Friday, 27 July 2012

Late July in Bempton Cliffs

As we approach the cliffs, the nasal, repetitive calls of the Kittiwakes and the pungent smell of guano drifting onto the path tells us we are back at Bempton. It was over three years we had been here and it was long overdue for a visit. Although we missed the peak of the breeding season, I was still pleasantly surprised by how much there was about today. By the visitor center the usual boisterous pack of Tree Sparrows and a few Jackdaws were accompanied by four Swallows. A nest with three chicks looking ready to fledge was located over the entrance to the visitor center.
 On the cliffs themselves, there were many fledged Kittiwakes, but also many adults with young ones still sitting on nests, a pair of Herring Gulls, Rock Doves, Jackdaws. The stars of the show this late in the season are the Gannets, and there were plenty of them, some on nests by their plump, downy chicks. A group of bold ones were sitting by the path right on top of cliffs, busily preening their feathers and providing great photo opportunities.
As for invertebrates, we saw a few Ringlets and many Burnets. A Striped Millipede was crossing the path to the cliffs and an earwig clothed with red mites went round and round on top of a fence.
Path to the cliffs
Striped Millipede, Ommatoiulus sabulosus 
Pair of Herring Gulls
Gannet City
Young Kittiwakes
Gannet, during a rest in a long session of grooming
Group of Gannets 
Jackdaw looking for morsels in the picnic area
Tree Sparrow
Three Swallow chicks on their nest
Six Spot Burnet
Birds

  1. Blackbird, fledgling in Feeding Station
  2. Blue Tit, feeding station
  3. Dunnock, feeding station, singing male and fledgling
  4. Feral Pigeon           
  5. Gannet, many nests with downy young
  6. Goldfinch
  7. Herring Gull, pair on nest           
  8. Jackdaw
  9. Kestrel, female hunting
  10. Kittiwake, many fledglings
  11. Linnet, pair nest building                              
  12. Pied Wagtail           
  13. Puffin, adult inside a crack on the cliff                                   
  14. Robin, fledgling
  15. Sand Martin           
  16. Swallow, nest with young
  17. Tree Sparrow, nest building, one with feather on beak, some with food on beak
  18. Woodpigeon, singing          
  19. Wren, singing            

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