Monday, 3 October 2016


Yesterday the wind swung round to the northeast as forecast so I was up early and soon found myself scampering down to the fog station at Flamborough Head. The wind seemed too, well, windy for finding stuff in the bushes, so a seawatch was in order. And what a cracking seawatch! Apart from a brief pause to do a Radio Leeds interview, I had c130 Sooty Shearwaters powering north into the teeth of the wind, plus c20 Manx Shearwaters, looking decidedly frail compared with their Southern Hemisphere cousins. Several Bonxies chugged south, plus a similar number of Arctic Skuas. A continual line of Kittiwakes and auks headed north. I got on a close in gull that looked like a juvenile Sabine's Gull, but it went round the corner of the fog station wall before I had nailed it. Doh! One Sandwich Tern, c40 Common Scoters, c30 Red-throated Divers and a Mippit 'in off' were added to the list before I decided to head for the bushes at 10am.

A little later, scanning the Gorse Field and a large pale grey and white warbler just inside the edge of a large hawthorn screamed Barred Warbler. I got my scope on it but could only ever see about half the bird. This looked convincing but I needed a better view to be sure. Sadly, it melted away into the hedge and after 30 minutes I gave up. It would have to go down as a probable, at least for now... A few Bramblings came in off and by the pool in the sheep field I flushed a Snow Bunting. Things were looking up!

On to Old Fall where I bumped into Tony Martin who had been grilling the trees on the south side, revealing nice views of a Hawfinch, but not a lot else. I gave it half an hour but York called, so I wandered back west.

A little later, I got an email to say Jane and Rob Chapman had relocated the Barred Warbler in the bushes near the lighthouse and a few others had seen it. Fab! So maybe not just a 'probable' after all!

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