Champions of the Flyway!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Nocmig Update - Flamborough, January - April 2024

The first Little Ringed Plover of the year was recorded on 24th April

As usual I ran an mp3 recorder from a garden in the village, and while it was hardly a classic period, there was plenty of interest as ever.


headphones for audio clips!

A couple of random test nights in January clocked up Redwing, Dunlin and a flock of Pink-footed Geese, before 12 nights were covered in February from around mid-month. Pink-feet featured again on a handful of nights, while early Song Thrush movements peaked at a notable 16 on 16th; odd Blackbirds, Redwings and a Fieldfare (25th) also featured, while Teal, Coot and Grey Herons were logged on multiple nights. Two Curlews (28th) and a single Snipe (24th) hinted at early wader passage.


A total of 24 nights were covered in March (despite plenty of suboptimal conditions), with an expected upturn in activity. Thrushes are often a feature of the month and small numbers of Song Thrushes, Blackbirds, and a Fieldfare (22nd) were eclipsed by good numbers of Redwings: various double figure counts then went up a gear mid-month, with peaks of 131 on 14th and 151 on 19th.

Migrating Common Gulls were a feature of many early spring nights


Wader passage was particularly poor both in quality and quantity, with the only notable records being a large movement of Oystercatchers on 22nd, Golden Plover and Snipe on 28th, regular Curlews (with substantial, multiple flocks over on the night of 12th), and the uplifting chattering of a flock of Bar-tailed Godwits going over on 5th. Teal were once again regular, as were Coots, Moorhens and Grey Herons, while both Common and Black-headed Gulls featured on several nights.


Common Scoters - stalwarts of early spring nocmig, as flocks migrate nocturnally overland from the Irish Sea to breeding grounds in Scandinavia and beyond – never disappoint, and the first flocks recorded were comparatively early, on 3rd, 6th and 12th; large flocks beeped over on the more expected date of 20th, with a further four flocks on 22nd and one on 23rd.

Common Scoters were, as always, a wonderful highlight of spring nocmig


From a suitable conditions perspective, April was, well, undendingly dire: cold, wet, windy and grim, and nocmig was mostly a write-off as a consequence. 14 nights analysed was quite the achievement under the circumstances, and results were predictably modest. Wigeon and Teal put in several appearances, and Redwings peaked at 83 on 3rd, while other passerines were represented by single Blackcap (7th) and Robin (11th). 


Thank the gods for Scoters, then, and the few nights they graced the sonagrams – eight flocks on 3rd, two flocks on 7th, and a further two on 12th. Otherwise, the best of a forgettable month were a flock of Whimbrels on 14th and the year's first Little Ringed Plover on 24th.