Ring Ouzel and Redwing, 13th
Again I ran recorders in a Flamborough village garden and up near the clifftop at Buckton - the former an mp3 recorder in a plantpot, the latter a pre-programmed Audiomoth - and again it was a month of mixed fortunes. Frustratingly, strong winds killed off seven nights at Flamborough and 14 at Buckton (the positioning of the latter meaning it's more susceptible to wind wipe-out), as well as negatively impacting plenty of other nights; however, April always delivers to some degree, and this month was happily no different.
A Dunlin meets a flock of Common Scoters in the darkness, 13th
After the record-breaking nocmig counts of Common Scoters and Redwings last month, both species continued to register regularly well into April. In the case of Scoters, a total of seven nights featured their welcome beeping, with a total of 28 flocks overall, peaking at nine on 5th, six on 3rd and five on 13th. All told, 141 flocks in just three weeks (between 23rd March and 13th April) made for an exceptional spring for this iconic nocmig species.
Redwings were also on the move regularly and often in good numbers, with plenty of double-figure and several triple-figure counts, peaking with 352 on 4th. In total, no fewer than 5451 Redwing registrations were recorded over the garden in spring '22 - a fraction of the number actually on the move, but an impressive fraction nonetheless!
Many nights featured a handful of 'regulation' spring species on the move - Golden Plovers, Oystercatchers, Teal, Snipe, Moorhens, Black-headed Gulls - as well as multiple showings of e.g. Coots, Curlews, Lapwings, Common Gulls, Wigeon, Grey Herons, Ringed Plovers and Water Rails. Passerines were dominated by thrushes, but also featured Robins and Dunnock, while a fairly modest eleven shorebird species were recorded - not particularly noteworthy, but with some good highlights:
A flock of Turnstones (a bit of a Flamborough nocmig speciality) went through on 8th, at least one Bar-tailed Godwit went over on 28th, a flock of Black-tailed Godwits headed over on 13th (see below), while fantastically a flock of Common Sandpipers - 91 calls from at least four, maybe (many) more, birds - were picked up by the recorder on 26th.
As mentioned, the positioning (and design) of the Audiomoth mean it's particularly vulnerable to stronger winds - a necessary pay-off of suitable location and kit - and almost half of April's recordings were unfortunately unreadable as a result. However, a reasonable range of species were logged, some regularly, including Golden Plover, Teal, Wigeon, Snipe, Moorhen, Common and Black-headed Gulls, Blackbirds, and Redwings - the latter species again weighing in with plenty of healthy counts, peaking at 256 on 4th.
Flock of Common Sandpipers, Flamborough, 26th
Fantastically, Common Scoters marched on throughout the month - 23 flocks over eight nights (again more temporally spread than at Flamborough or Filey) - with a peak of nine flocks of 5th; single flocks were still registering on nights late in the month, with the last on 29th.