Sunday, 4 May 2014

Watching Gannets and Puffins at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

It was the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend and we decided to take a trip to the RSPB Reserve at Bempton Cliffs site of the largest onshore Gannet Colony in the country. 

Gannet at RSPB Bempton Cliffs
The visit to Bempton also afforded us the opportunity to meander across the Yorkshire Wodds and through picturesque villages such as Boynton, Grindale, Buckton and Bempton.

The reserve sits up a single track road that leads to the cliffs from the village of Bempton. That road was busy with traffic moving from one passing place to the next. When we arrived the overflow car park was already nearly full indicating it was a busy day at the reserve. The only cost involved in the trip was paying for the parking and at a cost of £5 to park it represented great value for a day out. If your an RSPB member the parking is free. Bempton does have a station on the Hull to Scarborough Railway Line and the reserve is about a mile and a half from so visiting on foot is possible

Puffin at RSPB Bempton Cliffs
The reserve has a small visitor centre, cafe and toilet which stands about 100 metres back from the cliff edge. Gravelled paths then lead down to the cliff edge and decked viewing platforms. The great thing about the Bempton Reserve is that the birds are only a matter of a few feet away clinging to the cliffs and as they soar past on the coastal breeze. 

You can't help but be impressed by seeing such large birds as gannets in their thousands at such close range. The Puffins are a little more elusive being small, fast- moving and living in burrows but if your patient you do see them. Many other birds such as Guillemots and Kittiwakes also call the cliffs home.

I visited the reserve many times before and will do so again. Regardless of the impressive wildlife the cliff top setting giving views along the coast from Flamborough to Filey makes this a great place to visit.

The RSPB Bempton web pages can be found here - http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/b/bemptoncliffs/ 

Gannet coming to land at RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Towards Flamborough

A Gannet conducting the bird noise at RSPB Bempton



Remote viewing by birdcam at RSPB Bempton


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