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August 2013 Sightings

31st August 2013 - Saturday

August has been another excellent month, where we recorded 162 species, equalling last year’s record August. The year list now stands at 237, four more than it has ever been at this time of year.

Migration/Sea-watches 08.00-10.15, 13.30-19.20, A cloudy day with a few sunny spells and a force 3 WNW wind.
Two Corncrakes were flushed today one at the green beacon at the Point and another just south of the lighthouse, it is highly unlikely these were the same bird. A new Barred Warbler was found in the hedge east of Rose Cottage and the bird on Beacon Lane was seen a couple of times. The Wryneck was seen again on the Canal banking, the two Red-backed Shrikes were still present at Southfield Farm and Sammy’s Point.
Common migrants seen included 2 Cuckoo, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Tree Pipit, 22 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Redstart, 21 Whinchat, 15 Wheatear, 3 Sedge Warbler, 7 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warbler, 10 Lesser Whitethroat, 21 Whitethroat, 33 Willow Warbler, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Crossbill.
Very little passage today: 13 Fulmmar, 2 Manx Shearwater, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Common Buzzard, 22 Oystercatcher, 12 Dunlin, 1 Pomarine Skua, 7 Arctic Skua, 5 Bonxie, 34 Little Gull, 5 Swift, 3 Sand Martin, 300 Swallow, 80 House Martin.
Other birds included 8 Wigeon, 33 Teal, 7 Grey Heron, 1 Buzzard, 1 Merlin, 2 Hobby, 2 Peregrine, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 9 Ruff, 1 Spotted Redshank, 7 Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpiper and a Common Sandpiper.
A Convulvulus Hawk-moth was found in the moth-trap at Kew and a Clouded Yellow was seen south of the Warren.

Convulvulus Hawk-moth. Andy Roadhouse

Convulvulus Hawk-moth. Andy Roadhouse

30th August 2013 - Friday

Migration/sea-watches 05.50 – 13.00. Warm and muggy, mainly cloudy with some long sunny spells, a force 2-3 WSW – WNW wind.
A Wryneck was still on the Canal banking, Red-backed Shrikes were at Sammy’s Point and Southfield Farm and the Barred Warbler was seen again briefly on Beacon Lane, common migrants seen included a Cuckoo, 3 Redstart, 9 Whinchat, 9 Wheatear, 4 Garden Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 26 Willow Warbler, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Pied Flycatcher and a Crossbill.
An Osprey flew south at 17.30 and a Red-necked Grebe drifted north on the sea at 17.40, other birds moving today were 11 Teal, 3 Red-throated Diver, 1 Fulmar, 3 Manx Shearwater, 1 Hen Harrier, 73 Oystercatcher, 17 Ringed Plover, 6 Golden Plover, 9 Knot, 6 Sanderling, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 64 Dunlin, 1 Ruff, 4 Snipe, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Whimbrel, 62 Redshank, 14 Turnstone, 1 Arctic Skua, 47 Little Gull, 43 Sand Martin, 1376 Swallow, 296 House Martin, 10 Meadow Pipit, 56 flava Wagtail, 4 Rook, 15 Tree Sparrow, 3 Linnet and a Goldfinch.
Other birds present were 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 12 Ruff, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Spotted Redshank, 16 Greenshank, 4 Green Sandpiper, 7 Mediterranean Gull.

record shot of the Red-necked Grebe. John Cooper

record shot of the Red-necked Grebe. John Cooper

29th August 2013 - Thursday

Migration/sea-watch 05.50-11.00, 16.00-19.45. Blue skies with some clouds, a force 2-3 WSW wind dropped to WNW 1 in the evening.
A Nightjar was at Kew flying round the garden in the dark at 5-5.30am. Still present were 3 Wrynecks (Crown/Canal/ Sammy’s Point), 2 Red-backed Shrikes (Canal/Sammy’s Point); and the Red-breasted Flycatcher at post 61 in the evening. Common migrants were again in few numbers – 1 Cuckoo, 5 Redstart, 21 Whinchat, 18 Wheatear, 4 Reed Warbler, 6 Garden Warbler, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 13 Whitethroat, 25 Willow Warbler, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Pied Flycatcher.
There as a better passage today: 8 Wigeon, 27 Teal, 35 Common Scoter, 4 Red-throated Diver, 4 Fulmar, 3 Sparrowhawk, 6 Common Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 83 Oystercatcher, 6 Ringed Plover, 15 Knot, 9 Sanderling, 107 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Whimbrel, 48 Redshank, 1 Common Sandpiper, 10 Turnstone, 6 Arctic Skua, 2 Bonxie, 16 Little Gull, 48 Sandwich Tern, 459 Common Tern, 8 Arctic Tern, 8 Swift, 28 Sand Martin, 845 Swallow, 466 House Martin, 9 Meadow Pipit, 37 flava Wagtail, 1 alba Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail, 17 Tree Sparrow and 13 Linnet.
Other birds present included 10 Greylag Geese, 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 4 Ruff, 17 Greenshank, 12 Mediterranean Gull.

Redstart. Mick Turton

Redstart. Mick Turton

28th August 2013 - Wednesday

Migration/sea-watches 11.20-14.30, 16.55-19.15. Thick fog for most of the morning then a light SE wind picked up and sunny spells for the afternoon and evening.
Still a few scarcities about for people to see including 4 Wrynecks (a very showy one opposite the Crown & Anchor); the Red-breasted Flycatcher at post 61; 3 Red-backed Shrikes (Canal/Sammy’s/ a new one at Chalkies Point); 2 Barred Warblers (a new one at the Warren trapped and ringed, and the one at the Point); and an Icterine Warbler at Wire Dump; common migrants totals were down considerably – 1 Cuckoo, 8 Redstart, 33 Whinchat, 20 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap, 8 Garden Warbler, 14 Lesser Whitethroat, 43 Whitethroat, 24 Willow Warbler, 8 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Pied Flycatcher.
Unusually hirundines were moving in the foggy conditions once the wind started to pick up a little with 101 Sand Martins, 1354 Swallows, and 1126 House Martins. Other birds moving included 18 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Fulmar, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 5 Manx Shearwater, 2 Marsh Harrier, 8 Common Buzzard, 3 Kestrel, 9 Oystercatcher, 2 Knot, 8 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Arctic Skua, 2 Bonxie, 3 Little Gull, 11 flava Wagtail.
Other birds present were 20 Teal, 1 Peregrine, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Little Stint, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper.

Red-breasted Flycatcher. Martin Standley

Red-breasted Flycatcher. Martin Standley

27th August 2013 - Tuesday

No migration or sea-watches. Foggy patches to start with that soon cleared, leaving a hot sunny day with a force 1 NE wind.
There was a further clear out of migrants, but still a few scarcities were still present. The Red-breasted Flycatcher was still at post 61; there were 2 Barred Warblers (Point/Beacon Lane), 3 Red-backed Shrikes (Warren/Sammy’s Point/post 59), a Common Rosefinch was seen at the Point, 4 Icterine Warblers (Beacon Lane/Sunny Cliff/2 Easington gas terminal), and only 4 Wryneck (Point/Rose Cottage/Cliff Farm/Beacon Lane).
Common migrants included a Cuckoo, 2 Tree Pipit, 14 Yellow Wagtail, a White Wagtail, 30 Redstart, 91 Whinchat, 31 Wheatear, 8 Reed Warbler, 25 Garden Warbler, 8 Lesser Whitethroat, 42 Whitethroat, 42 Willow Warbler, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 31 Pied Flycatcher.
There was a good movement of 26 Common Buzzards, which possibly coming in off moving south and turning back west, also moving were 8 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 1 Fulmar, 4 Cormorant, 2 Marsh Harrier, 8 Sparrowhawk, 4 Kestrel, 3 Oystercatcher, 2 Arctic Skua, 50 Sand Martin, 80 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 8 flava Wagtail.
Other birds included 1 Ruff, 1 Spotted Redshank, 18 Greenshank.

The very showy Wryneck showing how long its tongue is! Richard Willison

The very showy Wryneck showing how long its tongue is! Richard Willison

Red-breasted Flycatcher. Richard Willison

Red-breasted Flycatcher. Richard Willison

26th August 2013 - Monday

Sea-watch 06.30-07.45. Warm with clear blue skies all day, force 1-3 NE wind.
Another excellent day, there was a clear out of a lot of yesterday’s migrants, but there were new arrivals as the day panned out. The best was a SUBALPINE WARBLER at Sammy’s Point, it was elusive but showed on and off most of the morning. 7 Icterine Warblers were found with singles at post 49, post 60, Canal, Kilnsea Road and 3 at Easington gas terminal; 1 Barred Warbler was found at the Point, Wrynecks were reduced to 13; a Red-breasted Flycatcher at post 61, 2 Common Rosefinches were found (Canal Hedge and Point); 3 Red-backed Shrikes were also seen (Sammy’s Point, Pallas’s Pond and Easington Lagoon), and a Wood Warbler was seen at Easington gas terminal.
Common migrant totals were 3 Cuckoo, 4 Swift, 8 Tree Pipit, 18 Yellow Wagtail, 31 Redstart, 133 Whinchat, 51 Wheatear, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 31 Garden Warbler, 11 Lesser Whitethroat, 63 Whitethroat, 65 Willow Warbler, 15 Spotted Flycatcher, 31 Pied Flycatcher.
Other birds present included 42 Teal, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Fulmar, 1 Marsh Harrier, the first Merlin of the autumn, 1 Little Stint, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 5 Ruff, 9 Snipe, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Spotted Redshank, 18 Greenshank, 4 Green Sandpiper, 7 Common Sandpiper, 5 Arctic Skua, a juv Long-tailed Skua over the Humber, 3 Bonxie out and 150 Little Gull north.

Common Rosefinch. Rob Adams

Common Rosefinch. Rob Adams

Red-backed Shrike. Richard Willison

Red-backed Shrike. Richard Willison

Wryneck in the hand, starting to 'wry'. Richard Willison

Wryneck in the hand, starting to 'wry'. Richard Willison

Whinchat. Ron Egan

Whinchat. Ron Egan

Icterine Warbler. Richard Willison

Icterine Warbler. Richard Willison

25th August 2013 - Sunday

Sea-watches 06.05-12.45, 17.00-19.45, a nice pleasant day with a force 2 N-NE wind, mainly sunny with some haze.
An outstanding day where everyone must have gone home feeling very satisfied. The main feature again was Wrynecks and a minimum of 27 were seen which is a new record count for the Spurn area!, some of which were very showy and two were caught and ringed at the Warren. A Greenish Warbler was seen and heard mid-morning on Green Lane in Easington, where there was also a Wood Warbler and a Red-backed Shrike there later in the day; three Icterine Warblers were found one at Sammy’s Point which showed well in the evening, one by the listening dish next to Kilnsea Wetlands, and one south of the gas terminal in Easington. Also the Barred Warbler from yesterday was seen again along the Canal and another was seen on Beacon Lane.
Common migrant totals were also very good with 2 Cuckoo, 2 Swift, 13 Tree Pipit, 37 Yellow Wagtail, 52 Redstart, 105 Whinchat, 59 Wheatear, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 12 Reed Warbler, 36 Garden Warbler, 12 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 79 Willow Warbler, 13 Spotted Flycatcher, 92 Pied Flycatcher.
The sea was also good with 16 Wigeon, 313 Teal, 161 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver, a Black-throated Diver, 78 Fulmar, a Cory’s Shearwater south, 4 Sooty Shearwater, 42 Manx Shearwater, 393 Gannet, 348 Oystercatcher, 15 Dunlin, 8 Ruff, 17 Snipe, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Pomarine Skua, 92 Arctic Skua, 3 Long-tailed Skua, 12 Bonxie, 244 Little Gull, 21 Kittiwake, 4 Black Terns and 2 Puffins.
Other birds included Marsh Harrier, 2 Peregrine, 1 Little Stint, 9 Curlew Sandpiper, 15 Greenshank, 3 Wood Sandpiper.

Icterine Warbler. Martin Standley

Icterine Warbler. Martin Standley

Spotted Flycatcher. Martin Standley

Spotted Flycatcher. Martin Standley

Pied Flycatcher. Martin Standley

Pied Flycatcher. Martin Standley

A couple of interesting flight shots of Wrynecks. Michael Flowers

A couple of interesting flight shots of Wrynecks. Michael Flowers

24th August 2013 - Saturday

Persistent rain all night and until late morning, then clearing to leave a mainly cloudy afternoon, a force 1-2 NE-N wind
The expected fall didn’t disappoint, there were birds about from first light but the rain was keeping them low and birds continued to arrive during the day. The first scarcity to be found was a Wryneck at the Borrow Pit, after which they kept arriving and a total of 12 birds were seen, with birds at Little Hedge, Point, post 68, Sheep Field, Chalk Bank, Middle Camp, Warren, Beacon Lane, and 3 at Easington gas terminal. Two Barred Warblers were found in a short space of time on the Canal Bank and at Easington gas terminal but both disappeared very quickly. A Common Rosefinch was seen at Easington gas terminal mid-afternoon.
Common migrant totals for the area were 1 Swift, 15 Tree Pipit, 26 Yellow Wagtail, 4 White Wagtail, 11 Redstart, 57 Whinchat, 46 Wheatear, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 9 Sedge Warbler, 19 Reed Warbler, 14 Garden Warbler, 14 Lesser Whitethroat, 57 Whitethroat, 1 Chiffchaff, 69 Willow Warbler, 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 62 Pied Flycatcher.
There was no passage other than a few duck and waders coming in and going south which included 3 flocks of Ruff totalling 74, 12 Wigeon, 97 Teal, 1 Pintail, 2 Shoveler, 8 Grey Plover, 12 Snipe, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Green Sandpiper.
Other birds present included 17 Little Egret, 1 Peregrine, 9 Curlew Sandpiper, 8 Snipe, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Whimbrel, 21 Greenshank, 4 Green Sandpiper, 6 Common Sandpiper, 7 Mediterranean Gull, 12 Little Gull, 1 Yellow-legged Gull.
a Plain Tiger (African Monarch) was seen flying north past the Lighthouse and settled briefly mid-afternoon!

Wryneck. Alan Whitehead

Wryneck. Alan Whitehead

Wryneck.  Mike Robinson

Wryneck. Mike Robinson

A record shot of the Plain Tiger. John Grist

A record shot of the Plain Tiger. John Grist

23rd August 2013 - Friday

Sea -watch 07.15-07.30, 08.00-09.00, 16.30-19.30. Mainly cloudy with some longer sunny spells mid-afternoon, hazy around the edges, a force 1 SSE -3 ESE wind.
A clear out of most migrants with new ones arriving from mid-morning, 3 Tree Pipit, 3 Redstart, 10 Whinchat, 5 Wheatear, 2 Garden Warbler, 36 Willow Warbler, 2 Spotted Flycatcher and 7 Pied Flycatcher.
35 Ruff including a flock of 30 was the highest count at Spurn since 2000, Greenshanks totalled 27 and Green Sandpipers 7, while other waders present included 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 5 Snipe, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Whimbrel, a Spotted Redshank and 3 Common Sandpipers.
Birds on the move over the sea were 178 Teal, 77 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 4 Fulmar, 172 Oystercatcher, 5 Golden Plover, 3 Knot, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 16 Dunlin, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Pomarine Skua, 3 Arctic Skua, 1 Bonxie.
Other birds present included a Gadwall, 4 Grey Heron, and a Water Rail.

22nd August 2013 - Thursday

Sea/migration-watch 06.30-07.35, 18.00-20.15. A still cloudy start but cleared to leave a very warm sunny day with cloud building again late afternoon and some light rain, the wind picked up to a force 1-3 NE-SE wind from mid-morning.
There was a report on the pager of a Red-breasted Flycatcher in the Crown & Anchor, but no further details were received. There was a clear out of some migrants overnight and more new arrival particularly from early afternoon – grounded were a Cuckoo, 4 Swift, 1 Tree Pipit, 15 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Robin, 3 Redstart, 15 Whinchat, 13 Wheatear, 8 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warbler, 7 Lesser Whitethroat, 114 Willow Warbler, a Spotted Flycatcher, 9 Pied Flycatcher, 40+ Tree Sparrow and a Crossbill.
Birds on the move included 5 Teal, 1 Pintail, 30 Common Scoter, 4 Fulmar, 2 Manx Shearwater, a Balearic Shearwater, 150 Oystercatcher, 3 Golden Plover, 12 Sanderling, 10 Dunlin, 1 Snipe, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank, 4 Arctic Skua, 7 Sand Martin, 20 Swallow, 16 flava Wagtail.
Other birds present were 12 Greylag Geese, 31 Teal, 23 Little Egret, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 14 Greenshank.

Good numbers of Willow Warblers were seen today including 45 ringed. Marcus Brew

Good numbers of Willow Warblers were seen today including 45 ringed. Marcus Brew

Wheatear. Ian Smith

Wheatear. Ian Smith

21st August 2013 - Wednesday

Sea/migration-watch 06.00 – 11.00, 17.30-20.30. Long sunny spells and a force 3-1 SW wind.
There was a reasonable arrival of drift migrants despite SW winds – 3 Tree Pipit, 1 Redstart, 9 Whinchat, 12 Wheatear, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler, 63 Willow Warbler and 8 Pied Flycatchers.
Passage counts included 3 Shelduck, 59 Teal, 5 Shoveler, 24 Common Scoter, 4 Manx Shearwater, 2 Oystercatcher, 22 Ringed Plover, 4 Golden Plover, 3 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 25 Sanderling, 85 Dunlin, 8 Snipe, 28 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 13 Whimbrel, 7 Redshank, 3 Turnstone, 9 Arctic Skua, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Black Tern, 9 Swift, 95 Sand Martin, 450 Swallow, 80 House Martin, 18 flava Wagtail.
Other birds present included 46 Teal, 1 Hobby, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Spotted Redshank, 15 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Yellow-legged Gull, 65 Sandwich Tern, 1610 Common Tern, 21 Arctic Tern.

Pied Flycatcher. Andy Roadhouse

Pied Flycatcher. Andy Roadhouse

20th August 2013 - Tuesday

Sea/migration-watch 07.00-20.10. Cloudy with sunny spells and a light force 1-2-1 SW wind.
A good day of passage included the first Osprey of the autumn, a Purple Sandpiper, 2 Pomarine Skua and a Roseate Tern, while commoner birds moving were 2 Shelduck, 188 Teal, 110 Common Scoter, 3 Fulmar, 2 Manx Shearwater, 31 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 9 Oystercatcher, 3 Ringed Plover, 2 Grey Plover, 2 Knot, 36 Sanderling, 42 Dunlin, 1 Snipe, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 13 Redshank, 14 Turnstone, 5 Arctic Skua, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Little Gull, 1 Swift, 91 Sand Martin, 1283 Swallow, 104 flava Wagtail.
Other birds present were 2 Hobby, 1 Peregrine, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Little Stint, 1 Ruff, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Whimbrel, 10 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 86 Sandwich Tern, 1100 Common Tern, 19 Arctic Tern.

lots of Painted Lady's about at the moment, Bob Thompson

lots of Painted Lady's about at the moment, Bob Thompson

19th August 2013 - Monday

Sea/migration-watch 06.15-10.30, 11.00-11.30, 14.30-16.00, 18.30-20.00. Sunny spells with a light WNW- N wind.
A few more grounded migrants and some light passage over the sea. On the move were 5 Shelduck, 121 Teal, 6 Eider, 83 Common Scoter, 4 Manx Shearwater, 2 Grey Heron, 2 Marsh Harrier, 29 Oystercatcher, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Golden Plover, 10 Knot, 67 Sanderling, 10 Dunlin, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew in, 66 Redshank, 11 Turnstone, 2 Arctic Skua, 19 Kittiwake, 2 Swift, 37 flava Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail.
Grounded birds included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Tree Pipit, 30 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 35 Willow Warbler, 2 Pied Flycatcher and 40 Tree Sparrows..
Other birds included 20 Teal, 4 Grey Heron, 1 Peregrine, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 14 Greenshank and the last Little Tern flew today taking the total of fledged birds to 40 this year!

18th August 2013 - Sunday

Migration/sea-watch 05.45-13.30. A fine sunny day with a breezy W-WNW wind dropping by early evening.
A good day for Teal and waders moving with the following passage totals: 141 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Red-throated Diver, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Manx Shearwater, 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Kestrel, 80 Oystercatcher, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 15 Ringed Plover, 2 Golden Plover, 3 Grey Plover, 35 Knot, 16 Sanderling, 69 Dunlin, 6 Ruff, 5 Snipe, 65 Black-tailed Godwit, 48 Whimbrel, 5 Curlew, 93 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpiper, 11 Turnstone, 3 Arctic Skua, 19 Lesser B.B.Gull, 26 Swift, 38 Sand Martin, 68 flava Wagtail, and a Crossbill.
A few more grounded migrants included 4 Tree Pipit, 1 Redstart, 4 Whinchat, 1 Wheatear, 1 Garden Warbler, 51 Willow Warbler and 8 Tree Sparrows. While other birds present were 37 Teal, 1 Peregrine, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 25,000 Knot, 4 Ruff, 10 Snipe, 17 Whimbrel, 7 Greenshank, 11 Mediterrranean Gull.

Ruff. Rich Swales

Ruff. Rich Swales

17th August 2013 - Saturday

Sea/migration-watch 05.30-11.40, 14.45-20.10. A bright start clouded over by mid-day with frequent showers and a stiffening force 1-5 W winds.
A much better day with a good arrival of 68 Willow Warblers, but also a few other migrants including a Cuckoo, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Tree Pipit, 9 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Wheatear, a Garden Warbler and the Spotted Flycatcher of the autumn.
It was a good day for passage, the highlight was a Cory’s Shearwater which flew north in the morning, while other birds moving were a Shelduck, 7 Teal, 71 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver, a Sooty Shearwater, 60 Gannet, 80 Oystercatcher, 5 Ringed Plover, 7 Grey Plover, 29 Knot, 45 Sanderling, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 16 Dunlin, 14 Snipe, 30 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 26 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 1 Greenshank, 14 Turnstone, 4 Little Gull, 72 Sandwich Tern, 595 Common Tern, 30 Arctic Tern, 1 Razorbill, 128 Swift, 109 Sand Martin 1029 Swallow, 3 House Martin, 13 Meadow Pipit, 58 flava Wagtail, and a Crossbill.
Birds present included 2 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Ruff, 9 Greenshank, 3 Mediterranean Gull.

Migrating Sanderlings and Dunlins. Ian Smith

Migrating Sanderlings and Dunlins. Ian Smith

16th August 2013 - Friday

Sea/migration-watch 06.30-10.30, 18.00-20.30. Rain first thing petered out by mid-morning and brightened up by mid-afternoon, a force 3 W – 1-2 E wind.
Pretty much the same as the last few days, quiet with some light passage. On the move were 55 Teal, 69 Common Scoter, 91 Oystercatcher, 1 Grey Plover, 6 Knot, 5 Dunlin, 16 Sanderling, 12 Whimbrel, 6 Turnstone, 2 Pomarine Skua, 4 Arctic Skua, a Black Tern, 21 Sandwich Tern, 507 Common Tern, 7 Arctic Tern, 13 Swift, 62 Sand Martin, 180 Swallow.
Birds present included a Water Rail, 4 Avocet, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, 24 flava Wagtail, 4 Willow Warbler and 720 Starling.

15th August 2013 - Thursday

Sea/migration-watch 06.25-09.35, 17.45-20.30. Cloudy with light rain/drizzle until mid-morning, then brightening up in a force 3 W wind.
Another quiet day with light passage, moving south were Cloudy with light rain/drizzle until mid-morning, then brightening up in a force 3 W wind.
Another quiet day with light passage, moving south were 4 Teal, 2 Mallard, 4 Eider, 154 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver, 39 Oystercatcher, 3 Sanderling, 8 Whimbrel, 5 Curlew, 12 Redshank, 3 Arctic Skua, 55 Swift, 62 Sand Martin, and 145 Swallows.
Other birds present included 2 Wigeon, 22 Teal, 1 Ruff, 6 Greenshank, 3 Mediterranean Gull, a Wheatear and 15 Willow Warblers.

Have you booked your tickets yet?

Have you booked your tickets yet?

14th August 2013 - Wednesday

Sea/migration-watch 06.10-09.30, 14.30-16.00, 18.00-20.30. A bright sunny day until mid-afternoon when it clouded over, a force 1 W wind switched to the SE and increased to force 3-4.
Another quiet day with some light passage which included 9 Wigeon, 16 Teal, 201 Common Scoter, 1 Fulmar, 25 Cormorant, 125 Oystercatcher, 5 Ringed Plover, 6 Grey Plover, 3 Knot, 6 Sanderling, 3 Dunlin, 1 Whimbrel, 29 Redshank, 2 Turnstone, 6 Arctic Skua, 2 Swift, 59 Sand Martin, 230 swallow and a Tree Pipit.
Other birds present included 15 Greylag Geese, 6 Whimbrel, 6 Mediterranean Gull, 15 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Blackcap, 52 Whitethroat and 29 Willow Warblers.

13th August 2013 - Tuesday

Sea/migration-watch 06.20-08.00, 15.00-16.15, 18.00-20.00. Bright and sunny most of day with some cloudy spells, a force 3-2 NW wind veered NE-E 2-1 in the afternoon.
A very quiet day, although good numbers of Willow Warblers moving through with 44 counted. On the move were 25 Common Scoter, 1 Fulmar, 3 Manx Shearwater, 1 Kestrel, 118 Oystercatcher, 2 Ringed Plover, 15 Sanderling, 24 Dunlin, 1 Whimbrel, 8 Redshank, 5 Turnstone, 7 Arctic Skua, 1 Swift, 39 Sand Martin, 72 Swallow, 2 flava Wagtail.
Other birds present included 15 Teal, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 1 Spotted Redshank, 9 Greenshank, 1 Cuckoo. While the tern roost is still taking time to get going, there were less than 500 Common Terns, 4 Arctic, 12 Sandwich and a Black tern.

The YWT have done a fantastic job of cutting paths along the peninsula and around the Point dunes, it is now easy to get round without being nettled or getting wet through from the dew - well done Adam, Vicky and Steve

12th August 2013 - Monday

Sea/migration-watch 05.45-11.20, 13.30-15.30, 18.00-20.00. Cloudy with occasional glimpse of the sun and some heavy rain showers early evening, a force 3 WSW – NW 2 wind.
A quieter day with just light passage but good numbers of waders on the Humber and at Beacon Ponds/Kilnsea Wetlands. Passage totals were 8 Teal, 50 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Fulmar, a probable Cory’s Shearwater early morning, 7 Manx Shearwater, 1 Marsh Harrier, 121 Oystercatcher, 20 Ringed Plover, 2 Golden Plover, 7 Knot, 61 Sanderling, 66 Dunlin, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Whimbrel, 4 Curlew, 33 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 17 Turnstone, 4 Arctic Skua, 1 Bonxie, 1 Black Tern, 1 Puffin, 16 Swift, 24 Sand Martin, 124 Swallow.
Other birds seen included a Peregrine, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Ruff, 5 Snipe, 6 Whimbrel, 3 Spotted Redshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Wheatear and 15 Willow Warblers.

Spotted Redshanks. Adam Hutt

Spotted Redshanks. Adam Hutt

11th August 2013 - Sunday

Sea/migration-watch 05.30-20.45. Cloudy with some long sunny spells, a force 3 W wind all day.
It was a quieter day today, Oystercatchers were still moving and 325 took the total of birds flying south this autumn to 6549, another record. Also realised today were two more wader records that have been broken this week – Little Ringed Plover and Green Sandpiper both with more bird/days logged than in any other year. Other birds on the move were 19 Teal, 34 Common Scoter, 12 Fulmar, 22 Manx Shearwater, 8 Cormorant, 9 Ringed Plover, 3 Grey Plover, 12 Knot, 30 Sanderling, 42 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 22 Black-tailed Godwit, 14 Bar-tailed Godwit, 15 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 24 Redshank, 15 Turnstone, 12 Kittiwake, 3 Razorbill, 1 Puffin, 7 Swift, 260 Sand Martin and 85 Swallow.
Other birds present included 1 Shoveler, 1 Little Grebe, 16 Little Egret, 1 Peregrine, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Ruff, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 10 Whimbrel, 9 Greenshank, 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Tree Pipit, 1 Wheatear, 1 Blackcap and 16 Willow Warbler.

Tree Pipit trapped at the Warren. Rich Swales

Tree Pipit trapped at the Warren. Rich Swales

Tree Pipit in Mick's garden in Easington. Mick Turton

Tree Pipit in Mick's garden in Easington. Mick Turton

10th August 2013 - Saturday

Sea/migration-watch 05.30-20.45. A bright and sunny morning clouding over early afternoon, WNW-W 3-1 wind.
There was a good early morning seabird passage which included 4 Cory’s Shearwaters (singles at 07.05, 08.00 and two at 09.25) and an adult Long-tailed Skua, and in the evening 2 adult Roseate Terns flew south in the evening roost. Also over the sea were 15 Teal, 44 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver, 3 Sooty Shearwater, 62 Manx Shearwater, 444 Oystercatcher, 2 Ringed Plover, 2 Golden Plover, 1 Little Stint, 17 Dunlin, 1 Ruff, 47 Whimbrel, 6 Redshank, 7 Greenshank, 10 Turnstone, 10 Arctic Skua, 28 Kittiwake, 111 Sandwich Tern, 450 Common Tern, 4 Arctic Tern, 1 Puffin. Also moving were 164 Sand Martin, 1204 Swallow, 4 House Martin. A Red Kite U-turned and other birds present included the first Purple Sandpiper of the year, a Peregrine, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 8 Ruff, 9 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Spotted Redshank, 8 Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper and 2 Mediterranean Gulls.
There was also a decent arrival of Willow Warblers which totalled 42 and other migrants included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Cuckoo, a Tree Pipit, 14 Yellow Wagtail, a Whinchat, a Garden Warbler.

Red Kite. John Hewitt

Red Kite. John Hewitt

9th August 2013 - Friday

Sea/migration-watch 05.20-20.45. Rain at first light slowly petered out, leaving a cloudy day with some sunny spells, in a force 2-3 SW-W-NW wind.
An addition to the year list was a Balearic Shearwater which flew south in the evening, what was probably the same adult Red-necked Grebe drifted south on the sea and other seabirds totals were 1 Red-throated Diver, 9 Fulmar, 2 Sooty Shearwater, 58 Manx Shearwater, 7 Arctic Skua, 2 Bonxie, 6 Little Gull, 160 Sandwich Tern, 750 Common Tern and 5 Arctic Tern.
Oystercatcher had another good day with 668 flying south, and other birds moving south were 11 Shelduck, 82 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 95 Common Scoter, 1 Marsh Harrier, 10 Ringed Plover, 3 Grey Plover, 14 Sanderling, 45 Dunlin, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 28 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 7 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpiper, 9 Turnstone, 37 Swift, 130 Sand Martin, 120 Swallow.
Other birds included 28 Little Egrets, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 4 Snipe, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Spotted Redshank, 12 Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper and 2 Willow Warblers.

Greenshank. Bob Thompson

Greenshank. Bob Thompson

Whimbrel. Bob Thompson

Whimbrel. Bob Thompson

8th August 2013 - Thursday

Sea/migration-watch 06.15-17.10, 18.00-21.00. A warm sunny start with a very light NW wind, it slowly clouded over and a force 2 SE wind picked up in the afternoon.
It was another good day for Oystercatchers with 810 recorded flying south, and a Great Northern Diver and Goldeneye flying by were unusual for the time of year. The days passage totals were 13 Teal, 2 Eider, 135 Common Scoter, 3 Manx Shearwater, 2 Grey Heron, 15 Ringed Plover, 7 Knot, 27 Sanderling, 21 Dunlin, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 12 Redshank, 10 Turnstone, 1 Little Gull, 180 Sand Martin, 70 Swallow.
Other birds seen included 19 Little Egret, 1 Peregrine, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 7 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Greenshank, 9 Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper, 5 Arctic Skua, 4 Mediterranean Gull, 6 Little Gull, 600 Common Tern, 3 Arctic Tern, a Short-eared Owl, 7 Yellow Wagtail, a Garden Warbler and 11 Willow Warblers.

Green Sandpipers. Ian Smith

Green Sandpipers. Ian Smith

7th August 2013 - Wednesday

Sea/migration-watch 06.15-20.00. A much cooler day with a light NW-NE wind, some sunny periods, though mostly cloudy.
The main feature of the day was again migrating waders, but this time Oystercatchers, which for some reason the highest counts seem to be in northerly winds. The highest previous count of migrating birds was 1471 on 12th August 1996. Today that record was broken when 1776 flew south. Also we only needed 22 Whimbrels to break the record for number of birds recorded flying south in an autumn which stood at 2344, we cruised past this total when 142 flew south during the day.
Other birds on the move included 11 Shelduck, 14 Teal, 3 Eider, 167 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe, an adult Red-necked Grebe north at 19.20, 6 Fulmar 1 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Manx Shearwater, 1 Shag, 3 Grey Heron, 8 Knot, 79 Sanderling, 19 Dunlin, 1 Curlew, 14 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 15 Turnstone, 7 Arctic Skua, 5 Little Gull, 6 Sand Martin and 35 Swallows.
Other birds present included 1 Peregrine, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, 2 Snipe, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 12 Greenshank, 5 Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper, 1 Cuckoo, 1 Blackcap and 13 Willow Warbler.
The first Essex Skipper of the year was seen.

migrating Oystercatchers. Daniel Langston

migrating Oystercatchers. Daniel Langston

6th August 2013 - Tuesday

Sea/migration-watch 05.10-20.00. Sunny all day with a few clouds building from time to time, a force 3 WNW wind slowly veered to the SE by the evening and dropped to force 1-2.
With light NW winds we usually get a few Willow Warblers and it was no surprise that 28 were recorded as was the first Pied Flycatcher of the autumn, the only other migrants were 2 Cuckoo and 2 wandering Reed Warblers.
Wader passage was very light apart from Whimbrel which totalled another respectable 126. However there were a lot more hirundines moving: 416 Sand Martins, 1427 Swallows and 15 House Martins. The days passage totals were 71 Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 260 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver, 10 Fulmar, 35 Manx Shearwater, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Kestrel, 87 Oystercatcher, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Golden Plover, 13 Knot, 37 Sanderling, 24 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 17 Black-tailed Godwit, 126 Whimbrel, 8 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 4 Turnstone, 14 Arctic Skua, 229 Swift.
Other birds included 25 Greylag Geese, 8 Teal, 3 Shoveler, 24 Little Egret, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Greenshank, 5 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Yellow-legged Gull.

male Kestrel found its way into a mist-net. Daniel Langston

male Kestrel found its way into a mist-net. Daniel Langston

5th August 2013 - Monday

Sea/migration-watch 06.15-20.35. Rain showers on and off in the morning, some sunny periods in the middle of the day and some showers in the evening, a force 3-4 SW to NW 2.
A superb days birding, an adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER in full breeding plumage flew south with a Golden Plover at 11.48 and an ALPINE SWIFT U-turned over the Warren at 19.55.
But also it was another great day for offshore wader passage, the most notable species today was Sanderling when 708 flew south, over 200 more than the record day count for birds moving south; also 135 Turnstone made it now a record autumn for that species and another 187 Whimbrel took it very close to being a record autumn for that species too. Other totals for the day were 11 Shelduck, 77 Teal, 5 Shoveler, 1 Tufted Duck, 294 Common Scoter, 2 Manx Shearwater, 103 Oystercatcher, 32 Ringed Plover, 2 Golden Plover, 5 Grey Plover, 124 Knot, 382 Dunlin, 1 Ruff, 1 Snipe, 19 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Curlew, 41 Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 19 Arctic Skua, 1 Little Gull, 10 Lesser B.B.Gull, 91 Swift and 5 Sand Martin.
It was the first real tern roost movement with unusually high Arctic Tern numbers (220), and 72 Little Terns, 365 Sandwich Terns and 4239 Common Terns.
Other birds present were a Little Stint, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Green Sandpiper, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 12 Mediterranean Gull, a Black Tern, a Cuckoo, a Barn Owl, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Willow Warblers and a Budgerigar!

4th August 2013 - Sunday

Sea/migration-watch 05.10-21.00. Another warm and sunny day with a force 3 SW wind.
It was yet another excellent day for wader passage with another superb Whimbrel count, the days totals were 1 Greylag Geese, 7 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 192 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Fulmar, 1 Manx Shearwater, 2 Marsh Harrier, 5 Kestrel, 128 Oystercatcher, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 13 Ringed Plover, 4 Golden Plover, 3 Grey Plover, 98 Knot, 148 Sanderling, 66 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, 21 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 565 Whimbrel, 2 Curlew, 1 Spotted Redshank, 56 Redshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 28 Turnstone, 1 Bonxie, 1 juv Black Tern, 80 Swift, 53 Sand Martin, 357 Swallow, 2 House Martin.
A Treecreeper was in Easington and the only other birds present were 2 Curlew Sandpipers and a Mediterranean Gull.

Black-tailed Godwit. Justin Carr

Black-tailed Godwit. Justin Carr

3rd August 2013 - Saturday

Sea/migration-watch 05.10-19.00. A warm day with long sunny periods and a force 3-2 SW wind.
The first Treecreeper of the year was trapped at the Point and a Cuckoo was at Beacon Ponds. it was another good day for wader passage and the days totals of birds moving south were 4 Greylag Geese, 16 Shelduck, 43 Teal, 175 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Fulmar, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 3 Manx Shearwater, 2 Marsh Harrier, 3 Kestrel, 126 Oystercatcher, 20 Ringed Plover, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Golden Plover, 5 Grey Plover, 230 Knot, 70 Sanderling, 110 Dunlin, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Bar-tailed Godwit, 230 Whimbrel, 11 Curlew, 51 Redshank, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 5 Common Sandpiper, 23 Turnstone, 1 Bonxie, 20 Little Gull, 5 Kittiwake, 1 Stock Dove, 1 Cuckoo, 94 Swift, 40 Sand Martin, 15 Swallow, 2 House Martin.
Other birds present included 34 Little Egret, 1 Hobby, 1 Peregrine, 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Whimbrel, 9 Green Sandpiper, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Yellow-legged Gull.
Dragonflies present were a Banded Demoiselle, a Red-veined Darter and 31 Ruddy Darters
The annual Friends of Spurn BBQ was held in the evening and was attended by over130 people and raised over £1000 for the Observatory, we would like to thank everyone who helped on the night and everyone who attended.

Plenty of Little Egrets around at the moment. Mick Turton

Plenty of Little Egrets around at the moment. Mick Turton

Alan Whitehead

Alan Whitehead

2nd August 2013 - Friday

Sea/migration-watch 05.30-10.30, 18.00-20.30. Another warm and sunny day clouding over around mid-day for a couple of hours, with a force 3 SW dropping to force 2 S wind.
More wader passage but in lesser numbers again, two illustrate how good an autumn it has been already for wader passage, the most Sanderlings that have been recorded flying south in an autumn is 1917 and this year we have already passed 2400!
Birds moving today included 44 Shelduck, 52 Teal, 5 Shoveler, 84 Common Scoter, 207 Oystercatcher, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 4 Lapwing, 177 Knot, 35 Sanderling, 21 Dunlin, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 33 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 22 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 19 Turnstone, 80 Little Gull, 1 Kittiwake, 1 Black Tern, 147 Sandwich Tern, 409 Common Tern, 9 Arctic Tern, 1 Stock Dove, 814 Swift, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 368 Sand Martin, 40 Swallow, 12 flava Wagtail.
Birds present included 13 Little Egret, 6 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Mediterranean Gull, the first Wheatear and Garden Warbler of the autumn and 2 Willow Warbler.
Insect interest was provided by a Vestal moth (very rare in Yorkshire) and a Banded Demoiselle on Beacon Lane.

1st August 2013 - Thursday

Sea/migration-watch 05.40-11.00, 12.55-20.40. A very warm and sunny day, kept a little cooler by the force 2 S- 3-4 SE wind.
It was another very good day for wader passage, particularly in the afternoon when they picked up pace. The days totals were 8 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 159 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Diver, 1 Fulmar, 2 Manx Shearwater, 233 Oystercatcher, 12 Ringed Plover, 1 Golden Plover, 1 Grey Plover, 374 Knot, 126 Sanderling, 271 Dunlin, 1 Snipe, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 222 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 23 Redshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 38 Turnstone, 2 Little Gull, 10 Kittiwake, 316 Common Tern, 9 Arctic Tern, 11 Swift, 105 Sand Martin, 12 Swallow.
There was an emergence of flying ants in the evening and at least 2000 Black-headed Gulls filled the sky feeding on them, there was a nice adult Mediterranean Gull with them. Other birds seen included 2 Ruff 1 Greenshank, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Yellow Wagtail and 4 Willow Warbler.
Interesting insects today included a Hummingbird Hawk-moth, a Small Red-eyed Damselfly, a Red-veined Dart and the first Migrant Hawker of the year.

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