Friday, March 31st, 2017

(With apologies for the delay due to, and appreciation for donations for, Champions Of The Flyway 2017). A week of welcome spring arrivals, with the first Wheatear on Carr Naze on 28th (with at least a further four there today), Sand Martins on several recent days (with a max of seven through at the Gap yesterday), and Swallows yesterday (Country Park and the Gap) and today (Carr Naze and the Gap). 

Three Wheatears on Carr Naze this evening (Mark Pearson)

On a relatively quiet sea a Bonxie went south on 23rd, a Snow Bunting north on 25th, Sandwich Terns south on 26th, 27th and today and two Velvet Scoters south on 27th (JS), while a Scandinavian Rock Pipit was on Carr Naze this afternoon (MJP). Visible migration has been relatively muted due to high pressure, but highlights at the Gap have included 205 Meadow Pipits north and 123 Chaffinch and 41 Siskin south yesterday, 155 Pink-feet and a Little Ringed Plover north (the year’s first) and 240 Linnets, 65 Goldfinches and two Corn Buntings south today (KC). The Black Redstart continues in the Carr Naze / Bay Corner area, and a White Wagtail was at East Lea (MM). 

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, Carr Naze this afternoon (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Notable records from the last couple of days include five Whooper Swans north at Gristhorpe Bay this morning, where four Crossbills headed south and a further 12 did likewise at the Gap, the venue for an early Bonxie north this afternoon. A Goosander went north over Carr Naze,  where a/the Black Redstart remained, while a Mediterranean Gull hung around the Country Park (mo) and a Firecrest was reported from Primrose Valley (SA) yesterday (21st). Good numbers of finches and pipits continue to be counted passing the Gap (see Trektellen for full counts), and the year’s first Sand Martin passed there on 20th (KC). Another Red-legged Partridge (the third of the year) was seen in a garden adjoining the Dams on Friday. 

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Visible migration continues to provide most of the interest of late, with a good haul in blustery south-westerlies at the Gap this morning which included a Mediterranean Gull, 540 Meadow Pipits, 107 Siskins, 68 alba Wagtails, 140 chaffinches and 34 Redwings (KC). A Black Redstart was on Carr Naze on 18th (DL, MJP) and at least 30 Goldcrest were in Top Scrub (with a good scattering of Chiffchaffs). Counts at the Gap on the morning of 17th included 390 Meadow Pipits, 17 alba Wags, 13 Fieldfares and 10 Redwings, while 16th at Gristhorpe bay included a Brambling, 59 Meadow Pipits, 23 Siskins and four Whooper Swans (north). A White-fronted Goose went north over the Tip on 17th (CW), While late news for 15th concerned two dark-bellied Brents and a Little Egret at the Dams. 

Weasel, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Most of the interest over the last few days has come from visible migration, with Hunmanby Gap producing a Ring Ouzel (KC), 55 Redwings, 566 Meadow Pipits and an excellent 76 alba Wagtails yesterday (14th) among other good totals (as always, see Trektelleren for full counts). The previous morning there (13th) provided two Corn Buntings, 145 Meadow Pipits, 11 Redwings, foor Fieldfare and a Red-breasted Merganser north and two Mute Swans south, while a Red-legged Partridge has been present there since 12th (KC, WS). 

Siskin heading north at Gristhorpe Bay (Mark Pearson)

This morning, vismig at Gristhorpe Bay produced a Corn Bunting, a Yellowhammer, 81 Meadow Pipits and 11 Siskins north among others (MJP), while 71 Meadow Pipits went north at the Gap as well five each of Redwing and Fieldfare. The seas and the wetland sites remain particularly quiet. 

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, Carr Naze Pond (Mark Pearson)

A busier couple of days as spring migration begins to step up a little, although Carr Naze had a distinctly northern flavour with a Blue Fulmar close in and north (MJP) and two Scandinavian Rock Pipits (MJP, DL).  Visible migration at Hunmanby Gap has been strong concerning finches in particular, with 121 Siskins south (and 20 on 10th), and three Crossbills south (and 10 on 10th, when ten Bullfinches also went south). A male Goosander overflew the Dams and a Velvet Scoter was offshore at the Gap (KC).

Black-headed Gull & Smooth Newt, Carr Naze Pond (Mark Pearson)

Slavonian Grebe was reported near the Brigg yesterday (J&TGD), when a Jackdaw showing characteristics of one of the continental races was briefly at Gristhorpe Bay before heading north (MJP).

Blue Fulmar, 11th (Mark Pearson)

Goldcrests are scattered in small numbers, with daily counts just beginning to scrape into double figures, while Pink-footed Geese are likewise regular in double figures over recent days and Common Buzzards are increasingly noticeable.  

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

The year’s first Scandinavian Rock Pipit was by Carr Naze Pond on 7th (MJP), the same location hosting a Jack Snipe (CW); a Woodcock was at the Yacht club on the same day, and several Small Tortoiseshells were on the wing. A (the ?) Red-necked Grebe was off the Gap on 8th (KC), while the 9th saw a 2cy Glaucous Gull heading south (JS) and a good passage of wagtails north at Hunmanby Gap, with nine Grey and 14 Alba north, as well as the first push of Meadow Pipits north there (93). 

Common Buzzard (Mark Pearson)

Generally northbound species include a trickle of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and occasional Scandinavian Herring Gulls, commoner finches and a few winter thrushes, while a similar cast remain in situ at the Dams and East Lea. 

Monday, March 6th, 2017

A quiet few days generally, with little in the way of new arrivals except for a improvement in visible migration at Hunmnaby Gap on 5th, with three Corn Buntings, five Crossbills, 66 Skylarks and 44 Chaffinches all north and 100 Pink-footed Geese south, while five Buzzards and 57 Red-throated Divers were present there (KC). Four Chiffchaffs at the Dams yesterday included a bird ringed there in early January (establishing the bird’s wintering site fidelity). Great Northern Divers were at Gristhorpe Bay and off the Brigg today.

Snow Bunting, 3rd (Mark Pearson)

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Glaucous Gull this morning (Mark Pearson)

The white-winged gull influx continues with another 2cy Glaucous Gull, this one heading north past the Brigg this morning (MJP). Two Snow Buntings – one low and west, and one (very tame) male on Carr Naze – were new, and the bay is hosting good numbers of commoner species as well as the Red-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver still. Pink-footed Geese are on the move, with 225 north at the Gap this morning, where a male Red-breasted Merganser also headed north. At the Dams and East Lea, three Chiffchaffs, two pairs of Shelduck, two Water Rails and up to 204 Wigeon are in residence, while Redwings were heard heading over in a clear sky on the night of 1st.

Snow Bunting, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)