28th September 2020

Very light, variable winds and sunny intervals provided ideal birding conditions after days of very strong northerlies. A Great Shearwater flying north headlined a seawatch that also included 96 Wigeon, 126 Common Scoters, 17 Sooty Shearwaters, 15 Manx Shearwaters, 7620 Kittiwakes, 11 Bonxies, six Arctic Skuas and 21,255 Razorbills all flying north.

Land-based sightings included a party of nine Bean Geese sp. heading south over the headland early morning, a Barnacle Goose accompanied the resident Greylag flock, three Water Rails were newly arrived and a Grey Plover flew west. However, passerine migrants took centre stage due to the calm conditions, with the day’s highlight referring to the discovery of an Arctic Warbler in a village garden late afternoon; it showed from 1615-1700hrs, but there was no further sign before dusk. Yet another Red-backed Shrike frequented the South Cliffs, two Red-breasted Flycatchers were present at Old Fall, two Barred Warblers remained in the Golf Course Willows, no fewer than 36 Yellow-browed Warblers were located and the Little Bunting appeared briefly near Old Fall. Additional totals included three Ring Ouzels, 24 Song Thrush, 23 Redwing, a Fieldfare, 22 Blackbirds, 8 Willow Warblers, 53 Chiffchaff, 63 Goldcrest, a Firecrest, 19 Blackcap, five Lesser Whitethroats, two Spotted Flycatchers, one Redstart, a Whinchat, 17 Stonechats, 169 Lesser Redpolls, 55 Siskins flying west, a Hawfinch also west, two Crossbills and eight Lapland Buntings.

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 200 Pink-footed Geese south, nine Goldcrests and four Yellow-browed Warblers. Nearby Buckton hosted an additional three Yellow-browed Warblers, together with single Merlin, Marsh Harrier, 20 Goldcrests and two Stonechats.

Arctic Warbler, Flamborough village, by Craig Thomas
Little Bunting, Old Fall (27/9), by Martin Standley
Red-backed Shrike, South Cliffs, by Andrew Allport