Wednesday, June 20, 2018

📖 #39 ~ RSPB Bempton Cliffs

☀️☁️20C Wednesday 20th June 2018 ~ A late afternoon visit to RSPB Bempton Cliffs in the East Riding of Yorkshire. With the wife away in France I've taken the opportunity to have a few days birding a little further afield.
The primary reason for today's visit ~ Breeding seabirds, including Gannet, Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill, Guillemot, Black-legged Kittiwake and Fulmar.


Juvenile Gannet from today's visit
The hard chalk cliffs at Bempton rise are relatively resistant to erosion and offer lots of sheltered headlands and crevices for nesting birds. The cliffs run about 6 miles (10 km) from Flamborough Head north towards Filey and are over 330 feet (100 m) high at points. The cliffs at Bempton are some of the highest in England. Beachy Head in East Sussex is the highest at 530 feet (160 m)

Perfect conditions for flight shots!
I arrived at Bempton just after 3pm after dropping Dazza off at Luton airport 4 hours earlier. Although the weather was quite bright on route when I arrived there was a brisk wind and some threatening clouds just offshore. It was, in fact, perfect conditions for flight shots with many birds just hanging in the wind at eye level. Particularly Gannet of all ages, which were putting on a fantastic show of aerobatics.

Puffin
As you would expect the cliffs were awash with breeding birds including large numbers of Gannet and Kittiwake, plus many Guillemot and Razorbill. However, Puffin and Fulmar were in smaller numbers. It was a really enjoyable visit and although we all know Gulls taking young is all part of the cycle of life in the birding world, witnessing several young birds being taken during my stay is still heart-rending!

Razorbill showing its yellow mouth interior.
Other species of note during an excellent few hours included displaying Meadow Pipit, Tree Sparrow and Whitethroat.

Kittiwake

Puffin

Tree Sparrow

Razorbill

Gannet

Gannet