Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

The month closed with a return to south-westerlies and a strong passage of finches and other species at the Gap, with highlights of 81 Crossbills, 90 Siskins, six Twite, 13 Mistle Thrushes, 1500 Starlings and a Jack Snipe moving through. A Snow Bunting frequented the path to the beach there. On the Brigg, 30 Purple Sandpipers, 21 Dunlins, the Kingfisher and the dark-bellied Brent were recorded.

Snow Bunting, Hunmanby Gap (Keith Clarkson)

Yesterday (30th), a Little Auk passed the Gap and another was grounded in a garden there, with singles of Pomarine Skua, Goldeneye and Velvet Scoter passing the Brigg. 

Monday, October 29th, 2018

Coues’s Arctic Redpoll (Mark Pearson)

Without a doubt, today’s highlight was a Coues’s Arctic Redpoll caught in Top Scrub by the ringing team this morning – a fitting testament to their hard work there this (and every) autumn. 

Coues’s Arctic Redpoll (Mark Pearson)

Additional records from Top Scrub included five Woodcock, two Mealy Redpolls, eight Snipe, three Blackcaps and two Chiffchaffs. A Water Pipit, 12 Twite, 120 Linnets and 90 Tree Sparrows were at Gristhorpe Bay, and a Waxwing was on Cawthorne Crescent. A Red-necked Grebe was off the Brigg, a Kingfisher, a Woodcock and the dark-bellied Brent were on it, while passing it were two Long-tailed Ducks, a Velvet Scoter, three pale-bellied Brents, 160 Eider and 14 Little Auks. A Great Northern Diver and a Med Gull went north at the Gap.

Long-tailed Ducks (Mark Pearson)

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Another busy day in north to north-easterly winds and squally showers, with another two Long-eared Owls and two Short-eared Owls arriving in off, 21 Little Auks, 37 Eiders, a Long-tailed Duck, two Sooty and 11 Manx Shearwaters and two Pomarine Skuas passing the Brigg, and observations from Carr Naze including 492 Common Scoter, two Woodcocks, six dark-bellied Brents (and one still on the Brigg), two Stonechat and the aforementioned owls. At the Gap, three Velvet Scoters, three Dark-bellied Brents, a Snow Bunting and seven Little Auks were the pick. A probable immature male King Eider unfortunately evaded confirmation before heading north in the afternoon. 

Long-eared Owl (Dan Lombard)

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

Lots of activitiy in brisk northerlies today, with a site record 32 Pomarine Skuas past the Gap as well as a Glaucous Gull (first of the season), a Little Auk, three Velvet Scoters, eight Shovelers, five Goldeneye, 15 Manx Shearwaters and five Pintail there, with counts from the Brigg including 10 Pomarine Skuas, six Goosander, a Velvet Scoter, three Sooty and 10 Manx Shearwaters, three Little Auks, 275 Wigeon and a Great Northern Diver.

Long-eared Owl (Dan Lombard)

A minimum of seven Short-eared Owls arrived in off the sea during the day, with a Long-eared Owl in off and onto Carr Naze before heading inland. Five Woodcock and c450 Starlings also arrived in off, with 200 Wigeon and 100 Common Scoter in the bay. 

Friday, October 26th, 2018

Red-breasted Merganser off the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

A day of strong north-westerly winds which produced some good movements at sea, the highlight being a Leach’s Storm-petrel close inshore and south early afternoon. Pomarine Skuas were passing in good numbers, with four in the morning and 23 in the afternoon, when other records included three Red-breasted Mergansers, a Goosander, 30 Red-throated Divers, 2 Manx Shearwaters, five Woodcocks, a Mediterranean Gull, five Bonxies, two Arctic Skuas and a Kestrel in off (just evading a Poms’s attempts to drown it). 

Dark-bellied Brent (Mark Pearson)

The dark-bellied Brent remains faithful to the Brigg area, where 17 Purple Sandpipers and 65 Oystercatrchers were among waders, while the bay held 65 Teal, 38 Wigeon, 25 Common Scoters, eight Goldeneye (and four in off), five Great Crested Grebes and 15 Red-throated Divers. At the Gap, additional records included four Goosander south, two adult Med Gulls, four Bonxies, 105 Skylarks 230 Fieldfares and 30 Redwings on the move. 

Common Scoter (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

The blustery westerlies continue, with what little movement is occurring involving birds arriving in off despite the wind direction; small numbers of Skylarks, Redwings, Song Thrushes, Fieldfares and finches continue to arrive throughout the day, with totals of 240 Fieldfares and 160 Redwings through the Gap this morning (as well as 10 Rock Pipits and two Arctic Skuas), and two Swallows moved south over the town late on.

Great Northern Diver heading north (Mark Pearson)

A Great Northern Diver, an adult Mediterranean Gull and 20 (distant) Little Gulls were the pick of the sea, with a Twite and ten Rock Pipits in the Carr Naze area and Grey Wagtails there and at the Dams. Gristhorpe Bay held congregations of 240 Tree Sparrows, 380 Linnets, six Twite, three Stonechats and 36 Curlews.     

Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Brigg yesterday (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Singles of both Red-necked and Slavonian Grebes were in the bay off the Brigg this afternoon, where there were also three Great Crested Grebes, 10 Red-throated Divers and 15 Common Scoters; two Goldeneye, a Bonxie and an Arctic Skua passed by in the morning, a dark-bellied Brent Goose was on the Brigg and a Twite was on Carr Naze. 

Small Copper, Filey in today’s sunshine (Judith Henley)

A further four Twite were with the Linnet flock in the Rocket Pole Field, where there was also a Stonechat; four Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler were in Top Scrub. 130 Pink-footed Geese, a Little Gull, 33 Fieldfare and 35 Redwings were the best of vismig at the Gap. 

Yesterday (23rd), two Great Northern Divers and a Red-breasted Merganser were off the Gap, with another Merganser, six Arctic Skuas, 11 Bonxies, an Arctic Tern and six Manx Shearwaters passing the Brigg. 

Small Tortoiseshell, Filey in today’s sunshine (Judith Henley)

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

A male Merlin was at East Lea today, with a report of a Rough-legged Buzzard over the Country Park (per bird news services). A Great Northern Diver, a Med Gull and a Velvet Scoter passed the Brigg, 25 Grey Partridges were on the Tip and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth was at the Gap.

Whooper Swan, Dams (Judith Henley)

Yesterday (21st), the Yellow-browed Warbler remained at Donkey Bridge (with five Bramblings there), a Whooper Swan and a Little Egret were at the Dams, another Little Egret cam in off the sea, 52 Teal and 16 Wigeon were at East Lea, and three Short-eared Owls, 14 Crossbills and two Twite concluded a very successful week of public vismigging at the Gap. 

Saturday, October 20th, 2018

An entertaing morning at the Gap (especially for those attending the vismig drop-in session) included a Hen Harrier, 11 Whooper Swans, 115 Skylarks, 62 Golden Plovers, 47 Siskins and two Crossbills, while an Asio owl came in off the sea and a further seven Whoopers went over Muston roundabout, and three went over the golf course. Five Crossbills were in Arndale and three were in the Top Scrub area.

Sparrowhawk, Top Scrub (Pauline Eccles)

Friday, October 19th, 2018

A busy day for birds and birders, with Migweek continuing to produce the goods for locals and visitors alike. Two Short-eared Owls came in off the sea, while an Avocet roamed between the Brigg, the bay and the beach during the day. At the Gap, 11 Whooper Swans, 1200 Starlings, 156 Fieldfares, 151 Redfwings, a Twite, 43 Crossbills and 82 Siskins moved through in the vismig drop-in session, while Yellow-browed Warblers remained at Donkey Bridge and Top Scrub.

Avocet, Brigg (Nigel Webster)

The ringing team at the latter site also recorded the swans, as well as further visible migration in the shape of two Woodcocks, 114 Blackbirds, four Mistle Thrushes, 130 Chaffinches, 52 Bramblings, 131 Greenfinchesand 31 redpolls. On the sea, five Goldeneye, six Dark-bellied Brents and a Great Northern Diver were recorded, with a Snow Bunting in off.

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Another busy day in the area, lacking the big numbers of yesterday but still notable for a range of incoming migrants. Four Jays topped the bill over the Top Scrub, where other notable counts included 82 Bramblings, 90 Chaffinches, 72 Greenfinches, seven Chiffchaffs and two Willow Warblers (including one acredula-type bird).

Yellow-browed Warblers were well scattered, with two on the Country Park, two still at the Dams, one at Donkey Bridge and two in Parish Wood and a Short-eared Owl was at the Tip, while four Little Gulls, two Bar-tailed Godwits, a Swift and a Kingfisher were the best of the Brigg.

The Gap saw a good movement early on which included an impressive 430 Tree Sparrows, two Bar-tailed Godwits, a Ring Ouzel, 38 Siskins, 135 Chaffinches, 160 Goldfinches, a Great Northern Diver and 25 Red-throated Divers. 

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

North-east winds heralded an impressive influx of Scandinavian incomers today, with counts in the northern coastal area (mainly from the ringing team at the Top Scrub) of 3550 Redwings, 650 Fieldfares, 10 Ring Ouzels, 220 Song Thrushes, 60 Skylarks, 80 Chaffinches, 60 Goldcrests, a Woodcock, four swallows and three Yellow-browed Warblers.

Ring Ouzel, Top Scrub (Dan Lombard)

A Whinchat was on the Country Park, while three Med Gulls, eight Little Gulls, single Arctic and Great Skuas, three Manx Shearwaters, 90 Teal and a Slavonian Grebe were on the sea. A further two Yellow-browed Warblers were at the Dams. 

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Long-eared Owl, Top Scrub (Mark Pearson)

A north-north-easterly airflow with lots of rain (and intermittent breaks) made for some decent local birding, the star of the show being a Long-eared Owl which – after arriving fresh from the continent – had the decency to fly straight into the ringing team’s nets this evening. Two Short-eared Owls also arrived in-off early afternoon, and at least 200 Bramblings were recorded in the northern coastal area.

Yellow-browed Warblers were well represented, with at least seven in the area (four Coutry Park area, three Hunmanby Gap), while a Slavonian Grebe, a Great Northern Diver, 25 Red-throated Divers, three Mediterranean Gulls, a Little Gull and single figures of Great and Arctic Skuas were the best of the sea.

Yellow-browed Warbler (14th), Top Scrub (Pete Dunn)

A locally very notable count of 39 Pintails led a decent movement of wildfowl, which also included 250 Wigeon and 300 Teal as well as three Red-breasted Mergansers and 70 Pink-footed Geese. a total of ten Swallows and three House Martins passed through, while the Gap had a similar cast with the addition of a further two Little Gulls. 

Yesterday (14th), four Yellow-browed Warblers were in the Top Scrub (two of which were trapped), a Mute Swan and five rock Pipits were the best of a quiet vismig session at the Gap, with 13 Red-throated Divers and three Common Terns present there. 

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

A minimum of six Yellow-browed Warblers were in the area today (at least four in the Country Park, one at the Tip and one at the Gap) with a truncated session at the latter site in high winds producing three Little Gulls, five Swallows, three House Martins, seven Pink-feet and six Rock Pipits; six Common and a single Sandwich Tern were feeding offshore there. At the Dams, a Kingfisher was performing well, and three Greenshank remain along with two Curlew. 31 Wigeon and 52 Teal were among a small wildfowl movement at sea.

Yesterday, at least 320 Starlings, 25 Redwings, three Blackbirds and 22 Bramblings arrived in off over the town, and 294 Teal, 86 Wigeon and 212 Dunlin were all southbound at sea. 

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

Yellow-browed Warbler, Hunmanby Gap (Keith Clarkson)

A busier day locally, with a good arrival of migrants on a SE wind with early precipitation. Yellow-browed Warblers numbered at least eight, which included three at Hunmanby Gap and two in Top Scrub, while Ring Ouzels numbeed at least six (including three at the Tip).

Ring Ouzel, The Tip (Nigel Webster)

Seven Crossbills overflew the golf course pond early on (where a Little Grebe was recorded), while Bramblings numbered at least 180 for the day, with high counts of 64 through the Gap, 40 in Church Ravine, 20 in Martin’s Ravine, 30 in Top Scrub and 25 from the Brigg / Carr Naze area. 

Thrushes were arriving throughout, and in addition to the Ring Ouzels, at least 310 Song Thrushes were logged, as well as 450 Redwings, 45 Blackbirds and two Mistle Thrushes. Swallows were in the town (two) and through the Gap (two), with the latter site also logging 142 Siskins this morning. Additionally, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, a Short-eared Owl and two Manxies passed the Brigg, and two Mute Swans, three Gadwall and three Dunlin remain at the Dams and East Lea.

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

A Hawfinch was reported from Crescent Gardens, while the Gap had a busy first hour with 27 Crossbills, 30 Skylarks, 234 Goldfinches, 515 Siskins ans 21 Reed Buntings among final totals there. Further Crossbills overflew Gristhorpe Bay and the Dams, with two Arctic Terns and 40 Skylarks at the Brigg. The Dams continues to hold two Greenshank, a pair of Mute Swans and 70 Teal, while East Lea hosted three Gadwall, a Dunlin and a Redshank. 

Dunlins, Dams (Judith Henley)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

A Yellow-browed Warbler reported from Church Ravine was probably one of yesterday’s birds, while nine Crossbills, 96 siskins and 65 Linnets were the best of a quiet Gap. Two Greenshank and three Snipe continue at the Dams. 

Monday, October 8th, 2018

Two or possibly three Yellow-browed Warblers were in the seafront area today, with a handful of Bramblings and Redwings scattered. At the Gap, 30 Shelduck (a site record) and 16 Snipe were the best of an otherwise quiet vismig session. 

Red-breasted Mergansers, (Mike Cole)

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

A Yellow-browed Warbler – a long-overdue first of the season! – was by the golf course bridge today (surely more are in the area….). At the Gap, vismig highlights included a record 374 Skylarks north-east and 47 south-west, a Ring Ouzel (also the season’s first), 450 Redwings and 200 Pink-footed Geese. 66 Common Scoters and an Arctic Tern were the best of the sea, with 45 Redwings, three Fieldfares and 12 Bramblings in Top Scrub.

Brambling, Carr Naze (Mike Cole)


Saturday, October 6th, 2018

Bird of the day was undoubtedly the Hawfinch in Long Lane frst thing, a less than annual visitor to the recording area. Otherwise 20 Redwings and five Fieldfares were in the Country Park area, with activities on the sea picking up late morning and including a Velvet Scoter, 350 Common Scoters, two Pintails, five Arctic Skuas, two Goldeneye, the juvenile Common Tern still, five Sandwich Terns, and the Kingfisher still on the Brigg. A single Brambling was on Carr Naze.

Yesterday (5th) was quiet, with a Bonxie north and six Red-breasted Mergansers in the bay.

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

Kestrel in from way out out over the sea…..

A busy morning at the Gap, with 280 Siskins, 120 Goldfinches, 100 Linnets, 110 Tree Sparrows, eight Swallows and three House Martins among vismig there, with a Brown Argus in a garden there in the aftertnoon. A group of 13 Red-breasted Mergansers headed south at the Brigg, where a juvenile Common Tern and a Sandwich Tern were in residence; a Kestrel came in off the sea in afternoon, with a single Arctic Skua offshore. The Dams continued to host two Greenshank and the mixed Shelduck pair.

…. and arriving safely at the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

Two Slavonian Grebes spent the day in the north of the bay with a Red-breasted Merganser, a Tufted Duck, 15 Red-throated Divers and 70 Teal. Barnacle Geese were on the move, with 75 along the coast (and 68, likely mostly or all the same birds, past the Brigg). A Pomarine Skua, six Sooty and 16 Manx Shearwaters, a Snow Bunting and two more mergansers were additional, with a Fieldfare and a Brambling in Top Scrub. A small arrival of Redwings totalled around 50 throughout the area. 

Slavonian Grebes, bay (Dan Lombard)

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

On the sea, a Black Guillemot and 10 Pintail went north, with a Little Egret, 10 Bonxies, four Arctic Skuas past the Gap. Yesterday (1st), seven Sooty and nine Manx Shearwaters, three Velvet Scoters, 10 Great and five Arctic Skuas passed the Brigg, with eight Bonxies and a Sooty also past the Gap. The Dams continues to host a Greenshank, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Green Sandpiper.