A brilliant and exhilarating day spent volunteering at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. It was great to see seven of the eight cliff breeding birds, the only one missing being Puffin! I was based at the Grandstand viewpoint managing to see 2000+ Guillemots; 100+ Razorbills; 4 Shags; 2 Kittiwakes; Fulmars; Gannets and Herring Gulls. Several disturbing events took place during the day - several hang gliders caused massive disturbance with thousands of birds being forced off the cliffs (6 times!). Imagine this happening when the birds are breeding with eggs/chicks being dislodged when the birds panic. Another stupid event was a visitor crossing the safety fence to peer over the unstable grass topped cliffs - it beggars belief!
Our last stop off this afternoon was at Scalby Mills, hoping to touch base with the American Wigeon. A small group of birders were on station outside of the Sea Life Centre looking out to sea. The tide was coming in, but it was at least an hour before high tide. The American Wigeon was lurking in a pool, a long way out and viewable through a scope (thanks Steve Race!). American Wigeon (life tick) was in the bag - but would it come closer? Some lucky birders have images of the American Wigeon very close to the sea wall (well done!), but tonight it decided to be "challenging"! While waiting in hope, my attention was drawn to other activity.
First, Second and Third! (Wigeon)
The Incoming Tide!
Interestingly, the American Wigeon spent a lot of its time in the company of a female Eurasion Wigeon. Could love be in the air?