Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Monday, 19 June 2017

A delightful surprise at RSPB Bempton Cliffs - 18th June 2017

"Good Morning!

It was already very hot when I got my call to the cliffs this morning, wall to wall sunshine, blue skies, no clouds, no breeze and destined to get even hotter as the day progressed! Thickly pasted with factor 50 sun cream, I made my way to the viewpoints looking anaemically pale and confident that had this been an audition for a vampire movie, the part would be mine!

The RSPB are currently undertaking a survey of the food eaten by Puffins and have requested that images be sent to them showing beaks full of fish / sand eels etc. Details can be found HERE. Knowing that we have an easily observed Puffin nest below Grandstand viewpoint, I thought this would be an easy task! How naïve! The Puffins are flying in with sand eels but straight into the nest tunnel so no chance to get that "beak full of sand eels" image!

However, this morning some lucky visitors had a delightful surprise! One of the Puffin pair flew in with a sand eel which was shimmering in the morning sun. This silvery flash caught my attention and I scoped in on the nest tunnel to see a healthy Puffling starting to devour the sand eel! The Puffling remained in view (within the tunnel) for a good fifteen minutes! It is not a common occurrence to see Pufflings so this delightful encounter was the highlight of the day! A pity that images could not be taken. You just don't know what you will see at RSPB Bempton Cliffs!

A Puffin relaxing with "Puffin yoga!"

While Pufflings are very difficult to see, Gannet chicks known as Guga's are easier to spot!

Todays sightings:

Also, a female Red Backed Shrike has been reported in the vicinity of the RAF Bempton buildings and Jubilee Corner although distant and mobile.

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