Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

An interesting end to the month, with some notable arrivals and strong overhead passage. Highlights of the day included a Curlew Sandpiper at the Dams briefly early on (JL), two Little Stints and a Yellow-legged Gull on the Brigg first thing and a Red-necked Grebe north (MJP, BP, CW). Wagtails on or over the Brigg included four Grey (south), one White, 12 Pied and five Yellow, while over 2300 Gannets, four Arctic and two Great Skuas were on the move. Hirundines were doing likewise in big numbers, and while final counts are still awaited there were at least several hundred House Martins and Swallows involved (and at least ten Swifts).

Snipe, East Lea Mark Pearson)

Snipe, East Lea Mark Pearson)

Other notables included four Ruff, two Black-tailed Godwits, two Green Sandpipers and a Little Egret at the Dams (with it or another at East Lea), several Wigeon, Shoveler and the Pintail among good numbers of Mallard and Teal there, plus six Grey Herons in the reedbed, Snipe at both sites and two Common Buzzards overhead. Late news from yesterday involved an Osprey and a Short-eared Owl over the Tip (JD & TGD).

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Shoveler (Mark Pearson)

Shoveler (Mark Pearson)

A hot and sunny day with a south-westerly wind and very little new to report. The Dams continues to hold interest, with the Pintail still, a Little Egret (there and at East Lea), twos of Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, and Snipe and a Green Sandpiper. A Great Crested Grebe was on the bay and three Whinchats were in the Tip area.

Monday, August 29th, 2016

A generally quiet day today saw three each of Whinchat, Wheatear and Willow Warbler on Carr Naze, a Reed Warbler, two Garden Warblers, 15 Willow Warblers, four Chiffchaffs, three Whitethroats and a Blackcap in Top Scrub, and three Arctic Skuas, three Manx Shearwaters  and a Bonxie through on a quiet sea.

Wheatear, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

Wheatear, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday, two Long-tailed Skuas were off Hunmanby Gap (KC) (with a belated report of one the previous day too), three Whinchats and two Redstarts were in the Carr Naze area, while a Grey Plover and two Brent Geese flew south.

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

A pleasingly busy few days, particularly regarding waders, which have once again been moving through and dropping in in good numbers. Highlights have included a Spotted Redshank over the Dams on 26th (MJP), a Little Stint on the Brigg today and yesterday (mo) and a very early Jack Snipe reported from the Tip (J&TGD); up to 38 Knot, 28 Redshank, 23 Dunlin, four Purple Sandpipers and 70 Oystercatchers are also among the good cast on the Brigg. Respectable numbers of many common species have been on the move past the Brigg and the Gap, but Shearwater action has been confined to a single Sooty on 25th and small numbers of Manx, while skuas have been confined to handfuls of Arctics and the odd Bonxie.

Little Stint (Mark Pearson)

Little Stint (Mark Pearson)

Raptors have included a Merlin (JS) and two Marsh Harriers north on 26th, while Ruff are still at The Dams in numbers, with three also at the Tip today and two at East Lea. The Dams also attracted a Pintail on 25th & 27th alongside the good numbers of Teal and Mallard and several Wigeon, Shoveler and Gadwall. Passerine activity has been very limited, with Tree Pipits in off at the Brigg on 25th and 26th, Yellow Wagtails regularly trickling through (with 24 north at the Gap on 26th) and several Willow Warblers and Wheatears on Carr Naze. Up to seven Grey Herons and two Little Egrets have visited the Dams, where Water Rails have been seen on several occasions.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

A mainly sunny day before evening cloud with an at times brisk NW produced a brief Little Stint at the Dams late afternoon (JB), where the usual (and impressive) cast of waders remains, with Ruff back up to 20, a second Little Egret has joined the first (with up to five Grey Herons) and an addditonal two Ruff and a Greenshank still at East Lea. Two Arctic Skuas were the best of a quiet sea this morning, two Wheatears were on Carr Naze, c30 Willow Warblers were present in an incomplete count of the Country Park area, and a Pied Flycatcher was reported at Muston Grange.

Migrant Hawker at the Dams (Mike Cole)

Migrant Hawker at the Dams (Mike Cole)

Yesterday, an exceptional arrival of Willow Warblers totalled at least 80 in the combined northern coastal area, while an adult Hobby was at the Dams (MJP, JMP) as well as a juvenile Little Ringed Plover and a similar cast of waders to previous days.

Little Stint at the Dams (John Burnham)

Little Stint at the Dams (John Burnham)

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

A day of blustery south-westerly winds, heavy rain (a.m) and some brightness (p.m) and increasingly warm temperatures which provided plenty of interest. The year’s first Turtle Dove occurred in unexpected circumstances, heading south over the Brigg and bay late afternoon (MJP), while more expected given the recent influx was our first Little Stint of the season on the Brigg this morning (JS). An Osprey was over the Country Park late morning, with it (or another) seen over Scarborough Road later (SC, J & TGD).

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Willow Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

A small fall of migrants after the rain on Carr Naze included five Willow Warblers, a Sedge Warbler, a Whitethroat and a total of 14 Wheatears, many of which were watched arriving on the Brigg and filtering up the slope late afternoon. The Dams held pretty much the same cast as yesterday, while East Lea hosted 12 Curlew, eight Yellow Wagtails, a Greenshank and two Snipe. Tern passage was improved with more than 50 of both Common and Arctic Tern this afternoon (as well as many more unidentified ‘commics’ in the haze).

Knot on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Knot on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

A weekend of strong winds and heavy showers, with our wetland sites attracting most interest. The Dams has 17 Ruff, 33 Dunlin, a Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit, two Snipe, a Shoveler, three Gadwall and 55 Teal today, with two Kingfishers present on 19th (MC), while East Lea has held up to ten Ruff.

Ruff at the Dams this eve (Mark Pearson)

Ruff at the Dams this eve (Mark Pearson)

On the sea, a day of strong passage on 19th included two Sooty Shearwaters, 54 Knot, a Black Tern, 22 Arctic Skuas, 114 Dunlin, two Little Gulls and a Pomarine Skua south and a Pied Flycatcher in off (JS, CW). Several Purple Sandpipers and up to 16 Ringed Plovers are among waders on the Brigg, and a further Pied Flycatcher was in Parish wood today.

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Arctic Skua this morning (Mark Pearson)

Arctic Skua this morning (Mark Pearson)

Light to moderate easterly winds with a mix of overcast skies and sunny intervals have dominated the last two days, bringing a few modest signs of continental immigration onto the land and some movement overhead. Today, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull followed the plough north of the sports pitches (MJP), a Grasshopper Warbler was in the Rocket Pole Field (MJP), and a juvenile Wheatear (the season’s first) was on the Brigg. On the sea, 18 Manx Shearwaters, six Arctic Skuas, a Bonxie, 40 Dunlin and two Greenshank went south this morning, while at the Dams, the Kingfisher was still present, Ruff numbers have risen to an impressive 20, and other counts included 17 Dunlin, two Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper and the Black-tailed Godwit (many of which are lingering birds); two Ruff were also at East Lea. A Treecreeper visited a garden at Hunmanby Gap.

Whinchat, Short Hedge, 17th (Mark Pearson)

Whinchat, Short Hedge, 17th (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (17th) saw a the season’s first Pied Flycatchers freshly arrived in the Top Scrub and Parish Wood, a Whinchat (also a first for the season) in the crop by Short Hedge and a Garden Warbler in Parish Wood, while 20 Willow Warblers (one of which was watched arriving in off), eight Chiffchaffs and two Blackcaps were scattered in the northern coastal area. A similar cast was the Dams (with the Spotted Redshank still present), and 200 Common Scoter, two Arctic Skuas and a Little Egret were the best of the sea-watch.

Pied Flycatcher, Top scrub, 17th (Mark Pearson)

Pied Flycatcher, Top scrub, 17th (Mark Pearson)

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

A similar cast to previous days, with a varied section of waders at the Dams still including the Spotted Redshank and up to three Greenshank, two Green Sandpipers, nine Dunlin, six Ruff, a Black-tailed Godwit, 20 Lapwings and several Curlew (with a further 18 over early on); a Little Egret flew over this morning. The Kingfisher and several Water Rails are also still present, and wildfowl numbers are slowly improving, with 110 Mallards, 25 Teal, and a Shoveler there and a Tufted Duck, a Wigeon, two Gadwall and 15 Mallard at East Lea.

Spotted (left) and Common Redshanks at the Dams this morning (Mark Pearson)

Spotted (left) and Common Redshanks at the Dams this morning (Mark Pearson)

Sightings from yesterday concerned two Sooty Shearwaters north and 24 Manx Shearwaters south, and a good selection of waders on the move which were headlined by 46 Knot north. A Tree Pipit, a Greenshank and four Yellow Wagtails came in off the sea late morning, with a good sprinkling of the latter species locally over recent days. At the Gap, a Great Skua and 20 Dunlin were the pick of observations there.

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Activity over recent days has largely involved waders, although the first significant warbler dispersal across the area – with Willow Warblers dominating and small numbers of e.g. the commoner Sylvias, as well as increasing numbers of Yellow Wagtails (into low double figures across the area in recent days) – have also provided interest. Three Greenshank briefly visited the Tip today, where a Tree Pipit also dropped in (the first of the season), and 14 Curlew, a Golden Plover and a Ringed Plover flew over. A male Red-veined Darter was a reward for one of ringers clearing the lanes there yesterday (DL).

Spotted Redshank (Mark Pearson)

Spotted Redshank (Mark Pearson)

Small numbers of waders at the Brigg have included a Spotted Redshank in off the sea yesterday eve (MJP), and 12 Dunlin, four Knot, eight Turnstones, 20 Oystercatchers and two Whimbrel in situ. The sea has been quiet, with just a few Manxies and terns passing the hide in the last few days, but Painted Lady numbers have increased, with a peak of 28 on Carr Naze on 11th.

Sparrowhawk, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

Sparrowhawk, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

The mud at the Dams continues to provide most interest however, with the Spotted Redshank still present today, up to four Greenshank, three Green Sandpipers, five Ruff, ten Dunlin, two Ringed Plover and two Redshanks; a Kingfisher (MJP, JRS) and two Water Rails were also present this evening. A Wheatear dropped in at East Lea today.

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

A wader-friendly Dams has attracted a good cast over the last few days, the best of which is a Spotted Redshank today (JL et al.); also currently present are four Dunlin, four Black-tailed Godwits, a Greenshank, a Redshank, 30 Lapwing and a Snipe. Up to three Green and one Common Sandpiper have also been a fixture, with two Ruff (yesterday), a Dunlin and up to four Snipe at East Lea.

Spotted Redshank (Mark Pearson)

Spotted Redshank (Mark Pearson)

Seawatching is gradually improving, with single Sooty Shearwaters this morning and yesterday, a handful a Manxies daily, five Arctic Skuas south on 9th and six south yesterday (when two Bonxies also went south), a trickle of southbound waders (including Oystercatchers, with 21 south yesterday and 19 south today), all three commoner terns in modest numbers, and both Gannets and Fulmars into the hundreds (as expected at this time of year).

Marsh Harrier (Will Scott)

Marsh Harrier (Will Scott)

An adult Mediterranean Gull  was over the Country park on 9th, with a Marsh Harrier south-east at the Gap on the same morning.

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Caspian Gull (Mark Pearson)

Caspian Gull (Mark Pearson)

After much searching (and several false starts), Filey’s first conclusive Caspian Gull was found within a Larid assemblage just west of the Dams today (MJP, DL). Otherwise, the Dams held two Ringed Plovers, a Greenshank, three Green Sandpipers and a Dunlin, and dragonflies included several Ruddy Darters there and a Southern Hawker at East Lea.

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Most of the limited activity over the last couple of days has involved waders at East Lea and (particularly) the Dams, where the first Wood Sandpiper of the season dropped in on 4th. Back-up there has included Green Sandpipers (with a clear peak of seven on the evening of 4th), two Common Sandpipers, odd Black-tailed Godwits, up to five Dunlin and a Ringed Plover on 5th.

Wood Sandpiper at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Wood Sandpiper at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

At the Tip, there were three Dunlin and a Green Sandpiper present yesterday, while a Marsh Harrier there and at East Lea is likely the recent long-staying juvenile. Small numbers of Painted Ladies are passing through the area, with up to ten yesterday, and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth was in a private garden today (CW).

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

A promising start to the first month of the birding autumn, with a Honey Buzzard east along the North Cliff early this morning (MJP); a Sooty Shearwater and two Manx Shearwaters went north at the Gap, and a Little Ringed Plover was at the Dams (along with four Dunlin, three Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper and 40 Lapwings) with a similar cast of waders yesterday.

Honey Buzzard (Mark Pearson)

Honey Buzzard (Mark Pearson)

East Lea hosted an Avocet on 1st (MM) and a Little Egret was at the Dams yesterday, while the juvenile Marsh Harrier is still frequenting both sites.