Wednesday 31 May 2017

Tuesday 30th May 2017

Wykeham South Lake this morning hosted a calling Cuckoo at 07.30 plus a couple of Egyptian Geese and near by a ♂ Yellow Wagtail at Darrel’s Low Farm.

There were 8 Herons today on Johnson’s Marsh and this evening a 2cy Glaucous Gull flew north at Long Nab at 17.45.

Yellow Wagtail - Darrel's Low Farm - Mike Randall

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Monday 29th May 2017

Most of the news today came in from Long Nab where there was a little passage going on despite the foggy conditions that hung around most of the day. Going past today were 3 Red-throated Divers, 22 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Turnstones, 10 Knot, 8 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, an Arctic Tern, 26 Puffins and 27 Swifts also in the area was a Little Owl and at Scalby Mills 4 Turnstones.

Little Owl - Long Nab - Nick Addey

Monday 29 May 2017

Sunday 28th May 2017

After all the excitement, all be it brief, yesterday it was a very quiet day today with very little getting reported.

The most interesting thing today was a possible dark phase Honey Buzzard that flew west over Crossgates at 13.35 and was in the company of 2 Common Buzzards for some of the observation period.

A couple of Marsh Harriers went through Long Nab today with a male flying south at 07.00 and a cream crown went north at 14.45 also at 15.38 a hybrid ‘hooded’ gull flew north and is presumed to have been a Mediterranean x Common Gull and a Goshawk was seen from the ridge over inland woods..

Here is another shot of yesterdays Red-footed Falcon 

Red-footed Falcon - Long Nab - Micky McNaghten

Sunday 28 May 2017

Saturday 27th May 2017

The undisputed highlight of the day was a brief ♀ Red-footed Falcon at Long Nab just the third record for the Scarborough area. It was only seen by two fortunate observers Chris Bradshaw and Micky McNaghten and this is how Chris describes the discovery "A quiet ringing session at Long Nab this morning was enlivened considerably by the appearance at ca 08.45 of this female Red-footed Falcon. Initially seen flying south over the middle plantation and farm buildings, and suspecting it may have landed, we made a lung bursting run up the hill and to our delight Micky soon found it perched in a tree. Although it looked settled, disappointingly it chose not to linger very long and we last saw it at 09.05 as it flew towards Rocks Lane." Other birders arrived soon after this having come from Wykeham South Lake and Osgodby but despite searching the surrounding area the bird could not be relocated. Then news came in of this or another female being seen by James Spencer et al drifting west at 10.30 from the Wykeham Raptor View Point surely the chances of this being a different bird must be fairly slim. Apart from this bird Long Nab was fairly quiet with a few hirundines and Swifts moving south being the only evidence today of any migration.

I have already mentioned the ♀ Red-footed Falcon at the Wykeham Raptor View Point and in addition to this bird a ♀ Montagu’s Harrier went east at 15.20, this is the first record for the year of this species in our area since the ID of the bird on the 21st April has now been withdrawn by the original observer at Hunmanby. The supporting cast here included 4+ Goshawks, 2 Red Kites and a few Kestrels, Sparrowhawks and Buzzards and just down the road at the Wykeham Nurseries there were 2 Turtle Doves present.

Other things of note in the area today were a Red Kite that went west over Hutton Buscel at 16.30, the cream crowned Marsh Harrier was still at Potter Brompton Carr but viewable from the Rushton Carr bridge where it was almost constantly on view either side of midday, a small falcon flew east over Crossgates at 13.10, at High Moor in Wykeham Forest a Red Kite and a ‘ringtail’ Harrier went over Low Moor at 16.00.

Red-footed Falcon - Long Nab - Chris Bradshaw
Reed Warbler - Seamer Tip pool - Dave Mansell

Friday 26th May 2017

A Short-eared Owl was seen early this morning hunting over Long Nab just to the north of the cover crop, a Sedge Warbler (new species for the ringing site) and a Willow Warbler were the only migrants trapped today and movement included 25 Swift, a single Sand Martin, 97 Swallows and 58 House Martins south and a Siskin went north.

At Potter Brompton Carr the cream crowned Marsh Harrier was still on site and Cuckoo, Yellow Wagtail, Teal and a post breeding flock of 22 Lapwings plus a pair with at least one chick were also present.  

Red-legged Partridge - Ebberston - Terry Hobson

Thursday 25th May 2017

Unfortunately the nice weather is not proving too good for migrants at the moment but there are still a few things trickling through. The best birds today were an Osprey at Wykeham South Lake and an acredula (northern) type Willow Warbler was trapped and ringed at Long Nab.

Also at Wykeham South Lake this morning was a Little Egret, a Barn Owl and a Yellow Wagtail and near Long Nab there was a new Grasshopper Warbler at Scalby Lodge in Trough Gully, the second north of the pond.

A 3 hour period at Wykeham Raptor View Point this morning failed to produce any Honey Buzzards but there were Goshawk, Sparrowhawk and 5 Common Buzzards.

Finally today in Wykeham Forest 2 churring Nightjars and 2+ Woodcock were seen at the ‘shrike clearing’ and at the clearing on Moor Road at least 3 Nightjars were seen and 2+ Woodcock as well.

Shelduck - Johnson's Marsh - Terry Hobson
Little Owl - Chris Bell

Wednesday 24th May 2017

Another day with very little news but we did get the second Quail for the area this year, a bird that was heard calling distantly to the east of Harwood Dale Lake.

A cream-crowned Marsh Harrier was at Potter Brompton Carr but could be viewed from the Rushton Carr bridge and is presumably the same bird that was reported from the same location on the 1st May.

In the Seamer area there was a ‘Greenland’ Wheatear on the east side of Seamer Tip, a Yellow Wagtail on Star Carr and 2 Reed Warblers by the 3 ponds at Seamer Tip.

'Greenland' Wheatear - Seamer Tip - Mick Francis
Tree Pipit - Harwood Dale Forest - John Harwood

Tuesday 23rd May 2017

A very early morning excursion, 03.40 to 07.00, in Dalby Forest produced Nightjar at Flainsey Rigg, a Turtle Dove at Flax Dale and in the Haygate area 10 Crossbills, 8 Garden Warblers and a couple of Tree Pipits.

The only other news today concerned a pair of Turtle Doves seen by the roadside to the north of Cloughton.

Spotted Flycatcher - Hilla Green - Mike Randall

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 and some late news in concerns two singing Marsh Warblers at the eastern end of Seamer Tip pool at 13.45.

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