Friday, February 16th, 2018

Typically quiet over recent days. The sea has been extremely poor so far this year, although a belatedly-reported Bottlenose Dolphin north on 13th was notable. A single Pink-footed Goose remains with the ferals at the Dams / East Lea, where up to 85 Wigeon, two Mute Swan and 30 Teal are also present. The pair of Stonechats are still in the Carr Naze area, a Woodcock was near Gristhorpe roundabout, scatterings of thrushes include double figures of Fieldfares and Redwings most days and small numbers of continental Song Thrushes, Skylark numbers are increasing steadily and the pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls are already at a nesting site near the train station. 

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

Pink-feet at the Dams (Mike Cole)

It remains quiet locally, with most records of note involving long-stayers. On 1st, 61 Pink-feet and a Chiffchaff at East Lea. On 4th, 65 Pink-feet at the Dams and two Blue Fulmars north off the Brigg. On 5th, a Snow Bunting in the Rocket Pole Field, two Shelduck and the hybrid Shelduck at the Dams, 101 Red-throated Divers, 12 Great Crested Grebes and 14 Sanderling at the Gap, and a dark-bellied Brent Goose south off the Brigg.

On 7th, 62 Reed Buntings and 42 Magpies in the Dams/East Lea roost, 34 Moorhens in the fields to the west, 60 Pink-feet in the same area, three Water Rails in the reedbed, 65 Redwings south there and 20 Fieldfare north. On 8th, a Blue Fulmar south. On 9th, a Short-eared Owl in the Rocket Pole Field. 

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

A fairly quiet end the the month, with winter geese once again providing the highlights. White-fronted Geese have again graced the area, with five around the Dams on 27th, while odd Pink-feet there were joined by a flock of 61 on 31st. Otherwise, the Dams continues to host three Shoveler, three Gadwall, up to 60 Wigeon, up to 13 Tufted Ducks, a Shelduck and up to 15 Snipe. A pair of Little Grebes are still on Primrose Valley fishing lake, and a Mealy Redpoll was with a flock of 15 Lessers at Hunmanby Gap on 29th. Two Great Northern Divers remain in the bay, and a Blue Fulmar went north on 26th. 

White-fronted Geese with the feral flock at East Lea (Mark Pearson)

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

A fairly quiet period in the area, although highlights have included: presumably the same flock of Russian White-fronted Geese in the East Lea area (still 19 on 17th, up to 26 on 22nd, 22 on 23rd), with 14 south on 19th; a flock of 25 redpolls, including two Mealies, at Hunmanby Gap (to 18th at least); a Blackcap in a local garden;

Blackcap (Ian Robinson)

two Mute Swans at various local wetlands; at the Dams, a female Pintail, up to two Shoveler, a male Pochard, two Water Rails, up to 85 Mallard and 90 Teal; a Waxwing in flight along the seafront on 21st; displaying little Grebes at Primrose Valley fishing lake, with small groups of Tufted Ducks there and at the Dams; a Short-eared Owl at the Tip on 19th; daily totals of Fieldfare often into three figures, with a peak of 350 on 18th; a Blue Fulmar south on 24; up to two Great Northern Divers still off the Brigg, bayside. 

Mistle Thrush (Ian Robinson)

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

White-fronted Geese at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

11th – A blue Fulmar north; at least two Great Northern Divers present by the Brigg throughout the period. 

12th – 20 Snipe at the Dams.

14th – a single White-fronted Goose with Canadas near the sports club; a single Waxwing west over the town.

15th – 19 White-fronted Geese and three Pink-feet at the Dams. 

16th – 19 White-fronted Geese and three Pink-feet at the Dams; also a Scandinavian Herring Gull and 15 Snipe there. 

White-fronted Geese at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

6th – a male Velvet Scoter went south and then north, a Manx Shearwater and a Blue Fulmar (among 650 Fulmars) did likewise, and the three Great Northern Divers remained in the Bay Corner.

7th – 30 Snow Buntings west along Carr Naze / North Cliff; three Mute Swans still at the Dams; a Woodcock in Parish Wood; Short-eared Owl and 13 Grey Partridges at the Tip; roost of 43 Magpies at the Dams.

8th –  four Waxwings on a local housing estate.  

9th – 32 Sanderlings on the beach at the Gap. 

10th – 21 Shags at a post-roost gathering by the Brigg.

Bullfinch at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

Friday, January 5th, 2018

5th – At Gristhorpe Bay, eight Snow Buntings, 92 Skylarks, three Stonechats, 158 Curlews on the reef. Also 42 Red-throated Divers, which in addition to a count of 178 from Filey Bay, equals 210 in total. A total of 470 Pink-feet north this morning over the area in five flocks, and a single still with ferals at the Dams, where there were two Scandinavian Herring Gulls, two Coot and a singing Goldcrest. Three Great Northern Divers remain on the bay side of the Brigg.

Stonechat Gristhorpe Bay (Mark Pearson)

4th – a Blue Fulmar on the seawatch.

3rd – 12 Scandinavian Herring Gulls at the Dams (plus three Shoveler, two Water Rails, a Chiffchaff and eight Tufted Ducks there), three Mute Swans over the town and at the Dams, 620 Herring Gulls in the bay roost. 

Curlews, Gristhorpe Reef (Mark Pearson)

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

A Very Happy New Year from everyone here at FBOG – it’s been a great 2017 and here’s to an even better 2018!

Gannet heading through a rainbow off the Brigg, Dec 2017 (Mark Pearson)

Latest sightings highlights for recent weeks have been fully updated (see below), and will be updated regularly in 2018 – every day during busy periods, every few days in migration periods, and every week or so in off-peak seasons – but to receive up-to-the-second Filey bird news as it happens, please sign up to our FBOG whatsapp service (free to members).  

Friday, December 29th, 2017

Daily summary for December: 

Glaucous Gull at the Dams (Mark Pearson)

1st – From the Brigg, Long-tailed Duck, two Pomarine Skuas, a Med Gull, a Bonxie, a Black-throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver all north, plus a Velvet Scoter south and a high count of 147 Shags (131 south and 16 north). 

2nd – From the Brigg, nine Whooper Swans, south and single Pintail and Long-tailed Duck north.

3rd – A Long-tailed Duck north past the Brigg.

4th – 75 Pink-footed Geese south, 11 Rock pipits in the Rocket Pole Field / Carr Naze area, and the Siberian Chiffchaff again at the Dams. 

8th – Single Glaucous and Med Gulls into the bay, and 29 Sanderlings on the beach at the Gap.

9th – A male Hen Harrier over the Country Park.

Snow Buntings, Gristhorpe Bay (Mark Pearson)

14th – A Shorelark reported from Top Fields; 22 Snow Buntings, a Lapland Bunting, 16 Grey Partridges, 100 Skylarks, two Stonechats and ten Snipe in the Gristhorpe Bay area. 

15th – From the Brigg, 382 Fulmars (including two Blues) north, a Black-throated Diver and 33 Red-throated Divers offshore, three Great Northern Divers in the bay (which remained to the end of the month).

18th – 34 Golden Plovers south at Reighton Sands;  Great Northern Divers north on 16th and 17th. 

19th – At East Lea, a Pintail, a Rock Pipit and 65 Wigeon.

20th – A Snow Bunting in the Top Fields, 10 Grey Partridge and 12 Goldcrests at the Tip. 

21st – Two Short-eared Owls in the North Cliff area.

24th – 20 Snipe at the Dams.

27th – In the bay, a Glaucous Gull, three Scandinavian herring Gulls and a Great Northern Diver north (and three GNDs in the bay); at the Dams, a Glaucous Gull and 11 Scandinavian Herring Gulls (with ten on 28th), and 23 Snipe. 

29th – 34 Barnacle geese south over the bay. 

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

November daily summary of highlights:

Great Northern Diver, Brigg (Mark Pearson)

1st – From the Brigg, six Whooper Swans north and a Great Northern Diver present. At The Gap, 729 Siskins and two Twite south, and a Hawfinch north. 

2nd – From the Brigg, two Little Gulls and two Bonxies north, a Great Northern Diver present. At the Gap, three Corn Buntings north.

3rd – At the Gap, 1133 Starlings north (and 23 south), 918 Siskins south. 

4th – A Mute Swan and a Red-breasted Merganser in the bay.

Little Auk north over the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

5th – From the Brigg, a Black-throated Diver, a Mediterranean Gull and two Little Gulls north, and two Great Northern Divers and three Whooper Swans south. Four Whooper Swans in the bay and a Great Northern Diver north at the Gap.

6th – From the Brigg, a Little Auk, a Great Northern Diver and 23 Pink-feet north, two Lapland Buntings on Carr Naze and a Med Gull south. At the Gap, a Snow Bunting, and 238 Siskins south (and 52 north).

7th – From the Brigg, a Waxwing in off, a Black Redstasrt present, a Med Gull and 28 Knot south. At the Gap, a Merlin south and a Great Northern Diver present; in the town, a Woodcock on West Ave.

Common Scoter (Mark Pearson)

8th – From the Brigg, 42 Shag and three Pintail north. At the Gap, a Twite, a Great Northern Diver and 15 Whooper Swans south. 11 White-fronted Geese over the Tip. 

9th – From the Brigg, a Lapland Bunting, eight Twite, three Snow Buntings and a Woodcock in off, 33 Purple Sandpipers present. At the Gap, six Snow Buntings and two Whooper Swans north, two Corn Buntings south. A Ring Ouzel, three Water Rails and a Green Sandpiper at the Dams. 

10th – From the Brigg, a Snow Bunting present and two Red-breasted Mergansers north. At the Gap,13 Whooper Swans south. 

12th – From the Brigg, a Leachs’s Storm-petrel south and a Grey Phalarope north, three Sooty Shearwaters, a Long-tailed Duck, a Red-breasted Merganser and an intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull north, nine Little Auks south and four north, and a Great Northern Diver and a Med Gull present. A Woodcock south at the Gap and 600 Stralings roosting at the Dams.

13th – From the Brigg, two Black-throated Divers north, five Great Northern Divers south, a Velvet Scoter south and two north, 14 Goldeneye north and twelve present, a Red-necked Grebe north, a Sparrowhawk in off and south over the bay and 70 Wigeon in the bay corner. A Woodcock by Gristhorpe roundabout, and at the Gap, two Little Auks and a Glaucous Gull north, and four Snow Buntings in off there. 

Siberian Chiffchaff, Dams (Mark Pearson)

14th – From the Brigg, a ring-tail Hen Harrier in off, a Great Northern Diver south and another present, and a Snow Bunting on Carr Naze. A Kingfisher and two Water Rails at the Dams. 

15th – A Richard’s Pipit reported along north cliff.  

17th – A Snow Bunting west at the Brigg.

18th – a Rough-legged Buzzard to the south at Reighton Sands. A Red-necked Grebe, 11 Great Crested Grebes and a Great Northern Diver in the bay. 

20th – A Little Auk at the Brigg (killed by a Great Black-backed Gull). 

21st – A Glaucous Gull on the Brigg.

Glaucous Gull headijg north past the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

22nd – A Mute Swan south.

23rd – At the Brigg, a Glaucous Gull north and three Snow Buntings in off. The Rough-legged Buzzard touring the north of the area before returning south over the town. A Water Pipit (with Rock and Meadow Pipits) at East Lea. 

24th – At the Brigg, Red-necked Grebe and Lapland Bunting south, two Snow Buntings in off, a Black-throated Diver offshore, a Great Northern Diver north and another present, 106 Oystercatchers (5 north, 86 on the Country Park and 15 on the Brigg). Three Water Rails at the Dams (wintering). 

25th – A Snow Bunting in off at the Brigg. A Lapland Bunting north at the Gap. Eight Whooper Swans south over the bay, and Little Owl and Water Pipit both back at East Lea. 

26th – A Snow Bunting on off and a Glaucous Gull north at the Brigg, and three Snow Buntings south at the Gap.

27th – A Siberian Chiffchaff (with two Common Chiffchaff) at the back of the Dams. Great Northern Divers north and present at the Brigg, two Rock Pipits at East Lea, 

28th – A Red-breasted Merganser in the Bay and a Bonxie north. 

29th – Three Bonxies, three Manx Shearwaters, three pale-bellied Brent Geese, a Little Auk and a Red-breasted Merganser north at the Brigg, and a Short-eared Owl in off at the town. 

30th – Three Little Auks north at the Brigg, a Pomarine Skua and two Great Northern Divers in the bay. 

Little Auk being dispatched by a Great Black-backed Gull on the Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Last week of October summary:

23rd – From the Brigg, a Great Northern Diver north. At the Gap, 132 Tree Sparrow, 14 Brambling and 393 Siskin south, and single Twite and Lapland Bunting north.

24th – From the Brigg, a Little Auk south, 201 Starling in off and a flock of seven Grey Plover south. From the Gap, a Pallid Swift (also reported from the Country Park), 24 Whooper Swans, two Little Gulls, a Swallow, three Hawfinch, 546 Starlings and 102 Siskins south.

25th – From the Brigg, a single Mute Swan and Velvet Scoter south. At the Gap, eight Whooper Swans, two Swallows, 51 Pink-footed Geese, 91 Skylarks (and 22 north), 16 Bullfinch, 212 redpolls, 403 Siskins, 14 Yellowhammers (and five north) and a single House Martin south. At The Tip, a Ring Ouzel, 126 Redwings and 143 Blackbirds.

26th – From the Brigg, 89 Little Gulls present and 17 north. At The Gap, two Goosander and 65 Siskins south and 20 Little Gulls north.

27th – From the Brigg, a Pintail north, 12 Little Gulls, 254 Pink-feet and a Great Northern Diver south. At The Gap, a Great Grey Shrike north.

28th – From the Brigg, two each of Whooper and Mute Swan south. At The Gap, Three Great Skua south (and one north), one Arctic Skua south.

29th – From the Brigg, two Pomarine and one Arctic Skua south; three Manx Shearwater and six Goldeneye north, and single Long-tailed Duck and Great Northern Diver present. At The Gap, four Little Auks north.

30th – From the Brigg, an Arctic Skua north, and single Red-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver present in the bay. At the Gap, 72 Skylarks and a Lapland Bunting north, and a Richard’s Pipit and a Twite south.

31st – From the Brigg, single Little Auks north and south, plus a Woodcock and two Little Gulls south. A Long-tailed Duck and a Red-breasted Merganser in the bay. At the Gap, nine Whooper Swans south.

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Highlights, 14th – 23rd October inclusive:

Brambling, Carr Naze (John Price)

14th – a Crossbill, 14 Twite, 450 Tree Sparrows, 330 Siskins, 240 Goldfinches, 50 Reed Buntings, 17 Yellowhammers, 11 Rock Pipits and four House Martins among a big movement through the Gap (KC, NC), plus a Merlin over the Brigg (RAB et al.) and a Reed Warbler among over 100 birds trapped in Top Scrub on the first day of Ringing and Migration Week. 

15th – a putative coburnii (Icelandic) Redwing among many migrants caught in Top Scrub by the ringing team; 21 Pink-footed Geese in the Top Fields; vismig at the Gap included 166 Tree Sparrows, 160 Siskins, 140 Goldfinches, 21 Reed Buntings, 15 Redwings, and 11 Rock Pipits. A Yellow-browed Warbler also there. 

16th – Conditions conducive to grounded migrants produced a good selection in the northern area, with a vocal Siberian Chiffchaff in Short Hedge for much of the day (MJP et al.), at least three Yellow-browed Warblers, and the first signs of a Scandinavian exodus with 80 Blackbirds, 60 Redwings, 20 Song Thrushes and redpolls, Siskins, and Goldcrests into double figures. The best of vismig of the Gap included a Lapland Bunting, 130 Redwings and 16 Rock Pipits south (KC, NC).

17th – A quiet and very windy day, easily the best of which being a Slavonian Grebe in the bay (AM). 

18th – Arrivals all day in the northern area, including two Lapland Buntings (MJP et al.), a Twite with the Linnets on Carr Naze (MJP), two Jays in off and south (MJP , FBOG ringers), a Short-eared Owl in off late on and two Yellow-browed Warblers among commoner migrants (which included two Willow Warblers). A Great Northern Diver north and a Med Gull south passed the Brigg. A Merlin north and 72 Red-throated Diver and 11 Great Crested Grebes off the Gap (KC) and a Med Gull north there in the evening. 

19th – A huge and prolonged arrival of thrushes and other migrants as the weather worsened and showers, mist and a light tail wind prevailed, especially towards late afternoon: minima of 6,200 Redwings, 750 Blackbirds, 1250 Song Thrushes, three Ring Ouzels and two Mistle Thrushes, plus 110 Bramblings, 120 Chaffinches and three Yellow-browed Warblers. Two Med Gulls, an Arctic Tern and a Ring Ouzel south on the seawatch; 20 Twite at Gristhorpe Bay (MJP).

Yellow-browed Warbler, Long Lane (Mark Pearson)

20th – A Pallas’s Warbler was on the south side of Carr Naze (MJP), with a Merlin (MJP), a Med Gull and 30 Bramblings also there early on. Four Ring Ouzels included two in off and one trapped, three Swallows went south, and a Richard’s Pipit was reported at the Tip (TGD); searches proved fruitless but revealed Jack Snipe and Short-eared Owl there soon after. Five Yellow-browed Warblers included two together at the Dams Car Park, Dark-bellied Brents were on the move, five Stonechats were in the northern area, a Black Redstart was on Carr Naze in the evening (MC), four Whooper Swans south and two Jack Snipe in off at the Brigg. Five Little Gulls fed off the Gap, where a Wheatear, a Swallow, 168 Siskins and 240 Redwings went south. Green Sandpiper, Black-tailed godwit and two Ruff were at the Dams. 

21st – Ten Whooper Swans went north at the Gap, where single Merlin and Marsh Harrier went south (KC et al.). A Red-necked Grebe went north past the Brigg (JS, JP). 

22nd – A quiet day, with a surprise juvenile Iceland Gull (KC), a Woodcock, a Barnacle Goose and a House Martin passing the Gap.

23rd – A Lapland Bunting and a Twite went north at the Gap (KC) where 308 siskins and 35 redpolls went south among good vismig there (see for full counts). A Great Northern Diver and a Bonxie passed on the sea-watch, and single Swallow and House Martin went south at Reighton Sands.

Peregrine, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

See you in two weeks!

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Highlights, 7th to 13th October inclusive:

Hawfinch, Reighton Sands, 9th (Mark Pearson)

7th – Grey Phalarope north (CW et al.), also Great Northern Diver, Med Gull, 139 Wigeon all north. The male Velvet Scoter still in the bay. Gap highlights included three Whooper Swans north, a Black Tern (KC), a Little Gull, two dark-bellied Brents, 150 Pink-feet, 181 Tree Sparrow and 65 redpolls south.

8th – Three Yellow-browed Warblers in Top Scrub (DL et al.); 35 Barnacle Geese, three Velvet Scoters (also past the Gap) and two Arctic Skuas south and a Scaup north at the Brigg; 19 Barnacle Geese, and a Little Egret north plus 87 Redwings, five Barnacle Geese and four Bramblings south at the Gap. 40 Red-throated Divers in the south of the bay. A Black-tailed Godwit, single Green and Common Sandpipers and at least one Kingfisher still at the Dams. 

Barnacle and Pink-footed Geese, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

9th – Reighton Sands produced a (locally very rare) Hawfinch (MJP), plus 20 Barnacle Geese, a Whooper Swan, a Red Kite (MJP, TGD), at least 12 Common Buzzards all south and good numbers of passerine migrants on the move; the Gap logged 230 Pink-feet south and a high count of 74 Red-throated Divers in the bay. Note that full counts from both sites, as well as seawatch tallies, can be accessed at .

10th – A Great Northern Diver and a Bonxie passed the Brigg, with single Twite and Merlin (KC) and 21 Rock Pipits (a particularly high count) past the Gap. A Kingfisher at Primrose Valley fishing lake. 

11th – a juvenile Hen Harrier drifted north through the Dams late morning (MJP), with a Med Gull north and two Arctic Skuas south at the Brigg and single Whooper swan, Swallow and House Martin south at the Gap. 

12th – A Lapland Bunting and seven Whooper Swans south plus Great Northern Diver and two Arctic Skuas north on the seawatch; the male Velvet Scoter still in the bay; 141 redpolls, 14 Mistle Thrushes, 268 Tree Sparrows and 93 Siskins all south at the Gap. 

13th – a Great Northern Diver and singles of both common skuas north on the sea-watch, three Black-tailed Godwits, two Ruff and a Shoveler at the Dams, and a House Martin and seven swallows south at the Gap. 

Common Buzzard, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

Friday, October 6th, 2017

A switch in the wind to the north-west produced a better seawatching haul this morning, including a juvenile Long-tailed Skua, a Black-throated Diver, a Yellow-legged Gull, a Velvet Scoter, 23 Bonxies, 48 Red-throated Divers and a Snow Bunting in off the sea (MJP et al.), while a single Whooper Swan and 105 Skylarks passed the Gap and 20 Goldcrests, a Brambling and two Lesser Redpoll were in Top Scrub.

Stonechat, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

The previous two days were quiet, the pick of being a Whooper Swan and 27 Pink-feet south at the Gap on 5th, and 18 Whoopers south a the Gap and Reighton Sands on 4th. The Kingfisher remains at the Dams, as does the Shelduck and several Snipe. Up to four Stonechats are at Reighton Sands, with others at Carr Naze, the Gap and Gristhorpe Bay.

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Pink-footed Geese, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

A memorable and record-breaking day here in Filey, with a minimum of 5158 Pink-footed Geese counted, in upwards of 60 skeins, between dawn and dusk – more than one percent of the global population! With a weather system assisting passage for the birds hitherto grounded in Iceland, counters positioned at Reighton Sands and Hunmanby Gap tag-teamed through the day and were able to keep up almost constant coverage from dawn to dusk. 

Pink-footed Geese, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

Additional landbound visible migration was reasonably modest (although with a wide variety of species), the best of the rest being the season’s first Whooper Swans south, the season’s first Twite south, three Common Buzzards south (in addition to local birds), and an impressive 73 Red Admirals south. 

Whooper Swans, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

Common Buzzard, Reighton Sands (Mark Pearson)

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

A big day for visible migration at the Gap, in particular for House Martins (582 south, 62 north) and Goldfinch (1103 south), as well as a good supporting cast which included 59 redpolls, 28 Swallows, 107 Meadow Pipits and two Scaup. Two Little Stints were originally at the Dams before relocating to East Lea (IR, MJP), joining seven Ruff and six Dunlin there (and a high count of 23 Moorhens), while the northern bay held the drake Velvet Scoter, five Red-throated Divers and three Great Crested Grebes. ans small flocks of Teal and Wigeon. Pink-footed Geese numbers moving south scraped into three figures for the first time this autumn.

Little Stints, Dunlins and Ruff, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (1st) was generally quiet but for a Yellow-browed Warbler remaining in Long Lane, eight Golden Plovers over and a scattering of Blackbirds, Goldcrests and Song Thrushes (as with recent days).

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

27th: a scattering of migrants in the northern area included a Ring Ouzel in Short Hedge the first of the season), three Yellow-browed Warblers (two in Top Scrub, one Arndale), single Pied Flycatcher and Willow Warbler in Top Scrub and the Red-backed Shrike still at Gristhorpe Bay. The best of quiet vismig at the Gap were 86 Meadow Pipits, 16 Red-throated Divers and a late Tree Pipit. 

Kingfisher, Dams (Judith Henley)

28th: The clear highlight of the day was a flighty Dotterel which frequented the Top Fields for about 20 minutes before leaving to the south-east (MJP), with back-up from a Redstart on Carr Naze first thing, five Whinchats, 20 Robins, 40 Song Thrushes and three Stonechats in the hedgerows, three Wheatears in the Carr Naze area, three Great and five Arctic Skuas south at the Brigg, and five Blackcaps, a Firecrest and a Spotted Flycatcher at the Gap (KC) where 24 Song Thrushes went west. Single figures of Bramblings, Siskins, Redwings and redpolls have been recorded on most recent days. 

29th: An un-ringed Siberian Lesser Whitethroat (which gave the diagnostic call) was in Top Scrub (MJP) with two Spotted Flycatchers, while an Osprey which inland at the Gap and then south over Primrose Valley (NC, MJP) and was later seen over both Flamborough and Spurn. Two Red-breasted Mergansers south and dark-bellied Brent north were the best of still very quiet sea, while a late Little Ringed Plover, five Golden and a single Grey Plover all came in off and west over the Country Park. A Med Gull was in the bay corner late on.

30th: Much improved vismig at the Gap included totals (all south) of 62 Skylarks, 14 Song Thrushes, 390 Tree Sparrows, 520 Meadow Pipits, 239 Chaffinches, 93 redpolls, 1808 Goldfinches (a site record), 80 Siskins and 80 Reed Buntings. Single Med Gull and Marsh Harrier passed the Brigg, while the long-staying Kingfisher remained at the Dams. 

Snipe, Dams (Ian Robinson)

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Red-backed Shrike, Gristhorpe Bay (Mark Pearson)

An excellent day for landbound migration here at Filey, with north-easterly winds and variable fog and cloud (unfortunately) punctuated by warm sunshine. Four local rarities stood out, with the autumn’s first Firecrest in Top Scrub this morning (MJP), a (very) strong candidate Siberian Lesser Whitethroat trapped by the ringing team also in Top Scrub (which dropped feathers for potential mtDNA analysis – hopefully more to follow), a smart male Red-backed Shrike at Gristhorpe Bay (MJP et al.), and a Hoopoe, which was watched overflying the Dams before unfortunately disappearing (PR, MR et al.). 

(Candidate) Siberian Lesser Whitethroat (Mark Pearson)

The supporting cast was rich and varied – all in the Carr Naze / Top Scrub area unless stated otherwise – and included at least four Yellow-browed Warblers (mo), a Mealy Redpoll (MJP) and several Lesser Redpolls, single Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, a Tree Pipit, 10 Siskins, eight Bramblings, 55 Song Thrushes, 20 Dunnocks, 25 Chaffinches, a Reed Warbler, three Whitethroats, five Blackcaps, six Chiffchaffs, five Whinchats and 15 Reed Buntings (both at Gristhorpe Bay), 10 Redwings and a Redstart.

(Recent days summaries to follow soon). 

Monday, September 18th, 2017

With apologies for a recent lack of regular summaries, here’s a brief digest of highlights so far this month to bring us back up to speed…. 

Wheatear, Carr Naze (John Price)

4th – two Curlew Sandpipers south, a Black Tern north, 4179 Gannets south, 250 Teal south and four Pintail north on the seawatch (JS). Three Egyptian Geese semi-resident in the area (mainly at East Lea) til at least 18th. Med Gull and 17 Snipe East Lea. Whinchat and Wheatear fresh in on Carr Naze evening (with ones and twos of the latter on various days in the month). 

5th – pale-bellied Brent and Curlew Sandpiper south and a Med Gull north on the seawatch (JS). 10 Ruff, 18 Snipe, 83 Lapwing East Lea.

6thMerlin, 11 Swifts, 959 Meadow Pipits and 586 House Martins south at the Gap (KC), Marsh Harrier south at Gristhorpe Bay (MJP). 

Sparrowhawk (Mike Cole)

7th – GREAT SHEARWATER north at 1020hrs plus adult Pomarine Skua south (MJP et al.), two Wheatears south at Reighton Sands, 645 Meadow Pipits, a Marsh Harrier and a Tree Pipit south at the Gap (KC).

8th – Three Little Gulls on the seawatch, nine Pink-footed Geese (first of year), a Goosander, a Merlin and 681 Meadow Pipits south at the Gap (KC). 

9th – two Med Gulls and a Black Guillemot south (Js, JP), 764 Meadow Pipits, a Corn Bunting and 52 Tree Sparrows south at the Gap. 

10th – Black-throated Diver south (JP, JS, CW), 1175 House Martins south and 456 north and 1156 Meadow Pipits south at the Gap (KC).

11th – Single Sooty and Balearic Shearwaters and a Med Gull past the Brigg (JS), three Swifts north at the Gap.

12th – Skuas into double figures for the first time this autumn with 12 Bonxies and 17 Arctic south at the Brigg as well as 14 Manx and a Sooty Shearwater. Osprey south and an unusual northbound movement of 21 Swift and 1087 House Martins at the Gap (KC, NCt). 

13th – three Sootys north at the Gap.

14th – decent seabound movements of 30 Bonxies south and three north, 20 Arctic Skuas, 11 Manx and a Sooty on the morning seawatch; longer counts in the day at the Gap produced 5 Sooty, 25 Bonxies (and seven north), 30 Arctic Skuas (and two north), 24 Red-throated Divers and a Yellow-legged Gull all south (KC, WS, GS, NcT). 

15th – Decent wildfowl movement included 25 Pintail and a Red-breasted Merganser north, plus 28 Manx and 19 Sooty shearwaters north, a Balearic shearwater north (CW), a Sabine’s Gull south (BP), plus 16 Bonxies and nine Arctic Skuas. At the Gap, 21 Pintail, three Balearic Shearwaters and juvenile Long-tailed Skua went north (GS, WS, Kc, NcT). The autumn’s first Yellow-browed Warbler was in Top Scrub (DL). 

16th – further notable seabound movements included two juvenile Long-tailed Skuas south, a Black Tern north, 24 Sooty and 28 Manx Shearwaters north, 22 Bonxies north (and 12 south), 37 Arctic Skuas south, and 25 pale-bellied Brents north (and 12 south) (JP, JS, JW, CW). Lesser numbers of similar species at the Gap, plus an adult Long-tailed Skua south (WS, GS, KC) and a further seven Bonxies high and inland in the evening. 

17th – the autumn’s first Snow Bunting was on Carr Naze, a female Merlin overflew the town (MJP), a Velvet Scoter (JA) was in the bay off the town (where wigeon and Teal numbers are building), and a late Swift was over Carr Naze. 

18th – a (the?) Yellow-browed Warbler was calling in Top Scrub (DL et al.), three Mistle Thrush in off, Lapwings up to 115 and Ruff up to 24 at East Lea. 

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Curlew, Gristhorpe Bay (Mark Pearson)

A generally quiet final week in the area included a few highlights: Med Gulls past the Brigg and Gap on 26th and 27th, a Sooty Shearwater, 547 Black-headed Gulls and a Marsh Harrier through the Gap on 27th, a good tern passage from the Brigg on 28th with 224 Common Terns north and 89 south, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull off the Brigg on 29th (BP, JS) and another past the Gap the following day (KC), and a decent wader passage past the Gap on 30th which included 32 Ringed Plovers south (and four Blackwits south on 31st). 

Juvenile Peregrine, Carr Naze (Mark Pearson)

Friday, August 25th, 2017

A Spotted Flycatcher was the best of a Top Scrub ringing session this morning, with a Wheatear on Carr Naze, 39 Sandwich and 44 Common Tern on the Brigg (and 56 north), an Arctic Skua south at Gristhorpe Bay (where the returning Curlew flock is already up to 25 and at least 40 Grey Seals were in the water at high tide), and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull passed the Gap, where 10 Whimbrel, a Tree Pipit, 12 Yellow Wagtails and six Grey Wagtails went south and 70 tree Sparrows went north. 

Fulmar, Brigg (Mark Pearson)

Highlights over sea yesterday (24th) were a Sooty Shearwater and three Arctic Skuas south, a Bonxie north and 25 Common Terns, while visible migration at the Gap included a Marsh Harrier and 40 Tree Sparrows south and 370 Swallows and 12 Yellow Wagtails north, with three Spotted Flycatchers present; finch congregations included 150 Goldfinch there and 250 on Carr Naze.   

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Promising conditions for sea passage (a brisk northerly) produced our most notable selection of the autumn so far, the highlight being the year’s first Long-tailed Skua south (MJP), as well as single Balearic Shearwater and Pomarine Skua (JS), 14 Arctic Skuas, three Bonxies, 148 Fulmars, eight Swifts, a Grey Plover an 132 Common Terns south, and a fresh-in Wheatear on the Brigg.  

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull (Mark Pearson)

An equally productive 22nd was most notable for terns, of which many stopped by on the Brigg for variable periods – these included two Roseate Terns, two Black Terns (and one south), Sandwich Terns (170s, 150n, 220 present), Common Terns (160s, 270n, 60 present) and Arctic Terns 13s, 10n, 15 present) (CW, MJP). Other highlights included a Sooty Shearwater, 259 Common Scoter and two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls north (MJP), and a Stonechat and four Willow warblers were new on Carr Naze. 

Black Tern (Mark Pearson)

Monday, August 21st, 2017

The highlight of a quiet seawatch this morning was a colour-ringed Little Egret (blue C3) fishing in the rockpools, which is from either Norfolk of Notts – more to follow. Otherwise a build-up of terns included 80 Sandwich Tern at the Brigg / bay corner and another 37 north, and six Arctic Terns and 37 Common Terns (also north); at the Gap, a Black Tern went north (KC) as well as a Bonxie, a Pintail, five Manxies and 111 ‘commic’ terns. Two Ruff and two Dunlin were among waders at East Lea. The Greylag flock has built to an unfortunate high of at least 380 in the north of the area. 

Colour-ringed Little Egret (Mark Pearson)

Yesterday (20th) saw some light movement at the Gap with highlights including 13 Yellow Wagtails and three Corn Buntings north, single Greenshank and Ruff west, and 102 House Martins south. Good numbers of hirundines remain in drifting loose flocks throughout the area but most appear to be present rather than actively migrating, although 139 Swallows and 84 House Martins were recorded doing so at the Gap on 19th.

Two Corn Buntings south and a single north were recorded passing the Gap on 18th (KC), while the season’s first Wood Sandpiper was at East Lea (KP, PP) along with a Green Sandpiper, two Little Egrets and a Black-tailed Godwit.

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Another juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was recorded today, this time north at the Gap (KC), where five Yellow Wagtails and a Little Egret did likewise. A Little Egret was also at the Tip, while it or another has been frequenting the Dams and East Lea for the last few days. East Lea continues to attract a nice selection of waders over recent days, with two Ruff, a Little Ringed Plover, up to three Ringed Plover, single Common and Green Sandpipers, up to seven Dunlins and four Snipe present. Yesterday, the season’s first Tree Pipit, four Bar-tailed Godwits and a Greenshank went south at the Gap. 

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

A female Merlin was at the Gap both today and yesterday (KC), with a Grey Plover, a Bonxie and 101 Teal south the best of a quiet sea. Decent wader passage yesterday (14th) over the sea included 136 Redshank, 162 Dunlins, 49 Knot and 17 Sanderling all south, as well as a Sooty Shearwater (also seen from the Gap), 2 Bonxies and an Arctic Skua in the same direction. 

Water Vole, Dams (Caroline Garrod)

In a what’s been a productive period for this species, 34 Black-tailed Godwits went south at the Gap on 13th and 11 on 12th, while a Brown Argus was reported from the Dams on the former date along with two Greenshank and 49 Lapwings.

Friday, August 11th, 2017

At the Gap, 23 Black-tailed Godwits went south and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull (KC) went north, while the Dams held two Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper, three Gadwall and 20 Lapwing; a similar cast were present there yesterday (10th), along with a Little Egret. 

Black-tailed Godwit, Dams (Ian Robinson)

9th saw some improved activity on the sea, which included a Sooty Shearwater north, 16 Manx Shearwaters south (and nine north), 11 Bonxies, 10 Arctic Skuas, 313 Fulmars and 271 Common Scoters north, and 218 Oystercatchers and a Greenshank south. A Hobby went south at the Gap (WS) along with 20 Black-tailed Godwits, two Arctic Skuas and 42 Redshanks. 


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.