Peter.D.Riley

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A Visit To Brempton Cliffs Nature Reserve

If you look at a map of the Yorkshire coast you will see half way down it a peninsular called Flamborough Head. This geological feature is made of chalk and on its North side are Bempton Cliffs which is a nature reserve run by the Royal Society of Protection of Birds (RSPB).

Brempton Cliffs Nature Reserve

Brempton Cliffs Nature Reserve

There is a visitors centre where you can find out straight away what birds are present in the reserve by looking at a list on an information board which is periodically updated as new birds fly in. It reminded me of an arrival and departure lounge at an airport.

Recent Sightings

Recent Sightings

In addition to this information there are lots of keen volunteers on hand to give advice and updates as they are in radio contact with other volunteers at large on the reserve. I expressed an interest in spotted flycatchers, my favourite summer bird from my bird watching youth and was immediately directed to a clump of bushes where a volunteer was waiting to show me the latest arrivals – a flock of tree sparrows but no flycatcher .

A flock of tree sparrows

A flock of tree sparrows

I then moved onto the top of the cliffs for which the reserve is really famous. This is the breeding site of many species of sea bird and there is an information board provided to help you spot them.

Information Board

Information Board

The cliff edge is fenced off for safety and there are “observation posts” set out along its length where more volunteers can help you identify the birds and give you the latest information about the lives of the birds on the cliffs.

At an observation post

At an observation post

On Bempton Cliffs is the only mainland breeding site of gannets in England and it didn’t take me long before I saw one.

Spotting A Gannet

Spotting A Gannet

Also on the cliffs are breeding colonies of fulmars, guillimots, kittiwakes, puffins, and razorbills.

Breeding colonies

Breeding colonies

Find out more about The Bempton Cliff reserve. When I visited the site I clicked on the blog about Continental drift hits Bempton and scrolled down to find my spotted flycatcher!



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