Friday, September 30th, 2016

The highlight of a benign sea was a Black-throated Diver south (MJP) as well as 14 Red-throats and a trickle of incoming passerines that included three Wheatears (with a total of four others at other sites). Visible migration at the Gap included the first Woodcock of the season, a Lapland Bunting (KC), 448 Pink-footed Geese (with over 200 more noted elsewhere, mostly heading south), 57 Siskins and 527 Meadow Pipits, 241 Goldfinches and 178 Linnets (full counts on Trektellen as usual).

Little Egret, Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Little Egret, Brigg (Mark Pearson)

The long-staying Little Egret remained on the Brigg, while the Dams hosted maxima of 26 Dunlin, a Curlew Sandpiper (early on only), a Jack Snipe, the Little Ringed Plover, six Snipe and a Black-tailed Godwit, while the long-staying Pintail and two Ruff were on East Lea. Grounded passerines were hard to come by in the blustery winds, but a Yellow-browed Warbler was located on Long Lane (MJP).

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

A surprisingly productive morning for visible migration (given the strong winds) resulted in 1184 House Martins, 324 Meadow Pipits, 386 Goldfinches and two Lapland Buntings south at the Gap; good passage there yesterday included three Curlew Sandpipers north and 89 Siskins south (KC). Full counts as ever over on Trektellen.  

Green Sandpiper (MIke Cole)

Green Sandpiper (MIke Cole)

Otherwise, the Dams has the been the centre of attention with the brilliant season for waders continuing (thanks to near-perfect water management there this year): highlights from yesterday and today include a Jack Snipe, a Curlew Sandpiper, 26 Dunlin, three Black-tailed Godwits, nine Common Snipe, two Ruff, a Green Sandpiper, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover and up to six Ringed Plovers, as well as at least one Yellow-browed Warbler lingering there (mo). Pink-footed Geese have been on the move in daily double figures, with 240 south this evening the first three-figure count.

Monday, September 26th, 2016

An entertainingly busy day today, or rather morning, with a flurry of activity in the couple of hours after dawn producing several notable sightings and some good numbers of migrants. A first-year ring-tail Harrier species, seen several times between Hunmanby Gap and Primrose Valley (KC, MJP), as yet precludes positive identification (hopefully more to come on this bird), while a Red-backed Shrike at the Tip – the second of the year – was (unusually for the autumn) an adult female (CW et al.). A Firecrest (the first of the year) was with Goldcrests in Martin’s Ravine (MJP et al.), where a Yellow-browed Warbler was one of at least four in the area today, with others at Muston Sands, the Dams and Parish Wood. A total of 20 Goldcrests were recorded today (without the main areas being checked).

Red-backed Shrike (Ian Robinson)

Red-backed Shrike (Ian Robinson)

Winds and conditions were favourable for visible migration and an excellent morning at both the Gap and Muston Sands produced 33 Tree Sparrows, 949 Meadow Pipits, a Lapland Bunting south (MJP), 39 Reed Buntings and 41 Siskins (with most of the high counts from the Gap); also at Muston Sands, unusually a Stonechat came in over the bay, fed for several minutes and then continued south.

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

A busy day for flyovers today in brisk south-westerly winds, with two Great White Egrets heading north-west over the area late morning (SC, JS, CS) and a Hen Harrier and a Jack Snipe the pick of vismig at Hunmanby Gap this morning (KC); also through at the latter site were a late Swift, 36 Siskins, 216 Linnet (with 270 in the Top fields), 280 House Martin and seven redpoll; another Convolvulus Hawkmoth was caught there last night and Whinchats were there at on Short Hedge.

Mating Migrant Hawkers, Long Lane (Mark Pearson)

Mating Migrant Hawkers, Long Lane (Mark Pearson)

At least 11 Yellow-browed Warblers were recorded in the area – a likely increase on previous days (and perhaps suggestive of ‘new’ birds filtering south along the coast). The previous two days were generally quieter, with no more than three Yellow-brows, a Pied Flycatcher in the Top Scrub on 23rd, when a Marsh Harrier headed north at the Gap, seven Little Gulls were in the bay, and kingfisher was on the Brigg.

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

A generally fine day with a freshening southerly wind and few new arrivals, although a minimum of 14 Yellow-browed Warblers remained in those areas covered (12 in the Country Park / Church Ravine area and two at Hunmanby Gap). A Short-eared Owl, a Spotted Flycatcher and six Wheatears were new on Carr Naze this morning, 230 Meadow Pipits were in the same area, a Redstart was on Long Hedge, 150 Swallows and 60 House Martins headed south (with many returning back north), and a Balearic Shearwater (CW, JS) was the best of the sea.

Fox at the Dams (Mike Cole)

Fox at the Dams (Mike Cole)

The Dams held a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, a Ruff, a Black-tailed Godwit, four Dunlin and the hybrid-influenced Red Crested Pochard, while additional overhead migration included at least 80 Siskins south (most of which went through the Gap) and 17 redpolls at North Cliff.

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Lapland Bunting over Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Lapland Bunting over Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Yellow-browed Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Yellow-browed Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

A promising north-easterly airflow across the North Sea delivered an avalanche of Russian invaders today in the multiple spritely shapes of at least 34 YELLOW-BROWED WARBLERS – more than three times our previous day record (and almost as many as the record year total of 38 in 2013!). The majority were in the northern coastal area, with arrivals throughout the morning and early afternoon.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

Yellow-browed Warbler, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

Other migrants included 25 Siskin, 20 redpoll, six Lapland Buntings (MJP), 45 Song Thrushes, a Mistle Thrush (in off the sea), a Redstart, a Willow Tit at the Gap (KC), a Marsh Harrier at Gristhorpe Bay, three Grey Plover, a Brambling, 15 Skylarks, three Wheatears, 20 Chiffchaffs, three Whinchats, 12 Willow Warblers, three Lesser Whitethroats and 15 Goldcrests. Little Egrets remained on the Brigg and at the Dams, while the juvenile Little Ringed Plover and Green sandpiper were joined by a Greenshank at the latter site. A Phalarope sp. in the bay (JH) unfortunately couldn’t be attributed to species.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Rocket Pole Field (Mark Pearson)

Yellow-browed Warbler, Rocket Pole Field (Mark Pearson)

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Yellow-browed Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Yellow-browed Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

A day of drizzle and brisk north-westerly to northerly winds becoming drier and a little less windy by mid afternoon. It may have been gloomy but the star of the show was far from it, with a sudden influx of Yellow-browed Warblers in the afternoon totalling nine overall, with two on Carr Naze, four in Top Scrub, one in Arndale, one in Long Lane and one on North Cliff (MJP, JH); other passerine migrants were at a premium, with a scattering of Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs in suitable habitat. Lapland Buntings arrived in off the sea this morning (CW) and this afternoon (MJP), while a Balearic Shearwater was the best of a quiet sea (JS, CW); a similarly modest cast of waders occupied the Dams and East Lea, with the White-fronted Goose still at the former site, while the year’s first Pink-footed Geese (a flock of 25) arrived in off early morning.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Yellow-browed Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Barn Owl (John Page)

Barn Owl (John Page)

A quieter couple of days, with today’s highlight being a Long-tailed Skua on the sea off the Brigg this morning (JP, CW) and a Great Northern Diver off Hunmanby Gap.

Wheatear (Mike Cole)

Wheatear (Mike Cole)

Yesterday, visible migration in the morning involed small numbers of Siskins, Redpolls, Chaffinches and Tree Sparrows, a Redstart was trapped in Top Scrub, a White-fronted Goose joined the feral Greylags at the Dams (HJW et al.), while a female-type Red-crested Pochard with apparent hybrid influence joined the Mallards. Also there were a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, a Hobby over (MJP), four Ruff, ten Curlew, a Green Sandpiper and five Snipe. A Spotted Flycatcher and a Barn Owl were near Seadale caravan site, and single Wheatears are at several sites; six Sooty Shearwaters and three Arctic Skuas were the best of the sea.

White-fronted Goose (Will Scott)

White-fronted Goose (Will Scott)

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

 

Pintail and Wigeon over the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Pintail and Wigeon over the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Strong northerlies for much of the day dictated almost all attentions were paid to the sea, and good coverage was rewarded with some impressive counts. (Note that the following tallies avoid duplication by taking the highest counts from The Brigg and the Gap – for full counts see Trektellen). Sooty Shearwaters totalled 274 north for the day, the best count for some years, while a total of four Balearic Shearwaters – two individuals past the Brigg this morning, and two together past the Gap this evening – and 102 Manx Shearwaters north were also logged.

Wigeon, Teal and Pintail heading north (Mark Pearson)

Wigeon, Teal and Pintail heading north (Mark Pearson)

At least three Long-tailed Skuas were recorded off this afternoon, including one north and two feeding off the Brigg (with presumably one of these seen feeding in the bay shortly afterwards), and final totals of Arctic and Great Skuas totalled 34 and 14 respectively. Wildfowl were again on the move in big numbers, with over 700 Wigeon and 500 Teal northbound, as well as 870 Teal roosting in the bay this evening. A duo of male Velvet Scoters were likely responsible for various reports in both directions, while of various other ducks noted, Pintail were again pleasingly prevalent with at least 40 through. 54 pale-bellied and two dark-bellied Brent Geese constituted the first significant number this season, and Black Tern headed south off the Gap.

Velvet Scoters (Mark Pearson)

Velvet Scoters (Mark Pearson)

Waders were on the move in small numbers, the best of which were two Curlew Sandpipers close and north past the Brigg this afternoon, with four Grey Plovers doing likewise. 12 Song Thrushes, 15 Goldcrest and a Treecreeper were in Church Ravine this evening. (MJP, MR, CA, JS, BP, KC, NC, WS).

Friday, September 16th, 2016

A day of increasingly strong north-westerly winds and heavy rain from late morning was predictably a non-starter for land-based observations but productive for sea passage, and eight hours from the hide produced highlights including a juvenile Long-tailed Skua south (MJP), a Pomarine Skua south (JS, JP), six Sooty Shearwaters, 38 Manx Shearwaters, strong wildfowl movements included over 600 Teal, over 500 Wigeon and six Pintail, while passerines either in off and onto the rocks or fresh-in on Carr Naze included two Whinchats, three Wheatears, five Chiffchaffs, three Song Thrushes, 135 Meadow Pipits, two Grey and two Yellow Wagtails and small numbers of all three hirundines. A Long-tailed Skua passed the Gap later on (KC), as did an adult Little Gull, and a Merlin was over the country park just after dawn (MJP).

Song Thrush on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Song Thrush on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

A day of light winds, warm temperatures and thick fog, which hampered observations across the area for much of the time. A small arrival of land migrants included a Redstart on Long Hedge, a Whinchat, three Willow Warblers and two Wheatears on Carr Naze, and 15 Goldcrests, eight Willow Warblers, 10 Chiffchaffs, 10 Song Thrushes scattered in the northern coastal area. Single Grey Plover and pale-bellied Brent overflew Carr Naze and five Golden Plover were in the Rocket Pole Field, while the small cast at the Dams and East Lea remained static.

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Sooty Shearwater this morning (Mark Pearson)

Sooty Shearwater this morning (Mark Pearson)

Two days of sharp contrasts – yesterday being exceptionally warm, sunny and humid, and today being dominated by thick fog and strong winds from the northern sector. As a result, today was very much about the sea – at least, for the limited period when it was visible – and despite the poor visibility, a decent haul included a juvenile Long-tailed Skua, three Pomarine Skuas, 16 Arctic Skuas, five Sooty Shearwaters and a Merlin (MJP, MMc, CB, DA). Passerines were few and far between but included a Spotted Flycatcher at Gristhorpe Bay and two Wheatears on Carr Naze.

Long-tailed Skua this morning (Mark Pearson)

Long-tailed Skua this morning (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday was somewhat slower, although a total of eight Whinchats (including four at the Tip), three Wheatears, a Reed Warbler (at the Tip), a Swift and two Hobbys – one over the Tip (MJP) and one over Reighton (WS) – were recorded, while a Convolulus Hawkmoth was trapped at Hunmanby Gap (KC).

Wheatear on the Brigg yesterday (John Price)

Wheatear on the Brigg yesterday (John Price)

Monday, September 12th, 2016

White-rumped Sandpiper, 8th (Mark Pearson)

White-rumped Sandpiper, 8th (Mark Pearson)

(With apologies for the short break in transmissions, we’re just back from the Spurn Migration Festival!)… A relatively quiet few days, although the White-rumped Sandpiper was present on the Brigg to 9th at least, where a Yellow-legged Gull and a Mediterranean Gull were also present on 10th (MA et al.). The sea has been uninspiring but for a Black-throated Diver south also on 10th (JS), while the wetland sites of the Dams and East Lea are collectively attracting up to seven each of Ruff and Snipe, two Little Egrets, the long-staying Pintail, five Shovelers and four Gadwall. 18 Migrant Hawkers were also counted today.

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

An excellent day here at the Obs thanks in no small part to an incredibly tame and accommodating White-rumped Sandpiper (SD, KD et al.) on the Brigg. At times feeding down to two metres of appreciative observers, it’s our fourth record (all since 2002), after the last at the Dams in 2012.

White-rumped Sandpiper (Mark Pearson)

White-rumped Sandpiper (Mark Pearson)

An Icterine Warbler was fresh-in on Carr Naze this morning (BP et al.), an overdue first for the year, while a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull (MJP) followed the plough with c600 large gulls in fields west of the Tip. A Marsh Harrier was over Carr Naze this evening, a Little Egret was in the bay corner and a Hobby was in the west of the area, while a scattering of warblers included a Garden and two Lesser Whitethroats in Top Scrub. Whinchats were there and at the Tip, while a Crossbill lingered for a while in the Country Park.

White-rumped Sandpiper (Mark Pearson)

White-rumped Sandpiper (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

A much quieter day, with a very light variable and continuing warm temperatures offering little new of note. Visible migration was minimal at best, while the sea offered few signs of movement; the Dams kept things interesting, however, with the Curlew Sandpiper and the Pintail in situ, seven Ruff, eight Dunlin, two Green Sandpipers, 35 Lapwings, two Little Egrets and five Snipe present today. A Whinchat and two Lesser Whitethroats at Muston Sands this evening were among a small scattering of passerine migrants.

Pintail at the Dams today (Mark Pearson)

Pintail at the Dams today (Mark Pearson)

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

eIMG_3201

A day of brisk south-westerlies, increasingly balmy temperatures and a memorably epic movement of hirundines this morning. Peaking for approx 90 minutes (between 0800 and 0930), perhaps our biggest ever count of Swallows and House Martins flooded south, with counters positioned at Carr Naze and Hunmanby Gap nigh-on overwhelmed by the sheer weight of numbers involved. Allowing for duplication (and bearing in mind many were missed), minimum counts of 10,150 Swallows, 3650 House Martins, 210 Sand Martins and 22 Swifts were logged – an amazing event! (KC, NC, MJP).

Hirundines over Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Hirundines over Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Back-up was provided by a notably large count of 2147 Meadow Pipits through the Gap, and combined site counts of at least 25 flava and 20 alba Wagtails (all south); the sea was predictably quiet, with c400 Teal the pick.

Curlew Sandpiper at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Curlew Sandpiper at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Other highlights involved a Curlew Sandpiper at an otherwise quiet Dams this afternoon (MJP et al.), and an adult Yellow-legged Gull at the Gap this evening (KC).

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Another day of promising conditions on the sea (with the possibility of birds reorientating after yesterday’s north-westerlies) which delivered some good results in seven and a half hours consecutive watching from dawn. Highlights included two Cory’s Shearwaters, both north at distance between 0750 and 0815, a Curlew Sandpiper south early afternoon with Dunlins, and an adult Pomarine Skua north (among low numbers of common skuas). Other notables included two Sooty and 15 Manx Shearwaters, 16 Red-throated Divers, over 300 Teal, five Grey Herons and a first year Mediterranean Gull, all south (CW, MJP, JS).

Rock Pipit (Mark Pearson)

Rock Pipit (Mark Pearson)

Elsewhere, a Little Stint (JL) was at the Dams early on (with the Pintail still in residence) and an Osprey was reported over the town late afternoon (JS).

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

With winds due to strengthen and swing into the north-west, most of the attention was focused on the sea today, with just shy of ten hours consecutive coverage yielding some good returns (although arguably there perhaps wasn’t as much activity as might have been expected). Highlights included three Long-tailed Skuas, one early in the morning and the other two in quick succession early afternoon, with two Pomarine Skuas similarly distributed. A pulse of activity early in the afternoon involved large numbers of birds feeding offshore, which included three Roseate Terns (which eventually headed north), the first of the year of this just-about-annual species (MJP, BP, JS).

Common Buzzard (Mark Pearson)

Common Buzzard (Mark Pearson)

The best of the rest involved 25 Manx Shearwaters, an exceptional 42 Bar-tailed Godwits south, and 12 each of Arctic and Great Skuas (with another five unidentified skuas). Visible migration at the Gap was notable for an increase in Meadow Pipits, which numbered 306 south this morning, with three Common Buzzards to the south of there this afternoon.

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

A mild and cloudy morning turning to a wet and windy afternoon, with the highlight coming early on at the Gap where an Osprey headed south (KC, NC); other passage there included over 200 Meadow Pipits south. The Dams held the same cast (two Green Sandpipers, two Ruff, four Dunlin) and there are now five Gadwall, three Shoveler and 55 Teal. A Snipe was at East Lea (where a Wheatear dropped in yesterday), while three Little Egrets agsin roosted at the Dams last night. Two Wheatears were on Carr Naze.

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull (MJP, CW) was the highlight of a still benign sea over the last two days, while a Little Stint remains on the Brigg both today and yesterday with a good selection of common waders (including five Purple Sandpipers today). Two Marsh Harriers were along North Cliff yesterday, while up to three Little Egrets, four Ruff, two Black-tailed Godwits and a Snipe are frequenting the Dams. Hirundine passage has seen Swallows and House Martins topping 400 both on 1st and 31st from combined Carr Naze / Hunmanby Gap totals, where a Crossbill also went south yesterday.

Fulmar (Mark Pearson)

Fulmar (Mark Pearson)

.