September East Coast trip, Sunday 6th
As not much had been reported in the region aside from passage birds over the sea, we decided on a round trip for the day starting off at Flamborough lighthouse and ending at North Cave Wetlands (the advertised destination).
13 of us started off sea watching at Flamborough Head – 3 hours in lovely conditions for us (seriously – not too breezy, sunny and way warmer than expected) yielded several Sooty Shearwaters, a couple of Skuas – one was definitely Arctic, but there was debate amongst other birders around us as to whether the other was a Pomerine (reading the Flamborough list from Sunday, 1 Pom was seen going South). A few Manx Shearwaters went past, but all of us missed the single Storm Petrel, though we were there at the time! At least 12 Red-throated Divers went past and possibly 1 Great-Northern Diver, 4 Velvet Scoter, Sandwich Terns, Shags, Kittiwakes and a number of Little Gulls. Gannets predominated, as expected. The conditions were too good for an impressive passage (but watching was much more pleasant!!) and it was even quieter after 10.30 am.
We headed on to South Landing – where Lesser Whitethroat and a small flock of Siskin were the best additions to the list along with a flock of about 60 Common Scoter in the bay. Then on to Hornsea Mere where there had been a report of a Red-Necked Phalarope – sadly gone long before we got there – however we had great views of Little Gulls really close in (including youngsters) – both feeding over the water and perched up on the jetties by the boats and more difficult (sunlight on water making it tricky) views of Red-necked Grebe. We decided not to carry on to North Cave Wetlands and to watch the Little Gulls come in to roost instead – only to get booted out of the car park at 5.30pm! We ended the day with a fruitless search of the seafront for interesting gulls (Little or otherwise). So, a relaxed day’s birding in warm sunny conditions and a list of about 61 species seen.