Tag Archives: Bempton Cliffs

Back to Bempton

We went to Bempton Cliffs today.

It’s the first time I’ve found myself going through the motions. There are only so many Razorbills, Guillemots, Gannets, Kittiwakes and Tree Sparrows you can photograph before the novelty wears off. As for Jackdaws, I can see them any day of the week in Nottingham.

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Tree Sparrow (Male)

I did get a photograph of a Whitethroat, so that cheered me up. I’ve not photographed one before, though it’s not exactly rare.

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Whitethroat

There weren’t many Puffins about, but what’s new? There are rarely many Puffins about when you want them. At the moment they are mainly involved with feeding their young. I can identify with that.

It was a fairly dull day, and I couldn’t use the magic settings to liven the colour up as they limit the zoom to 40x, You need every bit of the 80x zoom to get a decent shot, and you also need steady hands, as any wavering is also magnified 80 times.

To make things worse, it was also windy.

The first Puffin shot was, I thought, only a shot of a half-hidden bird with bright orange feet. Imagine my surprise when, looking at the photos later, I found I’d been photobombed by another, much clearer bird. At 80x zoom, with a dull day and lots of concentration, I’d completely missed the obvious one!

More Pictures from Bempton Cliffs

There are other birds apart from Puffins at Bempton – here are a few, though they aren’t quite as photogenic as Puffins.

And a few more.

Finally a few shadow selfies, because the Devil finds work for idle hands.

Oh, alright then. And a Puffin.

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…

Evening and Annoyance

It’s not been a productive evening.

I  bought two lots on eBay last night and both transactions have turned complicated. One is my fault because I forgot to press a button and sent my home address instead of the shop address. I tried to alter this by email later but the vendor had already organised the post and sent it amazingly quickly. He has now apologised three times for what is actually not his fault, as I keep trying to tell him.

The other is having problems with the address too. Despite me confirming the address he still says he is confused. I think that’s because the system allows me to use a delivery address but shows my home address too. He either cannot handle ambiguity of thinks I’m embarking on a major fraud for £46. I’m not sure which. All I know is that I’ve had to write to him twice tonight (so far) trying to sort it out.

It’s not easy writing polite emails as there’s always the possibility of causing accidental offence, even without the added problem of being irritated, having connection problems and wanting to plan tomorrow’s trip.

Then I wiped off an entire answer by accident and had to do it again.

And I had to double check some auction bids I sent in haste this morning. I bid too much for something but I’ll let it stand as I hate cancelling bids and messing people about.

Number Two son did his final exam this morning. The landlord had chosen this day to decorate the room and wouldn’t delay to allow for a more relaxing lead up to the exam. When he returned in the afternoon they had also replaced his bed. They had, however failed to empty the storage drawer in the old one and had taken all his shoes away.

Idiots.

Julia is trying to watch The Woman in White on BBC i-player but it’s not going well. We appear to lack bandwidth, despite paying an arm and a leg to BT every month. She couldn’t watch it last night as we went out for curry.

I have to cook tea now.

I suppose I’ll probably burn it.

Tomorrow we are going to Bempton Cliffs to see Puffins. Looking at what happened last year I’m worried we might not see many. Fingers crossed.

And, as I try to find Puffin photos the system has seized up again. I really must write to WordPress. For Puffin photos you will need to use the last link.

The featured image is just plucked from stock at random. I wanted something calming with blue sky a fresh green trees.

Puffins – up close and personal

After leaving Flamborough Head we drove for ten minutes and ended up at Bempton Cliffs, where we were even luckier with the Puffins. From our first viewpoint we managed to pick a couple out but someone told us the try the next one down. That proved to have some excellent views, and we didn’t even need binoculars. The blur in one picture is a blade of grass.

We also saw the usual suspects (Rock Dives, Herring Gulls, Jackdaws, Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Razorbills and Guillemots) and there were good numbers of immature Gannets, including chicks.

As you can probably tell, the day was becoming dull again after the sunshine so we didn’t hang around too long.

We rounded off with excellent fish and chips at the Fishpan in Scarborough. It’s never disappointed us yet, unlike some of the posher places we’ve tried.

We were home for 8.30 pm and exactly 12 hours later I dropped Julia off at work. She’s salvaged an old PE bench from the school skip and we restored it to live with a drop of glue and half-a-dozen screws. It’s nearly as good as new now, though there’s quite a bit of chewibg gum to dislodge from underneath.

After that it was off to the doctor for a blood test and on to blogging. Which brings us bang up to date.

More from Bempton Cliffs

Sorry about the short post yesterday, but I was a bit tired by the time we got home. At just over two hours each way it was a longish trip, but worth it because of the quality of the paths and views of the birds.

Even as we travelled up the A1, under almost cloudless blue skies, I could feel the curse of daytime TV lifting from my soul.

The sun was in the wrong position for photography, with much of the cliff being in shadow so I didn’t get many shots. Fortunately the young Gannets were relaxing in the sun and gave me plenty of chances for photography. I’d have preferred a few Puffin shots but you can only take what’s in front of you.

Gannets don’t breed until they are about five years old. The ones in the picture are around that age, as they have just about lost all their adolescent black feathers. Next year they will breed, but this year they are practising their bill fencing and preening. It’s not a bad life.

At the end of the summer they will fly as far south as West Africa.

There were other birds too, but they weren’t as interesting.

That’s a bit unfair really, but I was tired and limping and I can get quite unfair. I can also be quite short with people, as one idiot found when he wandered in front of the car in Bridlington.

We went for fish and chips in Filey and ate them on the seafront. It’s an interesting place, but I didn’t have the energy to take photos. It was a big piece of superbly cooked haddock and took a bit of eating.

There were House Martins nesting under the eaves of the chip shop.