Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Notable records from the last couple of days include five Whooper Swans north at Gristhorpe Bay this morning, where four Crossbills headed south and a further 12 did likewise at the Gap, the venue for an early Bonxie north this afternoon. A Goosander went north over Carr Naze,  where a/the Black Redstart remained, while a Mediterranean Gull hung around the Country Park (mo) and a Firecrest was reported from Primrose Valley (SA) yesterday (21st). Good numbers of finches and pipits continue to be counted passing the Gap (see Trektellen for full counts), and the year’s first Sand Martin passed there on 20th (KC). Another Red-legged Partridge (the third of the year) was seen in a garden adjoining the Dams on Friday. 

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Visible migration continues to provide most of the interest of late, with a good haul in blustery south-westerlies at the Gap this morning which included a Mediterranean Gull, 540 Meadow Pipits, 107 Siskins, 68 alba Wagtails, 140 chaffinches and 34 Redwings (KC). A Black Redstart was on Carr Naze on 18th (DL, MJP) and at least 30 Goldcrest were in Top Scrub (with a good scattering of Chiffchaffs). Counts at the Gap on the morning of 17th included 390 Meadow Pipits, 17 alba Wags, 13 Fieldfares and 10 Redwings, while 16th at Gristhorpe bay included a Brambling, 59 Meadow Pipits, 23 Siskins and four Whooper Swans (north). A White-fronted Goose went north over the Tip on 17th (CW), While late news for 15th concerned two dark-bellied Brents and a Little Egret at the Dams. 

Weasel, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Most of the interest over the last few days has come from visible migration, with Hunmanby Gap producing a Ring Ouzel (KC), 55 Redwings, 566 Meadow Pipits and an excellent 76 alba Wagtails yesterday (14th) among other good totals (as always, see Trektelleren for full counts). The previous morning there (13th) provided two Corn Buntings, 145 Meadow Pipits, 11 Redwings, foor Fieldfare and a Red-breasted Merganser north and two Mute Swans south, while a Red-legged Partridge has been present there since 12th (KC, WS). 

Siskin heading north at Gristhorpe Bay (Mark Pearson)

This morning, vismig at Gristhorpe Bay produced a Corn Bunting, a Yellowhammer, 81 Meadow Pipits and 11 Siskins north among others (MJP), while 71 Meadow Pipits went north at the Gap as well five each of Redwing and Fieldfare. The seas and the wetland sites remain particularly quiet. 

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, Carr Naze Pond (Mark Pearson)

A busier couple of days as spring migration begins to step up a little, although Carr Naze had a distinctly northern flavour with a Blue Fulmar close in and north (MJP) and two Scandinavian Rock Pipits (MJP, DL).  Visible migration at Hunmanby Gap has been strong concerning finches in particular, with 121 Siskins south (and 20 on 10th), and three Crossbills south (and 10 on 10th, when ten Bullfinches also went south). A male Goosander overflew the Dams and a Velvet Scoter was offshore at the Gap (KC).

Black-headed Gull & Smooth Newt, Carr Naze Pond (Mark Pearson)

Slavonian Grebe was reported near the Brigg yesterday (J&TGD), when a Jackdaw showing characteristics of one of the continental races was briefly at Gristhorpe Bay before heading north (MJP).

Blue Fulmar, 11th (Mark Pearson)

Goldcrests are scattered in small numbers, with daily counts just beginning to scrape into double figures, while Pink-footed Geese are likewise regular in double figures over recent days and Common Buzzards are increasingly noticeable.  

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

The year’s first Scandinavian Rock Pipit was by Carr Naze Pond on 7th (MJP), the same location hosting a Jack Snipe (CW); a Woodcock was at the Yacht club on the same day, and several Small Tortoiseshells were on the wing. A (the ?) Red-necked Grebe was off the Gap on 8th (KC), while the 9th saw a 2cy Glaucous Gull heading south (JS) and a good passage of wagtails north at Hunmanby Gap, with nine Grey and 14 Alba north, as well as the first push of Meadow Pipits north there (93). 

Common Buzzard (Mark Pearson)

Generally northbound species include a trickle of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and occasional Scandinavian Herring Gulls, commoner finches and a few winter thrushes, while a similar cast remain in situ at the Dams and East Lea. 

Monday, March 6th, 2017

A quiet few days generally, with little in the way of new arrivals except for a improvement in visible migration at Hunmnaby Gap on 5th, with three Corn Buntings, five Crossbills, 66 Skylarks and 44 Chaffinches all north and 100 Pink-footed Geese south, while five Buzzards and 57 Red-throated Divers were present there (KC). Four Chiffchaffs at the Dams yesterday included a bird ringed there in early January (establishing the bird’s wintering site fidelity). Great Northern Divers were at Gristhorpe Bay and off the Brigg today.

Snow Bunting, 3rd (Mark Pearson)

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Glaucous Gull this morning (Mark Pearson)

The white-winged gull influx continues with another 2cy Glaucous Gull, this one heading north past the Brigg this morning (MJP). Two Snow Buntings – one low and west, and one (very tame) male on Carr Naze – were new, and the bay is hosting good numbers of commoner species as well as the Red-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver still. Pink-footed Geese are on the move, with 225 north at the Gap this morning, where a male Red-breasted Merganser also headed north. At the Dams and East Lea, three Chiffchaffs, two pairs of Shelduck, two Water Rails and up to 204 Wigeon are in residence, while Redwings were heard heading over in a clear sky on the night of 1st.

Snow Bunting, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Common Buzzard, Reighton (Mark Pearson)

A quiet end to the month, the dubious highlight being a less-than-annual (but less-than-native) record in the form of two Red-legged Partridges by Reighton Wood (MJP); a Common Buzzard was also there and a Crossbill was went north a little further up the coast at Hunmanby Gap. At The Dams, two Water Rails and Chiffchaffs are on the fringes, while on the water there are up to 21 Tufted Ducks, two Shelduck, a Pochard and two drake Gadwall (one of the latter paired up with a female Shoveler). East Lea continues to host up to 200 Wigeon, a few Snipe and Redshank, while small numbers of Redwings and Skylarks are trickling through several sites.

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Mute Swan, Dams (Mark Pearson)

Highlights over the last week have included a Twite and 20 Golden Plover through at the Gap this morning, a 2cy Glaucous Gull north yesterday afternoon (KC) and a Snow Bunting south there on 22nd, while from the Brigg, Velvet Scoters went south on 20th and 19th (two), when a Slavonian Grebe went north (JS). Two Waxwings were brief visitors to the Tescos car park / doctor’s surgery area of the town on 20th (J&TGD et al.).

Waxwing, Tesco’s car park (Mark Pearson)

Two dark-bellied Brent Geese lingered until 21st around the Brigg, where a Bonxie went north on 18th, while Pink-footed Geese have been on the move on several days, by far the biggest count coming on 18th at the Gap, when 525 went through in the morning. Male Stonechats are at Carr Naze and Gristhorpe Bay, the former attracting a female this morning, and the latter site is hosting up to 220 Fulmars (with many also off the Brigg and in the bay). Up to 20 Rock Pipits are present in the Rocket Pole Field / Carr Naze area, and up to 79 Oystercatchers and 13 Redshanks are using the country park to feed. 

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Another reasonably quiet few days locally, although numbers of Red-throated Divers built to an impressive 252 between the Gap and Reighton this morning (KC), with lesser numbers in the northern bay, where a Great Northern Diver has been present daily (with it or another also frequenting the Gap). A Blue Fulmar drifted south at Gristhorpe Bay on 13th (MJP), where there was also a male Stonechat, 30 Curlews and two Common Seals. 

Blue Fulmar, Gristhorpe Bay (Mark Pearson)

The Red-necked Grebe continues in the north of the bay, while expected fare on the sea has included two Velvet Scoters south on 12th (JS) and 125 Pink-footed Geese north on 15th as well as increasing numbers of auks, Gannets and Fulmars and small numbers of common wildfowl. 

Friday, February 10th, 2017

A quiet few days locally, with very little new activity but for a trickle of wildfowl over the sea (including e.g. the odd Goldeneye and Goosander). Long-stayers include the Black Redstart around the Brigg / Carr Naze, the Red-necked Grebe in the bay corner, an intermittern Great Northern Diver there and up to 50 Purple Sandpipers in the Brigg area. Four Chiffchaffs are at the Dams, where  there are also two Shelduck, two Shoveler and seven Tufted Ducks.  

Just published on the articles page is Will Scott’s summary of his 2016 patch-birding year – click here to read.

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Black Redstart, bay corner Mark Pearson)

An interesting start to month, with the pick being a brief Green-winged Teal unfortunately not relocated despite extensive searches on 3rd (TGD). A juvenile Iceland Gull went east over the town on 2nd (MJP), but the sea has been quiet, with a Great Northern Diver north on 5th, and two dark-bellied Brents and single Blue Fulmar and Velvet Scoter north (JS) on 1st the pick.

The wintering female Black Redstart remains in the Bay Corner / Brigg area, up to 18 Rock Pipits are still there and in the Rocket Pole Field, and the Red-necked Grebe is still in the bay along with uo to 190 Wigeon, 60 Red-throated Divers and 13 Great Crested Grebes. Single Gadwall and Velvet Scoter were off the gap this morning (NC). 

Sanderling, 6th (Mark Pearson)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

The month drew to a close with more of the same quality themes still at play: namely more White-fronted Geese – with one north at the Gap on 28th (WS) and 12 at Primrose Valley in 30th (JD & TGD) – and white-winged gulls, with an adult Iceland past the gap on 28th and a 2cy Glaucous Gull (eating a White-front!) on the sea yesterday (BP et al.). Otherwise, the Snow Bunting is still on Carr Naze and up to 180 Wigeon are in the bay (and up to 210 at East Lea, with at least some interchange involved as is usual).

Rock Pipit, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Friday, January 27th, 2017

White-fronted Goose (Dan Lombard)

Two White-fronted Geese were with the ferals at Primrose Valley today (DL), with a Chiffchaff also in the same area, 25 Sanderlings on the beach, a Blue Fulmar went south (JS) and a male Pochard and four Shovelers were at the Dams. Yesterday saw two Treecreepers in Glen Gardens and a good movement of wildfowl over the sea, which included a White-fronted Goose north, 89 Wigeon, 75 Mallard, five Shoveler, two Pintail, four Pochard, a Tufted Duck and four Gadwall south, as well as a Red-necked Grebe south (JS). Highlights on 24th consisted of a Velvet Scoter south, two Stonechats in the Rocket Pole Field.

Pochard (Dan Lombard)

Long-stayers still kicking around include the Black Redstart in the Brigg area, at least one Great Northern Diver off North Cliff and the Snow Bunting on Carr Naze. Grey Wagtails are particularly noticeable this winter, with up to four roaming the area (and perhaps easiest to find in the town centre and the Bay Corner). Up to 200 Wigeon and 60 Teal are at the Dams / East Lea. 

Sanderling (Dan Lombard)

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Highlights over the last few days have included (from today backwards) 18 Barnacle Geese, an unseasonal Manx Shearwater and a Goosander south plus two Great Northern Divers and five Harbour Porpoise off North Cliff today, two Scaup went south yesterday (JS, MA, BP), 27 White-fronted Geese headed north over the Tip (CW) and four White-beaked Dolphins went south on 20th and Blue Fulmars did likewise on 19th & 18th (JS). A Corn Bunting was at Filey Fields Farm on 18th (J&TGD), The wintering female Black Redstart and Snow Bunting remain in the Carr Naze area, while the Red-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver remain in the bay.  

Grey Partridges on the Tip (Ian Robinson)

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

A generally dull and nondescript midwinter day produced a nice surprise in the shape of a Water Pipit at East Lea this morning (MJP) – a less than annual species which is almost unheard of here in winter. Two flocks totalling c500 Pink-footed Geese headed north over the town this afternoon, while East Lea and the Dams are holding 204 Wigeon, 66 Teal, a few Snipe, two Shoveler, four Fieldfare and the odd Redshank and Dunlin.

Water Pipit (Mark Pearson)

Two Red-necked Grebes, 35 Red-throated Divers and 10 Great Crested Grebes were off the seafront yesterday (MJP), where a Great Northern Diver is also in temporary residence; a Black-throated Diver headed north yesterday (JS, BP). Late news for the 14th consisted of nine White-fronted Geese north at the Gap after dusk (SB).

Saturday, January 14th, 2017


Glaucous Gull (Mark Pearson)

Glaucous Gull (Mark Pearson)

Just as cold (but lacking the gale-force winds, storm surge and varied precipitation), today’s moderate west-north-west wind brought mainly sunshine and even more pleasingly a hatful of Glaucous Gulls to the area. A minimum of five (although likely six or seven) passed through the Brigg and bay corner during the day, with sightings also at North Cliff and the Gap (treated as the same here although possibly additional). Individuals included an adult (very rare here), a 3rd calendar year and three second calendar years (MJP, AJD, WS, NC et al.).

Glaucous Gull (Mark Pearson)

Glaucous Gull (Mark Pearson)

Other notable sightings included a Black-throated Diver (MJP), a Velvet Scoter and three Great Northern Divers, while the Red-necked Grebe was in the bay corner again.

Friday, January 13th, 2017


Glaucous Gull (Mark Pearson)

Glaucous Gull (Mark Pearson)

A day of very strong north-westerly winds, wintry showers (and heavy snow around dawn) and a very potent storm surge made for challenging but ultimately productive conditions today. The morning, was quiet bird-wise (in sharp contrast to the weather), but an afternoon bay/sea-watching session from the seafront produced a fantastic haul of at least four Glaucous Gulls and an Iceland Gull, with one of the Glaucs heading over Carr Naze and (presumably) one of them past Hunmanby Gap (MJP, IR, TC, KC et al.).

Coble Landing (Ian Robinson)

Coble Landing (Ian Robinson)

Two Great Northern Divers were in the northern bay, the Snow Bunting was still on Carr Naze, and a Red-necked Grebe was reported (with the long-stayer also reported on several previous days in the bay, as well as the long-staying Velvet Scoter). A Blue Fulmar went north on 12th, while the female Black Redstart reappeared near the sea-watch hide on 11th.

Town seafront (Ian Robinson)

Town seafront (Ian Robinson)

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Notable highlights today included a second-year Glaucous Gull north-west on an otherwise uneventful sea-watch this morning (JS), and two Bean Geese over the town in the afternoon. The Snow Bunting remains on Carr Naze.

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Two teams partook in the annual Michael Clegg bird race today, and as is often the case, turned up a decent bird or two – this year in the shape of 10 Waxwings heading west at the Bay (WS, GS, GD). Three dark-bellied Brents were on the Brigg, and an impressive 170 Red-throated Divers were in the bay along with two Great Northerns. Two Chiffchaffs were in Church Ravine, and the Snow Bunting remains on Carr Naze.

Waxwings (Will Scott)

Waxwings (Will Scott)

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Waxwings were the bird of the day today, with three (a two and a one) through at East Lea (DL) and two on the Pastures estate (SB). Otherwise, East Lea & the Dams continue to hold two Chiffchaffs and three Water Rails, with 200 Wigeon and 30 Teal at the former site and no fewer than 30 Reed Buntings in the evening roost.  A large local movement of 100 Red-throated Divers (including 84 north) occurred at the gap this morning, with a Great Northern Diver, 80 Wigeon and seven Great Crested Grebes off the seafront this afternoon. A Pintail north yesterday and a Goosander north today were the best of a quiet sea, while a Snow Bunting remains on Carr Naze.

The Brigg from the Country Park (Mark Pearson)

The Brigg from the Country Park (Mark Pearson)


Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Happy new year from all of us here at Filey Bird Observatory & Group! It’s been an uneventful festive period birdwise, with a 2nd calendar year Glaucous Gull past the Gap this morning (KC) being the pick, as well as three Med Gulls and two Velvet Scoters past the Brigg (JS, JB, CW). Long-stayers include both the Red-necked Grebe and the Velvet Scoter in the bay, a Snow Bunting on Carr Naze throughout and the Black Redstart until 30th, while a Merlin went south at the Gap on Christmas Day (GS, WS).

Rock Pipit on the Brigg this afternoon (Mark Pearson)

Rock Pipit on the Brigg this afternoon (Mark Pearson)

Saturday, December 24th, 2016



A quiet few days locally, with the few notable records involving a Black-throated Diver and five White-fronted Geese at the Gap on 22nd (WS, GS) and a single Snow Bunting still intermittently on Carr Naze. I’m taking a short break over the festive period but the latest sightings will be back as usual early in the new year, and I’ll still be posting anything particularly notable if and when it occurs in the meantime.

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Teal, Filey Dams (Mark Pearson)

Teal, Filey Dams (Mark Pearson)

A fairly quiet few days here at the Obs with the exception of (yet more) Eurasian White-fronted Geese records; an already excellent season continued with an adult at East Lea (DL, MJP) and a first year at Hunmanby Gap (NC, WS) on 17th, with 13 north at the latter site on 18th (WS). The Velvet Scoter remains faitful to the seafront area (with another south on 19th), where a Great Northern Diver and up to 100 Wigeon have also been present. At least one Snow Bunting remained on Carr Naze to 18th at least, while Snipe are present in the area in good numbers, with peaks of 13 at the Dams and 11 at East Lea on 16th. Three Chiffchaffs and three Water Rails are also still present at the latter sites, with Barn Owls at two regular local sites.

White-fronted Goose, east Lea (Mark Pearson)

White-fronted Goose, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Rock Pipit, Filey Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Rock Pipit, Filey Brigg (Mark Pearson)

In the bay, both the Red-necked Grebe and Velvet Scoter remain off the town seafront over recent days, as do up to 12 Great Crested Grebes and two Goldeneye. Sea-watching has been quiet, but for a Merlin and two Bonxies south this morning, Long-tailed Ducks south yesterday (14th) and 12th, and Great Northern Divers past today and 11th (JS). Up to 13 Rock Pipits are in the Brigg/bay/beach area, while 27 White-fronted Geese flew south on 12th (MJP).

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Quiet today, with 21 Snipe and two water Rails at East Lea and a Little egret south at the Gap the pick. Yesterday (9th) saw a Bittern reported in flight near the Blue Dolphin holiday camp (GD) and a Long-tailed Duck at East Lea (MM), while the black Redstart remains in the bay corner and the Snow Buntings on Carr Naze. Redwings, Fieldfares and Blackbirds have been trickling through daily, and in what has been a particularly good couple of months for the species, another 25 White-fronted Geese went south on 7th (JS), with 32 Pink-footed Geese over the Dams.

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

(With apologies for the recent delay due to now-resolved tech issues): working backwards, yesterday (5th) saw a new Red-necked Grebe in the bay corner (MJP) and then along the town seafront, a Great Northern Diver off the Brigg, and the long-staying female Snow Buntings on Carr Naze and the female-type Black Redstart still in the bay corner. A first-year Iceland Gull drifted over Carr Naze on 4th (GS, AB), with at least one Red-necked Grebe also in the bay / Brigg area (JH, MJP et al.).

Red-necked Grebe (Mark Pearson)

Red-necked Grebe (Mark Pearson)

On 3rd, a Black-necked Grebe toured the bay before settling for a while off Martin’s Ravine (JH et al.) with a Velvet Scoter north and a Great Northern Diver in the bay, while a Sooty Shearwater and three Whooper Swans went north on 2nd. December ended with a female Long-tailed Duck and a Great Northern Diver in the bay and Mealy-type Redpoll on Carr Naze on 29th (MJP, JS et al.).

Snow Bunting (Pete Short)

Snow Bunting (Pete Short)

Additional records from sea-watches have included odd Bonxies, Red-breasted Mergansers and Goosanders, while up to 50 Purple Sandpipers, 18 Knot and 21 Turnstones are among waders in the bay corner and Brigg area, while up to 12 Rock Pipits (a good wintering population) are along the shoreline here. Snipe are present in good numbers, with eight north over Carr Naze yesterday, up to 12 at East Lea, ten at the Tip and six at the Dams, while odd Woodcocks have been seen over the town at dusk.

Monday, November 28th, 2016

A busy day today in the bay and Brigg area, with a fine selection of early winter quality on offer at various points through the day. The morning sea-watch produced the first Grey Phalarope of the year heading south, a Great Northern Diver north (perhaps the same as one seen doing likewise at the Gap) and six Scaup south, and a drake Long-tailed Duck in the bay (JS, CW). High tide in the northern bay this afternoon meanwhile produced a Slavonian Grebe briefly in the bay corner and then in the outer bay, a Red-necked Grebe off the southern side of the Brigg, 11 Great Crested Grebes, and small numbers of ducks (including Goldeneyes, Wigeon, Common Scoter, Eider and a Red-breasted Merganser) (MJP et al.). Two Snow Buntings are still on Carr Naze, where they have been for some days, and a few Snipe and Redshank are at the Dams and East Lea.

Snow Bunting, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Snow Bunting, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (27th) saw two Sooty and a single Manx Shearwater heading north off the Brigg, a Long-tailed Duck south and single Red-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver present (CW, JS, JH), while 26th was notable for a high count of 17 Rock Pipits in the Brigg/Carr Naze/Rocket Pole Field area (as well as 12 Snipe in the latter), while a single Woodcock, two Stonechats and 19 Sanderlings were at Hunmanby Gap. Three Snow Buntings flew south over the town on 25th, when 47 Red-throated Divers and 16 Great Crested Grebes were in the bay, and 114 Eiders, 35 Red-throated Divers and two Dark-bellied Brent Geese were the best of the sea movements.

Snow Bunting, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Snow Bunting, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

A single Velvet Scoter was the best of a quiet sea today, with a Woodcock on Carr Naze. A quality seawatch yesterday (23rd) morning in brisk northerlies produced a Little Auk, a Red-necked Grebe, five Sooty Shearwaters, three Scaup, five Great Northern Divers, two Pomarine Skuas, three Little Gulls, 10 Bonxies and a Mediterranean Gull among other counts (MJP, JS, CW), while two Snow Buntings remain on Carr Naze (both days).

Snow Bunting, Carr Naze (Mike Cole)

Snow Bunting, Carr Naze (Mike Cole)

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Black Redstart, bay corner, 20th

Black Redstart, bay corner, 20th

A couple of days dominated by stormy weather and often very windy conditions. The sea provided a Pomarine Skua, two Long-tailed Ducks, a Great Northern Diver, two Velvet Scoters and 19 Little Gulls (JS), while 11 Shoveler overflew the town, where two Grey Wagtails are present (often at one of the ravines or along seafront). Two Great Northern Divers and seven Bonxies went south yesterday (21st), while 20th saw a Black-throated Diver heading south (MJP), three Scaup north (JS) and a Black Redstart in the bay corner (MJP).