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Post Info TOPIC: East Yorkshire.

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RE: East Yorkshire.

Sat 6th Jan

First time visit to Tophill Low NR. Some of the reserve was closed due to flooding and the surrounding fields were flooded and approach road had been flooded recently.

The elusive male Black-throated Thrush finally showed at the top of a tree mid afternoon for a few minutes after a long wait. Quite distant scope views from the raised viewing deck near the ringing hut, and it generally had its back to us throughout, before dropping back down into the scrub and out of sight. So, not the best view, but still a lifer for me.

Other notable sightings:
1 Smew - female
3 Scaup - 2m , 1f
2 Red-crested Pochard - pair
Large numbers of Tufted Duck, Teal, Pochard, Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall
A few Goldeneye
c50 Whooper Swan and hundreds of Greylag Geese in surrounding fields from approach road
1 Barn Owl roosting in a tree
1 Marsh Harrier
A few Cettis Warbler singing
A hybrid duck that is thought to be Wigeon x Baikal Teal


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A slight detour from our Essex trip on the way home today to Tophill Low NR.

The male Black Throated Thrush showed on and off for an hour between 13:30 and 14:30 associating with Blackbirds, Redwing and a Fieldfare near the scrub around the ringers hut. Never still for long and often on the ground or in cover out of sight.

A cracking bird and my first male of the species.

Note that some main tracks are flooded, so Wellies advisable if you're tempted.


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Simon Gough wrote:

Saturday 28th October

Also got across to Flamborough and similar sightings to Steven. Don't shoot me but I didn't bother going to see the Bunting, somehow not an exciting prospect over the activity and superb warblers.

I, for one, would never criticise your decision, Simon, and agree the supporting cast, in this instance, outshone the star bird! The bunting is far from nailed on for folk yet too, with voices in the upper echelons of twitching still doubting the ID and even more people questioning origin! The likelihood is that a bird on Out Skerries, which is being reassessed by the BOURC will become the 'First for Britain' leaving this one to be judged by the BBRC, with lower acceptance criteria (so everything crossed for all who have seen it!). But for now this is not acceptable as a lifer, much as I would love that since I went yesterday! Who knows, in the long run your decision may prove fortuitousbiggrin

My trip (Sunday 29th Oct) was much like the others on here with Red-headed Bunting (pending!!), Two-barred Greenish Warbler, Pallas's Warbler, Dusky Warbler and a lingering Pallid Swift all seen. In addition a few nice 'fillers' like 2 Mealy Redpolls, a Ring Ouzel, Brambling and a Marsh Harrier were all added! Goldcrests were falling out of the sky at our feet giving point blank views, amazing.

For anyone going DO take wellies, it is a mudbath there, in places the liquid mud was flowing down paths like a stream. I had over-trousers too and that was a good idea as the mud splashed up all over them. Parking at Lighthouse car park is 4.50 for 24hrs and can be done by cash or card and that gives you all day to see everything.

-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 30th of October 2023 12:00:53 PM


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Saturday 28th October

Also got across to Flamborough and similar sightings to Steven, point blank views of the Two-barred and Pallas's Warblers, but sketchier of the Lighthouse Dusky Warbler which was a pain all morning. Don't shoot me but I didn't bother going to see the Bunting, somehow not an exciting prospect over the activity and superb warblers. The constant flux of common winter migrants was brilliant, with plenty of Bramblings and a couple of in-off Woodcock standing out.

On the way back headed for Sunk Island for a stunning array of raptors, Rough-legged Buzzard, 2 Hen Harriers and 4 Short-eared Owls all showing brilliantly. 2 Marsh harriers appeared and mobbed the buzzard at one point, the size difference was notable, the buzzard a size up from even a female Marshie. I haven't seen so many predatory birds all cruising around together before, somehow they were all finding their places to hunt and enjoy the bounty.

The final decent birds were another ringtail Hen Harrier by the road away and a Merlin perched in a tree by one of the isolated farmhouses. Looking for Partridges we found around 60 or 70 Red-legged, clearly just released as they milled around in plain sight, but no Greys.

One of those days you'll remember for years, mother nature magnificent to watch around you.


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A fantastic day at Flamborough Head today (Saturday 28th October). Full day - first light to dark.

Large numbers of Thrushes and common migrants around with some top quality rarities. One of those amazing days on the east coast where theres too much to see! Lots of birds arriving in the morning but things quietened down a bit in the afternoon.


Two-barred Warbler - lifer. Showed really well near lighthouse
Red headed Bunting - lifer. Imm male. Not very inspiring to look at but mega rare
2 Dusky Warblers - 1 near lighthouse, 1 in Flamborough village. - only my 2nd and 3rd
1 Pallass Warbler - near lighthouse within 5 mins of arrival.

Other highlights:
1 Yellow-browed Warbler - heard only in same hedge as Dusky Warbler but remained hidden
2 Meally Redpoll
A few Brambling
3 Woodcock
1 Treecreeper
2 Red-throated Diver
2 Shag
1 Gannet
60+ Common Scoter - South Landing
1 Sparrowhawk - hunting the hedge that contained the R-b Bunting
Large flocks of Pink-footed Geese over the cliffs at Bempton plus 2 flocks over the sea.
Hundreds of Redwings, Fieldfare, Goldcrests as well as lots of Robins, Dunnocks, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes
1 Barn Owl - flew over the road on my way there

Pallid Swift
Black Redstart
Continental Coal Tit
Northern Bullfinch
Hen Harrier

51 species seen.

-- Edited by Steven Nelson on Sunday 29th of October 2023 12:21:40 AM


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Wednesday 26th October.

A trip to Flamborough for the Red-headed Bunting with Phil Owen. We arrived at the North Landing car park around 9.30am to be greeted by several skeins of Pink-footed Geese over. a dog walker stopped to chat and commented that he was more used to shooting them than watching no. We walked a short distance along the coastal path to where the Bunting had set up camp for the last several days, noting that quite a few birders had got there before us. After a few minutes the Red-headed Bunting showed itself in some hawthorn bushes by the ploughed field. It seemed to be associating with the local Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers. Not the most interesting looking bird, but nevertheless a lifer biggrin. There was a hide just a few yards away where a Siberian Stonechat had been reported so we scanned across the adjacent field but it wasn't showing for us today.

At this point we decided to spend the rest of the day patrolling the area to see what might turn up. We headed for the Old Fall plantation where a Yellow-Browed Warbler had been reported earlier. As we walked along the path towards the coast, it became apparent that this was one of those days where conditions were just right and we were witnessing a significant fall of migrant birds. The hawthorns and field edges were teaming with Blackbirds and Robins, and in the sky there was a constant stream of Redwing and Fieldfare flocks. It was relentless! A small group of Goldcrests came past us along the hedge, little did we know that was a sign of things to come for that particular bird. For the rest of the day we saw them everywhere!

The Old Fall plantation was full of Goldcrests but no YBW. We spotted a Short-eared Owl coming in off the sea and quartering the field, probably looking for its first meal in a while. As we moved on along the coastal path it was amazing to see the numbers of Blackbirds, Robins and Thrushes feeding in the fields. Out at sea we saw Gannets, Cormorants, Guillemots and a single Red-throated Diver among the usual gulls and a number of Grey Seals were also seen.

Back at the Lighthouse on Flamborough Head, the area of scrub seemed to be alive with Goldcrests feeding. A Brambling and Blackcap were spotted nearby for a change. At this point a Pallas's Warbler was reported at RSPB Bempton Cliffs only a few miles away, so off we went. The Pallas's Warbler showed well, right in front of the visitor centre. Definitely a much nicer looking bird than the earlier Red-headed Bunting (just not as rare!), and another lifer for me to end the day nicely.

A cracking day out and my first experience of a migrant fall which I will never forget.




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Saturday 2nd September 8.30-16.30

Started at North Cave, see other thread
Arrived at Flamborough at around 10am, first East Coast seawatch for the year and it was pretty good. Early on there was some rustiness around skua ID, I was trying to turn everything into a Pom basically, but a few Arctics went through, along with a couple of Red-throated Divers and a Whimbrel. I didn't see a Great Skua, numbers are low after bird flu on Scottish breeding grounds, hopefully the population will recover...in previous years you would see 3 or 4 on such a day.

Best bird was a juvenile Long-tailed Skua, the first one I've ever got on and identified myself really, which was decent. It was notably small and flew directly but with quick wingbeats. It looked sandy brown compared to the other birds seen and also seemed typical in making a couple of tentative darts at a gull or tern before giving up, rather than persistent harrying like an Arctic. We had 1 or 2 birds that looked a candidate for Pomarine but in the end I left it at the two species. Didn't see any small brown gannets either...

Finished with a brief stop at Tophill Low, an interesting place that I hadn't visited before. We had great views immediately of a Pectoral Sandpiper and then the female Blue-winged Teal sprang to life and showed very well. The wing panel was an exact colour match for the Man City home shirt; when you're used to a similar looking bird having a small green panel, a massive bright blue one really stands out.

A cracking day out in lovely weather, September being the new July after all


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Flamborough was included in the latest trip East,and did give much interest, several seals near the drinking dinosaur, a seaward look gave ,razorbill, guillemot, a great skua seen, was later corrected to arctic skua by one of the resident seawatchers ,a juvenile kestrel 4 mtrs from my position ,gannet passing through too.


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They certainly made up for me missing some shearwaters, skuas, oh and the Glossy Ibis while I was watching the Barred Warbler. Another one had just flown off a few minutes before I got to the right place.
Typical birding, you win some, you lose some.

Phil Greenwood

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Very nonchalant mention of the 2 Humpback Whales Phil !!

I saw pic's on Twitter, must have been a great sight.


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Highlights from a trip to Bridlington Sept. 18th to 22nd.

Bempton Cliffs, September 19th.

Red-breasted Flycatcher 1 juv.
Goldcrest 2
Chiffchaff 1

Bridlington, Sept. 19th.

Sandwich Tern 10+
Knot 1
Redshank 1
Oystercatcher 2

Flamborough Head, September 20th.

Red-backed Shrike 1 juv.
Redstart 1
Yellow-browed Warbler 1
Red-throated Diver 30+
Siskin 1
Humpback Whale 2

Flamborough Head, Sept. 21st.

Barred Warbler 1 juv.
Whitethroat 1 male.
Willow Warbler 1
Siskin 1
Grey Wagtail 1
Shag 10+
Scoter 10+
Arctic Skua 1
Red-throated Diver 5
Swallow 5
Grey Heron 2 off the sea.
Grey Seal 3
Harbour Porpoise 1

Hornsea, Sept. 21st.

Yellow Wagtail 1 over the prom.

Red Kite 1 enroute to Blacktoft Sands.

Phil Greenwood
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