Sunday, September 30th, 2018

A relatively quiet but slightly more promising end to the month, with two Jays being the standout highlight at the Gap, and 95 Tree Sparrows and 1cy Yellow-legged Gull also passing by there. A Velvet Scoter and a Mediterranean Gull moved south offshore this afternoon.

Bonxies off the Brigg, 28th (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (29th), 90 Pink-feet passed the Gap and 56 the Top Scrub, with a high count of 40 Dunnocks at the latter site. Seven Coal Tits were also there, with a small influx evident throughout the area recently; ditto, the first few Lesser Redpolls are also on the move. Six Buzzards toured the northern area early on.

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Single Balearic and Sooty Shearwaters passed the Gap this morning (with 53 Red-throated Divers in the bay there), with a total of 10 Bonxies and 28 Barnacle Geese passing the Brigg and a Kingfisher on it. 

Kingfisher, Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

A busy morning’s vismig at the Gap produced 600 Siskins, 350 House Martins, 250 Linnets, 100 Swallows and 170 Pink-footed Geese; otherwise still quiet in the area. 

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

A quiet day, with the pick of the Gap’s vismig being 140 Siskin, three Corn Buntings, 12 Snipe and four Coal Tits. Two Bonxies and 11 Sandwich Terns passed the Brigg in the afternoon, with a Wheatear and Greenshank among bird in situ there. 

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

A much quieter day at the Obs, with a brisk SW and high pressure dominating. Highlights of a p.m. seawatch included a Marsh Harrier high in-off from the east and eventually north-west, and a first year Mediterranean Gull feeding with Common Gulls off the Brigg before heading south. A late Yellow Wagtail was the pick of a quiet morning at the Gap.

Little Grebe, Dams (Judith Henley)


At the Dams, the Australian x Common Shelduck has returned after a several month absence in the company of a Common Shelduck, with two Greenshank, two Black-tailed Godwits, three Dunlin and 65 Teal also there. Over at East Lea, a Green Sandpiper, a Dunlin, 30 Teal, two Shoveler and a Gadwall were in residence. 

Marsh Harrier in over the sea (Mark Pearson)

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Finally a busier day on the sea, with the wind steadily swinging north during the day and plenty of activity, especially in the afternoon and evening. Our first all-four-skua day of the autumn included day counts of one juvenile Long-tailed, six Pomarine, 21 Great and 30 Arctic, while tern diversity was even more impressive – two Roseates and a Black (more records of these locally scarce species)  were supported by 45 Sandwich, 23 Common and seven Arctic. 

Arctic Skua, Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Single Great Northern Divers went south past the Gap in the morning and the Brigg in the afternoon, with the season’s first Lapland Bunting at the former site and a report of a large whale species briefly surfacing in the distance off the latter. 

Arctic Skua and Sandwich Terns, Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

A little more activity on the sea this morning was headlined by a Balearic Shearwater lingering offshore for a while before meandering south, with back-up from 37 Manxies north (and three south), four Bonxies north (and two south), 11 Red-throated Divers south, a Puffin, 66 Teal (north), three Arctic Skuas south and three present, and the season’s first Whooper Swans – 12 were on the sea off the Gap before heading south first thing, and a further two flew over there and then Carr Naze (and later Long Nab).

Whooper Swans heading north towards Scarborough Castle (Mark Pearson)

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

The Gap continies to provide most of the local highlights, with another quality morning there providing counts of 1200 House Martins, 1140 Meadow Pipits, 360 Siskins, 255 Linnets, 112 Goldfinches, 40 Pink-feet and a Sand Martin. The Top Scrub saw a small arrival which included six Blackcaps, 10 Chiffchaffs, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Greenland Wheatear, with good visible migration there featuring a Grey Plover and two Yellow Wagtails. 28 Greenfinches were in the same area, while a still quiet sea produced four Arctic Skuas and two Red-breasted Mergansers.

House Martins, Hunmanby Gap (Mark Pearson)

Friday, September 21st, 2018

Another good morning for visible migration at the Gap included 2240 House Martins, 80 Siskins and 200 Pink-footed Geese among others on the move. Two Roseate Terns south continued a good year for this species locally. Hobby was in the Top Fields, where there were also 101 Tree Sparrows, two wheatears, a Yellow Wagtail, 96 Linnets and six Golden Plover. East Lea held a Black-tailed Godwit and three Dunlin.

Grey Wagtail heading south at the Gap (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

An extraordinary morning for visible migration at Hunmanby Gap resulted in over 6,000 birds moving through, which included 1150 Siskins, 600 House Martins, almost 3,000 Meadow Pipits, 55 Chaffinches, 30 Alba wagtails (and one White), site records of 75 Reed Buntings and 15 Grey Wagtails, 28 Pink-footed Geese, six Bullfinches, three Yellow Wagtails and a late Tree Pipit, (Full counts on as always). Elsewhere, a Little Grebe was among the usuals at the Dams.

House Martin migration, Hunmanby Gap (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

With strong south-westerly winds from a succession of Atlantic lows still dominating, Hunmanby Gap is providing the lion’s share of notable counts and sightings, with the best of today’s watch being 450 House Martins, 355 Swallows, 240 Siskins and seven Sand Martins. A further three Sand Martins were with 50 House Martins moving through the Dams, where six Greenshank, five Green Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper, a Redshank and three Snipe, with two Ruff, a Green Sandpiper and a Dunlin at East Lea. Five Little Egrets headed south off the Brigg. 

Purple Sandpiper, Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

A busy day for vismig at the Gap was headlined by 1600 House Martins, 350 Swallows, nine Sand Martins and 67 Linnets, with a still very quiet sea contributing just two Arctic Skuas and a single Manx Shearwater. A Marsh Harrier roamed the northern area. 

Common Terns, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin and Grey Seal, Brigg – yesterday (Mark Pearson)

Monday, September 17th, 2018

The Brigg provided plenty of highlights with the Curlew Sandpiper still, a Kingfisher, two Arctic, five Common and 15 Sandwich Terns, a Greenland Wheatear and a good selection of waders which included Purple Samdpiper, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Redshank all trapped and ringed by the team after dark.  

Sparrowhawk, Dams (Mark Pearson)

Top Scrub was generally quiet although 15 Dunnocks were indicative of a wider movement which also saw single figures visibly migrating at three local sites including the Gap, where 610 House Martins, 495 Meadow Pipits ans 155 Siskins also moved through. Additionally, a Whinchat was in the Rocket Pole Field. 

Yesterday (16th), a Curlew Sandpiper was at East Lea with three Dunlins, and a Hobby, 121 Linnets and 150 House Martins were the pick of vismig at the Gap.

Saturday, September 15th, 2018

A total of over 300 Pink-footed Geese passed south through the area today, with 209 of those through the Gap, where a Swift and a Wheatear also headed south. Two Hobbies over the Country Park, and an increase in common passerines in Top Scrub included small numbers of Phylloscopus and Sylvia warblers and 15 Dunnocks. 

Curlew Sandpiper, Brigg yesterday (Mark Pearson)


Friday, September 14th, 2018

Vismig at the Gap continued to be productive, with notable counts there including 600 House Martins, 212 Siskins and over 80 Pink-footed Geese. The Dams also continues its productive period with the Curlew Sandpiper still, nine Green Sandpipiers, five Greenshank, a Ruff and four Snipe among other species, and a second Curlew Sandpiper was on the Brigg this afternoon, as well as a Ruff, 21 Purple Sandpipers and 10 Ringed plovers there.

Comma (Judith Henley)

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

A Curlew Sandpiper was new at the Dams this morning, with highlights of visible migration at the Gap including 1147 Meadow Pipits, 162 Siskins, 708 House Martins and 205 Swallows, all south. A covey of 23 Grey Partridge at the Tip was the largest count this year of this scarce local species.

Common Sandpiper, Dams (Alan Walkington)



Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

Another big day for Meadow Pipits, with 1212 south at Reighton Sands this morning and 1117 south at the Gap. Other visible migration highlights from both sites included two Swifts, a Sand Martin, 121 Siskins, and (finally) signs of hirundines on the move, although exact numbers were hard to define with several hundred Swallows and House Martins feeding throughout the area. 15 Willow Warblers and a continental Song Thrush were in Top Scrub, a Whinchat remains in the Rocket Pole field, and an Arctic Skua and a Wheatear were the best of a seawatch. 

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish, Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (11th), a total of 1291 Meadow Pipits headed south at the Gap, and single Balearic and Sooty Shearwaters were the best of an otherwise still very quiet sea.

Monday, September 10th, 2018

A surge of visible migration at the Gap saw 3619 Meadow Pipits south, supported by an Osprey, 420 Siskins and 99 House Martins all south among others (as always see for full counts). 

Roseate Tern, Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Today’s other star birds were the adult and juvenile Roseate Terns on the Brigg End in the evening, accompanied by 25 Sandwich, one Arctic and one Common; 11 Purple Sandpipers were among the waders there. At the Dams, fours of Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper and Greenshank were present as well as a Ruff, four Snipe, a Water Rail and a Shoveler.

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

The stand-out highlight was undoubtedly the Nightjar which roosted in a private garden, just the seventh record for Filey. Otherwise quiet with a Hobby, a Manx Shearwater, two Arctic Skuas and 50 Meadow Pipits through the Gap this morning, a Bar-tailed Godwit in the Bay Corner, and 31 Grey Seals and one Common Seal in the Brigg area; 18 Purple Sandpipers were on the Brigg end.

Nightjar, town (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (8th), a better morning’s vismig included 890 Meadow Pipits and 85 Siskin through the Gap and smaller numbers through Reighton Sands (with a Grey Plover south there), plus a spotted Flycatcher at Parish Wood, a Whinchat on Carr Naze and 23 Common Terns on the Brigg. 

Friday, September 7th, 2018

A surge of hirundines late morning was the main story of the day, with over 500 (453s, 62n) counted through Reighton Sands between 1000-1145hrs, and a further 86n through Gristhorpe Bay earlier. A late Swift, 120 Swallows, four Mute Swans and a Ruff were further highlights from the former site, with two Golden Plovers at the latter. A Hobby was the pick of the Gap vismig this morning, and two Sooty Shearwaters, six Bonxies and eight Arctic Skuas were the best of a quiet sea. The Dams holds three Greenshank, three Black-tailed Godwit and five Green Sandpipers among the usuals, with two Greenshank and two Ringed Plovers at East Lea. Odd Snipe are at various wetland sites. 

Kestrel, Carr Naze (Adrian Hotson)

See below for a very exciting, one-off event down the road at Flamborough Bird Observatory – all proceeds towards their new seawatch hide – not to be missed!

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

A Velvet Scoter, a Bonxie, four Manx Shearwaters over the sea and 40 Meadow Pipits, 64 Swallows and a Siskin over the land were the best of the Gap vismig, while a Whinchat, a Wheatear, 50 Goldfinch and 70 Linnets were at Gristhorpe Bay. Three Little Gulls, two Bonxies and 26 Manx Shearwaters were the best of the sea. Five Greenshank were among the usuals at the Dams, while our ringing team continue their successful nocturnal sessions on the Brigg – a Greenshank, three Redshank, two Dunlin and three Purple Sandpipers were caught and ringed, the latter two species with colour-rings. 

Greenshank and Redshank, Brigg (Will Scott)

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

Another productive day on the sea was the first of the year to yield all four skua species, with two Pomarines south and a juvenile Long-tailed dip-feeding off the Brigg in the early afternoon as well as 10 Great and 18 Arctics. Six Little Gulls, a Balearic Shearwater, 95 Manx and two Sooty Shearwaters were further highlights, with 108 Wigeon, 336 Teal, 112 Common Scoter, two Velvet Scoter, 110 Common Terns, 21 Arctic Terns and almost 3000 Gannets also on the move. 

Greenshank, Dams (David Eccles)

A Red-necked Grebe passed the Gap this morning, while in Top Scrub this afternoon there was a Spotted Flycatcher, two continental Song Thrushes and eight Willow Warblers. A Snipe two Yellow Wagtails were at Carr Naze Pond, and during the drizzle three Willow Warblers and two continental Song Thrushes arrived on Carr Naze. 

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

Totals from six hours seawatching included two Balearic Shearwaters, a Pomarine Skua, 14 Great Skuas, nine Arctic Skuas, six Pintail, 200 Manx and eight Sooty Shearwaters, over 3000 Gannets, 100 Teal, a Mediterranean Gull and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Three Wheatears appeared on the Brigg and a Greenshank was on Carr Naze Pond. Smaller numbers of similar species past the Gap, although nine Sooty Shearwaters and an additional Pomarine Skua were also logged there. Five Black-tailed Godwits, three Greenshank and three Green Sandpipers were among waders at the Dams. 

Convulus Hawkmoth, Top Scrub (Dan Lombard)

Yesterday (3rd), passage at the Gap included a Pomarine and seven Arctic Skuas, 540 Teal and two Pintail through plus 19 Red-throated Divers in the bay and an exceptional 1200 flightless Guillemots offshore (including many juveniles). In Top Scrub, a Pied Flycatcher, a Reed Warbler and several Willow Warblers were trapped and ringed, while waders at the Dams included three Greenshank among a familiar cast. Odd Wheatears have been recorded on most days over the last week or so.

Balearic Shearwarer (Mark Pearson)

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

A Short-eared Owl roamed the Top Fields this morning, while 11 Flava wagtails, 82 Swallows and 173 House Martins were the pick of vismig at the Gap. Ringing on the Brigg in the early hours was very successful, with various wader species ringed including several Purple Sandpipers. 

Sand Martin, Carr Naze (Adrian Hotson)

Yesterday (1st), counts from North Cliff included 162 Teal and 5885 Gannets, 21 Curlews, two Arctic and one Great Skua and a Sooty Shearwater (all north), with 6665 Gannets, four Arctic Skuas, a Marsh Harrier and 144 Teal passing the Gap. Additionally, 12 Grey Herons were at Gristhorpe Bay.