Tag Archives: gannet

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!

An auksome day out

We had a day off today; it’s getting to be a habit. We decided on Scarborough again (well, Julia did, I just drove), but started off sooner and dropped in at Bempton Cliffs on the way. They seem to have spent a lot of money since we last came, with nice flat paths making it easy to walk round, even for a fat man with arthritic feet.

Unfortunately this also allowed all sorts of undesirables to access the reserve and get in my way. There was one particular woman who seemed to make it a point of honour to get in front of me and block the best view. When I got fed up and walked on she seemed to immediately give up and slip in front of me at the next good spot.

If it had been an episode of something by Agatha Christie the third occasion would have seen a body spiralling into the sea, hundreds of feet below. I can see the shot now…

However, that’s more of a comment on my favoured reading matter rather than the Bempton Cliffs experience.

We only saw one species of butterfly on the cliff top – ringlets! Would be wouldn’t it? They flew low, sheltering in the tops of the grass from the stiffish breeze so I couldn’t get a decent photo. The breeze was quite handy, as it was blowing out to sea, and taking the stench of fishy bird excrement with it. On a hot windless day, this can be a memorable part of the visit.

Here are some pictures – I’ll let them speak for themselves. Puffins are looking a bit dull after rearing a family – next year we will visit sooner.