Monday 27 February 2017

Monday 27th February 2017

The highlight of the day was the reappearance of the 16 Shore Larks about 100 metres south of Crook Ness and nearby at Long Nab 12 Pink-footed Geese flew north. Further down the coast the 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were seen again at Scalby Mills.

The species counts from Wykeham South Lake today included 6 Whooper Swans (2ad, 4juv), 6 Shoveler, 16 Pochard, 15 Gadwall, a Wigeon, 12 Teal, 8 Oystercatchers, a Redshank, 33 Coot and 5 Cormorants.

Shore Lark - Crook Ness - Nick Addey

Sunday 26th February 2017

A good total of 13 Goshawks were reported today with 3 over Raincliffe Woods and at least 8, including 2 displaying pairs, from the Wykeham Raptor View Point where there were also 5 Common Buzzards and 15 Crossbills.

At Hilla Green 2 Dippers and a Mandarin Duck were seen while nearby at Hackness Lake there were 9 Mandarin Ducks and at Throxenby Mere 2♀ Goosanders.

Out on the Carrs there were 2 Little Egrets at Cayton Carr Bridge, 4 Little Egrets at Folkton Carr next to the water treatment works and at Potter Brompton Carr we had 2 Shovelers, 2 Shelducks, 2 Gadwall, Wigeon, 43 Mallard and 14 Lapwings.

Along the coast today we had 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Scalby Mills, one of the Black Redstarts opposite the Royal Albert Café, 2 Black-necked Grebes and Great Northern Diver in the harbour and at Holbeck 10 Mediterranean Gulls (2x1st winter, 2x2nd winter, 6 adults).

An Ermine Stoat was seen along Charm Park road.

Great Northern Diver being mobbed - Scarborough Harbour - Mark Hepples

Saturday 25th February 2017

There was a Red Kite over the south side of Burniston at 13.20 and 2♀ Goosander were on Throxenby Mere.

The harbour held 2 Black-necked Grebes, a Great Northern Diver, the very obliging ♂ Eider which earlier in the day was off the East Pier and an equally trusting immature Cormorant.

Also today a 2nd calendar year immature Glaucous Gull was seen from the train near West Knapton on the Ings by the railway line and 8 Common Buzzards were seen together along Charm Park road.

Eider - Scarborough Harbour - Chris Bell

2 Black-necked Grebes - Scarborough Harbour - Chris Bell

Eider - Scarborough Harbour - Chris Bell

Saturday 25 February 2017

Friday 24th February 2017

At Long Nab this morning species of note included a Common Snipe, a Jack Snipe, a Golden Plover, a Shelduck and 4 Common Scoter flew north and a Black-throated Diver flew in from the south and landed on the sea where there were also 3 Red-throated Divers.

2 Bean Geese were seen at Seamer from the first layby on the A64 after the Morrisons roundabout and 40 Crossbills were seen in Wykeham Forest.

Coastally today there were 2 Black-necked Grebes and a Great Northern Diver in the harbour, a very approachable drake Eider was seen off Lighthouse Pier and on the slipway in front of The Golden Ball on Sandside, a Cormorant on the slipway by the West Pier, 61 Turnstones on West Pier and 6 Purple Sandpipers at the roost site.

Finally today in Langdale Forest the Great Grey Shrike remained at Maw Rigg and at the same location a Raven was seen flying over.

drake Eider - Scarborough Harbour - Martin Dove

Great Grey Shrike - Maw Rigg - Richard Baines

Friday 24 February 2017

Thursday 23rd February 2017

Today there were obviously not many people in the field, mind you conditions were not good thanks to the passage of Storm Doris across the UK.

The only news today concerned a Chiffchaff in Albemarle Crescent in central Scarborough and 2 ♀ Goosanders on Throxenby Mere; both records were from the morning.

Oystercatcher - Marine Drive - Yvonne Salt

Wednesday 22nd February 2017

2 Black-necked Grebes were back in the harbour today and nearby in South Bay there was a Great Northern Diver. There were 2 Chiffchaffs at Scalby Mills by the Sea Life Centre and at Wykeham South Lake we had 4 Egyptian Geese and a ♂ Goldeneye with 60 Fieldfares in the fields on the approach. Lastly there were at least ♂3♀ Goosanders on the Mere today.

Goosander (and Tufted Duck) - The Mere - Joe Bamfield


Tuesday 21st February 2017

The Royal Albert Drive Black Redstart was still present today and a Black-necked Grebe was back in the harbour again.

A brief stop at Holbeck produced a couple of adult Mediterranean Gulls.

Species of interest seen at Potter Brompton Carr included a Jack Snipe, 3 Snipe, a pair of Shelducks, a pair of Shovelers, a Water Rail and 3 Pink-footed Geese.

Tawny Owl - Cross Lane area - John Hume

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Monday 20th February 2017

Not much reported today but here is the news we did get.

One of the Black Redstarts was still on the sea defences opposite the old Royal Albert Café and also on the front the 2 Black-necked Grebes were seen together off the Lighthouse Pier.

There were 2 Shelducks and a Stonechat at Seamer Tip pool and nearby in the field by Seamer Carr Road the 6 Barnacle Geese were still with the Canada Geese flock.

Johnson’s Marsh had 79 Wigeon, 19 Teal and 4 Grey Herons.

Black Redstart - Royal Albert Drive - Nick Addey

Sunday 19th February 2017

Up at Highwood Brow View Point today there was a pair of Goshawks, 5 Common Buzzards and 11 Crossbills and at Fylingdales High Moor 164 Golden Plovers were counted.

At Harwood Dale Lake the 3 White-fronted Geese were still present and in Cornelian Bay we had 8 Common Scoter, 10 Grey Plover, 7 Ringed Plover and 4 Skylarks went south out at sea.

Mediterranean Gulls were reported from both Scalby Mills (ad) and Holbeck (7 ad, 4 1stW) and at Johnson’s Marsh we had 70 Wigeon, 24 Teal and an Oystercatcher.

Finally in town there were a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap in a garden on Westwood Court.

Sunday 19 February 2017

Saturday 18th February 2017

The day started well with a juvenile Iceland Gull that flew north past Long Nab at 07.50 and then 2 minutes later a skein of 38 Pink-footed Geese flew north past the same location. Later at 08.38 another skein of c75 Pink-foots also went north at Long Nab and then adding to the northward movement of geese a further c90 Pink-foots flew north over Sawdon at 09.50. Also at Long Nab today an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull went south and 17 Skylarks were moving including one flying ESE out to sea.

The 2 Black-necked Grebes were seen today in South Bay and the Great Grey Shrike was seen again at Maw Rigg in Langdale Forest.

Mute Swan - The Mere - Mark Hepples

Friday 17 February 2017

Friday 17th February 2017

Yippee!!! Waxwings are back in the news today with a group of 15 seen within Scarborough Hospital grounds at 15.15 this afternoon.

Goshawks were seen again today from the Wykeham Raptor View Point with a minimum of 3 birds seen during the late morning, also in the area at least 10 Common Buzzards with 6 birds in the air together on two occasions.

South Bay today had Great Northern Diver, Red-throated Diver and Black-necked Grebe and 15 Common Scoter and at Holbeck there were 10 Mediterranean Gulls (8 adults, 2x1st winter).

Other things seen today included 2 Shelducks in Jackson’s Bay, a Common Buzzard over Ayton Castle, 48 Pink-footed Geese flew south over the Stepney area and at Scalby Mills a Lesser Black-backed Gull and 2 Gadwall.

Kingfisher - The Mere - Pauline Dent

Thursday 16th February 2017

Today started with the news of one of the Black Redstarts still being present on Royal Albert Drive between the Royal Albert Café and the Oasis Café.

Goshawks were in evidence today with one seen displaying over Raincliffe Woods and then 3 over Langdale Rigg viewed from the Wykeham Raptor View Point. Later in the Wykeham Forest Nursery area there were 43 Lapwing, 40+ Redpolls and a Crossbill

Wykeham South Lake recorded 19 Gadwall, 5 Wigeon, 5 Goldeneye, 28 Pochard, 4 Little Grebes, 2 Oystercatchers and 2 Stonechats. At Seamer Tip there were still 25 White-fronted Geese and 6 Barnacle Geese and on The Mere the ♀ Scaup was seen again but only 7 (4♂3♀) could be located today.

In the Harbour/South Bay area we had a Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-necked Grebes (1 Harbour, 1 South Bay) and 15 Common Scoter with another 2 round the coast in North Bay.

Finally the Great Grey Shrike was still at Maw Rigg in Langdale Forest with several singing Crossbills in the same area, plus some late news concerning 2 Red Kites seen at Coomboots (south end of Broxa Forest).

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Wednesday 15th February 2017

At Long Nab today in the stubble there were a Snipe, a Jack Snipe and a Lapland Bunting  and 125 Pink-footed Geese flew north at about 09.10 also 3 Eider and a Goldeneye went south. There was only one Black-necked Grebe in the harbour today with the Great Northern Diver but round in South Bay the other Black-necked Grebe was feeding off The Spa and the 2 Long-tailed Ducks were still present.

An Oystercatcher was on Johnson’s Marsh and a Chiffchaff was in Scalby Beck.

Wykeham South Lake was hosting 5 Shovelers, 9 Gadwall, 43 Pochard, 4 Goldeneye and a single Common Buzzard.

A rare report from Hutton Buscel Carr included a Green Woodpecker, 2 Marsh Tits, c100 Redwings and c50 Fieldfares.

Common Buzzard - Wykeham South Lake - Terry Hobson

Tuesday 14th February 2017

Well I hope that all you birders were keen to gain a few brownie points today from your partners.

After the Goosander on the 12th today on Johnson;s Marsh there was a ♂ Goldeneye and nearby at Scalby Mills there were 500+ Wigeon.

The Harbour today had the now customary 2 Black-necked Grebes and a Great Northern Diver.

The wetland areas had 47 Pochards, 2 Goldeneye and 3 Gadwall on Wykeham South Lake; the ♀ Scaup and 9 Goosander on The Mere; and 3 White-fronted Geese at Harwood Dale Lake

2 Little Egrets were again on beckside between Ebberston turn off and Yedingham and at Snainton a Blackcap was seen today.

female Goosander - The Mere - Steve Race

Shag - Scarborough Harbour - Steve Race

Monday 13 February 2017

Monday 13th February 2017

At least the weather was a bit better today.

A Black-throated Diver flew south past Long Nab at 08.13, the 2 Black Redstarts were seen again on the sea defences in front of the Royal Albert Café and in the harbour the Great Northern Diver and Black-necked Grebe remained and were still attracting visitors.

At Wykeham South Lake today’s count included 45 Pochard, 6 Goldeneye, 5 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Little Grebe and a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

On The Mere off Seamer Road the ♀ Scaup was still present with the Tufted Ducks in the vicinity of Treasure Island and there were 3♂ and 5♀ Goosanders again today.

The goose flock in the field by Seamer Carr Road was mostly Canadas and Greylags but there were 6 Barnacle Geese and c20 White-fronted Geese mixed in.

The Rudda Road Flash hasn’t appeared in this blog for a while but today it had 14 White-fronted Geese, 7 Pink-footed Geese and 8 Teal while at Harwood Dale Lake there were 2 White-fronted Geese, 2 Pink-footed Geese, a Pintail, 2 Goosander and 15 Teal.

Lastly 14 Bullfinches were seen off Long Causeway Road, Wykeham this afternoon which is certainly a noteworthy count.

Barn Owl - Cayton Carr - Steve Race

female Scaup (rear) - The Mere - Steve Race

Sunday 12 February 2017

Sunday 12th February 2017

Well the weather today was not conducive to looking for birds but a few intrepid observers braved the elements and produced the following sightings.

At Long Nab today with a strong ENE wind and rain/sleet the highlights were all going south and consisted of a Black-throated Diver, 2 Velvet Scoter, an Eider and a Bonxie. At Johnson’s Marsh today there was a ♂ Goosander (early on) and 77 Wigeon and down in the harbour 2 Black-necked Grebes and a Great Northern Diver.

4 Barnacle Geese were in the field to the east of Seamer Tip pool and there was a Peregrine over the tip. Nearby at Burton Riggs there appear to be a resident pair of Great-crested Grebes now and at Harwood Dale Lake today we had a Pintail and a Goosander.

female Scaup (back right) with Tufted Ducks - The Mere - Chris Bell

Saturday 11th February 2017

Both the Great Northern Diver and the Black-necked Grebe were seen in the harbour again today and 2 Velvet Scoters flew south past Long Nab.

On The Mere there was a ♀ Scaup with the Tufted Ducks on the western side and 3 Goldeneye, at Throxenby Mere the 3 Goosanders were still present and at Wykeham South Lake 6 Goldeneye, 37 Pochard and 18 Gadwall were counted.

To finish today there were 28 Fulmars seen on the Castle Cliffs.

female Scaup - The Mere - John Harwood

female Scaup (right) - The Mere - Nick Addey

Saturday 11 February 2017

Friday 10th February 2017

The Harbour was the venue for the 2 Black-necked Grebes and the Great Northern Diver and nearby in South Bay the 2 Long-tailed Ducks remained and there was a Common Scoter in the North Bay.

The Seamer Tip geese, the White-fronts and the Pink-feet, were in the field to the SW of the pond and at 13.30 they were joined by 5 Barnacle Geese (possibly those seen over Wykeham South Lake yesterday).

Talking of Wykeham South Lake the wildfowl count included 32 Pochards, 5 Gadwall and 5 Goldeneye and there were also 2 Stonechats here. At The Mere on Seamer Road we had 47 Tufted Duck, 2 Goldeneye and 8 Goosanders and at Holbeck there were at least 6 Mediterranean Gulls around the car park.

A couple of Little Egrets by the B1258 heading into Yedingham, and the Starlings put on another nice show for everyone today but went to roost a little earlier than yesterday.

Little Egrets - near Yedingham - Paul Tymon

Friday 10 February 2017

Thursday 9th February 2017

An interesting day today with some old favourites still present and a few things reported from some different sites.

At Wykeham South Lake today the ♀ Scaup was still present and in the company of 9 Gadwall, 30 Pochards, 3 Goldeneye, 2 Shelduck and 6 Great-crested Grebes. Also here was a Stonechat near the blind, a Little Owl along the access road to Darrell’s Low Farm and 5 Barnacle Geese flew over to the NW. Harwood Dale Lake hosted 4 White-fronted Geese, 3 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Goosanders and a Pintail.

The weather at the Wykeham Raptor View Point was less than conducive for Goshawks but there were at least 6 Crossbills in the area.

The Harbour/South Bay area had the usual crowd pleasers in the form of a Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-necked Grebes, a Long-tailed Duck, a Velvet Scoter and a Guillemot.

At Burton Riggs there was a Pochard, Seamer Tip pool hosted 23 White-fronted Geese, 3 Pink-footed Geese and a Goldeneye and on Willerby Carr there were 32 Whooper Swans (27 adults and 5 juveniles).

Other more infrequently visited areas produced 2 Goldcrests behind the Woodend Gallery, 3 Goosander on Throxenby Mere and c40 Tree Sparrows at Seamer Manor House. The Starlings entertained again this evening over Old Town and seem to be attracting a few admirers other than birders.

An interesting mammal sighting today concerned an Otter at Seamer Tip pool.

Some of the White-fronted Geese - Seamer Tip Pool - Chris Bull

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Wednesday 8th February 2017

4 Corn Buntings were seen today associating with Yellowhammers and ranging between Scalby Lodge Pond and Style Scrub.

The Wigeon flock at Scalby Mills hit a record for this year with a count of 532 and on the opposite side of North Bay one of the Black Redstarts was seen between the Oasis and the Royal Albert Drive Cafés. The Harbour was still holding on to the 2 Black-necked Grebes and a Great Northern Diver.

Also today 7 Common Buzzards were seen together over Raincliffe Woods, there were 3 Little Egrets between Yedingham and Ebberston and at Wykeham South Lake waterfowl included 9 Gadwall, 23 Pochard and 6 Great-crested Grebes.

Finally the Starlings put on a good show at dusk again.

Starling murmuration - Old Town, Scarborough - Elly Rawling

Tuesday 7th February 2017

The only news in today concerned 7 Mediterranean Gulls at Holbeck. It seems apt to include the following photos all taken at Holbeck by Chris Bell on the 4th which illustrate the different ages of this species very nicely. Thanks for the photos Chris.

1st Winter

2nd Winter

Adult Winter

Monday 6th February 2017

The Shore Larks were still present to the south of Crook Ness but they were quite wide ranging being seen as far south as the 4th field at 14.15, also the Whooper Swan was in a field to the southwest of Crook Ness today.

Long Nab today was quite productive with 11 Red-throated Divers on the sea plus 20 north and 6 south, there was a solitary Great Northern Diver on the sea, a Long-tailed Duck and an Eider went north, 276 Gannets flew south and passerines included a Reed Bunting, 2 Bramblings and 9 Rock Pipits.

Further along the coast in the harbour today there were single Black-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver, in South Bay the mixed group of sea duck remained 2 Long-tailed Ducks, 2 Velvet Scoter and 11 Common Scoter and around the Holbeck car park we had 6 Mediterranean Gulls. In Cornelian Bay there was a single Chiffchaff.

The inland sites produced 23 Pochards, 3 Gadwall and a ♂ Goldeneye at Wykeham South Lake; 4 White-fronted Geese, 3 Pink-footed Geese, a Shelduck and 5 Teal at Harwood Dale Lake and during the day at Seamer Tip pool 17 White-fronted Geese, 2 Pink-footed Geese, a Barnacle Goose, a Shelduck, a Peregrine was in a nearby field and 2 Shelducks flew over.

The murmuration of Starlings entertained again with their aerial ballet before going to roost but there is now one less as a Peregrine was also watching the spectacle.

Chiffchaff - Cornelian Bay - Chris Bull

Shelduck - Seamer Tip - Chris Bull

Tuesday 7 February 2017

Sunday 5th February 2017

There were a few thick heads this morning after last night’s Spurn Lads and Lassies on Tour annual evening in Scarborough but most made it into the field today.

Let’s start today with the 16 Shore Larks at Crook Ness in their popular field south of the car park and nearby a small group of geese including a Tundra Bean, a Pink-footed and 5 Greylags. At Long Nab the Stonechat was still present and 5 Skylarks flew south and the Whooper Swan was still present in the field by Scalby Lodge Pond. There were 2 Stonechats in Jackson’s Bay and at Scalby Mills a Chiffchaff, 8 Purple Sandpipers and a Kingfisher. In the harbour today the 2 Black-necked Grebes and Great Northern Diver proved to be quite popular, in South Bay we had 2 Long-tailed Ducks, 2 Velvet Scoter, 2 Red-throated Divers and 11 Common Scoters and in the Holbeck car park at least 5 Mediterranean Gulls at Holbeck.

A little further around the coast in Cornelian Bay it was quite productive with a Great Northern Diver, 5 Red-throated Diver, an Eider, 10 Grey Plovers, 32 Purple Sandpipers, 50 Redshank, a Velvet Scoter flew north and in the Ravine there were 7 Siskins, c60 Goldfinches and 2 Reed Buntings.

At other locations in the area we a Shelduck, 4 Goosander and a Pintail on Harwood Dale Lake, on The Mere 3♂ 3♀ Goosander and 2♂ 1♀ Goldeneye and on Brompton church pond there was a Little Egret in the trees in the early afternoon. Finally a murmuration of 4000+ Starlings were wheeling round over Old Town at dusk.

Crossbill - Geoff Dobbs

Nuthatch - Forge Valley - Geoff Dobbs

Monday 6 February 2017

Saturday 4th February 2017

3 White-fronted Geese, 3 Pink-footed Geese, a Goosander and 15 Teal were at Harwood Dale Lake today and at another area with less frequent reports, Cayton Bay, the Velvet Scoter remained and there were 3 red-throated Divers but the Common Scoter had moved on and at high tide there were 51 Oystercatchers feeding in one of the grass fields above the bay.

In the harbour today the 2 Black-necked Grebes and Great Northern Diver were still present and at The Mere there were 5 Goosander, 4 Goldeneye and 2 Kingfishers.

2 Short-eared Owls were seen between Flixton Bridge and Seamer Tip, a lot of Crossbills in Langdale Forest and finally the urban Black Redstart was seen again, this time behind Melrose Street.

Crossbill - Langale Forest - Chris Bell

Great Northern Diver - Scarborough Harbour - Chris Bell

Saturday 4 February 2017

Friday 3rd February 2017

The flock of White-fronted Geese were seen in the field to the east of Seamer Tip pool with 52 birds being present today.

The Shore Larks in the field south of Crook Ness were still present with 11 being seen coincidentally at 11.00.

At Wykeham South Lake the wildfowl count was 33 Pochards, 5 Egyptian Geese, a Shelduck, ♀ Scaup, a Teal and 2 Gadwall. Whilst on the subject of wildfowl at The Mere were 6 Goosanders, 7 Goldeneye, a Pochard and a couple of Little Grebes with 3 Pink-footed Geese in the field on Queen Margaret’s Road.

Back at the coast along Royal Albert Drive one of the Back Redstarts was seen opposite the old Royal Albert Café, in the Harbour the 2 Black-necked Grebes were still present and in South Bay there were 5 Common Scoter.

Some late news in today concerns good numbers of Bramblings, Yellowhammers, Redpolls and Crossbills in Dalby Forest.

Finally an unseasonal record of a Peacock Butterfly was reported in Cayton today.

Brambling - Dalby Forest - Graham Sigsworth

Thursday 2 February 2017

Thursday 2nd February 2017

It seems like a bit of same old same old today with most species recorded having been present for some time.

The Shore Lark flock was seen again today and this time 17 birds were recorded feeding on the southern edge of the second field to the south of Crook Ness at 11.08. Also in the same field were 2 Tundra Bean Geese and 6 Greylag Geese all at the western end and all of them very wary and just to the south the Whooper Swan was still in the Scalby Lodge Pond field.

In North Bay the 2 Black Redstarts and the Stonechat were on the sea defences opposite the Royal Albert Drive Café and a drake Eider was seen off Hairy Bob’s Skatepark. A little further down the coast in the harbour the cast included a Great Northern Diver, 2 Black-necked Grebes, a Shag and a Guillemot.

At Holbeck today 6 Mediterranean Gulls with 5 adults and a 2nd winter.

Away from the coast at Wykeham South Lake we had 6 Whooper Swans, 31 Pochards, 5 Gadwall and 61 Coot.

Whooper Swans - Wykeham South Lake - Terry Hobson

Tundra Bean Goose - Crook Ness - Steve Wignill