A good turnout of 37 members and friends left the Gateway at 7.30am to head over to the east coast. After a provisions and comfort stop at Ferrybridge Services we soon picked up our first target species of the day as a Red Kite passed over the coach in East Yorkshire. Buzzard, Kestrel and Red-legged Partridge were also seen on the journey.
We arrived at the RSPB Bempton Cliffs reserve mid-morning and most of the party headed straight for the cliffs. Tree Sparrow and Linnet were recorded from the path from the visitor centre to the cliffs. Moving along the string of viewing platform’s we spent a pleasant few hours watching the comings and goings of the seabirds.
|Linnet (Alan & Glo)|
Guillemot and Razorbill were plentiful, many lined up in organised rows up and down the cliffs. Kittiwakes were seen in good numbers with occasion Fulmars gliding, stiff winged, alongside the cliffs. Dominating the cliffs were the Gannets, sizably larger than the other species they shared the cliffs with. Pristine adult birds were settled on nests only to be disturbed by the occasion second summer birds crash landing on proceedings. Loud calls and bill pointing followed until the juvenile bird took off again to leave the breeding adults in peace.
|Gannet (Holly Page)|
Probably the most popular cliff dweller were the Puffins, never in substantial numbers but a scattering of adults concealed in crevices and cracks. Found generally towards the top of the cliffs they gave splendid views for the birdwatchers on the platforms above. The reserve seemed to be very busy and people jostled for position to get good views. The RSPB volunteers were out on the viewing platforms providing a commentary to the visitors, including one poor chap who was dressed in a replica Puffin outfit!
|Puffin (Alan & Glo)|
It was commented on by our group that no chicks were seen and very few eggs were visible (for any species). Numbers of birds on the cliffs and in the sea below seemed to be high.
|Razorbill (Holly Page)|
A walk along the field edges added Whitethroat and Meadow Pipit to the list but we were unable to find any of the Corn Bunting noted on the board in the visitor centre. A few of the party connected with Hobby and we recorded the usual hirundine’s and Swift.
Departing Bempton we arrived at North Cave Wetlands in the mid-afternoon. On entering the first viewing platform we were entertained by a party of recently fledged Great and Blue Tit, with several the birds feeding from the hand. Looking out over the pools Avocets with young stood out, as did a couple of very smart Mediterranean Gull’s amongst the breeding colony of Black-headed Gull. Pochard, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Shelduck were also noted.
|Meadow Brown (Holly Page)|
Moving around the reserve we watched Common Terns on their breeding platforms and Ringed and Little Ringed Plover’s on the scrapes. Blackcap’s were singing in the wooded area’s and Reed Warblers were seen in the reed beds. A Sedge Warbler was recorded. Nest boxes around the reserve held Kestrel and Stock Dove.
|Mute Swan||Coot||Pied Wagtail|
|Greylag Goose||Oystercatcher||Grey Wagtail|
|Shelduck||Little Ringed Plover||Robin|
|Mallard||Ringed Plover||Song Thrush|
|Pochard||Mediterranien Gull||Sedge Warbler|
|Tufted Duck||Herring Gull||Reed Warbler|
|Red-legged Partridge||Great Black-backed Gull||Wren|
|Pheasant||Lesser Black-backed Gull||Great Tit|
|Little Grebe||Kittiwake||Blue Tit|
|Great-crested Grebe||Common Tern||Magpie|
|Little Egret||Stock Dove||Carrion Crow|
|Red Kite||Collared Dove||House Sparrow|
|Marsh Harrier||Swift||Tree Sparrow|
|Peregrine||House Martin||Reed Bunting|