Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

Continuing with early Autumn migration, two Pied Flycatchers were in Top Scrub yesterday morning and waders continued to arrive including 18 Sanderling and two Dunlin at Muston Sands. The highlight of the seawatch from the Brigg was the first Minke Whale of the season heading South along with eight species of wader including 23 Redshank. The highlight of the today’s morning seawatch was five Common Sandpipers high West amongst Swifts and six Shovelers North, this evening an Arctic Skua went South into the Bay. Today the Spoonbill at the Dams was joined by a Sanderling and a (presumed feral) Barnacle Goose. East Lea held five Green Sandpipers (switching between East Lea and the Dams), two Common Sandpipers and a Shoveler. Four Little Gulls were observed over the Dams mid-morning but didn’t drop in. Moths at Hunmanby Gap yesterday included three Cydia amplana and 75 Diamond-Backed Moths, and today a Hummingbird Hawkmoth.

Arctic Tern, Brigg (Will Scott)

Monday, July 29th, 2019

The early Autumn feel has continued over the last week with passerine migration slowly kicking in. It began with the first juvenile Willow Warblers in Top Scrub and Yellow Wagtails and Swallows heading South. An early Icterine Warbler was found on Carr Naze yesterday evening and today two were present with one trapped and ringed in Top Scrub and one present on Carr Naze. Other passerine migrants in the Northern coastal area today included Sedge and Garden Warbler, Tree Pipit and a few Willow Warblers and Blackcaps.

Icterine Warbler, Carr Naze (Dan Lombard)

Icterine Warbler, Top Scrub (Will Scott)

Away from passerines, waders continue to dominate sightings. Peak counts for of each species moving South off the Brigg include 39 Redshanks on 23rd, 122 Dunlin on 24th, 39 Knots and 39 Sanderlings on 24th, 288 Oystercatchers, 40 Whimbrel and a Ruff on 28th and a Green Sandpiper today. Other notable sightings off the Brigg have included Little Gull and 253 Sandwich Terns on 24th, juvenile Yellow-Legged Gulls on 25th, 26th and 28th and three juvenile Mediterranean Gulls yesterday. Arctic Skua, Common Scoter, Teal and Manx Shearwater continue to be recorded daily. As always the seawatch counts can be found at

Mediterranean Gull, Dams (Nigel Webster)

The Dams still holds the now long-staying Spoonbill as well as up to six Common Sandpipers, three Mediterranean Gulls (24th and 25th), six Green Sandpipers, Little Ringed Plover, two Black-Tailed Godwit (25th), nine Dunlin, two Snipe, two Wood Sandpipers (26th and 27th) and Greenshank. Odonata interest is provided by the presence of Small Red-Eyed Damselflies and Banded Demoiselle. East Lea has had a similar cast (and likely cross-over in individuals) with a Wood Sandpiper, four Green Sandpipers and two Common Sandpipers today. 

Icterine Warbler, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

190 Common Scoter, 30 Teal and four Tufted Ducks were off Hunmanby Gap on 24th with 11 Sanderling on the beach and 400 Swifts and a Greenshank flew South there on 26th.

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

A busier few days with an early Autumn feel, the highlight being three Spoonbills which arrived on 19th, with one still present today. The Dams also held Wood Sandpiper, three Green Sandpipers, seven Curlews and a Snipe on 19th and two Wood Sandpipers, five Green Sandpipers, Black-Tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper and 36 Lapwing on 20th.Wader activity on the Brigg in recent days has included 11 Knot, 15 Turnstone, five Dunlin, two Sanderling, Whimbrel and Golden Plover.

Spoonbill, Dams (Dan Lombard)

Double-figure counts Common Scoter and Teal have been noted on the seawatch, as well as smaller numbers of Whimbrel (including five South at the Gap on 20th) and two immature Eiders on 19th. Sandwich Terns have also increased with 165 North off the Brigg this morning. Country Park hosted a Mediterranean Gull on 20th and 44 Pied Wagtails the previous evening. 

Pied Wagtails, Country Park (Will Scott)

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Business as usual over the last few days with the Dams and East Lea holding up to 45 Lapwings, two Redshanks, three Green Sandpipers, Dunlin and Little Egret, with the latter also being recorded on the Bay Pools and the Brigg. An adult Little Gull went South off the Brigg on 15th and single Yellow-Legged and Mediterranean Gulls (both juveniles) headed South off the Brigg on 16th, on which date two Golden Plovers came in off the sea and 17 juvenile Pied Wagtails were present around Carr Naze Pond. A Bar-Tailed Godwit and six Whimbrel yesterday and three Whimbrel today joined the usual cast of waders on the Brigg.

Juvenile Yellow-Legged Gull, Brigg (Will Scott)

Single figure counts of Manx Shearwaters and double figure counts of Common Scoters and Sandwich Terns continue to be recorded off the Brigg with the occasional Great and Arctic Skua. Insect sightings yesterday included a Banded Demoiselle, a Marbled White and two Hummingbird Hawkmoths.

Sunday, July 14th, 2019

Most of the action over recent days has involved waders, with the Dams variously hosting three Green Sandpipers, up to two Dunlins, up to 24 Lapwing, a Common Sandpiper, a Snipe and a smart male Ruff on 10th. Also still frequenting the reserver are up to two Little Egrets and male and female Yellow Wagtails (which are local breeders), and a Marsh Harrier went west there on 10th. 

Sanderling, Brigg (Dan Lombard)

On the sea, another juvenile Yellow-legged Gull went south yesterday, a Med Gull went north today, and double figures of Common Scoters (and 211 north yesterday), single figures of Manx Shearwaters, Common and Arctic Terns and odd Great Skuas and Red-throated Divers have been the norm. Wader passage is picking up including small numbers of Whimbrel, Curlew, and Oystercatcher on most days, while on the Brigg, the first returning Purple Sandpiper (colour-ringed here last spring) was among single figures of Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Turnstone and Sanderling yesterday, when 12 Bar-tailed Godwits also went north. 

Monday, July 8th, 2019

Expected migration over the last few days has involved mainly Manx Shearwaters and Common Scoters over the sea, and a sprinkling of waders passing by and dropping in. In addition, notable highlights have included a Quail at Reighton on 1st, two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls north on 7th, and a Mandarin was at East Lea on 1st. 

Tufted Duck family at the Dams (Judith Henley)

On the sea, Manxies have been in double figures every day, with peaks of 150 north today, 69 north yesterday and 59 north on 5th, while Common Scoters numbered 410 today, with double figures counts otherwise the norm. Great Skuas have passed today (two), 3rd (two) and 2nd (one), adult Mediterranean Gulls have been logged on several dates, and five Mute Swans went north on the 1st. 

European Storm-petrel, Brigg (Mark Pearson)

At the Dams, three Green Sandpipers have been present for almost a week, with up to three Little Egrets, one to three Black-tailed Godwits, two Little Ringed Plovers and the odd Dunlin, Snipe and Yellow Wagtail there. A further three Little Egrets overflew the town on 3rd.

Peregrine, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

European Storm-petrels have been ringed on the Brigg on three nights, totalling eight birds. Curlews and Whimbrels are a daily feature in single figures, a Common Sandpiper was on the Brigg in the early hours of 1st, up to 50 Oystercatchers are at Gristhorpe Bay, and 27 Redshank were on the Brigg on 7th.