Tour At A Glance





Single Room Supplement:


Tour Code:

Intermediate, with up to 4 miles walking per day

Group Size:

Eight plus Leader

Greenish Warbler Red-breasted Flycatcher Yellow-browed Warbler Jack Snipe Barred Warbler

East Yorkshire - Autumn Migration

Date: 3rd - 8th October 2021 (TWO SPACES) - Guaranteed Departure
Leaders: Jason Moss



Meet in Norfolk at noon for those travelling north with Ashley. Meet at Alkborough Flats reserve on the south side of the Humber Estuary for an afternoon birding session where we could see a good selection of waders and wildfowl. Arriving learly evening at West Carlton Farmhouse, we will check into our rooms and enjoy a welcome cup of tea before heading out along one of the tracks radiating out from the house to look for farmland birds. Tree Sparrows are common here, and feed in the garden in good numbers, while in surrounding fields Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Grey Partridge, and Sky Lark may be seen. Rarities seen from the farm include Common Crane, Dotterel, Black Kite and Osprey, and our coastal position means we should remain vigilant! 
We will head for Spurn head today for the first time, possibly taking an early breakfast to give us a head start if weather conditions look good. The whole area can be fantastic for birds and we will walk the length of the point during the morning, checking the various areas of scrub and dunes as we go. Visible migration at Spurn can be impressive, with huge southward movements of finches and pipits in particular as birds migrating along the coast are funnelled together as they pass the neck of ‘The Narrows’, the narrowest part of the spit before it swings southwest into the Humber Estuary. The estuary itself can be brilliant for viewing waders as the tide pushes them closer and large numbers of Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, European Golden Plover, Red Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank and European Oystercatcher can be expected. Careful scrutiny however, could well reveal a Curlew Sandpiper while Long-billed Dowitcher and Broad-billed Sandpiper have been recorded. Off the seaward side of the spit, seabird passage should include numbers of terns and auks, as well as Northern Gannet and Northern Fulmars while onshore winds can produce skuas and shearwaters too. In the scrub, warblers may typically include Common and Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Garden Warbler and Common Chiffchaff with Barred and Yellow-browed Warblers regular. Scarce migrants such as Wryneck and Red-backed Shrike are also frequently recorded at this time while again keeping an eye to the sky is vital to picking up that passing raptor or cruising Arctic Skua.
The chalk headland of Flamborough sticks out into the North Sea and acts as a beacon to tired migrants making their overnight sea crossing from Scandinavia. We will spend a full day birding around the headland including the sheltered spots at North and South Landing and Old Fall Plantation, classic locations for scarce birds. The cliffs support Northern Fulmar and Peregrine while offshore European Shag, auks, Northern Gannets and Black-legged Kittiwakes may be lingering, remnants of the huge seabird colonies here in summer. A Whinchat or two along the fence lines may herald other migrants hidden in the scrub, and a Common Rosefinch or Wryneck would not be totally unexpected here. Old Fall Plantation provides shelter for migrants and is ideal for warblers and flycatchers. The sycamores can hold Common Redstart and Pied or Spotted Flycatchers, but Red-breasted Flycatcher is also regularly recorded and a Yellow-browed Warbler could appear.  In onshore winds, seawatching from the head can be fantastic and as well as the species already mentioned, could include Arctic, Great, Pomarine and Long-tailed Skuas, Arctic Tern, Manx, Sooty, Balearic and even Cory’s Shearwaters, Leach’s and European Storm Petrels, Sabine’s Gull and Grey Phalarope.
We will head back to the Spurn area today where we will explore the areas surrounding Kilnsea and Easington. If the high tide coincides with our visit we may well drive down the peninsula to the Chalk Bank hide where close views of roosting waders will allow us to search for something interesting. Along Beacon Lane, the hedgerows can hold migrants, especially warblers and maybe a Common Redstart or a rare Radde’s Warbler. Arrivals of thrushes and crests from Scandinavia can be impressive on easterly winds, and can often hold a surprise or two. Fields to the west may provide a haven for flocks of pipits and finches and again the fences should be checked for chats and Northern Wheatear. At Beacon Ponds, the hide is ideally placed to give good views of resting waders, gulls and terns which could include Arctic. Little Stint is possible here and maybe a Little or Mediterranean Gull may drop in. Back at Kilnsea, the churchyard is ideal for flycatchers and warblers and again one wouldn’t be surprised to find a Red-breasted Flycatcher here! Pied is more likely though, while the car park of the Crown and Anchor pub should also be checked for migrants. After all, Arctic Warbler and Greenish Warblers, White’s Thrush and Pine Grosbeak have all been seen in this area! 
Hornsea Mere is a large freshwater lake lying just inland from the coast only a few miles from our base. As well as hosting a range of wildfowl and resident Great Crested and Little Grebe and Kingfisher, it is a good place for marsh terns with White-winged Black recorded more than once. Scarce grebes are also regular and congregations of lingering hirundines might just include a surprise! Our exact itinerary for the rest of the day will depend very much on the presence of migrants and we may visit Filey where the Brigg offers the chance to study resting terns and passing seabirds and the Filey Dams reserve may produce a Barn Owl or passage Green, Common or Wood Sandpiper. Passerine migrants are also attracted to the areas of cover around the town and along the cliffs, offering more opportunities to search for that rarity! Tophill Low is an excellent reserve managed by Yorkshire Water which offers us the chance to add a number of wildfowl species to the list, as well as Willow Tits in the woodlands and possibly a late Eurasian Hobby or other scarce migrant. A return to Flamborough may be on the cards if the weather looks good, perhaps visiting Danes Dyke or walking the Old Fall Hedge again. 
Our last morning gives us the opportunity to look for any scarce birds in the local area before we make our way back south. We will make a three hour birding stop at the superb RSPB reserve at Frampton Marsh. This should give us a fantastic number and variety of waders, such as Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper and maybe something rarer - we have seen Pectoral and White-rumped Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitcher and Glossy Ibis here on recent tours. The tour will conclude mid afternoon for the onward journey home.


Additional Information


Five nights en suite accommodation, meals from dinner on day one to lunch on final day, transport, services of leader and reserve entrance fees.
Transport to/from rendezvous points, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature. Travel from Norfolk with Ashley is an option from those travelling from the south, and pick up in King's Lynn, Lincoln and Hull is also possible en route [free of charge].
King's Lynn or Hull



Tour Reports


2008  2009  2011  2012   2014  2016  2018a  2018b  2019   2020




" We always choose a tour depending on the leader. Ashley is such an excellent leader in hearing and finding the birds and like everyone on this tour is good company too. The accommodation was excellent too" G & M S Kent


"Thanks Ashley for another wonderful tour.  You work tirelessly throughout to ensure everyone enjoys themselves and that doesn't go unnoticed.  No wonder folk keep coming back for more.  " A.T, Liverpool


"Thanks Ashley, the report brings it all back and reminds me if the wonderful time we had in East Yorkshire, it was a cracking few days, and you are certainly the star of the show.  Thanks again for putting up with me!" R.B, Liverpool


" I really enjoyed the whole experience" S O' H Liverpool


"great trip and a real good, fun bunch of people"  A.J, London