Bempton Cliffs and the Truth About Puffins

It was a nice day at Bempton, being pleasantly sunny and with a nice breeze. There were dozens of people about, many of them wearing jackets and a lot of them wearing shirts, hats, shorts or trousers of various hiking wonder-fabrics.

Me? I had a ten-year-old shirt on, with the sleeves rolled up in casual manner. Julia noticed that the edges are starting to wear through, so I’ve been banned from wearing it again.

I had my normal trousers on. I was just getting where I wanted to be, with seven pairs of identical navy blue cargo trousers when Julia bought me two pairs of khaki for my birthday. At one time all my trousers were khaki, but I changed to dark blue as they are more serviceable for a man with a bladder problem.

They are also better for funerals.

Khaki, I feel, is a bit frivolous for a man my age.

I think it’s a woman thing, having all your clothes different. I’m quite happy for them to be all the same; it cuts down on the chances of making a bad fashion choice.

Women also prefer, it seems, clothes where the buttons match, the colours aren’t faded and the edges aren’t fraying. As indicated above, we had quite a discussion on this subject.

Then we moved on to my hat. That was not a comfortable conversation either.

The reports of hundreds of Puffins on the cliffs and hundreds more at sea proved to be an exaggeration. There were two burrows where birds had been seen flying in and out, and we spotted three Puffins out at sea, though one did dive and disappear within a couple of seconds of being spotted. They are like that.

Fortunately I’d been half-expecting this, as it was what had happened last year, so we weren’t particularly disappointed.

The two we saw at sea were quite cute, so it wasn’t a wasted day.

Anyway, even without Puffins, a day on the cliffs with my wife and a decent breeze is never wasted. There were other birds, a number of flowers and a seal eating a massive fish while gulls tried to steal it.

I’m not sure what sort of seal it is – apparantly being grey isn’t a sign that it’s a Grey Seal. You need to look at the nostrils. It was in the sea, I was on top of a cliff – I was struggling to see the head, let alone the nostrils. Anyway, the nostrils are situated quite close to the teeth so I’m prepared to exist in ignorance. When you go to Donna Nook they warn you about the teeth.

I’m afraid I didn’t do well with the photographs – there is no excuse apart from lack of enthusiasm. I just couldn’t seem to get things right.


Part Three follows…

26 thoughts on “Bempton Cliffs and the Truth About Puffins

  1. beatingthebounds

    That’s a huge fish! The only time I’ve been to Bempton it was very early in the morning and I had a baby in the back of the car who had finally gone to sleep (I was driving around more or less aimlessly in the hope that they would). I didn’t get any further than the car park.

  2. Clare Pooley

    Excellent photographs! I think your seal is a Grey Seal. It appears to have a long pointed head – the Common Seal’s head is rounder and it has a short muzzle.

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  5. Laurie Graves

    I think the pictures are wonderful. How nice to go to the cliffs with you and Julia. Speaking of Clif…he is six years older than you and he wears khakis. πŸ˜‰

  6. derrickjknight

    I’m pleased you had a good day and produced some excellent photographs. Jackie keeps buying me work trousers from Lidl. – they are now my day to day wear of choice

  7. arlingwoman

    The picture to the right of the gull (top) is fabulous, as is that cliff picture with all the gulls. I’ve always like puffins, but I imagine in person they are not as cute or endearing. But I have a quote you may like, from John Berger’s To the Wedding: “For two centuries we’ve believed in history as a highway. We forgave the past its terrors because they occurred in the Dark Ages. Now, suddenly we find ourselves far from any highway, perched like puffins on a cliff ledge in the dark.” And there they were, though it was not dark. As for clothes, I’ve been know to order the same style of t-shit or trouser in different colors and to wear things until I notice that…um…the nap is gone…

    1. quercuscommunity

      Excellent quote – I look at the seabirds on the cliff, particularly the Puffins, Guillemot and Razorbills (which don’t looklike natural fliers) and I woory about them falling off.Glad to hear you are a fellow enthusiast for getting value from your clothes. πŸ™‚

    2. Laurie Graves

      Wonderful quotation. That’s exactly how I feel about the U.S. and indeed the world right now.


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