Monday, October 31st, 2016

Today’s highlight was the arrival of five Shorelarks in off the sea and onto the Top Fields, where they remained for at least the morning (MJP); at least two were still present in fields between the Tip and Newbiggin, with four there yesterday. Three Lapland Buntings were also in the Top Fields (MJP), five Snow Buntings were mobile between there and Carr Naze, and 14 Whooper Swans headed south-east (with three more over the Dams in the afternoon). Fieldfares arrived in good numbers, with at 650 into and around the northern coastal area, along with 110 Redwings, 215 Blackbirds, 60 Skylarks and 45 Meadow Pipits, while two Jack Snipe (MM) were at East Lea (with the long-staying Black-tailed Godwit at the Dams).

Snow Buntings, Carr Naze (John Price)

Snow Buntings, Carr Naze (John Price)

A Lapland Bunting, a Ring Ouzel and two Crossbills were in the Gristhorpe Bay area yesterday (JH), when productive vismigging at the Gap involved 273 Siskins south, five Scaup, four Goldeneye, nine Whooper Swans, a mealy-type Redpoll and a late Swallow (KC, NC, WS), with a Woodcock over the Royal Oak crossing at dusk. Two Scaup north were the best of the sea today, while a Long-tailed Duck and the Arctic Tern were the best of yesterday (JS, CW).

Shorelark, near Newbiggin yesterday (John Harwood)

Shorelarks, near Newbiggin yesterday (John Harwood)

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

A mild day today with a light south-westerly wind was notable for wildfowl movements along the coastal strip, with a particularly good count of 14 Scaup (two into the north of the bay, 12 off the Gap), 10 White-fronted Geese west over the town, 34 Whooper Swans (in parties of one, two, 10, 15 and five) and 595 Pink-footed Geese (with double figures on most recent days) (KC, MJP, PJD). Also logged at the Gap this morning were 139 Siskins, five Yellowhammers (unfortunately notable here these days) and a late House Martin. A Long-tailed Duck and Great Northern Diver passed the Brigg (Js, JP), while at least two Snow Buntings are in the Carr Naze area.

Whooper Swans over the town this morning (Mark Pearson)

Whooper Swans over the town this morning (Mark Pearson)

A Velvet Scoter and 89 Skylarks past the Gap were the best of yesterday (28th), while 140 Pink-feet over and the Black-tailed Godwit were recorded at the Dams on 27th.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

A sunny and clear day with light variable winds was headlined by two Pallas’s Warblers loosely associating (and frequently contact-calling) at the landward end of Martin’s Ravine (MJP et al.), our fourth and fifth of the autumn. A total of six Ring Ouzels were among good numbers of incoming thrushes, and overhead passage included 125 Skylarks, 350 Pink-footed Geese, 45 Siskins, 160 Jackdaws, 30 redpolls and five Grey Wagtails. Much reduced numbers of grounded migrants involved five Chiffchaffs, 60 Redwing, 45 Fieldfare, 50 Blackbirds, 18 Robins, 10 Bramblings, a Water Rail (Top Scrub), and three Stonechats (the latter present for several days). Bullfinches at the golf course berry bushes numbered seven, with up to ten there in recent days, while the Snow Bunting remains on Carr Naze and the Arctic Tern around the Brigg.

Pallas's Warbler (Mark Pearson)

Pallas’s Warbler (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday’s (24th) highlights included a Richard’s Pipit in the Carr Naze area (MJP), 25 White-fronted Geese west (J&TGD, MJP) and at least three Shorelarks still in the fields near Newbiggin. Notable sea-watch records included seven Scaup, ten Bonxies and a Long-tailed Duck south and a high count of 512 Little Gulls north (JS, MA, JP).

Pallas's Warbler (Mark Pearson)

Pallas’s Warbler (Mark Pearson)

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

A cold and windy day today was enlivened by a late Red-breasted Flycatcher (MJP et al.) fresh-in at the seaward end of Arndale. Very few new arrivals were noted on the land, although the particularly tame Snow Bunting remains on Carr Naze and a Yellow-browed Warbler was calling in Top Scrub.

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Arndale (Mark Pearson)

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Arndale (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday was also challenging regarding conditions, but highlights included a Yellow-browed Warbler in Long Lane, a Norwegian-ringed Mealy Redpoll trapped by the ringing team, the Arctic Tern still around the Brigg, at least five Lapland Buntings scattered across the northern area and eight Little Gulls north and seven Bonxies south on the sea.

Snow Bunting, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Snow Bunting, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Pallas's Warbler (Mark Pearson)

Pallas’s Warbler (Mark Pearson)

Another busy couple of days in brisk north-westerly winds and often bright sunshine. Bird of the day yesterday (20th) was a new Pallas’s Warbler (the third of the month), trapped by the ringing team in the morning, while Yellow-browed Warblers were in Arndale and Top Scrub. 23 White-fronted Geese headed north-west over the Top Fields, where a Lapland Bunting was with Skylarks (MJP). A Snow Bunting was on Carr Naze (remaining today), two Short-eared Owls were fresh-in, seven Whooper Swans geaded north-west, and a single Sooty Shearwater and seven dark-bellied Brent Geese were the best of a quiet sea.

Mealy Redpoll (Will Scott)

Mealy Redpoll (Will Scott)

Today’s headline birds were undoubtedly the six Shorelarks found in coastal fields near Newbiggin (JH et al.), an Acredula-type Willow Warbler was in the same area, while a further three Short-eared Owls came in off the sea. Mealy Redpolls were trapped both today and yesterday, while an Arctic Tern has been present around the Brigg on both days, and two each of Sooty Shearwater and Scaup were the pick of the sea.

Brambling (Will Scott)

Brambling (Will Scott)

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

A Velvet Scoter was the best of a quiet sea again this morning, while a big high tide encouraged totals of 153 Oystercatchers, 30 Turnstones, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 17 Purple Sandpipers into roost; a Brent Goose was around the Country Park. Yesterday (18th) saw a new Yellow-browed Warbler trapped by the ringing team, the Barred Warbler again present just north of Reighton Sands, and a combined total of 1000 Pink-footed Geese heading south during the day, mostly in the morning. Two Black-tailed Godwits, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Little Egret and three Water Rails were at the Dams.

Dark-bellied Brent Goose (Mike Cole)

Brent Goose (Mike Cole)

Monday, October 17th, 2016

A pleasingly busy day (especially given the brisk south to south-westerly wind), with the undoubted highlight being a candidate Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat S.c.halimodendri (MJP et al.) at the Tip. Scarce warblers were a theme of the day, with a Barred Warbler present in coastal scrub between Reighton Sands and Hunmanby Gap and a Pallas’s Warbler briefly in Martin’s Ravine yesterday (AN), and Yellow-browed Warblers at the Top Scrub, Reighton Sands, the Dams, Church Ravine and Long Lane.

White-fronted Geese (Mark Pearson)

White-fronted Geese (Mark Pearson)

Visible migration was excellent at Hunmanby Gap, where highlights included 95 Crossbills, a Snow Bunting, 106 Skylarks, 85 Tree Sparrows, nine Twite, two Swallows and 134 redpolls. Two Black-tailed Godwits and a Knot flew over the Tip and towards the Dams, a Curlew Sandpiper was at the latter site (MM, MC), a Ring Ouzel was near the golf course, and 14 White-fronted Geese coasted south-east over North Cliff late morning (MJP et al.).

Candidate Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat (Mark Pearson)

Candidate Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat (Mark Pearson)

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Candidate Central Asian Lesser Whitethroat (Mark Pearson)

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

A busy first two days saw Ringing and Migration Week getting off to a flyer, with 300 birds ringed over the weekend, including three Woodcocks, two Mealy Redpolls and a Yellow-browed Warbler among big numbers of thrushes (especially Redwings), Robins and finches.

Yellow-browed Warbler (Will Scott)

Yellow-browed Warbler (Will Scott)

The weekend’s guided walks were equally blessed with migrants, with Carr Naze in classic ‘runway’ mode in the morning and Filey’s fourth record of Great White Egret low over the Dams in the afternoon yesterday; as if to reward the ringing team for their sterling efforts, the same bird looped back from its southbound journey, over Carr Naze and staged several low fly-bys over the Top Scrub a little later (MJP, SV, MR et al.).

Goldcrest, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Goldcrest, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

With ideal conditions delivering many thousands of birds from over the North Sea, incoming migration has been exceptional, particularly yesterday (15th); combined overhead / grounded tallies (just from the northern coastal area) included a Woodlark (MJP, JP), 3,700 Redwings, 630 Song Thrushes, 450 Fieldfares, 18 Mistle Thrushes, 260 Blackbirds, 230 Siskins (including 80 at the Dams), 85 Redpolls (including at least four Mealies), 125 Bramblings (including 45 in Church Ravine and 30 at the Dams), 370 Skylarks, 12 Woodcock, 65 Robins, 90 Goldcrests, six Yellow-browed Warblers and a Ring Ouzel.

Great White Egret, Filey Dams ( Mark Pearson)

Great White Egret, Filey Dams ( Mark Pearson)

Today was busy but without hitting the same heights in the northern coastal area, with dedicated counting at the Gap instead providing the more comprehensive vismig totals: these included (all south) the year’s first Whooper Swan, six Goosanders, 54 alba Wagtails, 91 Tree Sparrows, 200 Siskins, 54 Redpolls, 42 Reed, one Snow and one Lapland Bunting (KC).

Friday, October 14th, 2016

Another day of brisk easterlies and thick cloud (minus the showers today) which brought good numbers of classic late autumn migrants into the area. Notable tallies included 85 Bramblings, 250 Skylarks, 40 redpolls (of which at least four were Mealy) and 600 Starlings, with thrush counts totalling seven Ring Ouzels, 620 Redwings, 140 Song Thrushes, 120 Blackbirds and two Mistle Thrushes.

Female Brambling (Mark Pearson)

Female Brambling (Mark Pearson)

The Pallas’s Warbler was reported close to yesterday’s location and seven Yellow-browed Warblers were well scattered across the northern area; other warblers included 12 Chiffchaffs and three Blackcaps. Three Tundra Bean Geese and a Long-eared Owl were at the Tip late on (DL, GD), three Wheatears were north of Reighton Sands, 160 Goldcrests occupied various northern sites, a Little Egret was at East Lea and two Short-eared Owls were in the Top Fields / North Cliff area. Two Woodcocks were recorded (after singles on several recent days) and one Stonechat remains on Carr Naze.

Male Brambling (Mark Pearson)

Male Brambling (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Ring Ouzel, Arndale (Mark Pearson)

Ring Ouzel, Arndale (Mark Pearson)

More incoming activity from northern and eastern climes (in wet, windy and challenging conditions) was headlined by a Pallas’s Warbler in Arndale this afternoon (MJP) in the company of a roving Goldcrest flock. A minimum of eight Mealy Redpolls were well scattered in the northern area, outnumbered by Ring Ouzels which reached at least 11, with seven keeping loose company along the southern hedge of Arndale. Single Long-eared and Short-eared Owls came in off at North Cliff, 650 Redwings, 130 Song Thrushes, 90 Blackbirds, 35 Fieldfares and six Mistle Thrushes were incoming or in situ, as were 45 Robins, 250 Goldcrests, ten Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps, a Redstart and a Lapland Bunting.

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

Dusky Warbler (Dan Lombard)

Dusky Warbler (Dan Lombard)

The ongoing promising conditions – cloudy and showery with a brisk easterly wind – finally delivered a top drawer rarity in the shape of Filey’s seventh-ever Dusky Warbler this morning, trapped and ringed in the Top Scrub (DL, LM, PJD) – just rewards for the ongoing sterling efforts of the ringing team this autumn.

Other quality included a Richard’s Pipit flushed from the Tip towards the Rocket Pole Field (J & TGD) and a vocal Dotterel heading south over the Top Fields (MJP). Good numbers of land-based migrants included at least three Mealy-type Redpolls (one trapped, two on Short Hedge), a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Woodcock (Top Scrub), a Ring Ouzel (Short Hedge), a Stonechat (Carr Naze) and 27 Bramblings (well scattered), while a Long-tailed Skua (KC), a Long-tailed Duck and three Scaup were the pick of the sea.

A blustery 11th saw two Pomarine Skuas, eight Sooty Shearwaters and 34 Bonxies past the Brigg (JS, CA) and a Red-necked Grebe heading north at the Gap (KC, NC), while 10th was notable for our first (long overdue) Red-breasted Flycatcher of the year, briefly in the canopy on Carrgate Hill (TGD), a Snow Bunting south along the bay, a Ring Ouzel by the golf course and a Yellow-browed Warblers in Top Scrub and Martin’s Ravine.

Dusky Warbler (Pete Dunn)

Dusky Warbler (Pete Dunn)

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Another busy couple of days for migration (albeit still without the much-searched for rarity in the mix as yet). Pick of the day was a conveniently vocal Siberian Chiffchaff in Church Ravine, in loose company with two Yellow-browed Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests near the bridge (MJP). Yellow-brows were prominent once more, with new birds trickling in all the time; in addition to the above, there were two in Top Scrub, one at Reighton, two in Martin’s Ravine and one briefly in FBOG member Mike Cole’s garden! At least ten Common Buzzards moved through the area during the day, and common migrant totals in the northern area included at least 65 Goldcrests, 60 Song Thrushes, 18 Bramblings, 20 Chiffchaffs, 30 Redwings, two Redstarts and five Blackcaps.

Siberian Chiffchaff (Mark Pearson)

Siberian Chiffchaff (Mark Pearson)

This morning saw another surge of incoming  Asio owls, with three Short-eared, one Long-eared and one unID’ed in off at the Gap, where a Balearic Shearwater went north yesterday (8th) (KC, WS, NC). Yesterday also saw a Mealy-type Redpoll in Arndale (MJP), a Black Redstart on Carr Naze (MR) ans Short-eared Owls at the Tip and Gristhorpe Bay. A Blue Fulmar and a Long-tailed Skua were late reports for 7th (JS).

Friday, October 7th, 2016

Two days with incoming arrivals throughout on an easterly airflow with cloud and brighter intervals. Pick of the bunch was a candidate Siberian Lesser Whitethroat in Arndale this morning (RAB, MJP), with Yellow-browed Warblers there and in Top Scrub, three new Short-eared Owls (a different bird at the Tip and two in off together late afternoon), a Merlin low and south over the Country Park and the bay just after dawn, three Redstarts (Carr Naze, Long Lane, Short Hedge and the Tip), a Pied Flycatcher at the Tip, 50 Goldcrests, 70 Song Thrushes, 25 Redwings, five Blackcaps, two Stonechats, 24 Barnacle Geese south (including a leucistic individual), and a Whimbrel on the Tip.

Leucistic Barnacle Goose (Mark Pearson)

Leucistic Barnacle Goose (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday saw a Lapland Bunting on North Cliff, a Yellow-browed Warbler on Long Lane, a Ring Ouzel and a Redstart in Short Hedge, two White Wagtails at Carr Naze pond, a Short-eared Owl at the Tip and similar numbers of commoner migrants.

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

A day of increasingly brisk easterly winds was notable not for passerines but for a Black-browed Albatross that slipped by this morning (JS); thankfully also picked up by our neighbours at Bempton and Flamborough, the bird was subsequently enjoyed by many.

Goldcrest, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Goldcrest, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Otherwise, extensive coverage of the Carr Naze / Top Scrub area was fairly underwhelming, although two new Yellow-browed Warblers headlined a cast which also included 25 Goldcrests, 10 Song Thrushes and three Bramblings on Carr Naze.

Redstart, Long Lane (Mark Pearson)

Yellow-browed Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday saw a more notable arrival which included various late autumn incomers – tallies from the northern coastal area included 290 Song Thrushes, 15 Bramblings, 110 Redwings, four Ring Ouzels, 45 Blackbirds, 35 Skylarks, 32 Robins, 25 Greenfinches, 85 Chaffinches, two Redstarts, two (nominate-type) Lesser Whitethroats and 18 Chiffchaffs. The Pied Wagtail roost in the Country Park contained 63 birds.

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Male Redstart, Long Lane (Mark Pearson)

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Candidate Siberian Lesser Whitethroat (Mark Pearson)

Candidate Siberian Lesser Whitethroat (Mark Pearson)

A mainly, sunny, generally quieter day with a light wind veering into the east by the afternoon. Highlights included a Slavonian Grebe off Primrose Valley towards dusk (WS, GS) and a candidate Siberian Lesser Whitethroat at the Tip (MJP). On the land, at least six Yellow-browed Warblers were in the area (four in the north, two at Hunmanby Gap), four Bramblings were at Martin’s Ravine, at least 20 Goldcrests, 60 Blackbirds, 35 Song Thrushes and eight Chiffchaffs provided evidence of new grounded arrivals, while visible migration at the Gap involved 89 Redwings south and 164 Skylarks south (with a further 60 Skylarks in the Top Fields). Two Kingfishers were at the Bsy Pools (WS, GS), while the sea was quiet but for a few Great and Arctic Skuas. The two Stonechats remained on Carr Naze with another at Gristhorpe Bay, with Little Egrets at the same two sites.

Great Skua (Mal Richardson)

Great Skua (Mal Richardson)

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

The productive start to the month continues, with a mostly bright day again dominated by a blustery northerly airflow (steadily subsiding by the afternoon), and consequently seabirds. This morning saw 130 Sooty Shearwaters, two juvenile Long-tailed Skuas, a Red-necked Grebe and a Velvet Scoter among sea-watching highlights (MJP, RAB, JS), with a Great Northern Diver, seven Pomarine Skuas and four more Sootys this afternoon (MJP).

Sooty Shearwater this morning (Mark Pearson)

Sooty Shearwater this morning (Mark Pearson)

Two Yellow-browed Warblers were in Top Scrub and a Jack Snipe, two Stonechats and a continental Song Thrush were new on Carr Naze (MJP) and a Curlew Sandpiper was at the Dams (MR).

Grey Plover on the Brigg this evening Mark Pearson)

Grey Plover on the Brigg this evening Mark Pearson)

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

An excellent start to the new month, especially on the sea, with an increasing NNE wind instantly providing this afternoon after an almost still morning. The early session was quiet but for two Balearic Shearwaters north (JS), but a later session from 1420hrs to dusk produced two Sabine’s Gulls north with Kittiwakes (the first of the year), a Great Northern Diver, 32 Red-throated Divers, two juvenile Long-tailed Skuas, a Balearic Shearwater, 33 Sooty and 15 Manx Shearwaters, four Pomarine Skuas and 29 Arctic Skuas (MJP, RAB).

Variation in the Dams Dunlin flock, showing the shortest billed....

Variation in the Dams Dunlin flock, showing the shortest billed….

The Dams hosted two Jack Snipe, 25 Dunlin, two Ruff, three Water Rails, 25 Dunlin, 10 Common Snipe, a Green Sandpiper and four Curlews, while two Yellow-browed Warblers were in the area joining the Dams and East Lea (MJP). A further Yellow-brow, plus a Spotted Flycatcher and 70 Siskin were in the Top Scrub area (DL et al.), while a minimum of 80 Pink-feet passed through the area this morning.

... and the longest (Mark Pearson)

… and the longest (Mark Pearson)

Visible migration at the Gap was a little quieter this morning, although three Little Egrets and 118 Siskins were among respectable tallies there; four Sooty Shearwaters and a Long-tailed Skua late afternoon may (KC) may have involved birds also seen from the Brigg.

Water Rail, Filey Dams (Mark Pearson)

Water Rail, Filey Dams (Mark Pearson)