Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Last week of October summary:

23rd – From the Brigg, a Great Northern Diver north. At the Gap, 132 Tree Sparrow, 14 Brambling and 393 Siskin south, and single Twite and Lapland Bunting north.

24th – From the Brigg, a Little Auk south, 201 Starling in off and a flock of seven Grey Plover south. From the Gap, a Pallid Swift (also reported from the Country Park), 24 Whooper Swans, two Little Gulls, a Swallow, three Hawfinch, 546 Starlings and 102 Siskins south.

25th – From the Brigg, a single Mute Swan and Velvet Scoter south. At the Gap, eight Whooper Swans, two Swallows, 51 Pink-footed Geese, 91 Skylarks (and 22 north), 16 Bullfinch, 212 redpolls, 403 Siskins, 14 Yellowhammers (and five north) and a single House Martin south. At The Tip, a Ring Ouzel, 126 Redwings and 143 Blackbirds.

26th – From the Brigg, 89 Little Gulls present and 17 north. At The Gap, two Goosander and 65 Siskins south and 20 Little Gulls north.

27th – From the Brigg, a Pintail north, 12 Little Gulls, 254 Pink-feet and a Great Northern Diver south. At The Gap, a Great Grey Shrike north.

28th – From the Brigg, two each of Whooper and Mute Swan south. At The Gap, Three Great Skua south (and one north), one Arctic Skua south.

29th – From the Brigg, two Pomarine and one Arctic Skua south; three Manx Shearwater and six Goldeneye north, and single Long-tailed Duck and Great Northern Diver present. At The Gap, four Little Auks north.

30th – From the Brigg, an Arctic Skua north, and single Red-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver present in the bay. At the Gap, 72 Skylarks and a Lapland Bunting north, and a Richard’s Pipit and a Twite south.

31st – From the Brigg, single Little Auks north and south, plus a Woodcock and two Little Gulls south. A Long-tailed Duck and a Red-breasted Merganser in the bay. At the Gap, nine Whooper Swans south.

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Highlights, 14th – 23rd October inclusive:

Brambling, Carr Naze (John Price)

14th – a Crossbill, 14 Twite, 450 Tree Sparrows, 330 Siskins, 240 Goldfinches, 50 Reed Buntings, 17 Yellowhammers, 11 Rock Pipits and four House Martins among a big movement through the Gap (KC, NC), plus a Merlin over the Brigg (RAB et al.) and a Reed Warbler among over 100 birds trapped in Top Scrub on the first day of Ringing and Migration Week. 

15th – a putative coburnii (Icelandic) Redwing among many migrants caught in Top Scrub by the ringing team; 21 Pink-footed Geese in the Top Fields; vismig at the Gap included 166 Tree Sparrows, 160 Siskins, 140 Goldfinches, 21 Reed Buntings, 15 Redwings, and 11 Rock Pipits. A Yellow-browed Warbler also there. 

16th – Conditions conducive to grounded migrants produced a good selection in the northern area, with a vocal Siberian Chiffchaff in Short Hedge for much of the day (MJP et al.), at least three Yellow-browed Warblers, and the first signs of a Scandinavian exodus with 80 Blackbirds, 60 Redwings, 20 Song Thrushes and redpolls, Siskins, and Goldcrests into double figures. The best of vismig of the Gap included a Lapland Bunting, 130 Redwings and 16 Rock Pipits south (KC, NC).

17th – A quiet and very windy day, easily the best of which being a Slavonian Grebe in the bay (AM). 

18th – Arrivals all day in the northern area, including two Lapland Buntings (MJP et al.), a Twite with the Linnets on Carr Naze (MJP), two Jays in off and south (MJP , FBOG ringers), a Short-eared Owl in off late on and two Yellow-browed Warblers among commoner migrants (which included two Willow Warblers). A Great Northern Diver north and a Med Gull south passed the Brigg. A Merlin north and 72 Red-throated Diver and 11 Great Crested Grebes off the Gap (KC) and a Med Gull north there in the evening. 

19th – A huge and prolonged arrival of thrushes and other migrants as the weather worsened and showers, mist and a light tail wind prevailed, especially towards late afternoon: minima of 6,200 Redwings, 750 Blackbirds, 1250 Song Thrushes, three Ring Ouzels and two Mistle Thrushes, plus 110 Bramblings, 120 Chaffinches and three Yellow-browed Warblers. Two Med Gulls, an Arctic Tern and a Ring Ouzel south on the seawatch; 20 Twite at Gristhorpe Bay (MJP).

Yellow-browed Warbler, Long Lane (Mark Pearson)

20th – A Pallas’s Warbler was on the south side of Carr Naze (MJP), with a Merlin (MJP), a Med Gull and 30 Bramblings also there early on. Four Ring Ouzels included two in off and one trapped, three Swallows went south, and a Richard’s Pipit was reported at the Tip (TGD); searches proved fruitless but revealed Jack Snipe and Short-eared Owl there soon after. Five Yellow-browed Warblers included two together at the Dams Car Park, Dark-bellied Brents were on the move, five Stonechats were in the northern area, a Black Redstart was on Carr Naze in the evening (MC), four Whooper Swans south and two Jack Snipe in off at the Brigg. Five Little Gulls fed off the Gap, where a Wheatear, a Swallow, 168 Siskins and 240 Redwings went south. Green Sandpiper, Black-tailed godwit and two Ruff were at the Dams. 

21st – Ten Whooper Swans went north at the Gap, where single Merlin and Marsh Harrier went south (KC et al.). A Red-necked Grebe went north past the Brigg (JS, JP). 

22nd – A quiet day, with a surprise juvenile Iceland Gull (KC), a Woodcock, a Barnacle Goose and a House Martin passing the Gap.

23rd – A Lapland Bunting and a Twite went north at the Gap (KC) where 308 siskins and 35 redpolls went south among good vismig there (see trektellen.org for full counts). A Great Northern Diver and a Bonxie passed on the sea-watch, and single Swallow and House Martin went south at Reighton Sands.

Peregrine, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

See you in two weeks!

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Highlights, 7th to 13th October inclusive:

Hawfinch, Reighton Sands, 9th (Mark Pearson)

7th – Grey Phalarope north (CW et al.), also Great Northern Diver, Med Gull, 139 Wigeon all north. The male Velvet Scoter still in the bay. Gap highlights included three Whooper Swans north, a Black Tern (KC), a Little Gull, two dark-bellied Brents, 150 Pink-feet, 181 Tree Sparrow and 65 redpolls south.

8th – Three Yellow-browed Warblers in Top Scrub (DL et al.); 35 Barnacle Geese, three Velvet Scoters (also past the Gap) and two Arctic Skuas south and a Scaup north at the Brigg; 19 Barnacle Geese, and a Little Egret north plus 87 Redwings, five Barnacle Geese and four Bramblings south at the Gap. 40 Red-throated Divers in the south of the bay. A Black-tailed Godwit, single Green and Common Sandpipers and at least one Kingfisher still at the Dams. 

Barnacle and Pink-footed Geese, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

9th – Reighton Sands produced a (locally very rare) Hawfinch (MJP), plus 20 Barnacle Geese, a Whooper Swan, a Red Kite (MJP, TGD), at least 12 Common Buzzards all south and good numbers of passerine migrants on the move; the Gap logged 230 Pink-feet south and a high count of 74 Red-throated Divers in the bay. Note that full counts from both sites, as well as seawatch tallies, can be accessed at http://trektellen.org/ .

10th – A Great Northern Diver and a Bonxie passed the Brigg, with single Twite and Merlin (KC) and 21 Rock Pipits (a particularly high count) past the Gap. A Kingfisher at Primrose Valley fishing lake. 

11th – a juvenile Hen Harrier drifted north through the Dams late morning (MJP), with a Med Gull north and two Arctic Skuas south at the Brigg and single Whooper swan, Swallow and House Martin south at the Gap. 

12th – A Lapland Bunting and seven Whooper Swans south plus Great Northern Diver and two Arctic Skuas north on the seawatch; the male Velvet Scoter still in the bay; 141 redpolls, 14 Mistle Thrushes, 268 Tree Sparrows and 93 Siskins all south at the Gap. 

13th – a Great Northern Diver and singles of both common skuas north on the sea-watch, three Black-tailed Godwits, two Ruff and a Shoveler at the Dams, and a House Martin and seven swallows south at the Gap. 

Common Buzzard, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

Friday, October 6th, 2017

A switch in the wind to the north-west produced a better seawatching haul this morning, including a juvenile Long-tailed Skua, a Black-throated Diver, a Yellow-legged Gull, a Velvet Scoter, 23 Bonxies, 48 Red-throated Divers and a Snow Bunting in off the sea (MJP et al.), while a single Whooper Swan and 105 Skylarks passed the Gap and 20 Goldcrests, a Brambling and two Lesser Redpoll were in Top Scrub.

Stonechat, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

The previous two days were quiet, the pick of being a Whooper Swan and 27 Pink-feet south at the Gap on 5th, and 18 Whoopers south a the Gap and Reighton Sands on 4th. The Kingfisher remains at the Dams, as does the Shelduck and several Snipe. Up to four Stonechats are at Reighton Sands, with others at Carr Naze, the Gap and Gristhorpe Bay.

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Pink-footed Geese, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

A memorable and record-breaking day here in Filey, with a minimum of 5158 Pink-footed Geese counted, in upwards of 60 skeins, between dawn and dusk – more than one percent of the global population! With a weather system assisting passage for the birds hitherto grounded in Iceland, counters positioned at Reighton Sands and Hunmanby Gap tag-teamed through the day and were able to keep up almost constant coverage from dawn to dusk. 

Pink-footed Geese, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

Additional landbound visible migration was reasonably modest (although with a wide variety of species), the best of the rest being the season’s first Whooper Swans south, the season’s first Twite south, three Common Buzzards south (in addition to local birds), and an impressive 73 Red Admirals south. 

Whooper Swans, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

Common Buzzard, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

A big day for visible migration at the Gap, in particular for House Martins (582 south, 62 north) and Goldfinch (1103 south), as well as a good supporting cast which included 59 redpolls, 28 Swallows, 107 Meadow Pipits and two Scaup. Two Little Stints were originally at the Dams before relocating to East Lea (IR, MJP), joining seven Ruff and six Dunlin there (and a high count of 23 Moorhens), while the northern bay held the drake Velvet Scoter, five Red-throated Divers and three Great Crested Grebes. ans small flocks of Teal and Wigeon. Pink-footed Geese numbers moving south scraped into three figures for the first time this autumn.

Little Stints, Dunlins and Ruff, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (1st) was generally quiet but for a Yellow-browed Warbler remaining in Long Lane, eight Golden Plovers over and a scattering of Blackbirds, Goldcrests and Song Thrushes (as with recent days).