Common Snipe - the first species of 2021 recorded at North Cliff
Here's a quick round-up of nocturnal migration recording up here on the coast for the first two months of the year. It being the quietest time of year and also the least conducive re: conditions, expectations were low, but after a slow start to the year, things got interesting pretty quickly...
Filey North Cliff
The pay-off between efforts, weather and (un)likely rewards made for just a couple of attempts up on the North Cliff in January, happily neither blank, but with just two species (Snipe
) preventing a blank slate. February saw a total of eights night's recording (with most in the second half of the month), with a steadily increasing strike rate for both species and abundance.
A (very) early reward - nocmig gold, glinting in the eye of a flyover Stone-curlew (thanks again, Lluis!)
Oystercatchers, Snipe, Blackbirds
and Song Thrushes
all figured in small numbers from the off; by the 16th, Pink-footed Geese, Wigeon, Lapwings
and a mini-movement of 16 Redwings
stirred the pot, with further additions on 21st including the first Coot, Moorhen
, and Gadwall
, Golden Plover
on the following night. So far, so good, and then on the night of the 25th....
Back at base, and the recorder-jammed-in-study-window technique, taking far less effort than the above, was naturally utilised a lot more often (fifteen nights in Jan and 16 in Feb) - the first bird recorded in 2021 being a Redwing
at 0206hrs on Jan 1st (even beating Herring Gulls - a good omen?!). Otherwise, January returns were fairy modest, with Mallards, Common Gulls, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Wigeon
in small numbers, an early Moorhen
(6th), the odd Golden Plover
, a few skeins of Pink-footed Geese
, and the highlight, a flock of Barnacle Geese
February at the house saw a slowly increasing variety, with much the same species range as January but with new additions including Grey Plover
(24th, with a Redwing
- see recording below), Lapwing, Coot
and other expected early spring migrants, with a nice surprise first for the house on 21st, a Pintail -
Recording commenced from mid-February and was consistently productive, albeit with a predictably limited range of species - Wigeon, Teal, Pink-footed Geese, Moorhens, Coots, Dunlins, Curlews, Lapwings, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and other early spring movers were logged in small numbers, with highlights including a Whooper Swan on 24th, and various double-figure Redwing counts, including 47 on 18th.