Bempton Cliffs

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A quick recap on an enjoyable few days spent on Flamborough Head looking over the North Sea and the cliffs stretching up the coast to the RSPB nature reserve at Bempton Cliffs.

In contrast to the more usual conditions our visit coincided with what’s looking to be the hottest weekend of the year. 28°C, no breeze and sunny. What was planned as a gentle stroll along the cliff tops to Bempton became a scorcher.

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The views from the 300ft high cliffs to the vast seabird city below are magnificent. With over 250,000 nesting birds it’s difficult to describe just what a spectacular walk this is. Gannets, Kittiwakes, Puffin, Fulmars, Guillemots, Razorbills, Herring Gulls, Shags, Cormorants, Tree Sparrows, Jackdaws and even a Porpoise seen bobbing around in the water.
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 A returning Razorbill
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Plenty of neck stroking going on. Whilst tempting to think of it being a sign of affection I suspect it may have been an attempt to encourage the returning bird to regurgitate a fishy supper!
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One of the Razorbill’s closest relatives the Common Guillemot
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and another far less common member of the Auk family the Atlantic Puffin.
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Encouraging signs that it may be a good year for Kittiwakes. No shortage of nestlings along the cliffs.
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A pair of Northern Gannets keeping a close eye on this years chick. With the sun really beating down the bald, dark coloured nestlings were clearly struggling. Fortunately with Mum being the largest seabird in the North Atlantic shade wasn’t too difficult to find.
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A Herring Gull on the lookout for an abandoned or weak chick.
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Plenty of Fulmars around. Although superficially similar to the gulls the tubenose helps to identify the Fulmar as being members of the Petrel family – close relatives of the Albatrosses.  In common with their larger relatives the stiff winged flight and effortless ability to glide along the cliff face made the Fulmars easy to identify amongst the many thousands of gulls.
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And to finish this post off another in flight photo of a Gannet. Wonderful birds and a real pleasure  to watch.

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