A Nice Day Out? Part 1 – Bempton Cliffs

A windy day at Bempton

Apologies, this will not be a richly-illustrated post!

We headed out to Bempton Cliffs yesterday. It’s a great site, and in Spring and Summer it is loaded with breeding seabirds, including Guillemot (Uria aalge), Razorbill (Alca torda), and Gannet (Morus bassanus). In Autumn though, it’s a good place to catch some migrant birds blown in from Scandinavia. That was what we went for.

Unfortunately, the wind wasn’t a helpful migrant-shifter. It was a life-threatening heart-stopper. From the moment I couldn’t open the car door, I knew we were in trouble. We did a shift along the cliffs, but saw almost nothing. Some gulls out to sea, the odd gannet, and lots of pigeons. The wind was so strong I couldn’t really get the camera out and focused on anything!

So we headed to the nearby pond and feeding areas. Even here, the smaller birds were hiding deep within bushes, afraid to emerge. But at the feeding area we did catch lots of Blackbirds, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Collared Dove, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Tree Sparrow, and one solitary Brambling. The light, and the wind, made it difficult even here to get good pictures, but here are a few blurry birds:

Blackbird, Bempton, 27 Oct 2012

Greenfinches, Bempton, 27 Oct 2012

Tree Sparrow, Bempton, 27 Oct 2012

Didn’t get a picture of the Brambling before it left. It’s a real shame the Tree Sparrow photo didn’t come out better, as they are a dapper little bird. Far rarer then the House Sparrow, but increasing in certain strongholds, the male is a cracker with his chestnut cap. Slightly better, older, pic here:

Tree Sparrow, Martin Mere, January 2010

So, we abandoned Bempton to return another day. While it wasn’t especially succesful, the challenging conditions did make for a fun walk, and blew archives of cobwebs away!

We headed for Dane’s Dyke instead, and later there’ll be a second part to this on what we saw there.

I’ve had a request via Twitter to do herons at some point, so I’ll work on that for a future Monday Bird of the Week. Tomorrow though it’ll be Gannets. If you’ve any ideas for bird of the week, or future articles, I’m open to suggestion. I’d also encourage guest bloggers, as I think it’s great to have different voices and opinions

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3 Responses to A Nice Day Out? Part 1 – Bempton Cliffs

  1. Pingback: A nice day out? Part 2 – Dane’s Dyke | Why watch wildlife?

  2. Pingback: The Monday Bird of the Week No.2 – Gannet | Why watch wildlife?

  3. Pingback: A trip to RSPB Bempton Cliffs – Part 1 – Gannets | Why watch wildlife?

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