Thursday, 18 January 2018

Wednesday 17th January 2018

The Tundra Bean Goose appeared back on Cayton Carr briefly but flew off to the west at 09.30 and there were 5 Little Egrets also in the area.

Scalby Mills was “very quiet” with c250 Wigeon and an argentatus Herring Gull and moving south off shore were a Great Northern Diver, 11 Red-throated Divers (2 N), 3 Common Scoter and a Kittiwake.

A Red Kite flew east over Low Marishes at 13.50; a pair of Shovelers were on Seamer Tip pool and there were 9 Hawfinches behind Brompton Church early morning.

Tuesday 16th January 2018

A nice discovery this afternoon on Cayton Carr was a small group of Geese, only six birds but three different species, 3 Pink-footed Geese, 2 White-fronted Geese and a single Tundra Bean Goose.

At Brompton-by-Sawdon the Ring Ouzel was still present but at times it was ranging more widely than before and was seen this afternoon in the sheep field by West End Farm also in Brompton there were at least 12 Hawfinches seen today around the churchyard.

At Wykeham South Lake the Great White Egret was seen again and also a pair of Pintail, 3 Goldeneye and 7 Great Crested Grebes.

Hawfinches - Brompton-by-Sawdon - John Hume

Tundra Bean Goose - Cayton Carr - Tony Clarke

Monday 15th January 2018

On The Mere this morning 12 Goosanders, 48 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebes and a Water Rail also 29 Moorhen, 48 Mute Swans and 12 Bullfinches.

On Folkton Carr today 6 Little Egrets, a Kingfisher, 1900+ Lapwings, a maximum 170+ Golden Plover and a male Peregrine.

A single Fieldfare was at St. Mary’s Church during the afternoon.

It has been brought to our attention that the Ring Ouzel currently around Brompton-by-Sawdon was first seen distantly on the 7th January.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Sunday 14th January 2018

The biggest surprise of the winter so far was the discovery today at Brompton-by-Sawdon of a ♂ Ring Ouzel by John Harwood in the paddock opposite the churchyard at 11.30. The bird remained in the area for the rest of the day but was often distant and difficult to locate, this is the first winter record for the Scarborough area of this species as it was for many, if not all, of the observers who visited the area this afternoon. Whilst discussing the Brompton area the Hawfinches were showing frequently again today but as on previous days the views were mostly distant in the trees behind the church and the light was not good for the many who were after photographs. A maximum of 12 birds were seen in the area today, the highest number seen here so far during the current national invasion by this species. Also around Brompton today there was a mixed flock of about 100 Fieldfares and Redwings when the Ouzel was first discovered but they seemed to move on quite quickly and also during the afternoon three Common Buzzards performed gracefully low over the churchyard. At Thornton-le-Dale another Hawfinch was seen in the usual area around Rectory Lane.

At Wykeham South Lake a Great White Egret dropped in behind the island at 11.45 and there were also 150+ Wigeon, 2 Goldeneye, a Pochard, a ♀ Shoveler and 6 Great Crested Grebes.

Back in Scarborough there were 2 Waxwings briefly in a Stepney Drive garden at 14.40 and in Cornelian Bay 3 Red-throated Divers, a Great Crested Grebe and an Eider then at 12.50 30 White-fronted Geese flew over to the south also a Common Snipe and a Jack Snipe were flushed from the large ploughed field.

At Long Nab today the overwintering Whimbrel appeared again on the rocks below the Obs, a Great Skua flew south at 10.13 and an adult Mediterranean Gull also flew south here. At Johnson’s Marsh there were 42 Teal and 3 Wigeon whilst at Scalby Mills there was a ♂ Common Scoter. In the Folkton Carr area today we had 1460 Lapwings, 600 Starlings, a few Golden Plovers and a Stonechat, also briefly 33 White-fronted Geese were seen here before being flushed when they flew in the direction of Flotmanby Carr but could not be relocated in the remaining daylight.

Finally today c10 Brambling were with a mixed flock of Linnets and Chaffinches and there were also about 200 Fieldfares in the stubble fields near to Wilton Heights Quarry.

Ring Ouzel - Brompton-by-Sawdon - John Harwood

Hawfinch - Brompton-by-Sawdon - John Harwood

Saturday 13th January 2018

The 2 Waxwings were present first thing this morning outside B&Q but they disappeared about 09.15 and to my knowledge were not seen subsequently also behind B&Q on The Mere there were 8 Goosanders (3♂ and 5♀). On the coast at the Holbeck Car Park the Mediterranean Gulls were seen again with at least 5 birds (4 adults and a 1st winter) being recorded.

Both groups of Hawfinches were also seen again today with at least six together near to the churchyard at Brompton-by-Sawdon and 2 or 3 were seen at various locations in Thornton-le-Dale.

At Wykeham South Lake today 8 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Little Grebes, 20 Teal, 5 Wigeon, 8 Tufted Ducks, Goldeneye and 43 Coot; nearby at the entrance to the Saint Helens Caravan Site in Wykeham Village there was a single flock of 20 Bullfinches in one tight group feeding on the ground. This equals the largest group seen in our area, 20 at Wykeham Forest on 14 July 2008.

55 Redshanks were at Scalby Mills and a pair of Gadwall flew south; 42 Purple Sandpipers, 60 Turnstone and a couple of Guillemots were around the Harbour; off Marine Drive a single Red-throated Diver plus another Guillemot and a Goldeneye flew north and at Holbeck at least 5 Mediterranean Gulls (4 adults and a 1st winter).

Stonechat - Marine Drive - Stuart Baines

Friday 12th January 2018

The Waxwings at B&Q remained faithful to this location for most of the day and were joined briefly by a third bird, a single was also seen in a Londesborough Road garden. On The Mere first thing there were 9 Goosanders (4♂and 5♀) but one male departed before 09.00, the rest of the group remained all day and also seen here were 4 Mediterranean Gulls (2 adults and 2 1st winter).

At Brompton-by-Sawdon 6/8 Hawfinches flew north over the churchyard at 15.10, 4 Little Grebes and 6 Tufted Duck were on the pond with 4 Mistle Thrushes nearby and further along the A170 at Thornton-le-Dale 2 of the Hawfinches there were seen on South Lane.

Seamer Tip pool had two Pink-footed Geese in with the Greylags, at Hackness there were 12 Redpolls sp. of which 9 flew south and 50+ Siskins also flew south, 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew south at Jackson’s Bay at 13.30 and at Scalby Mills there were 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 120 Wigeon, a Teal, 2 Red-throated Divers and a ♂ Common Scoter.

Finally, today at Potter Brompton Carr there were 590 Lapwings, a Shoveler, 10 Wigeon, 8 Teal and a Barn Owl.

Waxwing - outside B&Q - Jan and Gary Powell
Waxwing - outside B&Q - Tony Clarke

Thursday 11th January 2018

The 2 Waxwings spent their third day feeding on the cotoneaster berries between the B&Q car park and the A64 often allowing close approach by both the observers and the photographers although some knowledge of field craft would have helped some people get some better results and disturbed the birds less.

At Brompton-by-Sawdon 6 Hawfinches were seen this afternoon in the tree tops behind the church but no news today of the birds in Thornton-le-Dale.

At other locations around the town today we had 5♂ Goosanders on Throxenby Mere; 40+ Goldfinches in Old Town; a Red-throated Diver in South Bay; Great Crested Grebe and 2 Pink-footed Geese at Burton Riggs; 2♂and a ♀Goosander on Seamer Road Mere; 4 adult Mediterranean Gulls on the Holbeck roof tops; 3 Shoveler (♂and 2♀), 8 Gadwall and a ♀Goldeneye on Seamer Tip pool and a pair of Stonechats by post 25 this afternoon.

Waxwings - outside B&Q - Gary Fletcher

Waxwing - outside B&Q - Steve Race

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Wednesday 10th January 2018

The 2 Waxwings spent their third day feeding on the cotoneaster berries between the B&Q car park and the A64 often allowing close approach by both the observers and the photographers although some knowledge of field craft would have helped some people get some better results and disturbed the birds less.

At Brompton-by-Sawdon 6 Hawfinches were seen this afternoon in the tree tops behind the church but no news today of the birds in Thornton-le-Dale.

At other locations around the town today we had 5♂ Goosanders on Throxenby Mere; 40+ Goldfinches in Old Town; a Red-throated Diver in South Bay; Great Crested Grebe and 2 Pink-footed Geese at Burton Riggs; 2♂and a ♀Goosander on Seamer Road Mere; 4 adult Mediterranean Gulls on the Holbeck roof tops; 3 Shoveler (♂and 2♀), 8 Gadwall and a ♀Goldeneye on Seamer Tip pool and a pair of Stonechats by post 25 this afternoon.

Eider - Harbour Mouth - Andy Hood

Waxwing - outside B&Q - Kevin Groocock

Waxwing - outside B&Q - Stuart Baines

Tuesday 9th January 2018

Two Waxwings were discovered today at the front of B&Q on Seamer Road at 13.50 this afternoon, they were perching in the trees along the A64 and flying down to the low vegetation between the car park and the pavement where they were feeding on contoneaster berries. The birds were still present at 15.00 but that is the last news that was received.

Some of the Hawfinches were seen this morning at Brompton churchyard with three birds being reported and nearby a Great White Egret was seen along Sherburn Cut.

Early morning a ♂ Goosander was seen flying north out of the Harbour and later in the day a ♂ Eider was off the Harbour mouth; 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls were on the rocks below Holbeck and this evening a pair of Tawny Owls were calling in Peasholm Glen.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Monday 8th January 2018

On Willerby Carr this morning there were c400 Fieldfares with a few Redwings and Mistle Thrushes plus Little Egret, Little Grebe and 2 Kingfishers; at Long Nab the highlights included an adult Mediterranean Gull heading south and going north were a Common Scoter and 4 Wigeon; 12 Goosanders were on Throxenby Mere today with another 2 present on The Mere where there were also 55 Tufted Ducks, 48 Mute Swans, 2 Little Grebes and an adult Mediterranean Gull.

The Brompton churchyard Hawfinches caused a bit of a stir today when armed police were called to deal with a person in camouflage gear with a gun!! Actually it was a birder with a long lens so be careful where you point your cameras. A total of six birds were seen today around lunch time and one was seen nearby in Sawdon, very briefly, where there were also c100 mixed Fieldfares and Redwings and a single male Brambling. The Hawfinches at Thornton-le-Dale were also seen this morning but I have no details as to how many were present.

At Flixton Carr we had 6 Little Grebes, 10 Golden Plover, 50 Fieldfares, 70 Lapwings and 2 Common Buzzards and nearby on Folkton Carr 103 Golden Plover, 447 Lapwings 3 Dunlin, 5 Fieldfare and a Redwing. Finally a Pink-footed Goose and 4 Shoveler were seen on Seamer Tip pool.

Hawfinches - Brompton-by-Sawdon - Chris Bell
Pink-footed Goose - Seamer Tip Pool - Chris Bull

Monday, 8 January 2018

Sunday 7th January 2018

The team in the Michael Clegg memorial bird race managed an impressive 91 species, a great total considering how quiet things are in our area at the moment, well done guys.

The highlights in the area today were again headed by the two groups of Hawfinches at Brompton-by-Sawdon and Thornton-le-Dale. At Brompton the maximum count in the churchyard today was 6 and at Thornton one was seen by the large car park, 3 along Rectory Lane and 7 in the churchyard. Also in Thornton today there was a Grey Wagtail on the the stream and the Green Sandpiper was still on Thornton Carr.

At the Mere today only 2♂ Goosanders could be located and there was a 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull on the jetty by the cafĂ©; 5♂ Goosanders were on Throxenby Mere; a Great Crested Grebe was off the lighthouse pier early morning and 2♂ Eider were off the harbour mouth early afternoon. 6 Eiders were seen flying north off Marine Drive this afternoon and a further 18 were seen flying north off Scalby Mills.

A Whooper Swan was at Wykeham South Lake; 22 Fieldfares in a field opposite Pinewood Park entrance; at Long Nab today 3 Red-throated Divers,, Common Gull, 2 Snipe, a female Stonechat, 30 Fieldfares and about 60 Chaffinches; the Shelduck was still on Rudda Road Flash and 30+ Crossbills and a few Bramblings over Highwood Brow early this morning.

Also today 2 Jack Snipe and 4 Snipe in the field behind Cornelian Bay; a Barnacle Goose and 6 Pochard at Burton Riggs; 50+ Purple Sandpipers roosting on the East Pier and finally 2 Barn Owls and a Water Rail from Flixton Carr bridge this evening.

Hawfinch - Brompton churchyard - Mike Randall
Mediterranean Gull - Holbeck - Chris Bell
Purple Sandpiper - Scarborough Harbour - Chris Bell

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Saturday 6th January 2018

By now regular readers of this blog will be aware of my fondness for Waxwings so I am very pleased to announce the first of the winter in Scarborough on the corner of Curlew Drive and Heron Lane, Crossgates at 15.30 but unfortunately it didn’t hang around for long.

The two groups of Hawfinches continued to attract admirers with 7 being seen in Thornton-le-Dale today and 8 around the churchyard at Brompton putting on a good show at times, please park sensibly at both locations to avoid annoying the locals.

The only other news today concerned a Little Egret by Folkton Sewage Works and a Jack Snipe on Taylor Way.
Hawfinch - Brompton-by-Sawdon - Tony Clarke
Hawfinch - Thornton-le-Dale - Graham Sigsworth

Friday 5th January 2018

Hawfinches were again the main talking point in the area with at least 3 seen on a few occasions at the junction of Dog Kennel Lane and Rectory Lane, a single bird was seen above the big car park also in Thornton-le-Dale and about 7 miles away in Brompton Churchyard 3 more were located. As suggested by one of our members “keep checking your churchyards”, they have now been seen in three in our area (Ellerburn, Thornton and Brompton).

The count from Scalby Mills today included 520+ Wigeon, 10 Teal, 13 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, a Purple Sandpiper and 2 Mediterranean Gulls, moving on the sea there were 55 Red-throated Divers (3 S, 52 N) plus a drake Goldeneye, 2 Common Scoter and 2 Pink-footed Geese (all N) and on the other side of North Bay there were 23 Fulmars on the Castle Cliffs. On The Mere today we had a record equalling count of 16 Goosander plus 45 Tufted Ducks and 41 Mute Swans.

8 Fieldfares came in off the sea along Marine Drive; 18 Teal were on Johnson’s Marsh; a Shelduck was at Rudda Road Flash and at Harwood Dale Lake a Mute Swan, 9 Wigeon, and c160 Lapwings.
Finally the Starlings were still putting on a display over Old Town this evening with a few Pigeons joining in on the fun!!

Hawfinch - Thornton-le-Dale - Kevin Groocock

Friday, 5 January 2018

Thursday 4th January 2018

The only news today came from Thornton-le-Dale where 3+ Hawfinches were seen at the usual spot in the area of the junction of Dog Kennel Lane and Rectory Lane.

Wednesday 3rd January 2018

At least some of the Hawfinches were seen again around the Dog Kennel Lane and Rectory Lane junction as well as near the Church but they were very mobile and elusive, 4 or 5 individuals were seen today.

Around the rocks below and at the Holbeck Car Park there were at least 11 Mediterranean Gulls with 7 adults, 2x 2nd winter and 2x 1st winter; in South Bay there was a Red-throated Diver and a Common Scoter; a Dunlin was in Jackson’s Bay; 2 Purple Sandpipers, 41 Redshank and an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull at Scalby Mills and 6 Goosanders on The Mere.

There was a large flock of Lapwings across three fields at Folkton Carr with 12 Golden Plover and 4 Ringed Plovers; in Dalby Forest there were still 50+ Crossbills near Haygate and at Thornton Carr the Green Sandpiper was still in the Charity Farm area.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Tuesday 2nd January 2018

The number of Hawfinches today in Thornton-le-Dale had increased to seven birds in the vicinity of Rectory Lane and Dog Kennel Lane late morning and a Red Kite flew over the same location during the afternoon. Nearby at Ellerburn a single Hawfinch was seen in the Churchyard at 14.15.

The only other news today was a Little Egret on Manor Garth marsh, Seamer village and the 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull was seen again today on Peasholm Park Lake.

2nd winter Mediterranean Gull - Peasholm Park Lake - Keith Wimbush

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Monday 1st January 2018

The beginning of a new year and despite a lack of scarce species the efforts of our members over a large area today resulted in a few interesting records.

The first news of the year concerned a second winter Mediterranean Gull on Peasholm Park Lake, closely followed by notification of the continued presence of at least one Hawfinch at Thornton-le-Dale. It transpired that there were at least three birds still present and although very mobile one of the best places to look is at the junction of Dog Kennel Lane and Rectory Lane.

Around Scarborough itself we had reports of a Redshank, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Kingfisher, 2 Marsh Tits and 2 Bullfinches at the Open Air Theatre; Scalby Mills had 8 Red-throated Divers and 13 Purple Sandpipers; in Cornelian Bay 9 Red-throated Divers, a Common Scoter, 6 Grey Plovers and 5 Ringed Plovers and finally at Holbeck Car Park we had at least 9 Mediterranean Gulls (6 adults, 2 2nd winters and a 1st winter).

Further afield on the Haygate Circuit (Dalby Forest) at least 60 Common Crossbills with many singing (but unfortunately no Parrots), 6 Lesser Redpolls, c40 Siskins, 5 Mistle Thrushes, c80 Redwings and 2 Fieldfares. On Folkton Carr a Grey Plover, 210 Golden Plovers, 1,200 Lapwings, Kingfisher, Little Egret, Chiffchaff and on the River Hertford were 2 Little Grebes and 51 Teal; along Ellerburn Burn there were 1 maybe 2 Hawfinches, 2 Kingfishers, 2 Grey Wagtails and 23 Grey Herons and finally at Wykeham South Lake an unusual record of a Goshawk plus a Whooper Swan and 4 Goldeneyes and two Peregrines chasing Wood Pigeons at Irton.

Kingfisher - Open Air Theatre - Kevin Groocock
Mediterranean Gull - Holbeck - Kevin Groocock

Sunday 31st December 2017

At Lower Marishes today 260 Lapwings, 30 Golden Plovers, c620 Fieldfares, c160 Redwings and 3 Common Buzzards and on the B1258 between Snainton and Ebberston a couple of Little Egrets flew west.

Otherwise there was a Kingfisher at the Open Air Theatre, 2 Goosanders flew south past Long Nab, 8 Goosanders were on The Mere and 4 Fulmars had returned to the Castle Cliffs.

Saturday 30th December 2017

There was a single female Hawfinch still in the Dog Kennel Lane area of Tornton-le-Dale this afternoon.

At Long Nab today 49 Red-throated Divers (3 S, 14 N, 32 on sea), 7 Goldeneye (3 S, 4 N), a Redwing and a Fieldfare came in off the sea and the stubble field held 180 Skylarks, 45 Meadow Pipits and 16 Rock Pipits, 8 Lesser Redpolls were at Hundale and a Mistle Thrush was at Cliff Top House

Finally in Burniston there were c80 Siskins at Pricky Beck Green.

Hawfinch - Thornton-le-Dale - John Harwood

Friday 29th December 2017

A Little Egret was on the beck next to the Ellerburn campsite and there was a single Common Scoter in the South Bay.

The Gull roost at Wykeham South Lake was somewhat disappointing with just 350+ Common Gulls, 40 Greater Black-backed Gulls, very few Black-headed Gulls and Herring Gulls, also a single Goldeneye and there was a Barn Owl at Ings Bridge.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Thursday 28th December 2017

There were 2 Hawfinches today on Dog Kennel Lane in Thornton-le-Dale and in Scarborough only 2 Goosanders could be found on the Mere but there were 7 Mediterranean Gulls around the Holbeck Car Park, 5 adults, a 1st winter and a 2nd winter.

Wednesday 27th December 2017

The only news today involved a single Hawfinch in Thornton-le-Dale at the junction of Dog Kennel Lane and Rectory Lane plus 7 Goosanders on The Mere, 

Tuesday 26th December 2017

Another fairly quiet day in the Scarborough area with an adult Mediterranean Gull at Scalby Mills at dusk; a Red-throated Diver and 6 Shags were feeding off Marine Drive and around the Holbeck Car Park 7 Mediterranean Gulls (6 adults and a 2nd winter).


Monday 25th December 2017

Not surprisingly there was very little news today in fact the only report concerned a single red-headed Goosander on Throxenby Mere this morning.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Sunday 24th December 2017

A Great White Egret flew west along the river at Ruston Carr bridge at 09.05 this morning and nearby at Potter Brompton Carr there were 14 Whooper Swans, 79 Wigeon and 30 Fieldfares. There was little movement off Long Nab today and the best bird in the area was a Snow Bunting in the stubble field north of the Obs.

The most interesting discovery today were a small number of Hawfinches in Thornton le Dale with one being seen along Dog Kennel Lane and then 3 on Rectory Lane but these kept dropping down from the trees into the gardens where they were not visible, thus making them rather elusive.

Can I take this opportunity to wish everyone reading this blog a very Happy Christmas.

Hawfinch - Thornton-le-Dale - G. Sigsworth

Saturday 23rd December 2017

The most exciting news today was the continued presence of the Hawfinch at Ellerburn which was seen a couple of times in the churchyard today. It was seen early morning and again in the late afternoon but despite observers being present for most of the day these were the only sightings today. Also around Ellerburn today were 2 Kingfishers, 6 Common Buzzards, a Grey Wagtail and 12 Siskins plus Marsh Tit and Bullfinch.

The Starlings were still putting on a good display over Old Town at dusk this evening.

Friday 22nd December 2017

The Green Sandpiper was still present around the farm ditches at Thornton Carr and at Ellerburn a Hawfinch was discovered near the fish farm and then later it was seen in the Church Yard. There was also a Kingfisher on Thornton le Dale Beck.

Also today 6 adult Mediterranean Gulls were on the rocks below the Holbeck Car Park.

Thursday 21st December 3017

At Long Nab today between 11.00 and 12.20 there were 160 Woodpigeons moving southwest and a Golden Plover was in the stubble field.

Wednesday 20th December 2017

Another quiet day with just a Great Crested Grebe in South Bay, an adult Mediterranean Gull at Scalby Mills  and on the Mere an adult Mediterranean Gull, 7 Goosander, 2 Little Grebes and a ♀ Teal.

Male Goosander - The Mere - all Steve Race

adult Mediterranean Gull (2nd right) - The Mere - Steve Race

Tuesday 19th December 2017

The only news received today concerned a flock of 70+ Curlew and three pairs of Stonechats along the clifftop at Redcliff.


Monday 18th December 2017

On the Mere today we had 4♂ 3♀ Goosander and a Teal; in South Bay 4 adult winter Mediterranean Gulls and a Common Scoter; a Red-throated Diver off Castle Headland and a Guillemot just off the East Pier.