Me and Mrs PB at Bempton

So I've finally got the 800 odd pics sorted into postable sizes, deep breath, here we go... The forecast was super, dry, mainly sunny, not much breeze (but who knows at the top of a cliff!!) and so we set off after checking in on mother-in-law.. Coming out of the visitor entrance I spotted some Swallows fizzing about, and then I saw a couple of chaps pointing cameras above the door...

Don't eat my head!

Is that it?....go and get more!

I've probably done less cropping of photo's on this visit than any other post I've done, a lot of things were spectacularly close!

Me me me meeeeeeeeee

My first Tree Sparrow

My first look over the cliff edge

My first half decent Gannet pic

A phalanx of Greylags, headed south

A Kestrel enjoying the up draft

And deploying its go go gadget extendable wings!

A number of Gannets through the day flew by with beakfuls of weed

There were a few signs up explaining some bits and bobs, including the aging of Gannets and the black on their backs, I think this one works out at 2-3 years old

If you do go (Hazel, I'm looking at you...get it higher up your list, it's fab!!) don't forget to look inland as well as out to sea... Possibly a Silver Ground Carpet Moth

A sweet delicate little Kittiwake

This shows how packed the cliff faces are, if I'd used my smaller lens it would have extended practically all the way to sea level

My usual sighting of a Fulmar... on its way away somewhere lol

The only gulls I noticed were Herring... not Black Headed of Black Backed like we get down here in numbers

Inland again, and a distant Reed Bunting sat atop a stalk of grass

These Fulmar must have arrived to nest first...they've got a lovely soft grassy carpet!!

And the full house of Bempton best seabird bits, Gannet, Puffin, Razorbill, Guillemot

A Painted Lady (80% sure) flew by, and a Red Admiral landed in camera range

And another Tree Sparrow showed how unconcerned by people he was (there were 100's of people by the way, but it didn't feel crowded)

Someone must have watched Beetlegeuce recently, copying the scary face they pulled... just needed the eyeballs to pop out of the mouth lol

They are so majestic!

There were fewer Puffins (that I noticed) than I expected, perhaps they've all stayed north in the Farnes?


So sweet

One of Mr Packham's favourites, I believe

I've got my eye on you lot!!

We decided to head back to the cafe for a cuppa and sandwich before heading northerly, and on the way I clicked a Razorbill pair

And waaaaaaaaaay off over the field, a Barn Owl caught something

After a reviving brew, Mrs PB phoned to check in with mum, and as I loitered outside the Swallows were still whizzing about

Back to the cliff, and even the Kittiwakes were feeling the heat!

I said to Mrs PB I was disappointed with the Razorbill and Guillemot photo's I'd taken, but when I got home, I realised I managed to catch both, with lunch!

A pair of serene looking Herring Gulls, like butter wouldn't melt

And a pair of Puffins, looking for a nap

Not sure if the Jackdaw was trying to keep balance, or mantling some tasty morsel... I'm going for the balance option, coz he REALLY doesn't want to step back!!

A Small Tortoiseshell appeared on the cliff side of the path

And the Guillemot just below wishes he'd nested earlier...if only I could reach the next floor

Landward side again, and a Corn Bunting landed on the fencepost

I cut back right, through the "wilderness" bit, as Mrs PB headed back more directly to the car, and in a flash this chap was there and gone... stoat?

Up a tree to the right...I'm still not sure what... I've lightened the image, and I'm thinking linnet/redpoll/twite type thing?

A little further along, Whitethroat?

There's a little pool, top left corner of the wilderness field, and a few Damsels were about, I think most likely Azure

Another Whitethroat made itself known

And finally, a Tree Sparrow, completely oblivious to me, took a dust bath!

An absolutely fabulous day concluded in fine style, well worth the two hour drive each way.

Thanks for reading, as always, any ID help/ corrections welcomed.

Stay Safe All

  • What lovely photos and such varied species PB, love the tree sparrow having its dust bath ! Not sure if the mustelid is a weasel as its tail looks shorter than stoat and can't see a black tip on the end, hard to get a feel for the size of it in the photo. Will leave it to the experts. Thanks for sharing such interesting sightings, going back to have another look through.


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Cracking photos PB - well worth the wait. Great action shot of that fearsome little predator

    Cin J

  • Thanks both. It was a real fleeting glimpse of the stweasel.. I got 4 shots off and 2 were animal free images lol
  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    That sounds like a lot of my bird photos :)

    Cin J

  • It looks like a good time was had by all PB it is a fantastic place we think it is worth a visit to see such a fantastic sight as all those Gannets. No sign of Mr Albert Ross on your visit then, on our last visit we missed him by an hour or so. It has always been a good spot for ud to see Corn Bunting in what you call the wilderness. I like your term "fizzing" for the Swallows it sounds right to me


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Seaman:

    By all accounts he'd been there the previous day (I think Alan posted a pic from Twitter that morning), and one of the staff said best time was late afternoon. The gannets were my main reason for going as I'd never got a decent pic. Next goal is on a boat to catch them diving
  • Lovely shots PB I think I saw on Twitter maybe the same day as you was there that he had been out at sea till early evening.
    For a bit of Gannet inspiration..

    My Flickr photos

  • In reply to Alan:

    I don't think you need inspiration for gannet watching, Alan, but that's a super photo!!
  • A lovely selection PB, as always the commentary just as I would expect, thanks.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    PB some friends run Gannet diving photography boat trips at Yorkshire Coast Nature and get good results.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can