Friday, 31 August 2012

Flamborough Head and North Landing

We visited the North Landing for a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust 'Captivating Crustaceans' event. The beach was a pleasure to be in, the weather could't have been better, mild, clear skies and a non noticeable wind. We were shown Lobsters and various crabs by a local fisherman committed to sustainable fishing, who explained to us what he does to keep the lobster fishery thriving. The kids enjoyed rock pooling and rock hopping.
A dozen or so Fulmars circled around approaching their nests and going away (maybe encouraging their chicks to fledge?) and a chirping colony of House Martins on the cliffs, the first I have seen in years, with young still being fed. An incongruous pair of Woodpigeons were ever present, the male displaying over the beach and courting the female on the cliffs. Squadrons of Gannets, in orderly lines, flew past by in the direction of Bempton Cliffs and passing Cormorants and Shags were also numerous. A Grey Seal greeted us first thing in the morning, but after a while it disappeared to give way to the bustle of visitors and dogs in the low tide.
 Later in the day we moved to Flamborough lighthouse and walked around the headland, where I hadn't been in quite a while. The views of the coastline from the cliff tops are amazing, with stacks, white beaches, and steep soil cliffs at the top.  The meadows had recently been mown, but there were still some wildflower patches and longer grass by the cliff edge. One of these, with hawkbit and an umbelifer was busy with in butterflies (Peacock, Wall, Small Copper) and a lone Silver Y and many bumblebees and hoverflies. A large ragwort was being munched by cinnabar caterpillars. The highlight was a confiding Wheatear that hunted on the cliffs. 

A view of North Landing
House Martin nest with chick on the cliff
Shore crab, Carcinus maenas, thanks to Graham Scott for the ID. 
Edible Crab, Cancer pagurus
Velvet crab, Necora puber
Squat lobster, Galathea strigosa 
A female European Lobster laden with eggs is being V clipped so that she can safely lay and survive at least another three years, as capturing marked individuals is illegal and the clip takes three years to heal.
There is a Fulmar chick there, I promise
Another view of the Wheatear
Silver Y feeding

Bird list
  1. Black-headed Gull 
  2. Cormorant 
  3. Feral Pigeon 
  4. Fulmar, Occupied Nest 
  5. Gannet, many out at sea
  6. Herring Gull, a young one on top of a stack being fed by adult
  7. House Martin, Many nests with young on N Landing
  8. House Sparrow,  Male feeding young in nest under boat house eaves
  9. Jackdaw 
  10. Kestrel 
  11. Mallard 
  12. Oystercatcher 
  13. Rock Dove 
  14. Starling 
  15. Stock Dove 
  16. Woodpigeon, courtship and Display 
  17. Collared Dove 
  18. Great Black-backed Gull 
  19. Kittiwake 
  20. Pied Wagtail, family on the lighthouse car park 
  21. Shag 
  22. Wheatear 

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