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May 2011 Sightings

31st May 2011 - Monday

Sea-watch 06.00 – 10.00, 16.10 – 17.10. A sunny and warm day with a few clouds and spots of rain late morning, the wind started W 3-4 dropped in strength and veered round to the SE by mid afternoon.


A few new migrants dropped in but nothing out of the ordinary: 1 Cuckoo, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Stonechat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler, 5 Spotted Flycatcher and a Corn Bunting.


Most activity was again over the sea in the morning: 6 Greylag Geese, 2 Eider, 135 Common Scoter, 6 Red-throated Diver, 23 Fulmar, 153 Manx Shearwater, 725 Gannet, 2 Cormorant, the first Bonxie of the year flew north, 360 Kittiwake, 11 Sandwich Tern, 485 auk sp, 16 Guillemot, 59 Razorbill and 2 Puffin.


North of the area a Little Stint was still at Beacon Ponds and 2 Spotted Flycatchers were on Beacon Lane.

30th May 2011

Sea-watch 06.15 – 10.40, 14.30 – 15.30. A clear start but rain by 7am and in for the day, although only light drizzle at times, it finally started to clear and the sun came out late evening, a cool NW-N force 3-1 wind.


An uneventful day, the best bird being a Canada Goose! Over the sea were 78 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver, 5 Fulmar, 91 Gannet, 1 Grey Heron, 46 Kittiwake, 11 Sandwich Tern, 3 Common Tern, 103 auk sp, 36 Razorbill.


Other birds seen included 6 Greylag Geese, 4 Teal, 1 Water Rail, 5 Whimbrel, 1 Cuckoo, 5 Swift, 2 flava Wagtail, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 10 Siskin.


North of the area there were 6 Teal and 2 Little Stints on Beacon Ponds.

Little Egret. Martin Standley

Little Egret. Martin Standley

29th May 2011 - Sunday

Migration-watch 05.00 – 09.30, sea-watches 06.35 – 08.10, 18.00 – 19.00. A cold grey day with a fresh force 4-5 W wind, some sunny spells in the evening which was the best part of the day.


Another female Red-necked Phalarope was at Beacon Ponds from 11.25 to 13.00 when it flew off south and over the recording area, also a Barn Owl in the Triangle in the evening, gave us a new May record for the number of species seen in the recording area – 176, beating the incredible May of 2008. Also at Beacon Ponds were 3 Little Stints.


The only migrants seen today were 1 Cuckoo, 107 Swift S, 1 Sand Martin S, 91 Swallow S, 24 House Martin S, singles of Wheatear, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Spotted Flycatcher, Crossbill and Corn Bunting.


There was some activity over the sea 1 Tufted Duck, 21 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver, 5 Fulmar, 73 Manx Shearwater, 85 Gannet, 3 Grey Heron, 24 Kittiwake, 10 Sandwich Tern, 156 auk sp and 32 Razorbill.

adult female Red-necked Phalarope

adult female Red-necked Phalarope

Little Stint

Little Stint

28th May 2011 - Saturday

Sea-watches 06.15 - 09.00, 17.50 - 19.00. Showers in the morning petering out leaving long sunny spells, a force 3-5 W wind,


The second BLACK KITE of the spring flew south at 15.00 hrs, it cut out north of Chalk Bank heading for Lincolnshire. The only other birds of note were 2 Gadwall, 4 Fulmar, 30 Manx Shearwater, 630 Knot, a Little Stint, a Curlew Sadnpiper (at Beacon Ponds and later Chalk Bank), 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Arctic Skua, 204 auk sp, 72 Razorbill, 3 Puffin. a Turtle Dove, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Wheatear adna Chiffchaff.

Black Kite. Tom Mabbett

Black Kite. Tom Mabbett

Black Kite. Tom Mabbett

Black Kite. Tom Mabbett

Turtle Dove. Andy Roadhouse

Turtle Dove. Andy Roadhouse

Turtle Dove. Andy Roadhouse

Turtle Dove. Andy Roadhouse

27th May 2011 - Friday

Sea-watches 05.30 – 10.15, 13.30 – 16.30. A cloudy day with rain showers moving through all day and some very heavy, a light variable wind from N right round to SE.


Most activity was over the sea: 9 Common Scoter, 7 Red-throated Diver, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 38 Fulmar (inc 1 blue), 86 Manx Shearwater, 604 Gannet, 761 Kittiwake, 4 Sandwich Tern, 855 auk sp, 141 Razorbill, 5 Guillemot, 7Puffin.


The only other birds noted were 51 Brent Geese + 3 pale-bellied; 1 Water Rail, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Cuckoo, 50 Swift, 26 Swallow, 14 House Martin, 2 flava Wagtail, 1 Wheatear, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler.

Common Sandpiper. Sue Hepton

Common Sandpiper. Sue Hepton

26th May 2011 - Thursday

Migration-watch 05.15-12.00, 15.00 – 16.45, sea-watch 14.00 – 15.00, 16.15 - 17.30. Cloudy with a few sunny spells in the morning and early afternoon, then some heavy rain spells in the afternoon and evening, a force 3 S-SW wind.


Today’s best bird was a Spoonbill which flew south at 14.35, it was a better day for passage and moving south were 3 Gadwall, 7 Tufted Duck, 1 Eider, 10 Common Scoter, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk, 6 Kestrel, 40 Grey Plover out east, 1 Lapwing, 8 Bar-tailed Godwit in, 1 Curlew, 8 Whimbrel N, 1 Common Sandpiper in, 102 Swift, 3 Sand Martin, 280 Swallow, 540 House Martin, 6 flava Wagtail, 12 Chaffinch, 18 Goldfinch, 14 Linnet.


Grounded birds included 1 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 acredula Willow Warbler, 3 Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Siskin.


Seabirds today: 5 Red-throated Diver, 8 Fulmar, 12 Manx Shearwater, 341 Gannet, 1 Cormorant, 7 Kittiwake, 12 Sandwich Tern, 231 auk sp, 46 Razorbill, 1 Puffin.


Other birds of interest included only the 3rd Little Grebe of the year, a very unseasonal Water Rail, 3 Little Egret and a Hobby. There was no sign of the Tawny Pipit today.

Wheatear. Tim Jump

Wheatear. Tim Jump

25th May 2011 - Wednesday

Migration-watch 05.10 – 11.45, sea-watch 14.30 – 17.15. A bright and sunny morning and cloudy afternoon, almost still to start then a light SSE wind picked up to force 2 possibly 3 at times.


New arrivals today included 2 Bullfinch at the Warren and a Long-eared Owl in Church Field, we had hoped a few more birds may have been found in the afternoon but the only migrants seen included 1 Cuckoo, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Redstart, 1 Wheatear, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 acredula Willow Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher.


A first-summer Montagu’s Harrier flew south then returned back north-west and was the same bird as on Monday, other birds moving included 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit out, 2 Collared Dove, 3 Swift,52 Swallow, 66 House Martin, 2 flava Wagtail, 2 Jackdaw, 29 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 22 Linnet, 1 Crossbill N over Kew.


Over the sea there were 3 Eider, 8 Common Scoter, 4 Red-throated Diver, 1 Fulmar, 77 Gannet, 1 Little Gull, 9 Kittiwake, 2 Sandwich Tern, 962 auk sp and 9 Puffin. While the Tawny Pipit was reported again from Easington Lagoon, also there was 2 Avocet and the Curlew Sandpiper. A Quail was seen briefly south of Beacon Ponds hide.

Quail. SBO

Quail. SBO

imm male Montagu's Harrier. SBO

imm male Montagu's Harrier. SBO

24th May 2011 - Tuesday

Migration/sea-watch 06.00 – 12.15, 15.00 – 17.15. Cloudy with long sunny spells, but still very windy with a force 5-6 W wind.


There was a lot more migration activity today, particularly raptors which included the first Honey Buzzard of the year as well as a Common Buzzard, 6 Marsh Harriers, 1 Sparrowhawk, and 1 Kestrel. A Hooded Crow flew south and a Crossbill flew north while other birds moving south were 12 Brent Geese out east, 1 Grey Heron in, 50 Dunlin out east, 84 Swift, 79 Swallow, 196 House Martin, 7 flava Wagtail, 9 Jackdaw, 10 Chaffinch, 14 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 27 Linnet.


The only grounded migrants were 1 Turtle Dove, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler.


North of the area the Tawny Pipit was still at Easington Lagoon also there was a Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Crossbills flew NW over.

Hooded Crow

Hooded Crow

Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

23rd May 2011 - Monday

Sea-watch 05.45 – 10.45, 14.50 – 17.05, Mainly cloudy but a heavy rain shower late afternoon followed by a pleasant sunny evening, a strong force 5 gusting 7 S-SSW wind.


Today’s action was all north of the Observatory recording area: the Tawny Pipit was still at Easington Lagoon in the morning and while looking for the bird in the evening a female Red-necked Phalarope flew into Easington Lagoons for half an hour before flying out east with some Dunlins at 19.00, a immature male Montagu’s Harrier was then seen quartering fields in Kilnsea before returning back north and may have gone to roost in the fields.


The only migrants seen today were 1 Marsh Harrier, 38 Swift, 26 Swallow, 29 House Martin all south, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Lesser Redpoll at the Point.


Over the sea were 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver, 6 Fulmar, 4 Manx Shearwater, 76 Gannet, 18 Kittiwake, 2 Common Tern, 480 auk sp, 23 Guillemot, 87 Razorbill.

adult female Red-necked Phalarope. Steve Exley

adult female Red-necked Phalarope. Steve Exley

Red-necked Phalarope

Red-necked Phalarope

imm male Montagu's Harrier. SBO

imm male Montagu's Harrier. SBO

imm male Montagu's Harrier. SBO

imm male Montagu's Harrier. SBO

22nd May 2011 - Sunday

Migration/sea-watch 05.30 – 18.00, cloudy with sunny spells but a force 5-6 WSW wind, which made looking for migrants difficult.


The Tawny Pipit was still at Easington Lagoon but the only other migrants seen were 2 Turtle Dove, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 male Blue-headed Wagtail in Sheep Field, 1 Wheatear, 1 Chiffchaff and 2 Spotted Flycatchers.


There were a few birds moving (mostly south) which included 58 Brent Geese out, 12 Scaup, 6 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 8 Fulmar, 29 Manx Shearwater, 19 Gannet, 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Avocet, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Glaucous Gull, 72 auk sp, 9 Collared Dove, 418 Swift, 2 Sand Martin, 432 Swallow, 265 House Martin, 4 flava Wagtail, 4 Goldfinch, 31 Linnet and 11 Crossbill which flew NW.


Other birds of note seen were 4 Little Egret, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper.

a 'spanking' Grey Plover

a 'spanking' Grey Plover

Ringed Plover

Ringed Plover

21st May 2011 - Saturday

Migration watch 05.20 – 16.00, a mainly bright and sunny day with some cloudy spells, a force 4-5 SSW-SW wind.


Today’s highlight was our first ever spring Pectoral Sandpiper which flew off Clubley’s Scrape south but was then found on Beacon Ponds where it spent about 10 minutes before flying off south where it appeared to land on Canal Scrape, it was later seen on Clubley’s again before flying back to Beacon Ponds in the evening.


A steady trickle of migrants included 19 Brent Geese out east, 16 Shelduck out eat, 5 Manx Shearwater, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Avocet, 72 Dunlin out, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit out, 4 Turnstone out, 19 Razorbill, 24 Swift, 4 Sand Martin, 287 Swallow, 323 House Martin, 4 flava Wagtail, 2 Jackdaw, 3 Carrion Crow, 14 Chaffinch, 20 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 24 Linnet.


Grounded migrants were probably all lingerers: 1 Turtle Dove, 2 Cuckoo, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Black Redstart, 2 Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 1 Reed Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, 9 Spotted Flycatcher.


Also the Tawny Pipit was still present at Easington Lagoons and a Little Gull was at Beacon Ponds.

adult Pectoral Sandpiper. SBO

adult Pectoral Sandpiper. SBO

Spotted Flycatcher. Rich Swales

Spotted Flycatcher. Rich Swales

20th May 2011 - Friday

Migration watch 05.20 – 16.30, a cloudy start then a few clear spells and heavy clouds in the afternoon, a fresh WSW force 3-4.


Passage was light again but did include a ‘green’ Golden Oriole south past the Warren at 07.00 and a Crossbill U-turned back north shortly afterwards, then in the afternoon 2 Cranes flew north over Kilnsea, another addition to the year list bringing the total to 204. Also moving south were 2 Barnacle Geese N, 2 Eider N, 12 Common Scoter N, 3 Marsh Harriers + 1 in, taking the total to 103 through this spring so far, the average total for a spring is 40 and the best previous was 71 last year; 1 Kestrel +1 in, 1 Merlin, 2 Curlew out, 45 Swift + 5 in, 6 Sand Martin, 405 Swallow, 160 House Martin, 3 flava Wagtail, 10 Jackdaw, 11 Chaffinch, 14 Goldfinch, 28 Linnet.


Another small arrival of migrants, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Redstart, 4 Whinchat, 5 Wheatear, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 5 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 10 Spotted Flycatcher.


There were a few birds seen over the sea: 1 Red-throated Diver, 5 Fulmar, 42 Gannet, 5 Cormorant, 93 auk sp, 6 Guillemot, 1 Razorbill, 1 Puffin, while north of the area the Tawny Pipit was still present at Easington Lagoon

Small Elephant Hawk-moth. Rich Swales

Small Elephant Hawk-moth. Rich Swales

19th May 2011 - Thursday

Migration watch 05.15 –14.00, clear skies in the morning with cloud building in the afternoon and some sunny spells, a force 3 W wind backed to a force 2 SE wind in the afternoon.


The Tawny Pipit was seen again in the afternoon, but this time a little nearer the Little Tern colony, if visiting the area PLEASE stay away from the fenced off areas.


Passage was light but yet another 2 Red-rumped Swallows flew south, the first at 06.15 past the Narrows, the next feeding at the Warren before flying off south at 12.25. Other birds moving south included 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Ringed Plover out, 2 Curlew out, 15 Swift, S1 and Martin, 445 Swallow, 115 House Martin, 4 f lava Wagtail, 25 Goldfinch, 21 Linnet.


A small arrival of migrants in the afternoon included a Hobby, 1 Short-eared Owl, 5 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 6 Spotted Flycatcher.

Little Egret

Little Egret

18th May 2011 - Wednesday

Migration watch 05.05 – 13.00, mainly cloudy in the morning, a few heavy showers early afternoon then clearing to leave a pleasant evening, a fresh force 4 SW wind.


A much quieter day with just a few migrants arriving in the afternoon which included 3 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Whinchat, 6 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Spotted Flycatcher.


There was a steady trickle of Swallows moving south which totaled 664, other birds moving south included 2 Tufted Duck, 9 Eider N, 1 Little Egret, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 1st yr Mediterranean Gull, 9 Sandwich Tern, 12 Swift + 47 NW, 3 Sand Martin, 213 House Martin, 2 Tree Pipit, 5 flava Wagtail, 1 Rook, 35 Chaffinch, 28 Goldfinch, 36 Linnet.

17th May 2011 - Tuesday

Migration watch 05.15 – 17.50. Mainly cloudy all day, a W-WSW wind force 3-2.


The Tawny Pipit was still at Easington Lagoons, where it was trapped and ringed and still showing after its release. Also north of the area there were 2 Ring Ouzels at Sammy’s Point.


A Bee-eater flew south over the Warren at 08.20 and cut out to sea heading straight for Lincolnshire where it was lost to view, one found feeding over the Triangle an hour later could have been the same and hung around for a while late morning, then disappeared before being seen flying west over Willow Cottage in Easington in the evening. There was a handful of grounded migrants: 1 Ring Ouzel and Tree Pipit at the Warren, Spotted and Pied Flycatcher at Kew, Turtle Dove at Wire Dump, 2 Cuckoo, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Wheatear and 1 Chiffchaff.


Moving south were 1 Little Egret, 3 Marsh Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard sp, 1 Kestrel, 3 Ringed Plover out, 68 Dunlin out, 8 Whimbrel in and 1 out, 3 Turnstone out, 2 Swift NW, 1 Sand Martin, 1220 Swallow, 178 House Martin, 10 flava Wagtail, 2 Rook, 7 Goldfinch, 40 Linnet.

Bee-eater. Steve Exley

Bee-eater. Steve Exley

Bee-eater

Bee-eater

Tawny Pipit. Steve Exley

Tawny Pipit. Steve Exley

Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher

16th May 2011 - Monday

Migration watch. Rain to start then stopped mid-morning but remained cloudy, a stiff W-WNW wind made birding difficult.


The Tawny Pipit was still at Easington Lagoons, please DO NOT go walking in the dry bare ground where the bird feeds as there are several breeding birds in the area.


An Osprey stopped briefly at Beacon Ponds before flying south along the peninsula, otherwise it was a quiet day and the only birds seen were 35 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Fulmar, 1 Little Egret, 3 Grey Heron, 1 Hobby, 4 Razorbill, 14 Guillemot, 5 Swift, 10 Sand Martin, 150 Swallow, 6 House Martin, 1 male Blue-headed Wagtail, 2 Wheatear, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff.

Osprey. SBO

Osprey. SBO

15th May 2011 - Sunday

Migration watch 05.15 –16.00. Cloudy for most of the day and a few spots of rain, a force 3 gusting 4 at times WNW wind.


On a day when very little was expected 2 Quail were heard and seen in Clubley’s Field, however north of the area, a Golden Oriole was found at Sammy’s Point and while people were looking for that a Bee-eater was seen moving NW. Last nights Water Pipit was still at the south-east end of Easington Lagoon and then a TAWNY PIPIT was found at the north-west end on the dry sandy ground. As if this wasn’t enough, the WHITE-TAILED EAGLE was reported flying south over Hornsea, and a expectant crowd (particularly the regulars who had missed the last mid-week bird!) gathered by the Warren and eventually it cut out over the Humber from Sammy’s Point heading towards Lincolnshire, taking the Observatory year list up to 202.


Passage was fairly light and included 2 Tufted Duck, 3 Marsh Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Common Buzzard, 5 Whimbrel out, 5 Swift, 4 Sand Martin, 661 Swallow, 21 House Martin, 4 flava Wagtail, 23 Jackdaw, 11 Rook, 1 Carrion Crow, 10 Chaffinch, 36 Linnet.


Other birds seen of interest were 1 Great Crested Grebe, 800 Grey Plover, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 15 Kittiwake, 2 Cuckoo, 1 White Wagtail, 3 Wheatear, 3 Chiffchaff.

Tawny Pipit. Martin Standley

Tawny Pipit. Martin Standley

14th May 2011 - Saturday

Migration watch 0600 - 1700. A mixed day with a brisk WNW wind and occasional showers late in the day.


The highlight of the day was a Corncrake which flew in off the sea landing in the warren bushes, then flew across the road into thick buckthorn, the 1st spring record since 1992. A juvenile Male Montagu's Harrier flew south in the morning as did another 3 Red-rumped Swallow at 1600.


Also moving south were 2 Barnacle Geese, 2 Shelduck, 8 Common Scoter, 134 Gannet + 8 nth, 8 Cormorant, 6 Marsh Harrier, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Kestrel, 1 Lapwing, 1 Arctic Skua out east, 54 Auk sp + 5 nth, 1 Stock Dove, 1 Turtle Dove, 27 sand Martin, 1445 Swallow, 276 House Martin, 2 Tree pipit, 8 Flava, male Blue-headed wagtail nth and later seen at Beacon Ponds, 16 Jackdaw, 5 Rook, 4 Carrion Crow, 5 Chaffinch, 21 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 72 Linnet. Due to the wind very little was seen on the ground but birds seen inc 1 Cuckoo, 6 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Stonechat, 3 Wheatear, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Chiff-chaff whilst on the Humber there was a Curlew Sandpiper and a Peregrine. Late in the day a Water Pipit was found at beacon Ponds.

13th May 2011 - Friday

Migration watch 05.00 –18.00. Broken clouds in the morning and clouding over with light rain showers in the evening, a force 2 W wind for most of the day.


A quieter day but still a Serin flew south in the morning, a Montagu’s Harrier flew south before turning west up river in the afternoon and 2 Wood Sandpipers flew south during the day, as did 1059 Swallows. Other birds moving south included 3 Tufted Duck, 1 Goosander out, 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Sparrowhawk, 11 Oystercatcher, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 14 Whimbrel out, 160 Kittiwake, 3 Swift, 5 Sand Martin, 91 House Martin, 12 flava Wagtail, 6 Jackdaw, 1 Rook, 17 Chaffinch, 18 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 21 Linnet.


Other migrants seen were 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Black Redstart, 2 Redstart, 1 ‘Continental’ Stonechat, 3 Wheatear, 1 Garden Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Corn Bunting.

Montagu's Harrier. Garry Taylor

Montagu's Harrier. Garry Taylor

Greenshank. Mick Sharpe

Greenshank. Mick Sharpe

12th May 2011 - Thursday

Migration watch 05.10 –18.30. Clear start then clouds building with some long sunny spells, a fresh force 3-4 SW-W wind.


The bird of the day went to Spurns’ third BLACK KITE (last in 1995), which flew south over the Humber and crossed the peninsula at the Sheep Field, continued to the Point then left low over the water heading for Tetney in Lincolnshire at 11am. At last, a Red-rumped Swallow that hung around for everyone to catch up with and finally after 11 other birds, we managed to photograph this bird, it flew south as far as the Warren then returned north feeding with hirundines over the fields, last seen heading for Sammy’s Point. A Firecrest appeared to come in off the sea at the Narrows and move off south and a Black Redstart was at the Point.


Other migrants present included 3 Common Sandpiper, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 White Wagtail, 1 ‘Continental’ Stonechat, 5 Wheatear, 1 Fieldfare, 6 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 7 Chiffchaff, 8 Willow Warbler.


Swallows were moving in lesser numbers today but still 1785 flew south, while other birds on the move (south unless stated) included 13 Brent Geese flew out east (inc a pale-bellied), 3 Little Egret, 1 escaped Harris Hawk, 3 Marsh Harrier + 1 NW, 6 Sparrowhawk, 1 Common Buzzard + 1 NW, the first Osprey of the year at17.35 brought the Observatory year list to 200; 2 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 1 Hobby, 1 Peregrine, 6 Ringed Plover out, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit out, 6 Curlew out, 1 Stock Dove, 16 Swift + 4 NW, 7 Sand Martin, 68 House Martin, 16 flava Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 9 Jackdaw, 10 Rook, 23 Carrion Crow, 17 Chaffinch, 22 Goldfinch, 1 Redpoll, 41 Linnet, 1 Yellowhammer.

Red-rumped Swallow. SBO

Red-rumped Swallow. SBO

Osprey.SBO

Osprey.SBO

Hobby. SBO

Hobby. SBO

Common Sandpiper. Adam Hutt

Common Sandpiper. Adam Hutt

11th May 2011 - Wednesday

Migration watch 05.30 – 17.00. Broken clouds with long sunny spells, in a force 3-1 SW-NW wind.


Two more additions to the Observatory year list in the form of a Nightingale which was found in a mist-net at the Warren and not seen after release, also a Woodlark landed in the saltmarsh off the Warren but not seen again, although there was a report later in the day from Sammy’s Point. A drake Garganey was flushed off Church Field pond early morning and then was seen on Canal Scrape; two more Red-rumped Swallows flew south at 10.25 and 14.40 taking the total to 11 so far this year, also the fifth Montagu’s Harrier of the year flew south at 16.45, this time a first summer bird.


Yet more Swallows on the move - 3356, other birds moving south (unless stated otherwise) included 8 Tufted Duck, 6 Eider, 6 Little Egret, 11 Marsh Harrier, 7 Sparrowhawk, 7 Kestrel, 3 Merlin, 1 Hobby, 1 Peregrine, 2 Lapwing, 7 Grey Plover out, 30 Dunlin, out, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit out, 2 Whimbrel out, 3 Curlew out, 3 Common Tern, 1 Stock Dove, 93 Swift, 1 Skylark, 20 Sand Martin, 155 House Martin, 1 Tree Pipit, 19 flava Wagtail, 22 Jackdaw, 13 Rook, 17 Carrion Crow, 3 Tree Sparrow, 22 Chaffinch, 46 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 72 Linnet and 3 Corn Bunting.


Other migrants included 1 Turtle Dove, 1 Whinchat, a pair of ‘Continental’ Stonechat, 10 Wheatear, 3 Sedge Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 6 Willow Warbler, 3 Spotted Flycatcher.

Nightingale. Sue Hepton

Nightingale. Sue Hepton

10th May 2011 - Tuesday

Migration watch 0505 - 1900. A fine sunny day with a brisk SW wind all day with the threat of heavy showers late on.


Another day and still more birds pouring south, and with them the highlights were another 3 Red-rumped Swallow, a female Montagu’s Harrier, ring tail Hen Harrier, Spoonbill and a Jay which went back north. Also going south unless stated were 3 Little Egret, 5 Marsh Harrier +1 u turned, 8 Sparrowhawk, 12 Kestrel, Peregrine, 8 Whimbrel +4 out, 5 Curlew out, 1 Greenshank, 72 Black-headed Gull, 21 LBBG, 1 Turtle Dove, 89 Swift, 28 Sand Martin, 5,242 Swallow, 284 House Martin, 23 Flava, 13 Jackdaw, 2 Rook, 15 Carrion Crow, 22 Chaffinch, 50 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 113 Linnet and 4 Corn Bunting.


Grounded migrants were thin on the ground but a Quail was on the beach at the narrows and a Wood Sandpiper on clubleys scrape whilst totals were 2 Stonechat, 3 Whinchat, 7 Wheatear, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 6 Chiff-chaff, 10 Willow Warbler and 4 Spotted Flycatcher.

Spoonbill. SBO

Spoonbill. SBO

Marsh Harrier. SBO

Marsh Harrier. SBO

Incurvaria oehlmanniella. A first for VC61. Barry Spence

Incurvaria oehlmanniella. A first for VC61. Barry Spence

9th May 2011 - Monday

Migration watch 05.00 – 17.15. Broken clouds with long sunny spells and a few thunder storms and rain showers passing through late afternoon, a cool force 2-3 S –SE wind picking up a little when the storms picked up.


A superb day for visible migration for both quantity and quality, 103 species were recorded in the area today 60 of them flying south or east. Firstly the quality and all flying south – a Serin at 06.30; 11 Barnacle Geese at 06.40; a 3rd year male Montagu’s Harrier at 07.00; a Shore Lark at 07.40; a Spoonbill at 09.05; a male Grey-headed Wagtail at 10.00; a Red-rumped Swallow at 11.40 and finally a male Red-footed Falcon which drifted south across the Humber catching insects as it headed towards the Point, but probably continued to Lincolnshire at 14.10.


It was another very good day for Swallow passage – 4468, other birds moving south (unless stated otherwise) included 10 Shelduck, 2 Gadwall, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Scaup, 3 Little Egret N, 4 Grey Heron, 10 Marsh Harrier, 10 Sparrowhawk, 5 Kestrel, 1 Merlin, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Lapwing, 3 Whimbrel out, 2 Greenshank, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Arctic Skua out, 5 Arctic Tern out, 2 Stock Dove, 7 Swift, 3 Skylark, 25 Sand Martin, 190 House Martin, 1 Tree Pipit, 35 flava Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 alba Wagtail, 16 Jackdaw, 8 Rook, 29 Carrion Crow, 31 Chaffinch, 62 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 87 Linnet and 5 Corn Bunting.


Other migrants included 1 Tree Pipit, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Whinchat, a pair of ‘Continental’ Stonechat, 11 Wheatear, 1 dead Ring Ouzel, 2 Sedge Warbler, 6 Reed Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 17 Willow Warbler, 4 Spotted Flycatcher.

Montagu's Harrier. SBO

Montagu's Harrier. SBO

Montagu's Harrier. SBO

Montagu's Harrier. SBO

Sarrowhawk. SBO

Sarrowhawk. SBO

8th May 2011 - Sunday

Migration watch 06.15 – 20.00. Overnight rain continuing until 09.30 but remaining mainly cloudy for most of the morning then clearing to leave a warm sunny afternoon, a SSE wind force 3, slowly back to the SSW by the afternoon.


The main feature of the day was the constant stream of Swallows pouring south, the previous record was 5000 set on 19th May 2002, today the record was obliterated when 12,334 were counted moving south. Also on the move (south unless stated) were 2 Wigeon, 1 Gadwall, 5 Scaup, 50 Common Scoter, 83 Gannet, 4 Marsh Harrier, 3 Hobby, 1 Avocet, 7 Grey Plover + 8 out, 2 Lapwing, 7 Knot, 9 Dunlin + 39 out, 2 Black-tailed Godwit out, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit out, 14 Whimbrel out and 5 in, 2 Curlew out, 1 Arctic Skua out, 82 Black-headed Gull, 31 Lesser B.B.Gull, 5 Kittiwake, 94 Little Tern, 6 Black Tern out, 41 Common Tern out, 93 Arctic Tern out, 1 Puffin, 168 Swift, 122 Sand Martin, 414 House Martin, another Red-rumped Swallow, 36 flava Wagtail, 3 Chaffinch, 60 Goldfinch, 22 Linnet and 1 Yellowhammer.


The hoped for fall of migrants never materialized, although there were quite a few new migrants in, including the first Pied Flycatcher in the Obs recording area, other migrant totals were 1 Cuckoo, 6 Yellow Wagtail, 1 male Blue –headed Wagtail, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Whinchat, 3 Wheatear, 2 Redwing, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 11 Sedge Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 18 Lesser Whitethroat, 11 Chiffchaff, 14 Willow Warbler, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 redpoll sp, 1 Brambling at the Point. Two birds ‘got away’ today, a White-winged Black Tern which flew out south-east, and a Red-footed Falcon seen distantly to the north of Kilnsea, unfortunately not enough was seen on either bird to put a claim in. North of the area a Little Stint and a Little Ringed Plover were at Beacon Ponds.

7th May 2011 - Saturday

Migration watch 05.00 – 12.00. A SSE – ESE wind force 1-3, mostly cloudy with some light rain showers around mid-day and in the evening.


There was no sign of the Subalpine Warbler all day, but the good birds keep coming, todays star bird was a cracking breeding plumage RED-THROATED PIPIT in the Sheep Field, which stayed for about 10 minutes before flying off south towards Lincolnshire and just a handful of birders managed to see the little beauty. There were two more additions to the year list Spotted Flycatcher (3) and Wood Sandpiper (1 flew south). There were a few new migrants in today and totals included 2 Cuckoo, 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Whinchat, 9 Wheatear, 3 new Grasshopper Warblers, 9 Sedge Warbler, 3 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 17 Lesser Whitethroat, 8 Chiffchaff, 6 Willow Warbler, and a Lapland Bunting at the Point.


There was some good passage again, flying out east were 3 Barnacle Geese, 2 Fulmar, 12 Grey Plover, 47 Knot, 60 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Little Gull, 8 Kittiwake, 3 Sandwich Tern, 276 Arctic Tern, 10 Common Tern, 15 Black Tern, while going south were 1 Teal, 4 Shag, a superb male Montagu’s Harrier, 5 Marsh Harrier, 1 Hobby, 4 Greenshank, 61 Swift, 13 Sand Martin, 1200 Swallow, 39 House Martin, 12 flava Wagtail, 3 Jackdaw, 5 Chaffinch, 43 Goldfinch, 32 Linnet, 6 Corn Bunting.


Other birds of note included 1 Little Egret, 1 Merlin, 13 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpiper.

Montagu's Harrier. Gareth Picton

Montagu's Harrier. Gareth Picton

The 16th Grasshopper Warbler ringed this spring, more than we usually see during a normal year. Andy Roadhouse

The 16th Grasshopper Warbler ringed this spring, more than we usually see during a normal year. Andy Roadhouse

6th May 2011

Migration watch 05.00 – 12.00. A SSE wind force 3 soon dropped left a pleasant but cloudy day with some mist in the morning.


The first-summer female Subalpine Warbler was still at the Warren and again showed well at times. There were two additions to the year list when 2 Roseate Terns flew out east (the earliest record by 20 days), and a Curlew Sandpiper was at Chalk Bank, otherwise there didn’t appear to by many new migrants in: 1 Cuckoo, 12 Yellow Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Whinchat, 8 Wheatear, 3 Blackcap, 9 Chiffchaff, 12 Willow Warbler.


Birds moving south included 2 Pintail, 2 Tufted Duck, 3 Marsh Harrier, 2 Hobby, 2 Lapwing, 4 Whimbrel out, 1 Black, 3 Common and 14 Arctic Tern out, 12 Swift, 2 Skylark, 43 Sand Martin, 1170 Swallow, 40 House Martin, 33 flava Wagtail, 1 Chaffinch, 85 Goldfinch, 2 Siskin, 54 Linnet.


Other birds of note included 1 Merlin, 26 Whimbre and 1 Greenshank. North of the area a Common Buzzard and a Hobby were seen near Long Bank and a Redstart and Whinchat were at Sammy’s Point.

Subalpine Warbler. Richard Willison

Subalpine Warbler. Richard Willison

5th May 2011 - Thursday

Migration watch 05.00 – 15.00. Cloudy for most of the day although a few breaks occasionally revealed a little sunshine, a fresh SSE-SE force 3-4 wind.


The first-summer female Subalpine Warbler was still at the Warren, and showed well at times, otherwise it was fairly quiet for migrants 9 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Whinchat, 10 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap, 7 Chiffchaff, 11 Willow Warbler.


Birds moving south included 2 Marsh Harrier, 3 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 3 Lapwing, 9 Common and 29 Arctic Tern out, 4 Stock Dove, 5 Swift, 2 Skylark, 54 Sand Martin, 1150 Swallow, 26 House Martin, 1 Tree Pipit, 22 flava Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Jackdaw, 2 Rook, 2 Chaffinch, 119 Goldfinch, 7 Siskin, 74 Linnet and a Corn Bunting.


Other birds of note included 1 Merlin, 200 Sanderling, 22 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank and 1 Puffin.

Subalpine Warbler. SBO

Subalpine Warbler. SBO

4th May 2011 - Wednesday

Migration watch 05.00 – 16.00, a cool sunny morning with early frost and light E wind, with a nice sunny afternoon. The Subalpine warbler was still showing on and off at the warren whilst there was also a small arrival of migrants in the morning to add to those already on territory. Totals were 3 Cuckoo, 3 Redstart, 4 Whinchat, 11 Wheatear, 3 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 1 Mistle Thrush, 8 Grasshopper Warbler, 6 Blackcap, 18 Lesser Whitethroat, 83 Whitethroat, 15 Chiff-chaff and 18 Willow warbler inc some acredula.


There was a steady southerly passage of birds which included Common Buzzard and Red Kite which both went back west, 1 Velvet Scoter (nth), 4 Stock Dove, 2 Skylark, 16 Sand Martin, 950 Swallow, 11 House Martin, 33 flava, 12 Jackdaw, 16 Rook, 17 Carrion Crow, Hooded Crow nth, 1 Tree Sparrow, 4 Chaffinch, 54 Goldfinch, 1 Siskin, 17 Linnet, 1 Yellowhammer and 1 Corn Bunting whilst both Serin and Red-rumped Swallow both flew south early morning. Birds heading east were 4 Black Tern, 156 Arctic Tern, 113 Black-headed Gull, 8 Kittiwake and 2 Grey Heron.


Other birds seen today were 1 Pale-bellied Brent and Spotted Redshank whilst the Wood warbler was still singing at Sammy’s Point.

Holly Blue. Adam Hutt

Holly Blue. Adam Hutt

3rd May 2011 - Tuesday

Sea-watch 06.30 – 08.00, migration watch 06.00 – 09.30. Broken clouds to start then clouding over late morning before completely clearing early afternoon. A fresh force 4 ENE wind dropped and veered more E in the afternoon.


There was a slight increase in migrants when it clouded over and the wind dropped, which also included a first summer female Subalpine Warbler at the Warren, it was found early afternoon and caught an hour later and was still present in the evening. In the early evening a presumed male RUSTIC BUNTING was found at the Point, it showed well on a couple of occasions but was generally elusive.


Other migrants included 1 Cuckoo, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Robin, 4 Redstart, 5 Whinchat, 10 Wheatear, 2 Ring Ouzel, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 13 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Chiffchaff, 7 Willow Warbler.


There was a steady trickle of Swallows moving south all day and totaled 600 by the end of the day, other birds moving south were 7 Common Scoter, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 ringtail Hen Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk, the first Hobby of the year, 1 Swift, 2 Sand Martin, 1 flava Wagtail, 9 Jackdaw, 4 Rook, 51 Goldfinch, 37 Linnet, while birds moving out east included 1 Red-throated Diver, 7 Cormorant, 33 Grey Plover, 50 Knot, 55 Dunlin, 210 Bar-tailed Godwit, 5 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 38 Arctic Tern.


North of the area there was a Red-breasted Merganser on Beacon Ponds and a White Wagtail at Sammy’s Point.

first summer female Subalpine Warbler. Sue Hepton

first summer female Subalpine Warbler. Sue Hepton

1st summer female Subalpine Warbler. John Law

1st summer female Subalpine Warbler. John Law

male Rustic Bunting. Steve Exley

male Rustic Bunting. Steve Exley

2nd May 2011 - Monday

Sea-watch 06.00 – 09.00, migration watch 05.30 – 08.30, 09.30 – 11.30. Still a force 5 E wind blowing and sunny all morning with a few clouds building in the afternoon.


The highlight of the day was again at Sammy’s Point when the first Wood Warbler of the year turned up, also there was a Blue-headed Wagtail, a Whinchat and 4 Wheatear. In the evening out of our area a male Montagu’s Harrier was seen between Skeffling and Patrington hunting over the fields.


There was some light passage, mainly south: 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Stock Dove, 1 Swift, 13 Sand Martin, 253 Swallow, 9 House Martin, 9 flava Wagtail, 68 Goldfinch and 59 Linnet. Grounded migrants were in much smaller numbers: 5 Yellow Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 4 Redstart, 1 Whinchat, 7 Wheatear, 1 Ring Ouzel, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler.


Over the sea were 4 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 9 Fulmar, 11 Cormorant, 26 Kittiwake, 18 Arctic Tern, 25 auk sp, 3 Guillemot.


Other birds noted included the pair of Garganey on Canal Scrape, 2 Wigeon on the Humber, 2 Merlin, 1 Little Stint, 10 Whimbrel, 1 Spotted Redshank and 1 Greenshank.

1st May 2011 - Sunday

Sea-watch 05.25 – 09.00, migration watch 05.15 – 08.30, 13.45 – 17.00. Cloudless all day with a very fresh force 5 easterly wind.


There was no sign of the Ortolan Bunting at Sammy’s Point today. There were only a few new migrants, the clear skies not helping to drop birds in despite the continued easterly wind. Migrants totals today were 1 Tree Pipit, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Black Redstart, 6 Redstart, 15 Wheatear, 3 Ring Ouzel, 1 Redwing, 4 Grasshopper Warbler, 6 Blackcap, 9 Chiffchaff, 2 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldcrest.


Over the sea it was also quiet just 2 Eider, 12 Common Scoter, 10 Red-throated Diver, 24 Fulmar, 2 Little Gull, 12 Kittiwake, 10 Arctic Tern, 91 auk sp, 33 Guillemot and 5 Razorbill.


Other birds of interest included the pair of Garganey seen on a few occasions on Canal Scrape, 2 Gadwall, 1 Avocet , 1 Little Stint, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Whimbrel, 2 Spotted Redshank, 5 Greenshank all on the Humber, 2 Common Sandpiper on Borrow Pit. 4 Swifts flew south and were the first of the year.

Spotted Redshank.Andy Wailes

Spotted Redshank.Andy Wailes

Garganey. Martin Standley

Garganey. Martin Standley

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