Bempton Cliffs, on the spectacular Yorkshire coast, is home to one of the UK’s top wildlife spectacles. Around half a million seabirds gather here between March and October to raise a family on towering chalk cliffs which overlook the North Sea.
Last week I had the good fortune to visit this particular RSPB site as I was up on the east coast of Yorkshire just south of Filey with my grand children for a few days. In between entertaining them I managed to slope off from our Beach Hut residence to the site. On arriving at about 9.30am I was greeted by a parking warden who directed me to an overflow field which quite surprised me given the time. When I asked him why it was so busy he said “the Albatross has been seen again and we have been inundated with visitors”.
With this in mind I set off on my walk along the cliffs with spectacular views in every direction and thousands of seabirds either perched on narrow ledges on the cliffs or in flight out over the North Sea.
It is a photographers paradise and I took about three hundred shots of a wide variety of birds including Puffins, Kittiwakes, Herring Gulls, Guillemots and the utterly majestic Gannets (six foot wingspan and Britains largest bird).
I spent a good two hours wandering about, taking photographs, talking to other bird enthusiasts (of which there were several thousand) but alas no sighting of the Albatross on my visit. It had apparently been seen very early that morning but had then headed out to sea.
There is plenty walking to be done around the site but the effort is worthwhile to stand at the edge of the cliffs and get up close and personal to many of the birds. The Gannets in particular were very accommodating for taking photographs, as they kept swooping low overhead.
For anyone interested I was using a Pentax K70 camera with Pentax 55-300 lens, but my lens pailed into insignificance at the size of the lenses on display by other photographers.
Below are a sample of the shots I took on my two visits.
Photographs (c) T Gregory 2021