshank and nine Black-tailed Godwits south; other wildfowl included 48 Teal and four Gadwall north. This morning, an Arctic Skua and nine Manx Shearwaters went north.

Common Scoters (Mark Pearson)

Common Scoters (Mark Pearson)

 

Monday, July 4th, 2016

An unsettled few days with steadily rising temperatures have seen little in the way of notable records, with a Crossbill and 12 Common Scoter south on 1st, when two Dunlin and a Whimbrel were among a few Brigg waders. Seven Manx Shearwaters passed the hut this morning and a redpoll flew south over the town.