Yorkshire Seabirds And Raptor Special Day Two

Gannet July 2017 3

Day two and some of us opted for a pre-breakfast walk along the cart track by the house. Plenty to see along the hedge lined lane and we enjoyed wonderful views of lemon Yellowhammers, a rather distant Corn Bunting and plenty of Common Whitethroats. Skylarks were in full song over the wheat fields and Tree Sparrows were easy to see.

Gannet applies the air-brakes as it comes in to land on the cliff top.

After a great breakfast back at the house we took the short drive down to RSPB Bempton Cliffs a seabird city. More Tree Sparrows around the visitor centre, we then walked down to the dramatic cliffs to enjoy the seabird spectacle and what a treat we had. The seabirds here are right next to you, it has to be the best place on the UK mainland to experience seabirds, we, love our visits to this place. Gannets are perhaps the headline act here with thousands of pairs nesting on the towering white-cliffs, so many in fact that some are just yards from the path. The sky is busy with these huge, six foot wingspan, seabirds coming and going often at eyelevel. Cameras were kept busy all morning with so many photo opportunities.

Something very special about Gannets when you see them this close.

But there is so much more to see, Puffins everyone’s favourite sea-bird are here too and again often very close to the path and the specially built viewing platforms that allow safe viewing of the cliffs faces thronged with birds. Puffins were also busy whizzing in and out feeding their chicks hidden in crevices in the rocks. Huge numbers of Common Guillemots here all lined up, shoulder to shoulder, on the ledges. Good numbers of smart Razorbills too, where to look next!

Kittiwakes were feeding well grown chicks, nice to see young birds here with reports of many colonies failing this year. The Kittiwakes distinctive calls echoing off the cliffs adding to the seabird city experience. Scanning offshore we saw flocks of Common Scoter hurrying past and a weird sight of hundreds of Gannets “mobbing” something in the water, we never did work out what the white with black below object was! Best guess was some sort of inflatable child’s toy that had blown out to see? But why were the Gannets so interested in it? Birding - always stuff to learn!

After lunch we visited nearby Flambrough Head where we again enjoyed more wonderful views of seabirds including Puffins, Gannets, Fulmars and Shags. Rock Pipits were along the cliff edge and Swifts whizzed overhead. The new sea-watching hide looks very nice but was locked, not that much was passing in the way of migrant seabirds, though plenty of local traffic.

We then headed over to the wetland on Flambrough Head, this new man-made area has two good sized overlooking and we visited one of these. Three Dunlin, in their smart breeding plumage, were on the pool, and a Green Sandpiper walked out into view to join them. Off to the right was an area of dry gravel and here Ruth picked out a Little Ringed Plover on a nest, amazingly well camouflaged. As we watched the other bird from the pair arrived at the nest and we watched both lovely little waders. A great habitat and an area we will certainly visit next time we are Flambrough Head.

In the evening we enjoyed a great meal in nearby Bridlington.

Please check back soon for more of our Yorkshire adventures. We will be running this tour again in July 2020 if you would like to join us, drop us a line.

Please email us here to arrange your very own Birdwatching Trip…..


We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds and great fun with you soon!

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