Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Monday, 28 May 2018

Late Spring on Bempton Cliffs - 27th May 2018.


A fantastic late spring day on Bempton Cliffs - sunshine, blue sky and warmth complementing the sight, sound and smell of c500,000 seabirds! I can't think of a better place to be!

Today's Sightings:

My wandering today  started around the dell and nature trail with several Common Whitethroats singing out.

Also, Linnet

And, Sedge Warbler

Around the visitor centre Swallow numbers are increasing, feeding, nest building and incubating. They can also be seen on the roof area and on the fences.

Down on the cliffs it is business as usual with the mesmerizing spectacle of thousands of seabirds flying around the cliffs and "chilling" out on the sea. Most birds are now incubating eggs but no chicks as yet, due to delays caused by the March storms.


The Puffins showed well at times but occasionally remained out of sight for long periods. Patience is always the key word here with dividends being paid to those prepared to stand and wait!

"Me and my shadow"!



Great Skuas (aka Bonxies) showed well today with at least three birds seen. One decided to take a short cut over the visitor centre and car park much to the amazement of visitors! Others scavenged dead birds on the sea - distressing to some, but this is nature, often nature in the raw!

Overall a brilliant day, enjoyed by many visitors, staff and volunteers. You never know what will turn up at Bempton Cliffs - what will you find?

Thursday, 24 May 2018

A "Rosy" Morning around Flamborough! 24th May 2018

Rose-Coloured Starling

The weather on the east coast is rather beastly at the moment - cold, heavy cloud, moderate chilling wind and sea frets! When will it improve? Will it improve? Two good birds (for me) have been reported in the Flamborough area - Dotterel and Rose-Coloured Starling. With both reported early morning, it would have been rude not to go!

Arriving at Thornwick, location of the Rosy, I was informed the bird was feeding on garden feeders but had just flown into thick vegetation. Typical! I waited about an hour until the cold defeated me and with no sign I headed to Beacon Hill for the Dotterel. Beacon Hill is a large area for one small bird and I struggled to locate it. The walk along the cliff path warmed me up but no sign of the bird. Eventually, on my back I spotted a distant shape and yes it was a male Dotterel! My first in Yorkshire and my first for c10 years!

Dotterel (distant record shots)

I was now ready to have another go for the Rosy! Arriving back in Thornwick, more birders were on the lookout, but again I was informed that it had been showing but had again gone back into vegetation. Patience, however, paid off and the adult male Rose-Coloured Starling posed nicely on the top of the bushes! A life tick for me!

Rose-Coloured Starling

What a gorgeous bird!

Monday, 21 May 2018

What a difference a day makes! Bempton Cliffs - 21st May 2018

I've only got eyes for you!

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday we froze our bits off, today we sweated our bits off! Common denominator - sea fret! At least today it burnt off quicker! Bempton Cliffs this morning!

Sea frets can provide an atmospheric experience on the cliffs, especially when they are combined with warm and pleasant conditions! Today was one of those days!

Something I have never seen before on the cliffs is this rainbow coloured "halo"! This was below Bartlett Nab viewpoint.

Once the sea fret started to burn off, sunshine took over!

Bempton Cliffs visitor centre

Staple Newk Rock

Staple Newk Rock

Gannet Portrait

Wren in full song

Sedge Warbler in full song