Sunday, 15 April 2012

Bridlington Harbour and Danes Dyke

We spent the morning at Bridlington, around the harbour area. There was a cold northerly breezy and showers. Bridlington harbour is populated by confiding Herring Gulls and Turnstones. On the buildings on the outside wall, two pairs of Great Black Backed Gulls, more Herring Gulls, and on a ridge on the wall, two groups of Kittiwakes, which judging by the state of the place, might even breed there.
A group of Kittiwakes and a Turnstone resting on the outside harbour wall
A group of turnstones, the one on the right is wearing four rings on its legs
Turnstone
Subadult Herring Gull on Bridlington Harbour
After lunch we head to Danes Dyke, a local nature reserve just south of Flamborough village. The dyke is from the Iron Age, and was built as a cutting across the Flamborough headland possibly as a defensive measure. Soil was gathered from the ditch and piled onto the dyke, which may have held a wooden fence. The ditch, now containing woodland, offers protection from the wind and is a good migrant hotspot. There is not much woodland around Bridlington, so this is an unusual habitat, and the woodland floor is carpeted with wildflowers. The walk is lovely towards the end of the dyke, when the sea comes into view and the natural ravine comes onto the beach (top shot). The beach, at the base on the chalk eroded cliffs is very sheltered and warm, and the sea is completely flat. We find several Tiger Beetles scuttling at the base of the cliffs, where Scurvygrass grows. An alarmed Fulmar calls softly, and it takes a while to spot it sitting, motionless on its nest, a loner on this stretch of cliffs. As we leave the beach, a swallow flies north over our heads.
A bank at the base of a tree with Primroses, Lesser Celandine and Bluebells
Red Campion
Wild Garlic flowering
Path through Danes Dike
Green Tiger Beetle, Cicindela campestris
Common Scurvygrass, Cochlearia officinalis
A view of Danes Dyke from the beach
Spot the Fulmar on its nest

Bird list
Bridlington
  1. Herring gull
  2. Great Black Backed gull
  3. Kittiwake
  4. Turnstone
  5. Starling 
  6. Feral pigeon
  7. Sparrow
  8. Shag
Danes Dyke
  1. Chiffchaff
  2. Chaffinch
  3. Robin
  4. Wren
  5. Pied Wagtail
  6. Coal tit
  7. Blue tit
  8. Great tit
  9. Pheasant
  10. Cormorant
  11. Herring gull
  12. Fulmar
  13. Swallow
More Information
Fossils at Danes Dyke.
Website on Danes Dyke
A walk around Danes Dyke reserve. here.
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