Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Sunday, 31 December 2017

New Year's Eve on Bempton Cliffs

Fulmar

New Year's Eve and I was keen to capture the last sunrise of 2017. Arriving on the cliffs at 0730hrs, it was soon clear that there would be no spectacular colours as heavy cloud obscured the east! The morning dawned a dull grey and only an hour or so later did any brightness appear!



It may not have been spectacular, but the sight of a Barn Owl quartering the fields made up for my disappointment along with an early morning Kestrel trying its luck over the derelict RAF Bempton.

The cliffs echoed the "guttural" calls of  thousands of Guillemots, on the ledges, in flight and in rafts on the sea.







One of my favourite seabirds, the Fulmar, were also in good numbers, the light and contrast thwarting my efforts for capturing them in flight!


Keeping an eye on the noisy neighbours!



And of course, one of the resident Herring Gulls


At least five Shags were on the water below Grandstand viewpoint giving four of the famous "Bempton Eight" breeding seabirds!

Some more good news, the Seabird Centre re-opens from 1st January 2018!

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas Morning on Bempton Cliffs!

Merry Christmas from the "gang" at Bempton Cliffs!

This Christmas was our first in Yorkshire! Normally we travel back to relatives in Rugby, but this year we thought it would be nice to spend Christmas at home. Another first was Christmas morning on Bempton Cliffs experiencing the sunrise. I had hoped that the Guillemots would have joined me, but alas no! However, it was a pleasure to watch c30 Fulmars flying around Bartlett Nab and Grandstand, together with several Great Black Backed Gulls, 5 vociferous Herring Gulls and 4 Shags! The sunrise was however, rather special in the relative peace of Christmas morning!

Christmas Morning Sunrise







And finally, over Cliff Lane, Bempton


Just a reminder that RSPB Bempton Cliffs reserve is open for those invigorating Christmas walks on the cliff tops but the Seabird Centre is closed until 1st January. Enjoy!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Merry Christmas



Wishing all of my friends, followers, future followers and enemies

A very Merry Christmas

Sunday, 17 December 2017

The "Guillemots" are (briefly) back in town! Bempton Cliffs 17th December 2017.


It was a great start on the cliffs this morning with a stunning sunrise giving hope that the weather forecasters had got it wrong (again!). The early morning frost was quite severe and Cliff Lane was like an ice rink in parts! Unfortunately the icy, bright start did not last more than an hour and eventually the promised rain did its best to dampen spirits. (Failed, of course!)





Todays Sightings


Today was another Guillemot day! Early on, between Grandstand and Bartlett Nab viewpoints, c2000 Guillemots graced the cliff ledges, sea and in flight between the two! This number diminished as the day progressed with c100 remaining at Bartlett Nab by mid afternoon.









Some Guillemots were observed in states of coitus!


Several Song Thrushes remained along the cliff top but nothing like the 31 observed yesterday!


Not a bad day, despite the rain!

Monday, 11 December 2017

A Spectaculary Quiet Day at Bempton Cliffs! 10th December 2017.

Fulmar

With snow being forecast, I had one aim today - photographing Guillemots in the snow! A light flurry of c3 flakes was not what I wanted but the Guillemots were more obliging! First thing there were c400 Guillemots around Grandstand viewpoint, increasing to c1000 on the cliffs, sea and in flight between Grandstand and Bartlett Nab. These numbers decreased to nine on Grandstand and c20 on Bartlett Nab during the afternoon. Fulmars were also in good number with a late afternoon count of c142! These fantastic birds gave aerial displays in the strengthening north easterly blow.

So, what was about today?


Fulmars





Some of the Guillemots (minus the snow!)

Just making sure we have all angles covered!

Bridled Guillemot

Comparison!

Some of the gang!

It was a bit of a dull, grey day but these Goldfinches did their best to brighten things up!



Gannets can usually be seen in small numbers at this time of year in flight but will not come back to the cliffs until late January / early February


A year one Gannet was not expected! Probably wishing it was off the west coast of Africa!



Stonechat


Dramatic views towards Flamborough headland



The waves crashing against the cliffs 400ft below were quite spectacular, their force was so great it was possible to feel them thudding!





Guillemots in the snow will have to wait for another day!