Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Monday, 14 May 2018

Late Spring on Bempton Cliffs - 13th May 2018.


The weather forecast for today at Bempton was not good - rain all morning. However, it is good that no one can predict the weather on the cliffs and the rain failed to arrive! It was rather chilly throughout the morning, becoming milder during the afternoon, with some sunshine.

The seabirds performed magnificently reinforcing the Bempton "three S's" - sight, sound and smell!

So what was seen today at Bempton?

The sightings board is compiled from many sources, visitors, staff and volunteers. Not all of the species are seen by everyone, indeed, I was disappointed not to see the two Cranes and Hobby that passed through.

The breeding season is full steam ahead with regular mating, nest building an the appearance of Gannet, Guillemot and Razorbill eggs. The Puffins in the visible nest near Grandstand viewpoint are also on their egg!

Tree Sparrow gathering

Kittiwake gathering

Puffin gathering

Gannets gathering

The "guardian" of Bempton Cliffs is still on watch!




"Ouch" My eye!



Tuesday, 8 May 2018

WOW! What a fantastic day! Bempton Cliffs - 6th May 2018


With all of the inclement weather that has bugged us this year, today was certainly a WOW day! We were greeted on the cliffs with wall to wall sunshine, blue sky, blue sea and soaring temperatures, with only a light breeze later in the day. You could be mistaken for thinking that you were in the Med! Indeed, early in the day, an exotic Bee-eater was reported in nearby Flamborough Head! Here at Bempton, all of the breeding birds were to be seen on the cliffs, in flight and on the sea. The only draw back were the Puffins that decided to remain elusive on the cliffs but showed well in flight and on the sea. However, with patience, most visitors obtained satisfying views.

So what was seen today?

With blue skies and blue, clear seas, Seals and Porpoises showed very well!

Porpoises normally only show part of their back and dorsal fin, so these were tremendous!

Not to be out done, Grey Seals also managed to get in on the act including one taking a snack!

A great deal of interest was taken of a Great Skua (Bonxie) showing well off Bartlett Nab viewpoint!

Eggs are beginning to be seen on the ledges, notably Gannets and Guillemots. Hopefully this good weather will allow catch up from the breeding delay caused by March's bad weather.


Tidying the nest

The egg

Collecting nest material

The cliffs are alive the sight, sound and smell of c500,000 seabirds! However, the nature trail, feeding station, dell and grasslands are also alive with breeding birds and can provide quiet relief from the clifftops. Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Goldfinch, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Corn Bunting et al, are regularly seen.


Common Whitethroat

Sedge Warbler

What will you discover?

Friday, 4 May 2018

Flamborough Headland - 4th May 2018

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall

At last, some decent weather! It would have been rude not to have taken advantage of these spring like conditions and where better than a walk around Flamborough Head? The day also started well with an e-mail from NSAI informing me that I had been lucky with a premium bond win! Not quite a life changing win but the £25 is better than nowt! I started the walk at Old Fall steps where a very late Redwing showed distant but well. Two others were seen late at Old Fall Plantation.


Several Common Whitethroat were in the hedge with a number of showy Yellowhammers.


A Wheatear flew into the rape field but did not land. Arriving at Old Fall Plantation, Chiffchaff called out, with a brief appearance of a male Bullfinch a female Blackcap and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.


Probably my best bird of the morning was a year tick in the form of a male Pied Flycatcher that commuted between the plantation and Old Fall hedge.

Continuing towards the cliffs, things quietened until this Lesser Whitethroat sang out on Motorway path!

The cliffs held the expected Gulls and Auks and advantage was taken of the Puffins!

Not a bad mornings birding - but it wasn't over yet! On my afternoon dog walk around Bempton, this stunning Yellow Wagtail showed near Cliff Lane!