Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Yorkshire Coast half-term holiday

After the rather emotional previous blogpost, now it's time to wind down and tell you about the relaxed, wildlife-filled, rarity-void annual half-term trip to Yorkshire. As usual, we stayed with our extended family in Filey, Mark and Amity. Admittedly, weather was not great for a family holiday. Rain, fog and wind for much of the time. However, this is exactly what birders want in early June. Mark and I snuck out birding as often as we could (after repeating our mantra three times: 'F~%&ing Spurn'), but came up with close to zero reward. Birding was hard-going. We checked all the famous migrant spots, but there was nothing around. Sole local scarcity was a Wood Sandpiper (present for several days) at Carr Naze Pond.

View of Filey Brigg protruding into the North Sea from Blue Dolphin:

Early Purple Orchid

Luckily, I like Tree Sparrows. This one was taken at Filey Dams:

So rather than hardcore birding, we focused on recreational birding and wildlife stuff. One morning was spent rock-pooling with Mark at South Landing on Flamborough Head, which was brilliant as always. So much diversity, and this time I even brought my proper camera to document it:

Monster Shanny


Five-bearded Rockling

Beadlet Anemone

Common Grey Sea Slug and its eggs

Shore Crab with a belly-full of eggs

We visited the seabird colony at Flamborough's North Landing twice. First time in fog as thick as soup and high tide. Second visit was better. From a photography point of view it is very different and perhaps less ideal than Bempton Cliffs. However, the experience there is great - the birds are so close, flying on and off the cliff inches from my head. It is a very busy beach and the birds tolerate human activity. Brilliant stuff.

Razorbill - their eyes are so hard to see in photos!

Liked the water patterns here

Atlantic Puffin - still holding on here somehow, about 3000 pairs breeding in Bempton - Flamborough colony

This photo was taken in really murky conditions - heavily photoshopped

This excellent photo was taken by my son Uri, 10 years old:

I love Yorkshire, especially at this time of year. This was probably my last visit for a while, but I'll be back.

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