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December 2017 Sightings

16th December 2017 - Saturday

Hard overnight frost gave way to sunny spells with a F1-2 N wind.
Watches: 0815-0945.
A few extra Thrushes in the area were probably remnants from the cold weather inland, while the male Hen Harrier wandered down from Welwick before returning.
Also today were 15 Mute Swan, 450 Brent Geese, 2 Scaup, 2 Tufted Duck, 9000 Knot, 102 Black-tailed Godwit Long bank, 1 Greenshank still on beacon ponds, 50 Fieldfare, 3 Song Thrush, 18 Redwing,1 Mistle Thrush and 1 Bullfinch.

The sea was very quiet, and only 1 Common Scoter, 7 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Gannet, 3 Auk sp and 3 Kittiwake were seen.

15th December 2017 - Friday

Occasional showers with a F3-5 W wind.
Watches: 0800-1100.

The wandering flock of Brent Geese re-apeared, but disappointingly of the 620 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, only 2 were juveniles with very few seen over the last few years. Also today were 20 Mute Swan, 340 Wigeon, 90 Teal, 10 Shoveler, 1 Pintail, 2 Scaup, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Goldeneye on Kilnsea wetlands, 1 Common Buzzard, 40 Lapwing, 50 Black-tailed Godwit Long bank, 1 Greenshank still on beacon ponds, 1st year Mediterranean Gull on Easington straight, 2 Stonechat, 1 Coal Tit and 60 Linnet on Beacon lane.

The sea was yet again quiet, but a Little auk flew north, while also on the move were 1 Goldeneye, 14 Common Scoter, 19 Red-throated Diver, 1 Gannet, 3 Guillemot and 1 Kittiwake.

14th December 2017 - Thursday

Generally clear and dry with a F3-5 W wind.
Watches: 0815-1100.

The sea was typically quiet, but a few Diver were on the move with 1 Wigeon, 1 Eider, 5 Common Scoter, 95 Red throated Diver, 1 Black throated Diver, 2 Gannet, 3 Guillemot and 2 Auk sp.

Other birds of note were 18 Mute Swan, 6 Grey Partridge, 9 Snipe, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Coal Tit, 15 Yellowhammer, 10 Reed Bunting.

Ringing: 1 Blackbird, 2 Chaffinch.

13th December 2017 - Wednesday

Overcast with showers and a F3-4 WNW wind.
Watches:0800-1030.

What little was seen was over the sea today. The best being 1 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 1 Eider, 7 Common Scoter, 33 Red-throated Diver, 2 Gannet and 1 Auk sp.

12th December 2017 - Tuesday

Heavy frost to begin, remaining very cold all day, despite the sunshine with a F2-4 N wind.
Watches: 0800-1030.
A big increase in Snipe was no doubt related to the cold snap on the continent with an impressive number seen arriving off the sea.

A nice mix of species continue to be seen as the month draws on with wildfowl on Kilnsea wetlands still prominent, 400 Brent Geese, 316 Wigeon, 55 Teal, 12+ Shoveler, 2 Scaup, 1 Common Buzzard, 68 Common Snipe in the area (38 in/off), 23 Black-tailed Godwit, 77 Lapwing, 70 Blackbird, female Blackcap at the Obs, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Bullfinch in churchfield, 130 Linnet at Sammys and 16 Yellowhammer.

The sea was poor, despite the arriving Snipe and only produced 12 Common Scoter, 12 Red-throated Diver, 2 Kittiwake.

Ringing: 3 Blackbird, 1 Goldfinch, 1 Chaffinch.

11th December 2017 - Monday

Early morning frost, remaining cold, but sunny with a F2-3 W wind.
Migration Watches: 0815-1100.
The sea continued the same theme with a trickle of movement, 1 Gadwall, 44 Teal, 10 Common Scoter, 76 Red-throated Diver, 11 Gannet, 4 Cormorant, 3 Bonxie, 42 Kittiwake and 3 Auk sp.
Other bits of interest were 200 Wigeon, 150 Teal, 15 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Scaup and 1 Goldeneye Kilnsea wetlands, 33 Lapwing and 130 Black-tailed Godwit Long bank marsh, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Lesser Redpoll and 1 Mealy Redpoll in the Crown carpark and a Snow Bunting at Sandy beaches.

Snow Bunting. John Hewitt.

Snow Bunting. John Hewitt.

Black-tailed Godwit. John Hewitt.

Black-tailed Godwit. John Hewitt.

Mealy Redpoll. Johan I Fisk.

Mealy Redpoll. Johan I Fisk.

10th December 2017 - Sunday

Cold and overcast with a F3-4 W-N wind.
Migration Watches: 0800-1030.
The sea had little on the move with 2 Wigeon, 2 Common Scoter, 36 Red-throated Diver, 3 Gannet, 1 Kittiwake, 3 Guillemot, 1 Razorbill and 3 Auk sp.
Other bits of interest were 18 Mute Swan, 200 Wigeon, 104 Teal, 11 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Scaup and 1 Goldeneye Kilnsea wetlands, 1 Jack Snipe, 70 each of House and Tree Sparrow in one garden in Kilnsea and 2 Lesser Redpoll in the crown carpark.

9th December 2017 - Saturday

Bitterly cold with sunny periods and a F2-3 N wind.
Migration Watches: 0755-1100.
The conditions gave hope for some movement over the sea, but only produced 3 Wigeon, 2 Common Scoter, 35 Red-throated Diver, 4 Gannet, 1 Shag, 4 Guillemot, 1 Razorbill and 7 Auk sp.
Other bits of interest were 24 Mute Swan, 282 Wigeon, 84 Teal, 49 Mallard, 18 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Scaup and 1 Goldeneye Kilnsea wetlands, 45 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Greenshank Beacon ponds, a Common Buzzard that went south, 1 Barn Owl, 2 Song Thrush, female Blackcap at the Obs, 22 Linnet Warren, 4 Lesser Redpoll in the crown carpark and a female Bullfinch at Kew.

Ringing: 1 Goldifnch.

8th December 2017 - Friday

Early frost remaining all-day in sheltered spots, but bright and sunny throughout with a F3 W-NW wind.
Migration Watches: 0815-1115.

The sea was hard work and cold for the few stubborn observers putting in the hours, though only getting 1 Eider, 1 Long tailed Duck, 4 Common Scoter, 30 Red throated Diver, 7 Gannet, 2 Kittiwake, 13 Guillemot and 29 Auk sp for their tenacity.

Other birds of note were mainly around the Kilnsea wetlands were 23 Mute Swan, 38 Pink footed Geese south in the evening, 24 Shelduck, 200 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 9 Shoveler, 2 Scaup, 1 Tufted Duck, 3 Goldeneye, 19 Little Grebe, 6 Little Egret, 1 Common Buzzard, 50 Black tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 90 Fieldfare Peter lane, female Blackcap under the feeders in the Obs garden, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Coal Tit, 2 Siskin and 4 Lesser Redpoll in the crown carpark and a Snow Bunting by the sea watch hut.

7th December 2017 - Thursday

Overcast all day with a F4-5 gusting 6 W wind.
Migration Watches: 0810-1120.

The strong wind made it difficult in looking for anything today and there was no sign of the Lesser Yellowlegs despite being looked for. Hopefully when the wind drops it will re-appear.

On the move over the sea were 5 Common Scoter, 1 Goosander, 39 Red throated Diver, 1 Black throated Diver, 3 Gannet, 1 Cormorant, 1 Kittiwake, 4 Guillemot and 25 Auk.

Other birds of note were 175 Brent Geese, 10 Shoveler, 2 Scaup, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Goldeneye, 1 Common Buzzard, 26 Golden Plover in/off, 68 Black tailed Godwit, 1 Jack Snipe, 2 Stonechat, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Lesser Redpoll and a Snow Bunting at Sandy beaches.

Snow Bunting. Dan Branch.

Snow Bunting. Dan Branch.

Brent Geese. Dan Branch.

Brent Geese. Dan Branch.

6th December 2017 - Wednesday

The decent period of birding continues with both good birds remaining and the sea while overall remains quiet still has a few bits of interest to maybe make it worthwhile.

The Lesser Yellowlegs and 1st winter Rose coloured Starling both remained in residence.

All the main news was from the seawatch hut with 64 Pink footed Geese north, 2 Pintail, 3 Wigeon, 3 Eider, 16 Common Scoter, 48 Red throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Black throated Diver, 1 Gannet, 2 Cormorant, 1 Bonxie, 1 Pomarine Skua, 12 Auk sp and 4 Guillemot.

Other bits of interest were 900+ Golden Plover, 190 Redshank, 66 Black tailed Godwit, 1 Rock Pipit and 7 Stonechat.

Nearby a male Hen Harrier and Marsh Harrier were at Welwick in the evening.

Ringing: Nil.

Rosy Starling. Tony Broome. In his garden from a few days ago.

Rosy Starling. Tony Broome. In his garden from a few days ago.

5th December 2017 - Tuesday

Overcast all day with a F2-3 SW wind.
Migration Watches: 0755-1110.

Both the Lesser Yellowlegs on long bank and the 1st winter Rose-coloured Starling at Dimlington bungalows were both still present. The Starling has now gone through an extensive moult and will be interesting to see it, if it stays into the winter.

The sea produced 11 Whooper Swan, 19 Teal, 45 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Gannet, 3 Cormorant, adult Pomarine Skua, 2 Kittiwake and 3 Auk sp.
Other sightings were the 2 Scaup and 2 Goldeneye on Kilnsea wetlands, 1 Merlin, 1 Water Rail, 800 Golden Plover with 60 in/off, 220 Lapwing, 2500 Knot, 56 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Rock Pipit, 2 chiffchaff, 2 Coal Tit, 3 Siskin, 3 Redpoll, 1 Bullfinch and 1 Snow Bunting.

Ringing: 1 Chiffchaff, 1 House Sparrow, 1 Bullfinch.

Rosy Starling. Philip Ridsdale

Rosy Starling. Philip Ridsdale

Whooper Swan. Philip Ridsdale.

Whooper Swan. Philip Ridsdale.

Merlin. Philip Ridsdale.

Merlin. Philip Ridsdale.

4th December 2017 - Monday

Clear, dry and sunny all day with a F1-2 w wind.
Watches: 0800-1030.

The Lesser Yellowlegs is still present today on Long bank and visiting Kilnsea wetlands.

Passerine wise the mild conditions made for nice birding in the area. Seen today were 22 Skylark, 1 rock Pipit, 2 Stonechat, 1 Blackcap, 2 Coal tit, 7 Siskin and 3 Lesser Redpoll while going south were 22 Skylark, 2 Alba Wagtail, 9 Goldfinch, 20 Siskin and 25 Linnet.
A trickle of birds over the sea, 1 Whooper Swan, 41 Pink-footed Geese NW, 3 Wigeon, 1 Eider, 19 Common Scoter, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Gannet and 1 Cormorant.

Other bits mainly in the Kilnsea wetlands area were 145 Brent Geese, 100 Wigeon, 60 Teal, 9 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, the 2 Scaup, 3 Goldeneye, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Peregrine, 38 Lapwing, 2 Snipe, 1 Woodcock, 76 Black-tailed Godwit, 420 Redshank and 1 Greenshank.

Ringing: 1 Tree Sparrow.

Lesser Yellowlegs. David Aitken.

Lesser Yellowlegs. David Aitken.

Black-tailed Godwit. Dave Constantine.

Black-tailed Godwit. Dave Constantine.

Black-tailed Godwit. Ian Smith.

Black-tailed Godwit. Ian Smith.

Wigeon. Ian Smith.

Wigeon. Ian Smith.

3rd December 2017 - Sunday

Early rain gave way to a clear chilly day and a F2-3 W wind.
Migration Watches: 0750-0950.


The Lesser Yellowlegs remained all day on Long bank, though mainly distant. In Easington the 1st winter Rose-coloured Starling re-appeared, in the Dimlington bungalows area and the question is, has there been only one all along since August?

The sea was quiet again with 6 Eider, 1 Velvet Scoter, 16 Red-throated Diver, 1 Gannet and 2 Cormorant.
Other bits of interest were a 20 Mute Swan, 9 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Scaup and 2 Goldeneye Kilnsea wetlands, 15 Little Grebe, 60 Lapwing, 28 Black-tailed Godwit Humber, Greenshank on the Humber, 1 Woodcock, 1 Jack Snipe, 3 Song Thrush, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Bullfinch, 45 Siskin, 12 Yellowhammer and a Snow Bunting blogging.

Ringing: 1 Blue Tit, 1 Chaffinch, 10 Siskin.

Rosy Starling. Colin Bushell.

Rosy Starling. Colin Bushell.

Black-tailed Godwit. Ian Smith.

Black-tailed Godwit. Ian Smith.

2nd December 2017 - Saturday

Mostly sunny with a F2-3 NW-W wind.
Migration Watches: 0815-1040, 1430-1530.

Little birding done today by the locals as an enthusiastic bunch had a day of surfacing the paths in church field with a full voluntary work day. Thanks to everyone who turned up, to help out. The observatory wouldnt be around today without the constant support and help you lot offer!!

The Lesser Yellowlegs was still present all day, but more distantly on Long bank marsh.
Also today the Hen Harrier was still in the green lane area.

The sea was back to ‘normal’ with 105 Teal, 28 Wigeon, 7 Eider, 12 Common Scoter, 4 Goosander, 57 Red-throated Diver, 2 Gannet, 2 Guillemot and 4 Auk sp.
Other bits of interest were a 4 Whooper Swan, 400 Brent Geese, 10 shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Scaup and 2 Goldeneye Kilnsea wetlands, 55 Lapwing, 45 Black-tailed Godwit Humber, 1 Greenshank on the Humber, 3 Woodcock, 1 Fieldfare, 3 Song Thrush, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Chiffchaff, 18 Magpie, 2 Bullfinch and a Snow Bunting at the breach while 1 Skylark, 3 Meadow Pipit, 14 Goldifnch, 16 Siskin and 36 Linnet went south.

Ringing: 2 Redshank, 1 Dunlin, 1 Knot.

Lesser Yellowlegs. Colin Bushell.

Lesser Yellowlegs. Colin Bushell.

Bullfinch. Colin Bushell.

Bullfinch. Colin Bushell.

THE TEAM.

THE TEAM.

1st December 2017 - Friday

Clear spells with frequent sometimes wintry showers with a F2-3 NW wind.
Migration Watches: 0740-1110.

Spurn in 2016 had 3-4 new species, or 5 depending on your take on splitting and lumping. 2017, while not living up to that billing, has in reality, actually been a very good year, despite up to the end of Novemebr, no new species for the observatory being recorded. The autumn has had no less than 5 species of American wader with adult American Golden Plover, juvenile Long-billed Dowitcher, 2 White-rumped Sandpiper (adult and juvenile), adult Buff-breasted Sandpiper and 3 juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper and hopes were high for something we had not recorded before, but the autumn wader passage came and went and that was that, or so we thought.
This morning Jonnie Fisk out walking the dog, found Spurns overdue 1st and much anticipated LESSER YELLOWLEGS, a 1st winter feeding with a few Redshank in water logged fields, and puddles just east of Kilnsea church, showing well by the roadside, and still present late afternoon.

The sea had a nice selection of species with 64 Teal, 5 Wigeon, 48 Eider, 3 Long-tailed Duck, 197 Common Scoter, 59 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northen Diver, 8 Gannet, 8 Cormorant, 1 Pomarine Skua, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 22 Kittiwake, 2 Little Auk and 12 Auk sp.
Other bits of interest were 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Scaup and 2 Goldeneye Kilnsea wetlands, ringtail Hen Harrier in Easington, Water Rail along the canal, Woodcock at sandy beaches, 160 Curlew and 28 Black-tailed Godwit in long bank, Greenshank on the Humber, 2 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing, 1 Song Thrush in the triangle, 2 Blackcap and 1 Bullfinch.

Ringing: 3 Blackbird, 1 Blackcap, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Tree Sparrow, 1 House Sparrow.

Lesser Yellowlegs. Dan Branch.

Lesser Yellowlegs. Dan Branch.

Lesser Yellowlegs. Roy Harvey.

Lesser Yellowlegs. Roy Harvey.

Lesser Yellowlegs. Dan Branch.

Lesser Yellowlegs. Dan Branch.

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