16th October 2020

The weather consisted of light/moderate northerly winds, sunny intervals after an overcast morning and temperatures reaching a maximum of 12 degrees C. Amazingly, five Dusky Warblers were present on the headland, with three on the outer head (including one Golf Course Willows) and the others at RSPB Bempton Cliffs and one remaining at Buckton. Two Olive-backed Pipits included a new arrival at Thornwick Pools, with the other showing occasionally near the Lighthouse. The autumn’s first Pallas’s Warbler was located near North Dykes, whilst the Little Bunting continued to give occasional views in the Lighthouse Grassland. A Red-breasted Flycatcher showed well in the ravine at South Landing from mid-afternoon, whilst five Siberian Chiffchaffs were in residence (four outer head, one RSPB Bempton Cliffs). Arguably, a first site record of Cetti’s Warbler on the reserve was the highlight at the latter location, whilst a Marsh Tit at South Landing represented another local rarity.

Additional migrant totals included a Jack Snipe (Thornwick Pools), six Woodcock, two Short-eared Owls, a Willow Warbler, eight Yellow-browed Warblers, 190 Goldcrests, one Black Redstart, a Redstart, 16 Crossbills and nine Lapland Buntings. Sightings at RSPB Bempton Cliffs also included three Brent Geese flying south-east, one Woodcock, a Merlin, 70 Skylarks flying east and 200 Linnets. Two Yellow-browed Warblers were new at Buckton, where there were also three Jack Snipe, a Short-eared Owl, 25 Goldcrests and a Mealy Redpoll.

Two ringing stations on the outer head were rewarded with a total of 97 birds being caught, including 46 Goldcrests at South Landing.

Olive-backed Pipit, Thornwick Pools, by Mark Breaks
Pallas’s Warbler, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport
Pallas’s Warbler, Flamborough, by Colin Scott