Monday, 29 June 2015

Flamborough Head: North Landing to Breil Newk

This morning I travelled to Flamborough and parked at North Landing. I had been before at the landing itself, but I hadn't explored the cliffs to the east. The sea was flat, barely any breeze and very warm and sunny as I arrived.
I followed the clifftop path and soon, in one of the inlets of the landing a pair of Puffins made themselves visible. A flock of Linnets, including a very bright male, moved up and down the cliffs. Meadow Pipit sung their 'click-click-click' parachuting song with the backdrop of Skylarks. On the path I flushed a Painted Lady who settled shortly after.
 The young and old birds at the cliffs were panting due to the warm, sunny weather. When it clouded up at around 11 it became much nicer.
  I walked up to Breil Newk, an area which I had seen from the Yorkshire Belle boat before, but not from the clifftop. A photo does not do justice to this amazing place, watch this short clip to get an idea (the only thing you need to imagine is the smell of guano drifting from the cliffs).

There were many Shags on the rocks. In a little cave at the bottom of the chalk stack, the finger-like rock sticking out from the sea, a Shag nest with young. Somebody seems to have climbed the stack and placed a tyre on top, which is now a convenient nest for a pair of Herring Gulls.
 I came down to the North Landing itself for lunch, and was very entertained watching the House Martins, with their chirruping calls echoing as they approached their cliff nests. The nests are a bit hard to count, as they are quite camouflaged, but there must be at least 20 nests in this colony.
 These cliffs feel very wild: there are not fences keeping you from the cliffs, or artificial balconies. You get to see the birds as you follow the unfenced path on the cliff top and the views are amazing. The cliffs are not linear, but there are stacks, inlets and little headlands which adds to the variety and makes the viewing easy. The clifftop flowers were also fantastic. The only bird not breeding here is the Gannet, but I saw many passing by just offshore.
Painted Lady
North Landing
Guillemots with a chick, and a couple of Razorbills
Sea Pink on the cliffs
North Marsh Orchid, there was a large patch of them.
The very hot Kittiwakes on the cliffs
Kittiwake with chicks
Shag nest on Breil Newk
The King of the castle. A pair of Herring gulls with chick.
These Guillemots kept panting and left their wings half open to thermorregulate
Herring Gull on a cliff ledge
Kestrel hovering and Gannets passing by.
House Martin leaving nest
Curious Meadow Pipit. For a while I thought there was a cricket about, when I realised it was this Meadow Pipit.

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