Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Sandwich Tern at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

A very quiet end to the month, with little in the way of notables, although two Sandwich Terns dropped out of the mist and into the Dams for a few minutes on 29th, where six Mute Swans continue to commute between there and East Lea. Otherwise, Painted Ladies have begun to arrive in small numbers, a singing Yellowhammer at Reighton gives us another breeding presence, and up to 50 Oystercatchers are in the Brigg area (with very small numbers of other waders including Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Turnstones, with the odd Common Sandpiper also dropping in)

Moorhens at the Dams (Pete Dunn)

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Little of note to report today except for a Hobby hunting Sand Martins at Hunmanby Gap (KC) and c250 Swifts feeding along a storm front over North Cliff, but yesterday (26th) produced two good spring records – a Curlew Sandpiper flushed off the Brigg (JS) and a male Hen Harrier high over the Country Park (JH), while a Hobby and a Little Ringed Plover overflew East Lea (MJP). 

House Martins beginning to build nests in the town (Mike Cole)

House Martins beginning to build nests in the town (Mike Cole)

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Black-tailed Godwits at the Dams (Judith Henley)

A quiet few days as high pressure and settled conditions dominate. Today saw Cuckoos at the Gap and the allotments, while Spotted Flycatchers remained at Parish Wood and the Tip after arriving yesterday, when 10 Barnacle Geese went south at the Gap. A Little Owl was near to last year’s breeding site on 21st, while the daily passage of small numbers of Manx Shearwaters spiked at 23 north on 20th. Three Black-tailed Godwits were at the Dams on the same day, and a White Wagtail was at East Lea on 19th. Trickles of waders, Yellow wagtails, hirundines and finches are still going through in small numbers but visible migration has generally ebbed and the sea remains very quiet. 

Kestrel, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Three Barnacle Geese went south at the Gap on an otherwise very quiet day today, while yesterday’s (19th) highlights were a summer-plumage Black-tailed Godwit at East Lea and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose venturing over to the Gap.

Black-tailed Godwit, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

16th was somewhat busier, the highlight being a Quail in song at Gristhorpe Bay (MJP), plus 14 Barnacle Geese and a Marsh Harrier south at the Gap, the Brent on the Brigg, and a interesting ‘flash-fall’ as a storm front hit mid-pm: small numbers of suddenly grounded passerines on the clifftop to the north of Carr Naze included a very late female Brambling, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Spotted Flycatcher and at least 370 swifts along the line of the storm. A second Spotted Flycatcher was in top Scrub, while another Marsh Harrier was at Newbiggin, the Velvet Scoter was still off the Gap, and interesting breeding records included both Yellowhammer and Yellow Wagtail in the Gristhorpe Bay area.

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Good records from the Gap today included a Hooded Crow and a Little Egret north, a Marsh Harrier, a Goosander and 18 Tufted Ducks south, and male Velvet Scoter offshore (which was previously seen passing the Brigg, BP) (KC, NC, WS, GS). A Brent Goose was on the Brigg. Yesterday (14th) saw modest passage in the shape of a Greenshank, 208 Swallows and 44 House martins south at the Gap, while singles of both  Pied and Spotted Flycatchers were in Top Scrub. up to eight Wheatears are in the Carr Naze / Country Park area.

Wheatear, Country Park (John Harwood)

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

An Osprey flew south over the town this afternoon (J & TGD), while a big movement of hirundines this morning involved 1020 Swallows, 477 House Martins and 112 Sand Martins south at the Gap, with two Little Egrets also south there, and three Common Sandpipers were at East Lea. Yesterday (12th) saw a Greenshank over the Gap but little else of note.  

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Wall, Carr Naze (Mike Cole)

A quieter day with a south-easterly airflow and plenty of sunshine this morning for the ringers who trapped a female Ring Ouzel in Top Scrub and a Hobby overflew there (DL et al.). A Cuckoo was at the Gap, a Fieldfare was at East Lea, at least seven Reed Warblers were in the Dams area, and a small arrival of other common warblers was evident generally. Eight Wheatears were on Carr Naze and a male Pintail and a pair of Gadwall were on the pond there, while waders on the Brigg included a Common Sandpiper, 11 Purple Sandpipers and 41 Oystercatchers, with six Whimbrel north and two down.  131 Sandwich Terns went south over the course of the day.

Pintail, Carr Naze pond (Mike Cole)

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

A day of notable visible migration was headlined by two raptors early on – an Osprey west at Hunmanby Gap (KC, NC) and a late Merlin south-east at Gristhorpe Cliff (MJP). The former also saw a Tree Pipit and 25 Yellow Wagtails north, while the latter logged good northbound Linnet and Goldfinch counts (213 and 96 respectively), and both sites registered impressive hirundine totals – each had in excess of 550 Swallows, while Gristhorpe Bay also saw 225 Hpouse Martins and 71 Sand martins heading north (with smaller numbers of each at the Gap). A Little Egret was still at the Dams, and the sea-watch again registered nothing of note. 

Sedge Warbler, Dams (Judith Henley)

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Waxwing (Ian Robinson)

Surprise bird of the day was a late and frustratingly brief Waxwing on the Wharfedale estate (mo). A female Greenland Wheatear was on Carr Naze late on and Manxies have passed the Gap yesterday (three) and today (one), where four Tundrae-type Ringed Plovers were on the beach. Otherwise, migration over land and sea has been quiet in the northerlies, although hirundines began moving this afternoon as the winds calmed, with 81 Swallows south at the Gap and another 12 south at Carr Naze this evening. The Dams and East Lea are holding up to three Common Sandpipers, a couple of Snipe and up to three Dunlin, as well as a Little Egret. 

Whimbrel (John Price)

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Spoonbills (Ian Robinson)

Cold northerlies hardly inspire much hope at this time of year, but there have been some notable arrivals nevertheless, particularly in the shape of three Spoonbills (MC et al.) that spent a short while at the Dams this afternoon before heading south (with a male Goosander also there).

Pied Flycatcher (John Harwood)

The male Pied Flycatcher trapped and ringed by our crack team in the Top Scrub yesterday remained in situ today, while yesterday also provided Hobby which overflew the Top Scrub (PJD et al.), when the first significant arrival of Swifts included several there and ten over the town early on. The sea and visible migration have been predictably quiet, although several Yellow Wagtails and small numbers of Linnet and Goldfinches have moved along the coastal strip. 

Spoonbills (Will Scott)

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Firecrest, 2nd (David Aitken)

A generally quieter few days to begin the month, with high pressure and a northerly airflow curtailing much movement. Notable records have however included a Firecrest trapped and ringed in the Top Scrub (DL, DA, GD) on 2nd, when there were also two Goldeneye present and a male Pochard north at the Gap. A Black-throated Diver and a Bonxie were reported off the Brigg on 1st, when a Redstart was in Top Scrub.

Odd Bar-tailed Godwits (with a max of four on 3rd at East Lea) and Grey Plovers continue to drop in and pass by, with a peak of three Common Sandpipers at East Lea and a late Fieldfare there today. A Swift was at the Gap and at least ten Lesser Whitethroats were well scattered across the northern coastal area, while two Garden Warblers were at the Dams.