Wednesday, 27 May 2009
Seabird Spectacular - Bempton Cliffs
The holiday Sunday had promised at last some decent warm and sunny weather. I had decided therefore that Kath and I would visit the RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs over on the East Coast of Yorkshire. We left the Lancs West Coast around 9am for the long journey east. It was a very frustrating journey via A59 to York and then via Driffield to Bridlington and Bempton. Being a sunny Bank Holiday the roads were extremely busy and roadworks near York caused long delays.
We finally arrived at Bempton around four and a half hours after leaving Preston.It was busy and the main parking areas were full. We parked in an adjoining field and were welcomed by a singing whitethroat. Ater a picnic lunch we headed for the cliff top path to enjoy the sensational views and teeming bird life. We spent the next three hours or so enjoying the sight of thousands of seabirds which had made these chalk cliffs their home for the next few months. The star bird for me was the gannet and Bempton is the only mainland site where they breed. Also present are guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, kittiwakes and everybody's favourite, the puffin. I enjoyed trying to get some action shots of the gannets as they constantly flew back and forth to their nesting sites precariously perched on these 400foot cliffs.
Satisfied that I had obtained some decent images we began the long journey back home to Lancashire. We chose to return via the M62 motorway which was further in mileage but much quicker than the A roads. We had an uneventful journey and enjoyed the scenery as we crossed back over The Pennines. It had been a long day but well worth it for the unique spectacle of a seabird city perched high above the North Sea on Yorkshire's spectacular east coast. I look forward to returning in a month or so when the birds will be busy feeding young and there will be many more exciting things to see. The images show gannets, immature and adult, nesting kittiwakes, a puffin and a general view of the spectacular chalk cliffs of Bempton.