Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Yorkshire weekend

Had a superb weekend in Yorkshire with my family - got my share of the perfect combination of birds & people. We stayed with our dear friends Mark and Amity in Filey. We did lots of stuff together and enjoyed every minute of it. Birding highlight was of course the annual visit to RSPB Bempton Cliffs. It is such a fantastic place. The reserve was very full but that did not affect the very pure and powerful wildlife experience there. The fact that the birds pass few meters away and pay no attention to humans makes it all so special. Light was shite, and I had Libby on my back and held Bamba on a lead most of the time.  As a result photo opps were rather limited but that's the great thing about Bempton Cliffs  - you don't need much to get great photos there!
Last year when we visited the reserve Puffins weren't that cooperative. This time around they played ball, and showed as well as they can at this site. Stunning birds.


Squadrons of the majestic Gannets patrolled along the cliffs. In this image the huge number of birds on the water is visible: 

At one point the gannets collected nesting material few meters from the main track - magic moments:

Check that eye!

 I always love Kittiwakes - little gulls with an attitude ;-)

Most were on eggs but few failed breeders were rebuilding nests:

There was good Fulmar activity too but I spent little time with them:

 Razorbills are brilliant birds. Funny thing about them is that their eyes are hardly visible in photos:

Here the dark eye is just about visible:

O'mighty cliffs!

Tree Sparrows are sort of a Yorkshire specialty:

This guy collected caterpillars puffin-style but dropped them on the track beside us, don't know why:

Mark introduces me to his superb local patch - Filey Brigg and Carr Naze. We were slightly optimistic with rain and wind almost from a proper direction but our hopes did not materialize into any migrants. Few shorebirds were at the tip of the Brigg:


And a small group of Dunlins and Knots:

Many thanks guys for the great weekend - looking forward to the next time we meet!

Me & Mark with Filey Brigg sticking out into the North Sea in the background

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