Bempton Cliffs


After watching the Springwatch team broadcast from the RSPB reserve at Bempton, and having last visited this area back in the early nineties Deanee and I decided that we would take a little detour on our way up to Aviemore.  The sun was shining when we arrived at Wold Farm, a family run camping & Caravan site with wonderful views out over the cliffs at Bempton and the lighthouse at Flambrough.  After hooking the caravan up to the water and power supply and after a much needed cup of tea we set off with Pebbles (our little dog) on the short walk to the cliffs where we enjoyed our first views of the gannets, guillimots, razor bills, kittiwakes and a few puffins all preforming an impressive  aerial display to the wonderful sounds of the seabirds.

The following morning I set off at 3.30am, leaving Deanee and Pebbles to enjoy a few more hours sleep. Walking from the campsite along the clearly marked pathway through the fields to a position I had earmarked on our pervious evening walk ,where I could sit and look back at the cliff face.  With the sun just beginning to show itself I settle down  for what turned out to be a good 4 hours photographing the seabirds. On my return walk I stop to photograph two fulmars who are photo bombed by a puffin popping it's head out of a hole.

Deanee & Pebbles are waiting for me and after breakfast we head off to the RSPB reserve where we find a very smart car park and visitors centre with pathways suitable for Deanee to access the cliff tops on her buggy. The sun is out and there is a breeze but no sign of the forecasted rain. 

Our first notable sighting is of the tree sparrows which are nesting in the bird boxes on the side of the visitors centre,  even though we are very lucky to have 3 birds visit our feeders at home all winter it is great to see them nesting.  Making our way along the cliff tops we enjoy the day watching the thousands of seabirds that breed on the cliffs. Sadly we only see a few of puffins and consider ourselves to be lucky as we meet lots of birders who have failed to seen any. 

On the hunt for more puffins the next day, which is sunny but very windy, we make our way to North Landing and sure enough from the car park we spot some puffins on the water. There is a very steep concrete slipway down to the cove and although impossible for Deanee to negotiate Pebbles and I make our way down.  I am rewarded with some passable shots of the puffins. 

After lunch, moving on, we stop for a walk around Flamborough Lighthouse.  The wind is now so strong that we decide to go back to the caravan site for a couple of hours.  We spend the late afternoon watching the tents being almost flattened by the strong winds. 

The following morning we are back on the road heading for Aviemore and the Cairngorms.

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