Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Monday, 9 April 2018

Full House at Bempton Cliffs - 8th April 2018


A still, mild day but hazy cloud and a few bright intervals greeted us on the cliffs today. On the walk down to the cliffs, one of the Barn Owls quartered the fields east of the visitor centre (always a good sign!). Arriving on the viewpoints it was certainly a "wow"! I felt like bursting into song " The cliffs are alive with the sound and sight of seabirds"! (Apologies to Julie Andrews!). It was certainly a full house with all of the "Bempton 8" seabirds present in good numbers, although Fulmar and Shag numbers seemed lower than normal. Light on the cliffs was hampered a little by haze and slight mist but the seabirds more than made up for this minor inconvenience.

So, what could be seen today:

Although the sightings list is very impressive, it should be remembered that some birds are observed flying over and others appear only briefly.

It was good to see Puffins back on the cliffs, on the sea and in flight between the two.

Many visitors are amazed at how small the Puffins actually are! Standing at 20cm (8in) and weighing in at 400grams, here is a comparison with a Kittiwake.



Bridled Guillemot

"Marmite Gulls" aka Herring Gulls (you either love them or hate them!), looking so much more majestic on the cliffs than in urban areas!

And finally, Kittiwake



Hi Kevin,
Just interested in what lenses you were using for the photos of the Puffins and what viewpoint they were taken from.
Coming down to Bempton in Middle of May from Harrogate where we are staying and it’s a two hour drive.
If we run into shortage of time or weather closing which would be the best vantage point for Puffins.
Always read your blog from down here in Norfolk and thoroughly enjoy it.
Many thanks

Kevin Groocock said...

Hello John, thank you for your comment and I'm happy that you enjoy my blog. Puffins can be seen from all of the viewpoints, but if time is pressing you are best at Grandstand, Mosey Downgate and Bartlett Nab, about 5/10 minutes from the visitor centre. At Grandstand there is a nest tunnel, fully visible and extremely close! As for lenses, I use my favourite Canon 400mm 5.6 prime. I do have a Canon 500mm prime, but its size with tripod takes up too much space on busy viewpoints! My camera is a Canon 7D mk2. If you visit on a Sunday, I will be around, but my colleagues will advise you on other days.


Hi Kevin,
Thank you for your help and look forward to visiting Bempton weather permitting.