Champions of the Flyway!

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Nocmig Update - Jan & Feb 2021

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 and Mallard) 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 Skylarks, and Gadwall, Golden Plover and Teal on the following night. So far, so good, and then on the night of the 25th....

Filey Town 
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 and Teal 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 on 12th.
February at the house saw a slowly increasing variety, with much the same species range as January but with new additions including Grey Plover (15th), Fieldfare (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.