Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Monday, 24 April 2017

RSPB Bempton Cliffs - 23rd April 2017

"He's not with me!" Guillemot with Razorbill

My call to the cliffs was loud and clear on what promised to be a glorious day, with sunshine, blue skies, light winds and very mild. The "Seabird City" is now well and truly increasing as birds arrive to make up the expected 250000 plus! That is, with one exception today - Puffins! These endearing little birds decided to play a very challenging game of hide and seek and vacated the cliffs in favour of the sea. As a result, only a few were seen amongst the rafts of seabirds and others in flight.

The Kittiwakes were very active gathering mud and grass for their nests.




While others ensure continued reproduction of the species!




"He's not with me!" I am often asked the difference between Guillemots and Razorbills. A lucky comparison presented itself with both species side by side.



The Gannets also continue to gather nest material


The first Gannet eggs were recorded c5th April, but today I had the pleasure of actually seeing one at close quarters!



No! I'm not coming out!


It was pleasing to see my first Great Skua (Bonxie), here in flight, but was earlier devouring a Kittiwake on the sea!



Razorbill


And away from the cliffs - Reed Bunting



The wildlife at RSPB Bempton Cliffs is fantastic but so are the views. As the seabird city increases in numbers, the wider vista is spectacular.





And finally, todays sightings


Friday, 21 April 2017

Thornwick Pool, Flamborough

Skylark

A pleasant couple of hours in human solitude at Thornwick Pools this morning, enjoying the sunshine but not so much the strengthening wind! Reality was not far away, though, with holiday shouts and barking dogs from the nearby caravan park! Three year ticks though - Green Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plovers (3) and a Sedge Warbler. Also, Common Snipe (5), numerous Swallows and Sand Martins and a male Shelduck. Nice to see the water levels reducing making it ideal for waders.

Skylark



Green Sandpiper



Little Ringed Plover




Shelduck



Common Snipe



Male Linnet


Goldfinch


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Close Encounters with Glorious Gannets


The Gannet is the UK's largest seabird, measuring c90cm (3ft) long and with a wingspan of c2mtrs (6.6ft), weighing in at c3kg (7lbs). The British population is c220,000 pairs of which c12,500 pairs (3% of the UK population) can be found at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. The Gannets can look much smaller than this when on the cliffs due to their size - 122m (400ft). At the moment, some of the Gannets are collecting grass from the cliff tops in order to supplement their nests. This is a great time to see these magnificent birds at close quarters and appreciate their size.










Monday, 17 April 2017

RSPB Bempton Cliffs - 16th April 2017

Irresistible Puffins! 

The cliffs called loudly again this morning but with a "chuckle" as a few "challenges" would be thrown at us and the birds! The morning was cool, bright and sunny but was destined to end with a challenging and prolonged downpour, soaking us all and making us wetter than a wet thing on a wet Sunday! Only the hardy remained on the cliffs (visitors and birds) after 3pm! There was not a lot of change, sightings wise, with the Puffins showing quite well (in small numbers) on the cliffs during the morning, but then challenging us to a game of hide and seek during the afternoon!

Today's Sightings


Irresistible Puffins!





Some people may remember the classic "Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks"? This morning we were treated to the "Puffins Ministry of Silly Stances!"You've just got to love them!






Gorgeous Gannets!


Getting aggravation from both ends!

Adding a recent "gift" of dry grass to the nest!

Going...

Going...

Gone!

Nature in the raw........

This Kittiwake faced a life/death challenge below Bartlett Nab, being plucked from the sea by a juvenile Great Black Backed Gull. As would be expected, the Kittiwake lost this challenge.







I mentioned above about being wetter than a wet thing on a wet Sunday! Well, maybe this poor bird was wetter!