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December 2014 Sightings

31st December 2014 - Wednesday

Well what a year 2014 was. A total of 252 species were recorded and if all accepted there were four additions to the Spurn list – White-billed Diver, Masked Shrike, Blackpoll Warbler and Steller’s Eider, not to mention the second records of Ring-necked Duck and Terek Sandpiper, 2nd and 3rd Desert Lesser Whitethroat, 3rd Pacific Golden Plover and Fea’s Petrel, 3rd and 4th Pallid Swifts, 4th Isabelline Shrike, 5th White-winged Black Tern, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Cetti’s Warbler and Surf Scoter, not to mention a whole selection of sub-rarities, scarce migrants, good falls of drift migrants and some record passages of common vis mig migrants.
Let’s hope 2015 is just as good.

Migration/sea-watch 08.15-10.00. Blue skies with an increasing force 2-5 WSW wind.
Observations were cut short when a Little Bustard turned up up the coast! On the move were 11 Common Scoter, 1 Velvet Scoter, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 24 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 auk sp.
Other birds seen included the Black Brant, 3 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Woodcock, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 150 Fieldfare, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Redwing, 1 Chiffchaff and a Coal Tit in an Easington garden which has been present most of the winter.

30th December 2014 - Tuesday

Sea-watch 08.00-08.45. Cold with clear blue skies and a force 1-2 WNW wind.
On the move were 2 Wigeon, 3 Common Scoter, 7 Red-throated Diver, 1 Gannet. Other birds seen included 6 Goldeneye, 1 Water Rail, 1 Snipe, 2 Woodcock, 14 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Rock Pipit, 2 Stonechat, 1 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing and a Chiffchaff.

29th December 2014 - Monday

Sea-watch 08.15-10.00. A cold day with a heavy frost and clear blue skies, a force 1 NW wind.
Very little moving but a Marsh Harrier was very good for the time of year, other birds moving were 3 Eider, 5 Red-throated Diver and a Kittiwake.
A Scaup was on Beacon Ponds with 212 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 6 Goldeneye, 16 Little Grebe, 6 Little Egret, a Water Rail, and a Greenshank. The Black Brant was in the fields again with 635 Brent and 2 Pale-belled Brents. Other birds seen included a Common Buzzard, 1 Merlin, 1 Snipe, 2 Woodcock, 230 Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrush , 3 Redwing, 3 Goldcrest and a Long-tailed Tit.

28th December 2014 - Sunday

Bright and sunny most of day with a force 1 NW wind.
Birds seen today were a Pink-footed Goose, 7 Greylag Geese, a Pale-bellied Brent, 7 Teal, 5 Goldeneye, a Jack Snipe, 7 Skylark, 1 Stonechat, 2 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing and 1 Song Thrush.

27th December 2014 - Saturday

Sea-watch 08.15-11.00. Heavy overnight rain which continued all day with a force 1 NW wind.
The first Fulmar since mid-October flew south and other birds over the sea were 1 Wigeon, 6 Common Scoter, 61 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 3 Gannet, 1 Pomarine Skua and a Bonxie.
Other birds seen were 7 Greylag Geese, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Stonechat, 33 Fieldfare, 6 Redwing and 4 Goldcrest.

26th December 2014 - Friday

Sea-watch 07.55-09.30. A frosty night but cloudy from dawn, a light NW wind.
On the move were 6 Wigeon, 2 Teal, 3 Pintail, 46 Common Scoter, 1 Velvet Scoter, 4 Goldeneye, 1 Goosander, 37 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Gannet, 1 Pomarine Skua.
The Black Brant and 2 Pale-bellied Brents were in the fields with 8 Greylag Geese, other birds seen included 7 Goldeneye, 20 Little Grebe, 2 Woodcock, 70+ Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Fieldfare, 16 Redwing, 2 Stonechat, and 2 Goldcrest.

25th December 2014 - Thursday

Mostly sunny with a decreasing WSW 3-1 wind.
The only birds noted were 1 Rock Pipit, 10 Fieldfare, 22 Redwing and a Chiffchaff.

24th December 2014

Sunday 21st -24th December
A expectedly quiet days with few birders and Christmas preparations and celebrations. Mostly cloudy with a variable force 3-5 WSW-W wind.
Most activity was over the sea, highlights being 6 Goldeneye, a Woodcock in off the sea on 21st, a Great Northern Diver on 23rd and 24th, 4 Red-breasted Merganser on 24th and 204 Herring Gull on 23rd.
The Black Brant was seen on 24th along with 445 Dark-bellied and 2 Pale-bellied Brents, other birds seen during the period were 1 Water Rail, 150 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush, 5 Long-tailed Tit and a Jay.

20th December 2014 - Saturday

Sea-watch 08.15-12.30, 14.15-16.00. Another day of sunshine with a force 4-5 cool W wind.
A better day over the sea with 5 Wigeon,, 5 Mallard, 2 Eider, 1 Common Scoter, 39 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 15 Gannet, 3 Cormorant, 9 Pomarine Skua, 1 Bonxie, 16 Black-headed Gull, 1003 Herring Gull, 75 Great B.B.Gull, and 10 Guillemot.
The only other birds seen were a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Fieldfare and 6 Snow Bunting.

19th December 2014 - Friday

Sea-watch 07.50-10.30. Bright and sunny all day with a force 4-5 W cool wind.
Over the sea were 1 Teal, 24 Common Scoter, 22 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Cormorant, 1 Bonxie, and 76 Herring Gull.
Other birds noted were 1 Little Egret, 1 Mistle Thrush and 6 Long-tailed Tit.

18th December 2014 - Thursday

Sea-watch 08.00-11.00. Cloudy all day with a force 4-6 SW wind.
The Black Brant was back in the fields with 450 Brent and 1 Pale-bellied Brent, also present were 146 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 1 Goldeneye, 1 Greenshank, a Stonechat and a Jay.
On the move were 2 Wigeon, 9 Common Scoter, 29 Red-throated Diver, 1 Black-throated Diver north, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Gannet and 59 Herring Gull.

17th December 2014 - Wednesday

Sea-watch 08.00-10.30. Cloudy all day with a force 3 W wind.
Only 2 Wigeon, 16 Red-throated Diver, 6 Black-headed Gull and 88 Herring Gulls were seen on the sea-watch. other birds present included 108 Pintail, 1 Woodcock, 30 Fieldfare, 1 Goldcrest, 6 Twite, 16 Yellowhammer and a Jay.

16th December 2014 - Tuesday

A cold winters day with blue skies and a force 2 W wind.
On the move south were 8 Teal, 8 Common Scoter, 1 Goldeneye, 14 Red-throated Diver, a first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, 1 Rock Pipit.
Also seen were 50 Common Scoter on the Humber, a Little Owl and 12 Snow Bunting.

15th December 2014 - Monday

Sea-watch 08.45-10.15. A chilly day with a force 2-3 W wind and mainly cloudy day.
Moving south were 2 Whooper Swan, 2 Common Scoter, 33 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 2 Cormorant, 61 Herring Gull, 1 Kittiwake.
Birds present included 6 Whooper Swan, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Rock Pipit, 40 Fieldfare, 1 Song Thrush and 5 Long-tailed Tit.

14th December 2014 - Sunday

Migration/sea-watch 08.30-11.15. Another wild day with a force 4-6 WSW wind, cloudy all day.
Over the sea were 1 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Wigeon, 17 Red-throated Diver, 1 Black-throated Diver, 3 Gannet, 57 Herring Gull and 3 auk sp.
Birds present included 1 Pale-bellied Brent, 160 Wigeon, 6 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 5 Grey Partridge, 2 Song Thrush and 15 Redwing.

13th December 2014 - Saturday

Migration/sea-watch 08.15-12.30. A very cold start with a heavy frost followed by big blue skies and a force W wind.
On the move were 80 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Common Scoter, 1 Goldeneye, 7 Red-throated Diver, 2 Gannet, 4 Pomarine Skua, 2 auk sp, 1 Guillemot, 2 Little Auk.
Other birds seen included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Rock Pipit, 70 Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrush, 20 Redwing, 2 Goldcrest, 23 Linnet, a Bullfinch and a Snow Bunting.

12th December 2014 - Friday

Sea-watch 08.00-10.35. Heavy rain overnight but sunny spells developing during the day with a force 2-4 W wind.
3 Barnacle Geese were with the Brent Goose flock and also present were 3 Teal, 168 Wigeon, 1 Little Egret, 1 Greenshank and a Goldcrest, while over the sea were 2 Eider, 50 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Gannet and 1 Little Auk.

11th December 2014 - Thursday

Sea-watch 08.15-11.45. Occasional showers and a force 5-6 W-WSW wind.
On the move were 1 Teal, 1 Common Scoter, 9 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Gannet, 137 Herring Gull, 2 auk sp and Guillemot. The only other birds noted were a Peregrine and 2 Black-tailed Godwit.

10th December 2014 - Wednesday

Sea-watch 08.00-10.30, 13.10-15.10. Mainly blue skies but very windy with a force 6 SW wind most of the day.
Apart from 30 Snow Buntings blogging about all activity noted was over the sea with 1 Common Scoter, 2 Velvet Scoter, 9 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Gannet, 1 Snipe, 110 Herring Gull, 55 Great B.B.Gull and 5 auk sp.

9th December 2014 - Tuesday

Sea-watch 08.00-10.30. A wild, cold cloudy day with an increasing force 2-6 SW wnd.
A quiet day due to the weather conditions. On the move were 4 Eider, 17 Common Scoter, 17 Red-throated Diver, 6 Gannet, 4 Black-headed Gull, 139 Herring Gull and 29 Great B.B.Gull. The only other birds of note seen were 23 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Goldcrest.

8th December 2014 - Monday

Sea-watch 08.00-10.30. A cold frosty start and clear skies with a force 3 W-WNW wind.
Another quiet day with just some light passage over the sea. On the move were 5 Pink-footed Geese, 5 Common Scoter, 29 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 4 Gannet, 1 Purple Sandpiper, 5 Black-headed Gull, 107 Herring Gull, 17 Great B.B.Gull, 1 auk sp.
Other birds included 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 36 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Goldcrest and 42 Snow Bunting.

7th December 2014 - Sunday

Sea-watch 09.30-11.45. Cold and sunny with a force 4 W-WNW wind.
There was no sign of the Bean Goose or the Black Brant and passage was very light, the highlight being a probable Water Pipit over the Warren, other birds moving were 4 Whooper Swan, 100 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Shelduck, 14 Common Scoter, 5 Red-throated Diver, 1 Gannet, 5 Snipe in off, 6 auk sp and 1 Little Auk, 2 Skylark, and 3 Snow Bunting.
Other birds present were 6 Pink-footed Geese, 3 Pale-bellied Brents, 8 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Rock Pipit and 3 Goldcrest.

6th December 2014 - Saturday

A cold frosty start clear blue skies, a force 2 SW wind.
A Bean Goose dropped into fields by Sammy’s Point and the Black Brant was present again. A Great White Egret was seen just outside the recording area between Sammy’s Point and Skeffling. The male Hen Harrier was still present in the Sammy’s area. Other birds seen included 8 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, a Common Buzzard, 32 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 1 Short-eared Owl, 1 Rock Pipit, 3 Stonechat, 2 Fieldfare, 6 Redwing, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Goldcrest.

Bean Goose. Ian Smith

Bean Goose. Ian Smith

Black Brant. Ian Smith

Black Brant. Ian Smith

5th December 2014 - Friday

Sea-watch 08.30-11.00. A cloudy start brightened up by mid-day with a force 2-3 WNW-NW wind.
The Black Brant was seen again on Easington straight along with 3 Barnacle Geese and 460 Brent Geese, also present were 180 Wigeon, 4 Teal, a male Hen Harrier, 2 Greenshank, 1 Little Owl, 1 Chiffchaff and 6 Goldcrest.
The only birds moving were 2 Brent Geese, 2 Goosander, 1 Shag, 1 Arctic Skua, 2 Puffin and a Twite.

4th December 2014 - Thursday

Sea-watch 08.00-12.00. Low cloud with some light drizzle, a force 1 ESE wind.
A very quiet day with 6 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Pintail, 1 Eider, 5 Common Scoter, 1 Goldeneye, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 12 Red-throated Diver, 3 Gannet, 1 Shag, 1 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Skua, 3 Little Auk, 1 Fieldfare and 1 Goldcrest.

3rd December 2014 - Wednesday

Sea-watch 07.30-12.00. Sunny spells with a cool force 2-1 NE wind.
More seabirds moving but very few ducks today, 1 Brent Goose, 7 Teal, 2 Eider, 12 Common Scoter, 26 Red-throated Diver, 3 Great Northern Diver, 10 Gannet, 15 Pomarine Skua, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 20 auk sp, and 1 Little Auk.
Other birds present included 1 Woodcock, 27 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 dead Barn Owl, 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Song Thrush, 1 'eastern' Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest and a Snow Bunting.

2nd December 2014 - Tuesday

Sea-watch – 08.00-14.00. Mostly cloudy and dull with some showers and a force 4 cold N wind.
The sea was very productive with 37 Pomarine Skua, 1 Arctic Skua, 9 Bonxie, 1 Little Gull, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 2 auk sp, 1 Guillemot and 7 Little Auk. There were also plenty more duck moving and Teal is getting close to the record breaking autumn of over 14,000 in 2012, when 472 passed offshore with 58 Wigeon, 14 Mallard, 6 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Eider, 19 Common Scoter, 4 Velvet Scoter, 4 Goldeneye, 1 Goosander, 35 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Gannet, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit. 5 Lapwing, 16 Snipe and 11 Starling came in off the sea.
Other birds included 260 Wigeon, 9 Teal, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Song Thrush and 2 Redwing.

1st December 2014 - Monday

Sea-watch 07.50-09.50, 11.40-13.40. A dull cloudy day with a force NE wind.
A quiet day, moving offshore were 2 Pink-footed Geese, 5 Brent Geese, 2 Wigeon, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 8 Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 23 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Gannet, 1 Bonxie and 1 Little Gull.
Other birds seen included 1 Woodcock, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrush, 1 Redwing and 3 Goldcrest.

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