Bird sightings, July 2021

The now long staying Black Browed Albatross at Bempton Cliffs continues to grab all the headlines as Yorkshire's star bird, and deservedly so, but there have been a smattering of other notables across the county in July, generally considered to be one of the quieter month's of the birdwatching year.

Black Browed Albatross, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, 20/07/21

A Western Rufous or Oriental Turtle Dove at Spurn Point on the 2nd was perhaps the surprise bird of the month. Mega rare with less than 20 UK records, the bird was present in gardens around Easington for a few days whilst our own native Turtle Doves continued to show well in one of their last remaining strongholds in the North Yorks Moors - I wonder how long it will be before they become classed as rarities?

Western Rufous Turtle Dove, Spurn Point, 03/07/21  Turtle Dove, Harwood Dale, North Yorks Moors

Wading birds are beginning to make their way back from more northerly breeding grounds including several Wood Sandpipers at various wetland sites across Yorkshire, a Pectoral Sandpiper at RSPB Adwick Washlands from the 21st and a Red Necked Phalarope at Spurn on the 18th, with more commonly occurring waders such as Green Sandpipers, Common & Spotted Redshank and Greenshank all passing through.

Green Sandpipers, RSPB Blacktoft Sands, 23/07/21  Ruff, RSPB Blacktoft Sands, 23/07/21

Greenshank, RSPB Blacktoft Sands, 23/07/21  Pectoral Sandpiper, Adwick Washlands, 23/07/21

Other birds on the move included Little Gulls, seen off several coastal sites with regular 3 figure numbers on the mere and offshore at Hornsea, and Common Swifts are beginning to depart with more than 3,000 south over Spurn as early as the 5th and a stand out Alpine Swift on the 6th at the same location.

Little Gulls, Humber estuary, 05/07/21  Common Swift, migrating south, East Yorks, UK. July 2021

A few other noteworthy birds included a Red Backed Shrike at Spurn on the 8th, a singing male Golden Oriole in trees near the Minster Primary school in Beverley on the 9th and a Surf Scoter off Ulrome on the same day,  Honey Buzzard sightings on and off throughout the month at Wykeham, and a Cory's Shearwater off Flamborough on the 28th.


Nigel Glenn - for the Little Gull image. See more of Nigel's birding exploits on his blog Southella Birder

Tony Dixon - for the Western Rufous Turtle Dove Image.

Martyn Jones - for the Turtle Dove image. See more of Martyn's images on his blog GeekTeacher's Birding Scrapbook.

Ian Unwin - for the Pectoral Sandpiper image.

Find out more about recent sightings from our 3 bird observatories

Spurn Bird Observatory

Flamborough Bird Observatory

Filey Bird Observatory








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