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. 

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. 

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.