Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Comma (Judith Henley)

A very wet, quiet day today with the only birds of note being a Greenshank and a Green Sandpiper at the Dams, and three Arctic Skuas and 666 Common Scoters north on this morning’s seawatch. Hobbys overflew the tow and the Gap on 6th, when 23 Black-tailed Godwits went south over the Country Park.

Hedgehog emerging from nest (Mike Cole)

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

Red-backed Shrike (Mark Pearson)

A Kingfisher at the dams today (DL) was the first of the season, while a three hour seawatch from mid-morning yesterday (4th) was quiet but for a good passage of gulls, including a day-record three Yellow-legged Gulls (MJP); all were juveniles and all northbound. A female-type Black Redstart was on Carr Naze first thing (CW) and 215 Swifts went south at the Gap. The Red-backed Shrike was last seen on 3rd, completing a stay of nine days.

Yellow-legged Gull (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

The Red-backed Shrike remain in situ on long Hedge, while waders at the Dams today included twos of Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Common Sadnpiper and Redshank, with another two Blackwits, two Curlew and 37 Lapwing at East Lea. Two Garden Warblers were trapped in Top Scrub and 23 Sandwich Terns were on the Brigg.


Monday, July 31st, 2017

Another relatively busy few days, with lots of variety and quality on offer as early autumn migration continues to entertain. The unseasonal female Red-backed Shrike remains faithful to the eastern end of Long Hedge and has been present for a week now, while the season’s first Tree Pipit and 150 Swifts went south at the Gap this morning; an Arctic Skua and 600 Puffins did likewise there yesterday, with a Sooty Shearwater and 650 Puffins south there on 29th. 

Mediterranean Gull, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

A male Merlin flew east over East Lea and hung around the Top Fields on 28th (MJP, YP et al.), with an adult Mediterranean Gull also at East Lea on the same morning, when a Marsh Harrier went south over the Country Park and a Hobby and an Arctic Skua went south at the Gap; five Black-tailed Godwits also went south there, with a further five at the Dams. 

The Dams has held a variety of waders in addition to the godwits, including up to 35 Lapwings, three Green Sandpipers and two Common Sandpipers, as well as a regular Little Egret. Otherwise, warblers are on the move generally (with 12 Reed Warblers ringed at the Dams on 27th), and odd Yellow Wagtails are also beginning to pass through. 

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Red-backed Shrike, Long Hedge (Mark Pearson)

A pleasingly busy week in the recording area, culminating in the finding of an unseasonal and unexpected adult female Red-backed Shrike this morning (MJP et al.) towards the eastern end of Long Hedge. Passage through the Gap included a Little Gull, 132 Knot, 16 Dunlin, 21 Redshank, a Bonxie, two Shovelers and 125 Puffins (all south), with two Green Sandpipers, 40 Lapwings, 12 Golden Plovers and a Little Egret at the Dams, a Whinchat at the Tip and a report of a Quail near Reighton. A male Ruff sheltered on the Country Park yesterday, with an Arctic Skua south on 24th and a Balearic Shearwater south on 23rd (CW et al.).

A summer-plumaged Knot which dropped into the Dams on 22nd was colour-flagged and ringed, and we soon established in had been originally ringed (way up in the Arctic Circle) in Parsanger, Norway in May last year, and was then seen in the Netherlands four months later. This is the first time it’s been seen this year. The same day produced a Pomarine Skua, 29 Little Gulls, 34 Sanderlings, 73 Knot, two Bonxies and three Arctic Terns south on the seawatch. 

Red-backed Shrike, Long Hedge (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Arctic Skua heading north (Mark Pearson)

A busy day of early autumn passage, particularly concerning Whimbrels, with a total of 244 recorded heading south through the area during the day. Other highlights included a Blue Fulmar south over Carr Naze (MJP), totals of 652 Common Scoters north and 96 south, 119 Manx Shearwaters south and two north, 31 Sanderlings south (among smaller numbers of other common waders), 136 Sandwich Terns north, plus five Arctic Skuas, two Bonxies, a Yellow Wagtail and two Little Egrets on the Brigg.

One of many parties of Whimbrel noted through the day (Mark Pearson)

Waders at a busy and productive Dams included no fewer than 15 Common Sandpipers, four Green Sandpipers, 60 Lapwings, five Redshanks, four Dunlin and the Black-tailed Godwit. 

Common Scoters heading north (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (18th) was notable for nine Little Terns south and a Minke Whale (BP et al.).

Monday, July 17th, 2017

32 juvenile Lapwings were an encouraging sight at the Dams today, with wader passage generally becoming slowly more prevalent of late; other records have included a Black-tailed Godwit at East Lea and the Dams from 14th to today, the first two returning Sanderlings south on 15th, and 22 Dunlins south on the same day – when other reports included a single European Storm-petrel trapped overnight, a Velvet Scoter and a Quail reported from near Reighton.  

Ruddy Darter (Steve Bowden)

A Red-veined Darter and a Little Egret were at East Lea on 12th (DL), when a Hobby was reported over the Top Fields (TGD). 329 Swifts went south over Carr Naze on 11th, when 10 Manxies went north and the continuing strong Puffin passage totalled 270 south and 201 north. 

Monday, July 10th, 2017

The season’s first Minke Whale (BP) was reported off the Brigg today, while Little Egrets were at the Dams yesterday and south at the Gap (two) on 8th. Wader passage was heavy at sea on 6th, when 141 Redshanks and 93 Dunlin were the most numerous of a decent cast; Whimbrels, Curlews and others are southbound most days in small numbers.

Marbled White (Ian Robinson)

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

A quiet few days dominated by strong Puffin passage, with 601 south and 288 north on 1st and 542 south and 245 north on 3rd. Two Bonxies and 15 Manx Shearwaters also went north on 3rd, while two Little Egrets north and seven Black-tailed Godwits south were additional seawatch records on 1st. Today, a Velvet Scoter, a Bar-tailed Godwit and 8 Manxies went north. 

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Leach’s Storm-petrel (Dan Lombard)

The petrel catching season got off to a flying start on 23rd, with a preliminary test session resulting in the trapping of a Leach’s Storm-petrel and three (European) Storm-petrels (FBOG ringing team), the latter including ’67’ – a bird which has toured the east coast for ten years and which spent much of last year’s season at Filey!  The Leach’s is only the fourth to be ringed at Filey in 30 years. 

Other notable sightings over the previous days unfortunately concern mainly belated reports via bird news services, including a Green-winged Teal off the Brigg on 29th and a Nuthatch at Hunmanby Gap on 28th. The Bempton Black-browed Albatross also appears to have been seen in Filey Bay (per MR) (despite apparent time anomalies which we’re trying to straighten out) on its way north on 28th. 

Common Scoters have been on the move and in the bay in good numbers, with 535 south on 29th, 175 south (a.m) and 570 north (p.m.) on 28th and 1998 north on 27th. Manxies are on the move in small numbers every day, with a peak so far of 14 on 24th, while skuas are starting to trickle through, with the first Arctics on 27th (three south) and subsequent ones and twos, as well as odd Bonxies. 

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Med Gull (Mark Pearson)

An unexpectedly productive afternoon session on the Brigg produced a Garganey (around the Brigg and then eventually south), an adult summer Mediterranean Gull south, a summer plumage Red-throated Diver north and 31 Oystercatchers, six Turnstones and a single Knot (MJP).

Garganey (Mark Pearson)

Garganey (Mark Pearson)

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Red-veined Darter, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

A check of our East Lea reserve this afternoon revealed a minimum of four male Red-veined Darters (MJP) – the first of the year, maintaining a recently annual run of ecords for this scarce species in our recording area. 

Red-veined Darter, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Four-spotted Chaser (David Eccles)

A calm, mild and quiet week locally, with few notable sightings beyond local and breeding species. On the sea, 248 Puffins south (and 48 north) and 14 Manxies south on 11th were peak day counts for the month so far, while an unseasonal Corn Bunting at the Tip and a Little Ringed Plover in a field south of the Gap (both on 16th) were a little less predictable. Dragonflies and butterflies are very much out in full force now – expect more attention to be paid to them over the coming weeks! 

Broad-bodied Chaser, Filey Dams (David Eccles)

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Barn Owl and Roe Deer, The Tip FBOG reserve (Patricia Morris)

A reasonably quiet week in generally settled conditions, although another Osprey – heading south over Carr Naze on 7th (TH) – completes a good spring for this species locally. Otherwise notable sightings have included a Cuckoo at the Tip today and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth near Parish Wood yesterday. Slightly improved seawatching movements have included 108 Puffins south (and 49 north) and 17 Manx Shearwaters north (and two south) yesterday, 50 Manxies south on 6th, while two Red-throated Divers (one north, one south) passed by on 4th. Small numbers of waders on the Brigg were headlined by a good count of 16 Ringed Plovers on 3rd.

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Reed Warbler, Dams (Mark Pearson)

A Grasshopper Warbler and a Garden Warbler were reported from the Tip today, where a late Tree Pipit as also grounded yesterday. The first Large Red Damselfly of the season was recorded in the Top Scrub, Broad-bodied Chasers have been seen at the Dams for the last five days or so, while a few Manxies continue to pass in most recent seawatches.


Blackbird, Dams (Steve Bowden)

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Sandwich Tern at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

A very quiet end to the month, with little in the way of notables, although two Sandwich Terns dropped out of the mist and into the Dams for a few minutes on 29th, where six Mute Swans continue to commute between there and East Lea. Otherwise, Painted Ladies have begun to arrive in small numbers, a singing Yellowhammer at Reighton gives us another breeding presence, and up to 50 Oystercatchers are in the Brigg area (with very small numbers of other waders including Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Turnstones, with the odd Common Sandpiper also dropping in)

Moorhens at the Dams (Pete Dunn)

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Little of note to report today except for a Hobby hunting Sand Martins at Hunmanby Gap (KC) and c250 Swifts feeding along a storm front over North Cliff, but yesterday (26th) produced two good spring records – a Curlew Sandpiper flushed off the Brigg (JS) and a male Hen Harrier high over the Country Park (JH), while a Hobby and a Little Ringed Plover overflew East Lea (MJP). 

House Martins beginning to build nests in the town (Mike Cole)

House Martins beginning to build nests in the town (Mike Cole)

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Black-tailed Godwits at the Dams (Judith Henley)

A quiet few days as high pressure and settled conditions dominate. Today saw Cuckoos at the Gap and the allotments, while Spotted Flycatchers remained at Parish Wood and the Tip after arriving yesterday, when 10 Barnacle Geese went south at the Gap. A Little Owl was near to last year’s breeding site on 21st, while the daily passage of small numbers of Manx Shearwaters spiked at 23 north on 20th. Three Black-tailed Godwits were at the Dams on the same day, and a White Wagtail was at East Lea on 19th. Trickles of waders, Yellow wagtails, hirundines and finches are still going through in small numbers but visible migration has generally ebbed and the sea remains very quiet. 

Kestrel, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Three Barnacle Geese went south at the Gap on an otherwise very quiet day today, while yesterday’s (19th) highlights were a summer-plumage Black-tailed Godwit at East Lea and the Dark-bellied Brent Goose venturing over to the Gap.

Black-tailed Godwit, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

16th was somewhat busier, the highlight being a Quail in song at Gristhorpe Bay (MJP), plus 14 Barnacle Geese and a Marsh Harrier south at the Gap, the Brent on the Brigg, and a interesting ‘flash-fall’ as a storm front hit mid-pm: small numbers of suddenly grounded passerines on the clifftop to the north of Carr Naze included a very late female Brambling, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Spotted Flycatcher and at least 370 swifts along the line of the storm. A second Spotted Flycatcher was in top Scrub, while another Marsh Harrier was at Newbiggin, the Velvet Scoter was still off the Gap, and interesting breeding records included both Yellowhammer and Yellow Wagtail in the Gristhorpe Bay area.

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Good records from the Gap today included a Hooded Crow and a Little Egret north, a Marsh Harrier, a Goosander and 18 Tufted Ducks south, and male Velvet Scoter offshore (which was previously seen passing the Brigg, BP) (KC, NC, WS, GS). A Brent Goose was on the Brigg. Yesterday (14th) saw modest passage in the shape of a Greenshank, 208 Swallows and 44 House martins south at the Gap, while singles of both  Pied and Spotted Flycatchers were in Top Scrub. up to eight Wheatears are in the Carr Naze / Country Park area.

Wheatear, Country Park (John Harwood)

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

An Osprey flew south over the town this afternoon (J & TGD), while a big movement of hirundines this morning involved 1020 Swallows, 477 House Martins and 112 Sand Martins south at the Gap, with two Little Egrets also south there, and three Common Sandpipers were at East Lea. Yesterday (12th) saw a Greenshank over the Gap but little else of note.  

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Wall, Carr Naze (Mike Cole)

A quieter day with a south-easterly airflow and plenty of sunshine this morning for the ringers who trapped a female Ring Ouzel in Top Scrub and a Hobby overflew there (DL et al.). A Cuckoo was at the Gap, a Fieldfare was at East Lea, at least seven Reed Warblers were in the Dams area, and a small arrival of other common warblers was evident generally. Eight Wheatears were on Carr Naze and a male Pintail and a pair of Gadwall were on the pond there, while waders on the Brigg included a Common Sandpiper, 11 Purple Sandpipers and 41 Oystercatchers, with six Whimbrel north and two down.  131 Sandwich Terns went south over the course of the day.

Pintail, Carr Naze pond (Mike Cole)

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

A day of notable visible migration was headlined by two raptors early on – an Osprey west at Hunmanby Gap (KC, NC) and a late Merlin south-east at Gristhorpe Cliff (MJP). The former also saw a Tree Pipit and 25 Yellow Wagtails north, while the latter logged good northbound Linnet and Goldfinch counts (213 and 96 respectively), and both sites registered impressive hirundine totals – each had in excess of 550 Swallows, while Gristhorpe Bay also saw 225 Hpouse Martins and 71 Sand martins heading north (with smaller numbers of each at the Gap). A Little Egret was still at the Dams, and the sea-watch again registered nothing of note. 

Sedge Warbler, Dams (Judith Henley)

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Waxwing (Ian Robinson)

Surprise bird of the day was a late and frustratingly brief Waxwing on the Wharfedale estate (mo). A female Greenland Wheatear was on Carr Naze late on and Manxies have passed the Gap yesterday (three) and today (one), where four Tundrae-type Ringed Plovers were on the beach. Otherwise, migration over land and sea has been quiet in the northerlies, although hirundines began moving this afternoon as the winds calmed, with 81 Swallows south at the Gap and another 12 south at Carr Naze this evening. The Dams and East Lea are holding up to three Common Sandpipers, a couple of Snipe and up to three Dunlin, as well as a Little Egret. 

Whimbrel (John Price)

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Spoonbills (Ian Robinson)

Cold northerlies hardly inspire much hope at this time of year, but there have been some notable arrivals nevertheless, particularly in the shape of three Spoonbills (MC et al.) that spent a short while at the Dams this afternoon before heading south (with a male Goosander also there).

Pied Flycatcher (John Harwood)

The male Pied Flycatcher trapped and ringed by our crack team in the Top Scrub yesterday remained in situ today, while yesterday also provided Hobby which overflew the Top Scrub (PJD et al.), when the first significant arrival of Swifts included several there and ten over the town early on. The sea and visible migration have been predictably quiet, although several Yellow Wagtails and small numbers of Linnet and Goldfinches have moved along the coastal strip. 

Spoonbills (Will Scott)

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Firecrest, 2nd (David Aitken)

A generally quieter few days to begin the month, with high pressure and a northerly airflow curtailing much movement. Notable records have however included a Firecrest trapped and ringed in the Top Scrub (DL, DA, GD) on 2nd, when there were also two Goldeneye present and a male Pochard north at the Gap. A Black-throated Diver and a Bonxie were reported off the Brigg on 1st, when a Redstart was in Top Scrub.

Odd Bar-tailed Godwits (with a max of four on 3rd at East Lea) and Grey Plovers continue to drop in and pass by, with a peak of three Common Sandpipers at East Lea and a late Fieldfare there today. A Swift was at the Gap and at least ten Lesser Whitethroats were well scattered across the northern coastal area, while two Garden Warblers were at the Dams. 

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Little Ringed Plover, East Lea (Ian Robinson)

A Turtle Dove west over East Lea this morning (MJP) at least ensures this species makes it into another Filey Bird & Wildlife report next year. A strong day for visible migration – particularly of waders, terns and wildfowl along the coast – was otherwise headlined by a Black Tern south at the Gap, where other day counts included 38 Bar-tailed Godwits, 15 Whimbrel, 14 Knot and 16 Sanderlings south, with a single Pintail the best of a small duck movement and two Corn Buntings south (KC). Smaller numbers of waders, including Grey Plovers and Bar-tailed Godwits, were also noted off the Brigg in the day and at the Gap in the evening. A Grasshopper Warbler sang from Top Scrub (DL) and up to six Greenland Wheatears were along the coastal strip (JP, MC, DL, AH et al).

Otherwise, previous days were reasonably quiet with totals at the Gap of 112 Linnets and 61 Goldfinches on 28th and 240 / 74 respectively on 27th. Two Ring Ouzels went north there on 25th (KC), while other species on the move in small numbers along the coastal strip over the period have included Manx Shearwaters, Whimbrel, Grey Plovers, Red-breasted Mergansers, Goosanders, Sandwich and Arctic Terns, hirundines, and Yellow and Pied Wagtails. Odd waders at the Dams and (particularly) East Lea have included Whimbrel, Greenshank, Little Ringed Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit and Common Sandpipers, and all warbler species (including Reed, Garden, Sedge and Lesser Whitethroat) have trickled in in small numbers. 

Grey Plovers and Bar-tailed Godwit off the Brigg (John Harwood)


Monday, April 24th, 2017

More headline news from Hunmanby Gap, where a Red-rumped Swallow went south early on this morning (KC, NC), as did a Corn Bunting; otherwise visible migration in the first couple of hours was reasonable there and at Gristhorpe Bay, where double figures of the three (commoner) hirundines and treble figures of Linnets and Meadow Pipits dominated the notebooks. Two Bottlenose Dolphins and a Raven went north off the Brigg this morning (JS), while at least 20 Wheatears arrived along the coast early on. Two White Wagtails and a Common Sandpiper were at East Lea, and a Short-eared Owl was at the Tip this evening. A Lesser Whitethroat was new for the year at the Gap and a Common Whitethroat was at Reighton.

Otherwise the last few days have been quieter in unhelpful conditions, but a Glaucous Gull went north at the Gap on 22nd and a Ring Ouzel was there yesterday (KC, NC), while East Lea held a Whimbrel and the Dams a Reed Warbler and an Acredula-type Willow Warbler, also on 22nd.   

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Another excellent morning for visible migration, with Hunmanby Gap once again rewarding dedicated efforts and Gristhorpe Bay beginning to yield interesting results and records. Bird of the day was an adult female Montagu’s Harrier which drifted north inland at the Gap shortly before 0700hrs (KC, NC), reappearing a full 45 minutes later pursued by crows and heading inland from Gristhorpe Bay (MJP). The Gap also logged a male Ring Ouzel, another Hooded Crow and two Whimbrels, and both sites recorded continuingly strong totals of Linnets, Meadow Pipits and Goldfinches.

Grasshopper Warbler at the Tip yesterday (Ian Robinson)

Wheatears were incoming and moving through quickly, with four through G. Bay and two the Gap, a smattering of hirundines were northbound at both and two Corn Buntings were southbound at the Gap, while acredula-type Willow Warblers were prevalent with two heading north at G. Bay (pausing briefly on the cliff fence), one at East Lea (where there was also a Common Whitethroat) and they were described as the dominant form during this morning’s ringing session in Top Scrub (per DL). 

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Peregrine, Gristhorpe Bay (Mark Pearson)

Another good morning for the visible migration watchers at either end of our recording area, with an Osprey along the cliffs and south-east early on at Gristhorpe Bay (MJP) and a Marsh Harrier north at the Gap and then Gristhorpe Bay (KC, MJP). A Twite and a White Wagtail also bypassed the Gap (KC), and both sites had similarly good counts of Linnets and Meadow Pipits into triple figures, high double figures of Goldfinches and single figures of both martins (and 22 Swallows through G. Bay) among other species. 

Little Ringed Plover, East Lea (Ian Robinson)

A Grasshopper Warbler sang and showed well from the Tip on 19th and today (J & TGD et al.), while the long-staying White-fronted Goose continued with Greylags on 17th and 18th, this time at East Lea, where it was joined briefly by two Pink-feet on the latter date. The same site hosted waders in the shape of a Ringed Plover on 18th and Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover on 19th (yesterday), while the Dams hosted a dark-bellied Brent Goose and a Yellow Wagtail as well as the usual lingering wildfowl and Barn Owls. White Wagtails have been reported from Carr Naze Pond and East Lea.

Osprey, Gristhorpe Bay (Mark Pearson)