Monday, 31 October 2016

Bempton Cliffs: Jubilee Point to Dykes End


A thick blanket of fog greeted me as I arrived at Bempton Cliffs. It eventually lifted aided by the mild southerly breeze and when the hazy sun shone it was a lovely day, beautiful autumn day. I first walked around the bird feeding station and the nature trail. There were many Blackbirds about, but not much else. The cliffs were spookily silent, with no Kittiwakes about, which provide the leading soundtrack in the spring and summer. Through the haze, I spotted two birds on the sea. After several tries I managed to get a few poor shots. As I checked later at the visitor centre a birded confirmed that the one on the right was a drake Scaup, with its Shag companion.
 This Wren stood still long enough for a shot on a fence post.
 A few Reed Buntings were about.
 At the viewing areas, especially on the west of the reserve there were dense swarms of small flies and midges. As I was returning from Jubilee point a Goldcrest called. It was feeding on dry stems by the cliff edge.
A Rock Pipit was also feeding on the cliff edge, surely hunting for midges too.
 And then I noticed the Jackdaws. First I though they were tumbling on the breeze as they often do, but no, they were actually hawking for the midges.
This video gives an idea of what was going on (at least they didn't bite!):



This Aphodius sp. beetle and another green beetle landed on me.
Back at the visitor centre a few Tree Sparrows basked on the bushes.
Female Stonechat
Staple Newk looks ghostly without Gannets. 
Not empty though, as there were many Feral Pigeons on it.
The pieces of colourful net rope makes the empty Gannet colony look a bit like a rubbish tip. A young male Blackbird sat on it for a while. Jackdaws played going round and round it.
After the trip to the south end of Danes Dyke on Friday, I decided to walking to the north end, called 'Dykes End'. Here, the dyke is not covered on trees, and its massive size can be fully appreciated. 
The bulge of Danes Dyke in the distance.
Looking south from the top of the dyke. Flamborough peninsula on the left, the ditch can be seen on the right.
View from the top of Danes Dyke. An impressive human construction!
This puffin sculpture stays on the cliffs year round by Dykes End, unlike the real puffins, which will be gone until next spring.
Skylarks were plentiful and very vocal. These chased for quite a while, chirruping non stop.
A few Shags at the base of Staple Newk.
Probably the same female Stonechat on the way back.
A very confiding Fieldfare fed on a path.
This lone Pink-footed goose seemed a bit lost on a field, with just Herring Gulls and Pheasants for company. Hopefully it will join a flock passing by.
A trip to the reserve is worth any time of the year, with 34 birds seen today, many  of them migrating.
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