bird watching birds landscapes nature reserves the sea the seaside wildlife Yorkshire

Bempton Cliffs – a birding paradise

Bempton Cliffs is far north of here on the Yorkshire coast and a place we had never visited but we had heard much about the bird life there, especially the sea birds. As Jude the Undergardener had never seen a Puffin in her life, even though it is one of her favourite wildlife characters, we decided a visit was on the cards. We arrived with expectations high as we were anticipating spotting some special birds.


We soon realised we were in for a special day when we noticed that the sparrows flocking around the RSPB’s visitor centre were not House Sparrows but the much scarcer Tree Sparrows with their smart brown berets replacing the drab grey of their commoner cousins.

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But we were here to look along the steep tall cliffs at the seabirds beginning to claim territories and begin nest-building. We wandered down to where the land dropped steeply away and looked down to see dozens of large mostly black and white coloured birds speedily flying close to the cliffs themselves and occasionally dropping onto ledges where nest-building was just starting. Most of these were Guillimots and Razorbills but the true stars were the smaller Puffins with their large multi-coloured striped bills.

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I spent an awful lot of time trying to get photos of Gannets in flight. It was a real difficult challenge and I had lots of failures and no real successes, but here are my best efforts.

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I can’ resist showing a couple of failures just to give you a laugh – a near miss and a total miss.

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The individual birds were impressive but it was the sheer size of the colonies of the Gannets that amazed us.

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It wasn’t just sea birds that made Bempton special though as we saw four sorts of Wagtail – Pied, Yellow, White and Grey Wagtails, two sorts of Pipits –  Meadow and Rock. and two sorts of Bunting – Corn and Reed.

After being amazed and stunned by the bird life we were amused by the amphibians. A shallow pond near the visitor centre was heaving with lively frogs.

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I shall finish our visit to Bempton with a little gallery. As usual just click on a pic and use the arrows.

By greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.