Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Monday 22nd May 2017

The big surprise of the day again came from Long Nab when one of those classic spring rarities, a Bee-Eater, flew over to the south at 10.53 loosely associating with 4 Common Swifts inland of the Obs and calling frequently. This is only the fourth record of this multi-coloured marvel in our area, it would have been nice if it had hung around for a while but unfortunately it didn’t and was only seen by one fortunate observer. It was also too far away for any photographs to be taken. Observers at other points to the south of Long Nab were on full alert but the bird didn’t show at any other locations and was never seen again. Also from the Nab today and all moving south were 10 Barnacle Geese at 07.00 (passed Flamborough 56 minutes later), a Little Egret, a Puffin and 9 Swifts, the hirundine movement today involved 6 Sand Martins, 211 Swallows and 33 House Martins.

Other things today involved a 2cy Mediterranean Gull at Scalby Mills, a Sedge Warbler at Harwood Dale Lake, a Spotted Flycatcher in Troutsdale and last but not least a Hobby was seen chasing Swifts over Scarborough Old Town this evening.

Although not taken today I've been waiting to squeeze this one in somewhere.

Swift 18/05/17 - Wykeham South Lake - Terry Hobson


Sunday 21st May 2017

It was a colourful start to the day when a drake Mandarin was discovered on Johnson’s Marsh.

At Long Nab today a Short-eared Owl came in off the sea and went north at 08.20 and a cream crowned Marsh Harrier went south along the cliff at 10.35. This bird was close enough for the wing tags to be read clearly, a green tag with black letters VH, Research showed that the bird was tagged on the Norfolk/Suffolk border last summer, took only 61 minutes to get the details! Also a Corn Bunting was seen on the wires by the Obs before leaving south and a (Dark-bellied) Brent Goose flew to the north. The southerly hirundine movement continued today but at a slower pace with just 15 Sand Martins, 155 Swallows and 98 House Martins being recorded.

The long staying 2cy Glaucous Gull at Ravenscar was still present today but unfortunately the Hoopoe in the hotel grounds was not seen at all today.

Other records today included 5 Crossbills at the Wykeham Raptor View Point, a Yellow Wagtail at Long Lane, Seamer, 2 Wheatears by the east side of Seamer Tip, a pair of Shoveler on the flood by the motocross circuit near Seamer Tip and at Harwood Dale Lake a ♂ Mandarin, 2 Pink-footed Geese and a Hobby flew east here.

drake Mandarin - Johnson's Marsh - Nick Addey
Corn Bunting - Long Nab - Nick Addey
Marsh Harrier - Long Nab - Nick Addey

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Saturday 20th May 2017

A frustrating day for the guys at Long Nab early on as two birds tantalised but didn’t hang around long enough to be confirmed. A small lark went over to the south at 08.40 and then soon after a small harrier went north at 08.56 but was noticed too late to identify conclusively. 2 Ospreys were seen later in the morning with one going north at 10.45 about a mile inland and then a second bird come in off the sea from the southeast and continued north along the cliffs at 11.13. Also at Long Nab the hirundine movements continued with 24 Sand Martins, 466 Swallows and 314 House Martins all moving south as did 9 Barnacle Geese, 17 Swifts and 2 Manx Shearwaters (7 of which went north).

The Hoopoe was still present all day at Ravenscar in its usual favoured areas but no sign of the Great White Egret today. 

Nightjar heard ‘churring’ around Wykeham Forest from Wrench Green.

Whitethroat - Jackson's Bay - Pauline Dent

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Friday 19th May 2017

The two recent discoveries both remained in situ with the Great White Egret at Harwood Dale Lake putting on a much more lengthy performance today and the Ravens Hall Hotel Hoopoe showing well on and off all day.

At Wykeham South Lake during the drizzle this morning there were approximately 250 hirundines present the vast majority of which were Sand Martins.

Great White Egret - Harwood Dale Lake - Dave Mansell
Hoopoe - Ravenscar - Nick Addey

Thursday 18th May 2017

Not much news today but the quality made up for the quantity. The Great White Egret was seen again at Harwood Dale Lake but only early in the morning as later searches proved fruitless.

Chris McNaghten is definitely on a roll as following on from his Great White Egret yesterday he discovered a Hoopoe today in the grounds of the Raven Hall Hotel in Ravenscar at 16.55 on the large grassy area south of the Tennis Court. Unfortunately it isn’t exclusive to this area and did go missing a couple of times during the evening. This is the second record for Scarborough this spring following on from the one at Long Nab on the 11th-12th of this month.

The best movement at Long Nab today involved 33 Sandwich Terns and 199 Swallows all heading south between 07.30 and 16.05. There was a Bar-tailed Godwit in Jackson’s Bay and Grasshopper Warbler activity was noted again in both Stile Scrub and at Cromer Point, they may be breeding at both locations.

The highlights at Wykeham South Lake today were few but included 4 Egyptian Geese, c30 Swifts and a single Grey Partridge. Finally some late news came in concerning the first record for the year of Nightjars performing this evening in Broxa Forest.

Hoopoe - Ravenscar - Tony Clarke
Hoopoe - Ravenscar - Dave Mansell

Friday, 19 May 2017

Wednesday 17th May 2017

The surprise of the day was located on Harwood Dale Lake this morning at 10.30 when Chris McNaghten discovered a Great White Egret in breeding plumage. Having spoken to observers of the bird seen yesterday and very early this morning on Flamborough it is reasonable to presume this to be the same individual. Also present on the lake were 4 Mandarin Ducks, 2 Teal and a Common Sandpiper.

On Wykeham South Lake this morning there were 6 Common/Arctic Terns on the buoys but soon departed to the east, 3 Egyptian Geese and 4 Swifts.

Great White Egret - Harwood Dale Lake - Dave Mansell
Great White Egret - Harwood Dale Lake - Tony Clarke

Tuesday 16th May 2017

Another long period of observation today at Long Nab with people present for a total of 14 hours during the day.

The unquestionable highlight of the day was the discovery of a Tawny Pipit by Micky McNaghten in the field to the north of the Obs. The bird was seemingly grounded momentarily by a light rain shower at 09.05 but when this ceased it headed off to the south along the cliff at 09.11 never to be seen again. Unfortunately the observer was unable to obtain any photographs of this record, the 2nd for the Scarborough area. The first was on South Cliff Golf Course on the 24th April 2014 and was found by the same observer. Another nice discovery today was the Dotterel which flew north at 08.27, another species that is rarely seen in our area and like this one the vast majority of recent records are flyovers. Other species seen in this area today included a Little Egret south at 19.45, a Red Kite went south along the cliff at 16.03 which is unusual as they normally go through inland, 10 Curlew south, 12 Sandwich Tern south and 2 north, 8 Swift south, 81 Sand Martin south, 1397 Swallows and 502 House Martins south.

At Scalby Mills today a Dipper, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, 6 Sandwich Terns and 2 Turnstones.

A Bottle-nosed Dolphin was seen moving south of Long Nab at 12.45.

Skylarks - near Morrisons - Mark Hepples

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Monday 15th May 2017

The only news concerned things going past Long Nab today; a Wigeon, 4 Tufted Duck, 25 Common Scoter, a Puffin, 50 Sandwich Terns, 3 Swift, 4 Sand Martin, 117 Swallows, 44 House Martins, 3 Yellow Wagtails and a Corn Bunting all moving south and going north 30 Common Scoter, a Whimbrel and 14 Sandwich Terns. A White Wagtail was in the horse field by the White House and there was also a Wheatear present in the area.  


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Sunday 14th May 2017

A busy day in the Long Nab area where observers put in a mammoth 14½ hours which some might even consider heroic, however the wives and girlfriends might disagree with that. The most interesting discovery in this area today was a female/2cy male Yellow Wagtail showing certain features consistent with the form thunbergi, Grey-headed Wagtail. It was found in the cover crop strip during the afternoon but departed south about 20.00. Also here today 2 Manx Shearwaters went north, a Little Egret went north but then returned south, a Red Kite went south inland at 11.30, 48 Sandwich and 2 Common Terns went south, a Turtle Dove  went southwest at 08.40, a Hobby went south at 14.45, a Hooded Crow went south along the cliff at 10.20 and 11 Yellow Wagtails went south and 1 north. Hirundine movement south today included 93 Sand Martins, 938 Swallows and 262 House Martins, also in the area were a Cuckoo calling from the middle plantation early evening, 2 Common Buzzards, a Whinchat, 12 Wheatears, 2 Spotted Flycatchers (one at Cliff Top House and one at Hundale) and a Yellow Wagtail.

Also today an Osprey was seen flying over the A64 in the vicinity of Stockdales and in the direction of Wykeham South Lake at 12.20, an Avocet was at Wykeham South Lake from early morning until lunchtime but not seen in the afternoon and a Cuckoo was at Folkton Carr at 19.25. Finally at Potter Brompton Carr there was a Snipe and a pair of Shelduck.

Avocet - Wykeham South Lake - Alan Hunt
Sedge Warbler - Seamer Tip pool - Dave Mansell
thunbergi type Wagtail - Long Nab - Nick Addey

Saturday 13th May 2017

Regrettably it was negative news today on the Hoopoe at Long Nab which was looked for off and on from 05.30 until 19.00 but in that time it never put in an appearance.

The main bird of the day today was a Common Crane seen flying southeast over Burton Riggs at 09.45, unfortunately by just one lucky observer.

At Ravenscar the 2cy Glaucous Gull was still present today on the rocks.

Other records today included 2 Cuckoos at Sneaton Low Moor and at Castlebeck Wood a Cuckoo, a Green Woodpecker and a singing ♂ Redstart.

Yellowhammer - Long Nab - Tony Clarke

Friday, 12 May 2017

Friday 12th May 2017

Despite original reports of no sign of the Hoopoe on Long Nab at 05.30 it reappeared in the horse field at about 08.30 where it remained for the rest of the day but frequently was out of view in the dips in the field. For anyone thinking about visiting tomorrow the bird will be looked for early and if present we advise parking at the beginning of Station Lane in Cloughton by the houses and walking to view the bird. This is a single track road and can be busy with large farm machinery so we hope to avoid any confrontation whilst the bird is present. Also refrain from entering any of the fields and avoid any damage to the hedgerow.

Also at Long Nab a Reed Warbler was trapped at the ringing site and 4 Common Terns and a Whimbrel flew south.

Elsewhere today we had a Common Sandpiper at Johnson’s Marsh with another at Wykeham South Lake, 4♂ Redstarts holding territory at Bridestones and a Fieldfare was seen at Bickley Heights.

Hoopoe - Long Nab - Dave Mansell
Hoopoe - Long Nab - Dave Mansell

Thursday 11th May 2017

One of the nicest birds of the year so far was a Hoopoe discovered at Long Nab by the White House. Originally found on the approach road, Station Lane, by Chris Bradshaw at 10.25 the bird spent most of the day in the horse field but did disappear to the south on one occasion and could be out of view for long periods in the dips in the field. It was still present in the evening but disappeared when the horses were being fed. This is the fourteenth record for the Scarborough area and the first since 2014. Also today in the Long Nab area were a Whinchat, a White Wagtail, 6 Wheatears and movement south included a ♂ Pochard, 62 Sand Martins, 1142 Swallows and 40 House Martins.

Early this morning the breeding bird survey on Potter Brompton Carr produced a Cuckoo, 22 singing Sedge Warblers, 9 singing Reed Warblers and 3 Garden Warblers unfortunately a dead Curlew was also found on site.

On Low Moor this morning there was a Cuckoo and Red Grouse could be seen from within your car from the small layby just off the A171.

In the Seamer area today there were 2 singing Reed Warblers and 2 ‘Greenland’ Wheatears by the east side of the tip and in the Star Carr to Seamer Mead area at least 10 singing Sedge Warblers.

Also today a pair of Stonechats carrying food on South Cliff and a Red Kite was seen over Crossgates at 13.45.

Hoopoe - Long Nab - Chris Bell
Hoopoe - Long Nab - Nick Addey
Hoopoe - Long Nab - Terry Hobson

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Wednesday 10th May 2017

New discoveries today included a 2cy Glaucous Gull at Scalby Mills this afternoon and a female Pied Flycatcher near the bird boxes at Star Carr this morning. Also on Star Carr today a Little Ringed Plover, 2 singing Corn Buntings and a Little Egret whilst nearby on the east side of Seamer Tip there were a couple of ‘Greenland’ Wheatears.

At Long Nab today 555 Swallows, 35 Sand Martin, 37 House Martins, 9 Swift, 4 Yellow Wagtails and a Siskin all moving south and in Jackson’s Bay Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper and a Turnstone.

This evening about 60 Swifts passed northwest over Falsgrave.

A bit further afield there was a Whinchat and a House Martin about a mile north of Sawdon, 2 Turtle Doves were singing in Dalby Forest, a Mandarin Duck was in the Forge Valley, Harwood Dale lake had a White Wagtail and a Tree Pipit and in the Ravenscar mast field a White Wagtail and a couple of Whimbrel.

Sedge Warbler - Star Carr - Mick Francis

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Tuesday 9th May 2017

A female Pied Flycatcher on Castle Hill was a nice new discovery this morning, also at this location a Garden Warbler and a Fieldfare.

Seamer Tip pool was still hanging on to 2 Pink-footed Geese and there were also a pair of Gadwall and at least 7 species of warbler present – Sedge, Reed, Grasshopper, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.

The 2 Wheatears were still in evidence inside the wall on Marine Drive, in the harbour area still at least 11 Turnstones and at Burton Riggs a Little Egret and 2 Common Sandpipers.

West of Thornton Le Dale at Wray House Farm there were a couple of Yellow Wagtails.

The 10 Shore Larks were still in the field north of the Obs at Long Nab and during the afternoon 670+ Swallows were counted moving south between 14.00 and 19.25.

Harwood Dale Lake played host to a Whinchat, a Yellow Wagtail and a Coot.

Pied Flycatcher - Castle Hill - Tony Clarke

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Monday 8th May 2017

27 Whimbrel were seen on Flixton Carr this morning.

The 10 Shore Larks continued their long stay by another day at Long Nab and this evening there were 5 Wheatears as well. 2 Wheatears were behind the wall at Marine Drive and a Manx Shearwater was recorded flying north.

Finally today a Common/Arctic Tern flew north over Peasholm at 17.40 this evening.

Whimbrel - Flixton Carr - Ian Glaves

Sunday 7th May 2017

At Wykeham South Lake today a female Marsh Harrier flew north at 10.40, the Dark-bellied Brent Goose from Burton Riggs has now moved here, a pair of Shoveler, a Shelduck, a Little Ringed Plover, 16 Whimbrel, a Green Woodpecker and about 30 Swifts, Nearby on the River Derwent by Straits Lane there were 3 Reed Warblers and 2 Sedge Warblers.

10 Shore Larks remained in the first field north of the Obs at Long Nab where there were also 3 Wheatears, 5 Whimbrel on Star Carr today and a Turtle Dove was seen in Langdale Forest.

An interesting report concerns a heard only Wood Warbler at North Moor this evening near to the houses, surely worth checking out by anyone in the vicinity.

Reed Warbler - Straits Lane - Chris Bell

Monday, 8 May 2017

Saturday 6th May 2017

Reports came in today from various localities of Swifts including 8 over Old Town in the morning.

At Long Nab the Shore Larks were present for another day but only 10 could be located in the first field north of the Obs. Unfortunately the analysis of photographs of the reported Hooded Crow gave irrefutable evidence that the bird was in fact a hybrid Hooded x Carrion Crow but an interesting record none the less. Also in the Long Nab area today were 4 Wheatears and 2 Lesser Whitethroats whilst on the sea 2♂ Eider.

There were also 2 Wheatears on Castle Hill today; 4 Purple Sandpipers, a Common Sandpiper and 3 Whimbrel at Cornelian Bay and this evening a Whimbrel flew over Peasholm calling.

Hooded x Carrion Crow - Long Nab - Nick Addey
Shore Lark (horns up) - Long Nab - Nick Addey

Friday 5th May 2017

Well they’re back, the first Swifts for our area returned today with birds being seen over Old Town, Harwood Dale Lake and Crossgates, also the first Whinchats for the year were reported from Long Nab (the horse field) and Harwood Dale Lake. Also at Long Nab today were 11 Shore Larks in the first field north of the Obs and a Grasshopper Warbler was still present as well.

A Hobby was seen at Rushton Carr bridge, on Star Carr a Green Sandpiper and a Corn Bunting and by New Dyke, Seamer tip we had a couple of Willow Tits.

On the coast at Jackson’s Bay there were 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and a Sedge Warbler is still in the Stile Scrub area.

Finally at Burton Riggs there was a Common Sandpiper and the Great Crested Grebes with 2 chicks.

pair of Peregrines - Joe Bamfield
Whinchat - Long Nab - Nick Addey

Thursday 4th May 2017

Although rather quiet today the highlight was the first Hobby for the year flying east by the level crossing at Willerby and there were also 2 Corn Buntings in the village, one of which was singing.

Elsewhere a Turtle Dove was seen on roadside wires at Staintondale, there were 2 Little Ringed Plovers at Wykeham South Lake and a couple of Wheatears on Castle Hill.

female Tufted Duck - Deb Schild

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

The trickle of Arctic Terns through Wykeham South Lake continued with another 3 being seen today plus 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Shelduck, 4 Egyptian Geese and a Wheatear.

A Bar-tailed Godwit and 26 Whimbrel were on the Star Carr side of Seamer Tip, Seamer Tip pool had 2 Pink-footed Geese and the Grasshopper Warbler by the mound again and nearby on Flixton Carr a flock of 37 Whimbrel.

A Common Sandpiper was on Johnson’s Marsh and on Scalby Ness Sands we had 3 Bar-tailed Godwits and Stonechat parents feeding three young.

Whimbrel - Star Carr - Mike Randall
Willow Warbler - Cockmor Hall - Chris Bell

Tuesday 2nd May 2017

The first news today concerned an early morning record of a Cuckoo at 06.20 at Foulsyke Farm near Scalby village pond.

At Long Nab today a Velvet Scoter and 2♂ Goosander went north, there were 11 Shore Larks in the first field north of the Obs and also in the area a reeling Grasshopper Warbler. At Cromer Point there was another reeling Grasshopper Warbler and 2 Wigeon on the pond and nearby at Stile Scrub a pair of Grasshopper Warblers were seen carrying nest material.

During the afternoon 5+, rather late, Waxwings were seen near the Duck Pond on Valley Road.

2♂ Goosanders flew east over Seamer Tip and on Star Carr we had a Corn Bunting and a Wheatear with an additional 26 Whimbrel seen in the afternoon.

Finally a Turtle Dove was seen at Malton Cote.

Great Crested Grebe - Burton Riggs - Paul Tymon

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Monday 1st May 2017

The Long Nab area was certainly the most productive today with movements including 3 Grey Plover, a Dunlin, a Sanderling, a Whimbrel, 22 Sandwich Terns, 3 Arctic Terns, 26 Sand Martins, 188 Swallows and 2 House Martins all heading south; a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Ringed Plover went north and 24 Arctic Terns flew out east. 10 Shore Larks still present today two fields north of the Obs and also in the area were a Sedge Warbler, 9 Lesser Whitethroats, 14 Whitethroats, a Redstart, 7 Wheatears, a White Wagtail and a Grasshopper Warbler. There was a Grey Plover in Burniston Bay, 3 juvenile Stonechats and 4 Bar-tailed Godwits in Jackson’s Bay and very early this North Bay 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Dunlin and a Whimbrel.

At Wykeham South Lake today 3 Arctic Terns passed through, a female Redstart sp was seen briefly by the viewpoint, and there were also a Common Sandpiper, 3 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Wheatears and a Lesser Whitethroat. Potter Brompton Carr hosted a cream crown Marsh Harrier which was also viewable distantly from Rushton Carr Bridge, a Greenshank, 2 Snipe and a Lesser Whitethroat.

On Star Carr 54 Whimbrel were counted this afternoon plus a Barnacle Goose, 5 Sedge Warblers and three species of Sylvia Warblers, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler. The Grasshopper Warbler on the mound by Seamer Tip pool was reported again today and nearby at Burton Riggs there was a Common Sandpiper.

Reports from other areas today included a Common Sandpiper at Harwood Dale Lake and 3 Lesser Whitethroats at Stoupe Beck/Boggle Hole Cliffs.

Lesser Whitethroat - Long Nab - Nick Addey
Whitethroat - Wykeham South Lake - Chris Bell