East Yorkshire Local Group Field Trip to Flamborough Head

On Sunday 8th October the East Yorkshire Local Group had a field trip to Flamborough Head and Thornwick Pools. We met at the Lighthouse for a walk along the coast to Old Fall and back along the road to the car park. A good three hour walk. The weather was fine, but dull and windy.

The most obvious bird to start with was Stonechat, because they will still perch up despite the wind. Other passerines were heading for shelter.

Linnets and at least one Lesser Redpoll were feeding on the winter seed field and there were plenty of redwings around too. We saw one of the nine Short-eared Owls, which made landfall during the day.

Out at sea, there were Gannets galore, the usual gulls, a flock of dark bellied Brent geese, a skein of Pink Feet, a couple of Red-throated Divers and a nice group of Common Scoter. We also had a Little Egret on the shore.

Turning right along the hedge up to Old Fall, there were dozens of Goldcrests and more flocks of Redwings. We failed to find the Bramblings that another group had seen in the wood, so we walked around the outside to see if we could locate them. We couldn’t. About to carry on along the path back to the village, a lone birder called out that there was a Glossy Ibis flying around somewhere. Wow, what a bird, but what were the chances of finding it? As it happens, extremely high, because the birder called out, ‘There it is!’

And there it was, flying south and we had good, if distant views of it. It’s always great to get the unexpected on a field trip. I understand it’s only the fourth record for Flamborough.

In the afternoon, five of us went on to Thornwick Pools for a very relaxing hour or two of waiting to what dropped in. We had the hide to ourselves, it was sheltered and there was even a tiny hint of sun. There were Wigeon and Teal on the pools, together with Moorhen and a Water Rail was heard. Ten Dunlin feeding in front of the hide were great to see as well as several Snipe to the right.

Redwings, Ring Ouzels and Meadow Pipits came down to drink, which gave us really nice views and a Grey Wagtail dropped in. The Ouzels also perched in the willows, together with the Blackbirds that were ever present.

As it got to 3 o’clock some more birders arrived and a mist started to come in, so we relinquished the hide to the others and headed off home after an excellent day’s birding.