Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Monday, 26 February 2018

Late Winter on Bempton Cliffs - 25th February 2018



Gannet

Overall, a rather pleasant day greeted us on the cliffs, sunny intervals but a cooling south easterly blow. It was the sort of day that raised hopes of spring being just around the corner. It was hard to believe the media warnings of a "Beast from the East" coming in this week to challenge normality! The cliffs were much quieter today, with only Gannets and Fulmars to enjoy, the Guillemots and Razorbills having departed back to the North Sea. It should be remembered that Auk presence on the cliffs at this time of year is transient, but the breeding season is not too far away. It was also nice to see at least four Porpoises, a Red Fox and a Weasel.

Todays Sightings:




A colourful start to the morning with this Pheasant at the feeding station


Arriving on the viewpoints, I was immediately taken by this view of Scarborough Castle, highlighted in the sunshine, about fifteen miles away!


It was the Gannets that were probably the most numerous birds today, some have already reunited with their partners at their nest sites, some are still waiting, but many more have not yet returned.








Gannet "Yoga"?

At least two Peregrines delighted between Bartlett Nab and Jubilee Corner viewpoints, with this one landing briefly at Bartlett.



And of course, the Fulmar


Monday, 19 February 2018

RSPB Bempton Cliffs - 18th February 2018



Good Morning and Welcome Back! Razorbill


A lovely day to be on the cliffs, dry and bright with a light south westerly blow an excellent day for a brisk walk on the reserve! An offshore sea fret failed to engulf the cliffs, which again saw the bird population increasing. The Guillemot numbers were in the region of 10,000, on the ledges, sea and in flight. Gannets numbers continue to increase with many pairs reuniting and evidence of nest enhancements being brought in. The Razorbills were also back on the ledges with at least 500 birds (probably more!) and Fulmars continue their busy flight routines. Herring Gulls and Shags are also evident with only the Kittiwakes and Puffins to make a show (some Puffins have been seen within the rafts of Guillemots and Razorbills on the sea, but they are very hard to spot).

So what else is about?


It is great to welcome back the Razorbills on the cliffs, some still showing evidence of their winter plumage. As with the Guillemots, their presence is still transient so seeing them on the cliffs cannot be guaranteed.






A selection of Gannets






Neighbourly squabbles are inevitable!



Fulmar



An ever present Jackdaw


Footnote:

I am currently trying to get to grips with the concepts of RAW and a newer version of Photoshop Elements. It is a steep learning curve! I would appreciate and critique / feedback, positive or negative. Thank you.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Another interesting day on Bempton Cliffs! 4th February 2018

Fulmar 

Early morning dull cloud soon dispersed to give a sunny but cool day, courtesy of a strong north north east blow. Certainly no cobwebs were seen on the viewpoints today! It was certainly difficult keeping optics and cameras steady making scanning of the sea nearly impossible. However, bird numbers continue to increase with thousands of Guillemots, many Fulmars and hundreds of Gannets. Some lucky birders managed to pick out two Razorbills amongst the Guillemot rafts and a flyover Waxwing could be bird of the day!

So what was seen?


Today, I kept moving and visited all of the viewpoints. The cliffs never fail to produce something interesting or something that I have not seen before. While walking between Jubilee Corner and Bartlett Nab, I spotted this large rock on the cliff edge! It certainly works on the imagination!



I have to say that the Fulmar is one of my favourite birds. Today, the wind was strong enough to enable "sky surfing", giving excellent views of their aeronautical skills!









Gannet numbers are increasing steadily and Staple Newk is beginning to take on its Gannet white colour!



"One flew over the cuckoo Gannet nest colony!

"One flew over the cuckoo Gannet nest colony!




And, of course, the Guillemots. Thousand on the cliffs, on the sea and in flight!

Bridled Guillemot