Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Wednesday 22nd March 2017

Well the big discovery today had a distinctive taste of spring. Two drake Garganey were located on Johnson’s Marsh just before 08.00 this morning by Micky McNaghten and despite going missing for some time at 09.57 they came back later in the day and were still present at 17.15.

Off Long Nab today were a Great Northern Diver and 15 Common Scoter, a littoralis Rock Pipit was just south of Crook Ness, a Dunlin was on the flood just north of Cromer Point pond and a Whooper Swan went south over Scalby Lodge Pond.

At Wykeham South Lake this morning the wildfowl included 4 Shoveler, 3 Goldeneye and a Common Scoter whilst at Seamer Tip pool we had 2 Barnacle Geese, 2 Pink-footed Geese and a Little Grebe and at Burton Riggs a solitary Brent Goose.

The Harbour was still holding on to the Great Northern Diver and on the Lighthouse Pier there was a littoralis Rock Pipit.

Elsewhere we had 12 Whooper Swans over Leigh Rigg at 09.00, 3 Little Egrets at Folkton Bridge, 70 Wigeon at Scalby Mills and on Lingholm Court estate 35 Fieldfare and 2 Redwings.

Finally, Chiffchaffs are now widespread in our area with many singing birds already on territories including 5 birds in Scalby Beck of which 4 were singing birds.

2 drake Garganey - Johnson's Marsh - Tony Clarke
Common Scoter - Wykeham South Lake - Terry Hobson
Goldeneye - Wykeham South Lake - Terry Hobson

Tuesday 21st March 2017

The only news today concerned the flock of 100+ Bramblings that were still in the field at the top of Lang Gate on the edge of Wykeham Forest and accompanied by some Yellowhammers with a few Crossbills also in the area.

Bullfinch - Open Air Theatre - Deb Schild


Monday, 20 March 2017

Monday 20th March 2017

Unfortunately but not unexpectedly it was only negative news on the Cattle Egret at Ellerburn today.

The immature Glaucous Gull was back with the seals at Ravenscar today and the Great Northern Diver was again back in the Harbour.

At Seamer Tip pools today there were 2 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Barnacle Geese, 2 Grey Partridges, 2 Shelduck and a Chiffchaff. Throxenby Mere still had 2♀ Goosanders, Wykeham South Lake had 11♂ Shoveler and a ♂ Goosander and there were 38 Wigeon and 5 Teal on Johnson’s Marsh.

A ♀ Blackcap was in a Crossgates garden, Lingholm Court Estate had 49 Fieldfares and 26 Redwings and on Folkton Carr a single flock of 38 Curlew, 3 Herons and 5 Little Egrets.

Finally at Long Nab today’s species included 2 Red-throated Divers (1 south), single Common Scoter and Red-breasted Merganser (both north) and a single White Wagtail (south).

Turnstone - Scarborough Harbour - Chris Bell

Sunday 19th March 2017

Well it might not be as impressive as a White-tailed Eagle but the discovery this afternoon of a Cattle Egret at Ellerburn by Andy Malley is certainly more unusual as it is a first for the Scarborough recording area. The bird was first seen at about 14.45 but soon it had disappeared and was not relocated until about 15.40 when the remote location meant that there was no mobile coverage. Fortunately, although unsettled, the bird remained in the cattle field after the fish farm long enough for a few other observers to see it before flying off northeast towards the fishing lake at 17.36. The final appearance was about 17.55 when it came back high along the valley and then departed high off to the east and out of view. Also in the Ellerburn area today were 3 Chiffchaffs, Grey Wagtail, 12 Fieldfare and 2 Common Buzzards.

At Folkton Carr there were 2 Barn Owls and a Little Egret, at Throxenby Mere the 3 Goosanders remained, there were 2 Chiffchaffs at Harland Mount YWT reserve, 2 Long-tailed Ducks were off The Spa in South Bay, on Johnson’s Marsh we had 10 Wigeon and 5 Teal and at Cockmoor Hall Car Park half a dozen Bramblings.

Cattle Egret - Ellerburn - Dave Mansell
Brambling - Cockmoor Hall Car Park - John Harwood

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Saturday 18th March 2017

Early this morning, 06.30, the Little Egrets on Folkton Carr near the bridge had increased to 8 birds.

Also this morning at 08.00 115 Whooper Swans flew north along Staxton Ridge, which must have been some sight.

4 Shore Larks were reported at Crook Ness today and the 3♀ Goosanders were still on Throxenby Mere.

At the Wykeham Raptor View Point today between 14.30 and 16.30 just a single male Goshawk but some 6 Buzzards, passerines included 10+ Crossbills and 30+ Siskins and there were also 2 Grey Herons. 

female Goosander - Throxenby Mere - Dave Mansell

Friday 17th March 2017

The first House Martin for the year was reported at about 17.30 this afternoon at Hayburn Wyke.

Goshawks were in evidence again at Wykeham Raptor View Point with a maximum 3 in view at any one time and also a couple of Buzzards plus 4 Crossbills and 3 Siskins flew over

At Wykeham South Lake today’s count was 2 Shelduck, 2 Goldeneye, a Gadwall a singing Chiffchaff but more unusual was a Water Rail flushed by a dog near to the observation spot.

As spring moves forward the number of Chiffchaffs is increasing and today there were 5 singing birds at Burton Riggs this morning.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Thursday 16th March 2017

After the excitement of yesterday today was the quietest day for a while with very little being reported. The Shore Larks remained in the Crook Ness area and today numbers were back up to 17 and at Pickering the Waxwings were seen again in the Hawthorn Lane playpark but today there were a few less with 20+ being noted. 

Peregrines - Redcliff - Chris Bull


Wednesday 15th March 2017

Not just the highlight of the day but the highlight of the year so far was the discovery of an adult White-tailed Eagle seen from the Wykeham Raptor View Point from 10.45 until it was lost from view at 11.20, this is the sixth record of this species for the Scarborough area, The previous records were:-

A bird that had been trapped and shot was picked up dead at Cloughton on 12th March 1942 (W J Clarke).
An immature present from 20th January to 17th February 1948 roosted at Dovedale Griff, below Bridestones and flew down the valley into the Vale of Pickering each day (R M Garnet, M F M Meiklejohn, A J Wallis).
An immature previously seen at Filey flew over Marine Drive on 27th October 1985 (R H Appleby, S A Stirrup et al).
An immature that flew north over the town on 13th April 2011 had been seen previously over Filey (S Wignill).
One was seen at the Wykhem raptor viewpoint on 21st and 22nd March 2014 (B Richards et al) and presumably the same bird at the same location on 1st June 2014 (J Law et al).

Interestingly, what was presumably today’s bird was seen a few hours later over Hull, surely too much of a coincidence for it to have been a different individual.

Also in the Wykeham Raptor View Point area today at least 2 Goshawks, 4 Buzzards, a Peregrine and a Kestrel plus plenty of Crossbill activity and nearby at the top of Lang Gate a mixed flock of c100 Bramblings with 20 Yellowhammers, 6 Reed Buntings, 30 Chaffinches and a few Greenfinches plus a couple of flyover Crossbills.

At Crook Ness at least 5 of the Shore Larks were still about today and nearby in the Long Nab area there were several Goldcrests and Brambling.

Johnson’s Marsh played host to 4 Egyptian Geese in the morning but they didn’t stay for long and also this morning there were 3 Goosanders on Throxenby Mere.

A Red Kite was seen at Ravenscar today at 15.40 when it was slowly drifting south. on Folkton Carr there were a couple of Little Egrets and the Long-tailed Duck was still in Cayton Bay in the company of 11 Common Scoter.

My thanks to Chris Bradshaw for the details of the previous White-tailed Eagle records in the Scarborough area.

Goshawk - Troutsdale - Mark Pearson
Goshawk - Troutsdale - Mark Pearson
Long-tailed Duck - Cayton Bay - Chris Bull

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Tuesday 14th March 2017

The first reported Sand Martin of the year today at Cromer Point pond where there were also 3 Scandinavian littoralis Rock Pipits. Another first for the year involved an immature Little Gull that flew east through Wykeham South Lake where there were also 2 Gadwall and 2 Goldeneye.

Waxwings were in the news again today with a flock of about 30 birds being seen in trees at the Hawthorn Lane playpark in Pickering but they soon flew off north into the Tay Home housing estate.

3 Goosanders flew over Crossgates and may have gone down on Burton Riggs where this morning the Pochard remained and Great Crested Grebes were back to 3.

A ♀Merlin was seen braving the wind this afternoon on Folkton Carr,

Pochard - Burton Riggs - Deb Schild

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Monday 13th March 2017

The day began early with the discovery of 6 Waxwings by the main road in Rillington seen by Chris McNaghten on his way to work at 07.20.

At least 10 Shore Larks at Crook Ness today in either the first or second field south of the car park.

A Goshawk and a singing Chiffchaff were along Charm Park Lane about 09.00 and nearby at Wykeham South Lake there was a Brent Goose, a Gadwall, 2 Shelduck, 12 Teal, 5 Wigeon, 6 Great Crested Grebes and 7 Oystercatchers.

At other locations in the area we had 11♂6♀ Mandarin Ducks at Hackness, 4 Little Egrets at Folkton Carr, 2 Ravens and a Peregrine at Ravenscar, c120 Brambling at the top of Lang Gate on the edge of Wykeham Forest, Chiffchaff singing top of Peasholm Glen, a Long-tailed Duck and 4 Shelducks in Cayton Bay and at Burton Riggs there were 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Tufted Ducks, a Pochard and a Chiffchaff.

An interesting butterfly record concerned a Brimstone at Burton Riggs.

Brent Goose - Wykeham South Lake - Terry Hobson
Peregrine - Marine Drive - Joe Bamfield

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Sunday 12th March 2017

The highlight of the day was without question the Bittern seen flying low over the Ayton Soccer Field this morning at 11.15 in the direction of Wykeham Lakes.

The Great Grey Shrike was still showing this morning at Maw Rigg in Langdale Forest and the sometimes elusive Shore Larks were again in the field south of Crook Ness although only 14 were counted today

At Seamer Road Mere today the records included 2 Pink-footed Geese, 19 Tufted Duck, 2 Pochards, ♀ Goosander, 7 Siskins and 2 singing Chiffchaffs meanwhile at Throxenby Mere the 2♀ Goosanders were still present.

Pink-footed Geese were on the move today with four notable flocks being reported -  c70 north over High Park Farm near Ebberston at 12.30, c70 over Flixton Carr at 15.00, c80 north over Ravenscar at 16.00 and finally c100 northeast over Hutton Buscel at 18.15.

A singing Chiffchaff was by the Open Air Theatre and another in the gully at Crook Ness.

At Ravenscar there were 2 Ravens seen today and down on the rocks 10 Purple Sandpipers and just down the road the 2 Shelduck were still frequenting the Rudda Road Flash.

Scalby Mills hosted a first winter Mediterranean Gull and 4 adult Lesser Black-Backed Gulls plus 56 roosting Oystercatchers. On the opposite side of Scarborough in South Bay the Great Northern Diver was seen again and a male Long-tailed Duck was off Holbeck.

Around the Carrs there were 4 Barnacle Geese seen flying north from Cayton Carr and on Starr Carr there were 60 Fieldfares meanwhile nearby on Burton Riggs the Great Crested Grebes had increased to 3.

Finally in the Wykeham Forest area a mixed finch/bunting flock with c120 Bramblings, c30 Yellowhammers and a few Chaffinches above Wrench Green at SE960888.

Great Grey Shrike - Maw Rigg - Chris Bell

Great Grey Shrike - Maw Rigg - Chris Bell

Saturday 11th March 2017

The Great Grey Shrike was seen again at Maw Rigg, Langdale Forest this morning.

The immature Glaucous Gull was seen again at Ravenscar today and there were also 3 Ravens in the area.

4 White-fronted Geese were still present at Harwood Dale Lake and at Burton Riggs there was a Chiffchaff, ♂ Shoveler and 2 Great Crested Grebes. South Bay and the harbour had Great Northern Diver, 2♂ Long-tailed Ducks and a ♀ Velvet Scoter during the afternoon.

Great Northern Diver - Scarborough Harbour - Jilly Mitchell Greenwood

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Friday 10th March 2017

The immature Glaucous Gull was seen at Ravenscar again but today only in flight for 10 minutes or so at about 13.00, it was rather distant and didn’t appear below the cliffs until the tide had covered the rocks known as Peak Steel. Also in this area at least 3 Ravens were seen patrolling the cliffs on at least five occasions and a Buzzard flew over the Golf Course. A couple of miles down the road at the Rudda Road Flash there were two pairs of Teal and a pair of Shelducks.

The 2♀ Goosanders were still present on Throxenby Mere, there was a Dunlin on Cromer Point pond and at Long Nab 5 Eider and 2 Common Scoter flew south. Along the coast between Long Nab and Scalby Beck signs of spring with 9 Goldcrests and 2 Chiffchaffs being seen.
Shelduck - Rudda Road Flash - Tony Clarke

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Thursday 9th March 2017

A ♀ Mandarin Duck was seen on The Mere early morning but could not be relocated later on and 2 Little Grebes were also present.

The immature Glaucous Gull at Ravenscar was seen again on the rocks below the hotel, where the Seals hang out.

The 2♀ Goosanders were still present on Throxenby Mere today.

Immature Glaucous Gull - Ravenscar - Dave Britton

(heavily cropped image from original)

Friday, 10 March 2017

Wednesday 8th March 2017

The count from Wykeham South Lake this morning involved 4 Teal, 3 Gadwall, 11 Tufted Duck, a Shelduck, a Goldeneye, 6 Cormorants, a Snipe and 4 Oystercatchers.

The Great Northern Diver was in South Bay in the morning along with 14♀ Common Scoter but was back in the harbour in the afternoon and the Black Redstart was seen again on the sea defences of North Bay.

At Holbeck there were 8 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 1st winter and 6 adults. 

1st W Mediterranean Gull - Holbeck - Terry Hobson
Black Redstart - North Bay - Terry Hobson

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Tuesday 7th March 2017

Not much news received today but the Great Northern Diver was in South Bay, just outside the harbour mouth, at least between 13.00 and 15.15.

Also today there were at least 7 Mediterranean Gulls at Holbeck including one bird in almost full breeding plumage.

Mediterranean Gull - Holbeck - Tony Clarke

Monday, 6 March 2017

Monday 6th March 2017

There are still at least two Great Grey Shrikes in the Langdale Forest area with birds being seen simultaneously at Maw Rigg and Lunn Brow, also in the area were 4 Goshawks and 2 Buzzards.

At Harwood Dale Lake the 4 White-fronted Geese remained as did the Pintail and there was also a Shelduck present.

Interesting photo of a ringed Little Egret but as yet we have been unable to trace its origins.

Little Egret - Folkton Carr - Chris Bell (taken Saturday)

Sunday 5th March 2017

There were 17 Shore Larks in the field south of Crook Ness again today.

At Wykeham Raptor View Point we had at least 7 Goshawks, 6 Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk between 08.30 and 11.45 and at 09.45 120 Pink-footed Geese flew north a little to the east.

Other records today included a Red Kite was seen north of Hutton Buscal drifting slowly northwest at 10.00; a Chiffchaff was seen along Yedmandale Road, East Ayton; a pair of Great Crested Grebes at Burton Riggs: the Great Northern Diver was in the harbour and the Great Grey Shrike was seen again at Maw Rigg, Langdale Forest.

Great Northern Diver - Scarborough Harbour - Chris Bell

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Saturday 4th March 2017

The highlight today was the discovery of an immature 2cy Glaucous Gull on the rocks at Ravenscar by John Harwood.

The Black-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver were both seen back in the harbour again today with 3 Shags.

In Cornelian Bay there were 11 Red-throated Divers, a Great Crested Grebe, 2 Common Scoter, 33 Purple Sandpipers and 2 Ringed Plovers and this morning on Cayton Carrs 4 Little Egrets.

Glaucous Gull (right) - Ravenscar - John Harwood

Friday 3rd March 2017

The only news received today concerned 6 Barnacle Geese in the field along Seamer Carr Road with the Greylag/Canada flock and a couple of Shags in the harbour.

Shag - Scarborough Harbour - Joe Bamfield

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Thursday 2nd March 2017

The Great Northern Diver was seen just outside the harbour mouth this afternoon, there were 45 Purple Sandpipers in the usual roosting area and 60+ Turnstones at various points around the harbour.

The 2♀ Goosanders were still on Throxenby Mere and reported at Johnson’s Marsh today were 22 Teal, 2 Oystercatchers and 3 Herons.

Wykeham Raptor View Point also featured today with 4+ Goshawks, 20+ Buzzards and a dozen or so Crossbills.

At Wykeham South Lake the count today was 5♂1♀ Shoveler, 3 Shelduck, 2♂1♀ Goldeneye, 6 Pochard, 8 Gadwall, 2 Oystercatchers, 3 Lapwings and 15 Yellowhammers.

Goosanders - Throxenby Mere - Tony Clarke

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Wednesday 1st March 2017

A Waxwing was seen outside B&Q on Seamer Road at 10 this morning.

At Long Nab today 98 Pink-footed Geese flew north and also there were 10+ Brambling and a Water Rail. Just a little further south c15 Shore Larks were in the field to the south of Crook Ness.

Along the coast the Black Redstart was still on the sea defences between the Royal Albert and Oasis Cafes, the Great Northern Diver was in the harbour and 9 Mediterranean Gulls were counted at Holbeck at 14.30.

At Wykeham South Lake today we had ♂ and ♀ Goldeneye, 17 Gadwall, 26 Teal, 2 Pink-footed Geese, 13 Mute Swans and a Stonechat.

A little further afield there was a Short-eared Owl at Burn Howe Moor this morning.

Waxwing - outside B&Q - Jan & Gary Powell

Tuesday 28th February 2017

At Crook Ness, well a bit to the south, there were 8+ Shore Larks still present and also remaining in place was the Great Northern Diver in the harbour.

In the Seamer area there was a Stonechat to the east of Seamer Tip and a Corn Bunting on Seamer Mead.

Around the lakes reports included a Goshawk west of Wykeham Lakes; 6 Mandarins, 6 Little Grebes, a ♂ Goldeneye, 5 Tufted Ducks and 5 Buzzards at Hackness Lake and at Harwood Dale Lake there were 4 White-fronted Geese, a Goosander, 8 Teal and 2 Oystercatchers.

On the north side of the spinney up from Cloughton Wyke there was a mixed group of 70+ Yellowhammers with a few Brambling and Chaffinches.