Strong southerly winds, rain and a plume of warm air coming from Iberia all looked promising for a spring fall on the east coast. Up at 6am, I headed over to Flamborough, arriving at Old Fall Steps in light drizzle about 7.30. Scanning the field to the north of the road revealed seven Wheatears together, perching in the hedge. A promising start! I wandered down the Lighthouse Road, noting another four Wheatears on the golf course. A Siskin flew over, and two Swifts were by the lighthouse and a Lesser Whitethroat was singing in the Bay Brambles.
The rain got worse and having forgotten by waterproof trousers I was beginning to get soaked. Rather than head round the Old Fall circuit, I decided to head back to the car to wait out the shower. Fortunately, the rain eased, so I headed straight down the hedge, noting small numbers of Willow Warblers and a Lesser Whitethroat. The sun began to break through, and I discovered another eight rather damp Wheatears and a couple of Yellow Wagtails in the field next to the hedge. There had clearly been a fall of migrants.
News then broke of yesterday's single observer Hoopoe having been refound on the bowling green back in Flamborough village, so I u-turned and headed down there. Within a few minutes, I was watching this cracking exotic walking nonchalantly around on the turf, probing out leatherjackets. After a few minutes, it flapped off over the road and disappeared. I left the other birders to it and headed back to Old Fall to continue birding.
The circuit was really enjoyable, with a total of 28 Wheatears, three Whinchats, a female Ring Ouzel, a Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, c20 Willow Warblers, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 5 Yellow Wagtails, Redpoll sp, and a Hobby 'in off' the sea over the golf course.
I spent a few minutes enjoying the sea and cliffs, the first time I had seen it this year. Thousands of Guillemots, Razorbills, Gannets and Kittiwakes were rafting offshore, while many more crammed the cliffs. Absolutely brilliant.