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Post Info TOPIC: Bempton Cliffs


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RE: Bempton Cliffs


12th May 2024

Wilmslow Guild Birdwatching group coach trip to Bempton Cliffs and Flamborough Head

The weather was bright and sunny with light easterly winds for our final trip of the season.

Highlights were
Barn owls, fulmar, gannet, peregrine falcon, sparrowhawk, grey partridge, kittiwake, guillemot, razorbill, puffin, skylark, swallow, swift, stonechat, whitethroat, spotted flycatcher, rook, raven, corn bunting, reed bunting, linnet, tree sparrow.

New members are always welcome. Our new season starts in September.
Please contact Stuart on rsm898@gmail.com


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Saturday 17/06/23 10.30-13.00 Stockport Birdwatching Society coach trip

The annual expedition to a big seabird colony saw the Society head for Bempton this year, and it was a typically enjoyable visit. I wouldn't know if the bird numbers are comparable to previous years but there seemed to be plenty...but I wouldn't want to sound complacent about that...

I particularly enjoyed some great views of Fulmars sat quietly, they always seem so dignified, but the majority of folk were focused on Puffins and several of these showed beautifully.

Highlights aside from the obvious spectacle of the cliffs were some decent views of Corn Buntings but chiefly a Barn Owl flying around near the VC as we arrived, I certainly haven't seen one before lunchtime before but I missed the previous trip to Middleton Lakes in May, and so for many members this was the second trip in a row with a daytime Barnie.

The trip continued on to North Cave after lunch, covered in another thread.

Information about the Society is at http://stockportbirders.blogspot.com/

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9.30 - 15.30 Beautiful sunny morning with a flat calm over the sea. Thousands of sea birds building nests or already on eggs. Only 15 Puffins seen but I was told that it is still a little early for their return yet. Other birds seen, Barn owl hunting at 14.00 in the fields next to the visitor centre. 7 Whitethroats, 2 Linnets, 12 Skylarks, 2 Peregrine falcons, Sparrowhawk (f) chasing Skylark, 13 Tree sparrows, 20+ Swallows, 2 House Martins, Chiffchaff, Reed buntings, Raven. An excellent day out.



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The Turkestan or Red tailed Shrike revisited. 21/8/22

   With the change in wind patterns, good weather and the lack of many rare birds, we decided to have another look at the long staying Turkestan or Red tailed Shrike at Bempton, Yorkshire. A 7am start from Castleton along with Bob K, Kevin C, Craig B and myself we headed for our first stop at Flamborough Head. Its well known for its breeding colonies of seabirds and due to the height of the cliffs there, a great vantage point to Sea Watch for passing birds returning south after leaving the breeding areas in the north. But after an hour or so it was apparent that today would not be a good day to sea watch! The only thing going on was the number of police, search and rescue personnel, lifeboats and a helicopter also searching for, we believe, a person who had abandoned their car and ended their life in the sea?

    We headed for RSPB Bempton Cliffs just along the coast, the weather was warm and sunny with lots of people enjoying the area. As we set off with few directions to find the long staying Shrike that has been in the general area since the 27th June this year. We headed along the path, past Staple Newk where the Black Browed Albatross usually resides, he has not been seen for about 10 days. We found the permissive path headed inland and eventually saw about 10 birders watching, hopefully, the Shrike. The bird was sat in a hedge only 15 yards away as we sat on the grass to watch the bird. Even I managed to get some decent pictures/video of the bird, we admired the Shrike for about an hour. A passing Marsh Harrier in the next field was a nice surprise as we enjoyed watching the Shrike catching, beetles, flys, wasps etc. The bird has almost completed its summer moult and was quite resplendent in its new feathers! A slow walk back to the car to seek refreshment and begin the journey home. A Merlin dashing about, was seen on the way back, a fitting end to a pleasant day out.

Dave O.



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Late to the party, but had some corking views of the long staying Red Tailed Shrike at Bempton yesterday. Didn't seem at all bothered by a few of us snapping away and just enjoying the moment as it hunted successfully. Image attached. 

The Black Browed Albatross was also showing well on the cliff, then flying around and joining the Gannets on the sea.

Quick visit between 14:40-16:00



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900-14.00hrs

The Black Browed Albatross was far out from the Grandstand viewing area as I arrived but gave excellent views at 1pm right in front of the Staple newk viewing area.

The Red tailed shrike was very easy to find as a bunch of birders were stood very close to its favoured hedge East of the farm, a stunning bird which was eating a Bumble bee.

Still some Puffins about as well as the usual.

30 Common Scoter did a fly past.

2 Peregrines were hunting along the cliff edge, one chased a Kittiwake out of sight

 



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After a long wait we finally made it to see the Black Browed Albatross and the Red Tailed Shrike.  The Albatross was at the usual view point and would occasionally leave it's spot for a fly around.  We did feel a bit underwhelmed because it did not look as big as we expected.  I suppose that was because we were looking down on it always.  The Shrike had shifted to a permissive path not part of the farm - so luckily we did not have to pay the £10 access.  Of course if we had to, we would have done.  A friend has photographed this species of Shrike on it's breeding grounds and I feel that this is the most beautiful of the Shrikes.  

Usual suspects at Bempton but one thing that surprised us how the weather turned cold and windy.  It was complete contrast  to yesterday.  



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Morning spent here before afternoon at Wykeham forest:

The Red-tailed Shrike showed well in a hedgerow just east of Wandale Farm this morning feeding well on bees and other insects.

The Black-browed Albatross put on a great show flying around the cliffs for a while, including a fly-past just 20 feet above my head, before settling on the cliffs just out of sight.

Other sightings:
3 Yellow Wagtail
4 Corn Bunting
Quite a few Yellowhammer and Linnets
All the usual sea birds.

-- Edited by Steven Nelson on Sunday 17th of July 2022 12:33:35 AM

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Red-tailed (Turkestan) Shrike still present yesterday at Wandale Farm, Bempton for its tenth day. It was in an area of hawthorn bushes, other bushes and small trees, immediately to the north of the farm and barely out of the farmyard itself. Put on a great show, perching up, preening, flying short distances and dropping to the floor. We actually accessed the farm from the cliff top path, advised to do this by a local as its not as far as going by the road. They were still charging £10 but no one asked for this whilst I was there.

Meanwhile, back at Staple Newk, the Black-browed Albatross never returned from its daytime foraging after leaving the cliffs early on and following both a fishing boat and the sister boat to the Yorkshire Bell.

All the other usual seabirds were present and no evidence, so far, of the Avian Flu having spread this far south.

Whilst at Wandale, a Little Owl was seen on the farmhouse roof and two Yellow Wagtails noted flying across an adjacent field. I believe there are also three Black Redstart around the farm buildings.

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Saturday 2nd July

I too journeyed up to Bempton with Phil Owen to catch up with the Turkestan Shrike and Black-Browed Albatross.

We arrived at Wandale Farm around 11am, paid the £10 fee and joined the group who were already watching the Shrike.
After a fleeting view, it disappeared for a time so we decided to walk down to Bempton Cliffs (a short walk) for the Albatross which had been reported earlier.
However we were told it had flown out to see, so after spending some time photographing the Gannets, we went back to try to get some better views of the Shrike.
This time it performed well, showing up to 20 yards. Then it was back to Bempton to wait for the Albatross, where around 3pm it reappeared from nowhere to give great views.

Cheers,

Steve.

 

 



-- Edited by Stephen Fuentes on Monday 4th of July 2022 10:12:23 PM



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The Turkestan Shrike at Bempton, Yorkshire. Saturday 2nd July 2022

   Back in 2000 the Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus) was split into 2 different species namely: - Daurian Shrike, became Lanius isabellinus and Turkestan Shrike, became Lanius phoenicuroides. Yes, I know its a bit complicated but after scientific studies, ringing, photographs etc this is what happened.

   The appearance of a Turkestan Shrike on coastal farmland near RSPB Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire gave lots of birders a chance to see, at close hand, one of these new species. So along with Kevin C, we left Rochdale at 7am and made the journey over to the east coast not far from Bridlington. What a pleasure to drive along the M62 and the various roads on an early Saturday morning. Upon arrival we parked up and immediately saw our friend Mark K, now sporting a full beard, similar to Bear on Emmerdale. We made our way down a couple of lanes towards the farm where the bird had taken up residence and were met by the farmer, who was charging £10 each. Quite a crowd had gathered to see the Shrike as we took our place amongst the scrapyard. Then the bird was seen albeit a little distantly as it hunted its prey/food items mainly consisting of bees, beetles, worms, flies. After about 40 minutes of watching the Shrike we headed to the cliffs to see the Black browed Albatross that had been showing very well for the admiring crowds. It performed admirably for us also flying around and landing on its favourite perch on Staple Newk amongst the large Gannet population. News reached us that the Shrike was giving better views, down to 25 yards at times, so we dashed off to witness this! It was a real treat to see the bird so closely and admire its subtle plumage and it hooked beak, we admired the bird for about 15 minutes until it ended the show and flew back to its hedgerow some 75 yards away, stunning experience!

   Back to the car for refreshments, then after saying goodbye to Mark K, we headed to North Cave Wetlands to hopefully catch up with Green Sandpipers and a Red Crested Pochard that had been reported from there. We soon caught up with about 5 Green Sandpipers but the Red Crested Pochard could not be located, even after about 40 minutes of searching through various flocks of sleeping ducks. We visited the other hides and saw Common Terns chasing about, then we met a local who told us where to look for the Red Crested Pochard, we foolishly listened to him and walked back to the reedbed hide and spent another 30 minutes on another fruitless task. A good day out was enjoyed by us and again, the most famous car park of a motorway the M62, was kind to us with no hold ups as we reached home.

Dave O.



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Sunday 3rd July.

Working with a short time window so I was hoping that things would align just right with an early visit and back home asap. Things couldnt have gone any better!
Set the sat nav to Birdguides coordinates it took me to the farm which I thought wasnt the plan but the farmer and his wife were there, welcomed me in and said I was at the right place. Apparently most birders were parking at Bempton Cliffs and doing the long walk.
I paid the £10 entry and walked literally 25 yds to a small crowd.

- Red-tailed Shrike / Turkestan Shrike (Lifer)
The crowd were watching a distant gorse row but the bird wasnt showing. It popped up, I thought great, got it ok in the scope so I was happy about that.
It kept doing the disappearing act and I thought this could be it for the day, then just as people were starting to leave to get the Albatross I watched the Shrike drop down off the gorse and it started heading towards us, flew right over us and landed 10-15 feet away in a tree in the yard. Unbelievable!!!
A cracking bird and a memorable morning.

Also in the area
- 4 Yellow Wagtails (2 males)
- 6 Corn Buntings minimum
- lots of Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow & Skylark
- 1 Red Kite near Grindale



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Red-tailed Shrike eventually showed well this afternoon. Fortuitously I was in the area over the weekend, couldnt re-locate it yesterday evening, so went to Wykeham Raptor viewpoint this morning (nowt!) until saw it had been seen just after 1400, so drove back. Black-browed Albatross put on a good display on Sunday just before midday.

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Monday 11/04/2022

Set off from Bury at 5;30am and got To Bempton for 8am-ish.

Got treated to a good 3 minute aerial display by the Albatross before it perched up nicely in view with the gannets and didn't move for 7 hours!

There was a massive influx of Puffins this week too. Over a hundred at least. The light was absolutely perfect for photography and I managed to get some far better shots than I did last year.. Absolutely stunning bird to see in the flesh!   



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Originally posted today by Dave Ousey:

Black-browed Albatross returns to Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire. 3/4/22

    After last years stay in Yorkshire of a few months people began to think, Will the Black-browed Albatross return in 2022? Well on the 31st March it re-appeared at Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve, probably after 5 months in the North Sea. It has returned to a regular Gannet breeding site in the forlorn hope that it can attract a mate! With this species being confined to the Southern Hemisphere oceans the chances are next to zero.

   A trip out was planned for this weekend and along with Bob K & Kevin C we left a dry Castleton at 8am. A gentle drive to Bempton took 2 hours with traffic being pretty light. There were lots of cars at the reserve on our arrival, wonder why? News that the Albatross had been seen flying onto the rock face at 8-30am meant that it was still present, we hurried on up to Staple Newk viewing platform. We got into position by 10-15am on a sunny cool morning and enjoyed watching the Gannets, Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Puffins, Rock Doves(?) etc. As time passed by most of the avid birders remained in position with their cameras ready to capture a photograph of the Albatross as it left its lofty perch. At about 1-45pm one of our team had to go back to the car to have some refreshment, as we know after lots of hard luck stories about Leaving your post in the past, the inevitable happened. At 2-10pm the Black-browed Albatross flew off the cliffs directly in front of us and after a brief fly around landed on the sea about 250 yards away. I tried to get pictures but failed miserably (as usual) after alerting our missing colleague, we headed back to the car and met him going in the opposite direction, and he saw the bird well as he arrived. In the 4 hours we waited for the Albatross to put in an appearance we had a few Chin wags with other birders. All in all it was a successful day trip out enjoyed by us all. On the way home the M62 was very kind and was negotiated without any major problems.

Dave O.

 



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Had a.visit to Bempton Cliffs RSPB today to catch up with the returning Black-browed Albatross. The bird spent the whole duration asleep on its favoured ledge occasionally lifting its head to preen giving distant but clear scope views.

Lots of the usual sea birds present steadily gearing up for the breeding season including a few Puffins picked out and a Grey Seal popped up a few times below the cliffs.

A Peregrine was seen a couple of times causing panic amongst all the smaller seabirds, Jackdaws and Doves, but the Gannets and Albatross didnt flinch!

A Brambling showed in the car park trees as I arrived.

I stayed until early afternoon and then headed off to Swine Moor for the Baikal Teal - see separate thread


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Had a 4 day break in Whitby,courtesy of my daughters christmas present.
YesterdayI got an email from Ian about the Black Browed Albatross at Bempton
cliffs. We decided to look in on our way home.We arrived around 12.30pm.We were
told where to go by one of the rangers.On arriving at the vantage point we were
told it had just flown off the cliffs and landed on the sea.We had great scoped views
of the bird.What a bird.We also saw 7 new birds for the year.As follows:
Fulmar
Kittiwake
Guillemot
Razorbill
Puffin
Rock Dove
and Gannet

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Following a late start this morning we arrived at the car park at just after 10.00, enquiries were made about the whereabouts of the Lapland Buntings which had been around for a several weeks. Mention was made of Snow Bunting and Shore Lark but these had left a few weeks ago. We were given directions and headed to the Jubilee Viewpoint and beyond and now the problems start....

After a good walk of over thirty five minutes we begin to scan a stubble field and did so for at least the next hour and a half with no luck apart from a Dunlin, Skylark and Meadow Pipit. We decided to head back and admire the Gannets that had been building up in numbers since the end of January, there were also Fulmar and Razorbill.

We approached an area were we knew that there was a Heligoland Trap I had remembered the trap mentioned on a Website we looked over and saw a birder scanning the adjacent  field. Several minutes later we approached and asked the chap if he had seen the Buntings, yes he replied but they are just over the second little ridge and keep disappearing. Scope set up and scanning begins, eventually within a few minutes after wasting most of the morning we are on the Buntings, two males showing breeding plumage and a female showed well at distance. Eight birds showed  but were very flighty and the usual blustery conditions made things interesting. Two other birders had arrived and we directed them onto the Buntings.

It was great to get the Buntings off our British list, they were Lifers for Cath and my only previous sighting was at some distance at Slimbridge and courtesy of another birder who had confirmed the birds identity however given the distance I would never had been able to ID the bird myself.

On returning to reception I approached the young girl who had given us directions and politely made her aware that the directions she gave were a bit off the mark, we had a laugh about the situation and parted on good terms.

Anybody contemplating the trip  should head to Jubilee viewpoint and then about 100 yards further along the path bear left off the path onto an obvious trodden path towards some Gorse and look to the right where you can just make out the trap and the Buntings have been in this area for several weeks. Of course they should be departing very soon so be quick !!!!

 

 



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Spent four hours at Bempton yesterday in an attempt to get some flight shots of the continuing Black-browed Albatross. On my last visit, on the 30th June, the bird had been perched up on the cliffs for several hours and, in addition, the viewpoints were packed out with the bird having only recently arrived.

Thankfully, yesterday, it was a more relaxed affair and, despite having to wait exactly four hours, the bird flew in from nowhere to fly around Staple Newk for a good ten minutes giving superb views.

A few photos attached.

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Friday 20 August off to Bempton again, puffin ,kittiwake, gannet,shag,fulmar, tree sparrows nesting in cliff face ,common gull,lesser black backed and great black backed gull,this repeat visit was to see the albatross,on arrival the birders attending put us straight on it as it rested on the sea 200mtrs or so out,after not very long,it took to flight and headed directly towards the viewpoint, many gasped at the experience, several aborted attempts to land gave great views for the camera brigade too,well with the visit even though the population of birds is noticeably less



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Another trip to Bempton ,no sign Wednesday of the albatross this time,but made up for with decent views of puffin on the cliffs,peregrine, kittiwake ,herring gull,gannet,fulmar,reed bunting,jackdaw,carrion crow, linnet ,tree sparrow,  swallow,swift ,razorbill,guillemot, lesser black backed gull ,great black backed gull,feral pigeons lots of, cormorant, a seal ,and 2 passing dolphin/porpoises,overall a cracking day apart from a 30 min downpour, spurn tomorrow .



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Sunday 25th July

Got back from Anglesey at lunchtime, but afternoon plans didnt quite turn out how I expected and ended up having the rest of the day free, so

arrived around teatime and made my way over to Staple Newk viewpoint. I heard one group saying how it flew right over them shortly before I arrived but had not been seen since, Damn!
But I wasnt put off, I took a few deep breaths and started scanning from the main path just before the viewing area. As time went on, some people went, convinced it wouldnt show again. A gap appeared on the viewpoint so I gladly filled it and stuck to my plan.
Suddenly something caught my eye, I piped up whats this on its way round, exactly the same time as a lady birder shouted I think I might have it.

- Black-browed Albatross (Lifer)

Everyone was shouting where? where? where? I said its here flying towards us but not very close in, but it was close enough and I was made up. It showed in flight for the next 15 minutes on and off, over the arch, over the sea, and with the backdrop of the cliffs, but was never close. It was still good enough for me and it was spectacular!
As if things couldnt get any better, it then decided to land on the cliffs in full view, much to the dislike of the nearest Gannets. Brilliant! It never moved from there and that was my cue to leave.

Other birds included
- Peregrine patrolling the cliffs
- lots of Tree Sparrows
- few Yellowhammers
- 2 Corn Bunting on wires
- Plus usual Seabirds in big numbers



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My turn to see the Black browed Albatross!biggrin

This month and next is seeing most Sundays free, as I've been watching an annual convention online (due to covid) which would normally have been a 3 day event.. so I've been itching to visit the cliffs since May, and the Albatross has given me an opportunity to scratch!

I got an alert around 7:50am that it had returned after being absent for a few days. So I quickly grabbed my stuff in a hurry, and asked Dad if he can drop me off at Victoria for the 8:30 train. Made it with 10 minutes spare! - most lights on green and barely any traffic!

At the cliffs, I hurried to where the Black browed Albatross was last reported. I was on it within minutes after a little guidance as he was perched on the cliff wall. I made my way to the Staple Newk view point where I got belting views of it in flight. He then landed out at sea, and this was nicely timed to take a look at the other seabirds, as the Albatross was the motive, not the sole reason for visiting here.

Other Highlights include:

Gannet
Razorbill
Guillemot
Kittiwake with young
Puffin
Shag (bottom of cliffs)
Fulmar
Yellowhammer x2
Tree sparrow
Linnet
Barn owl
Kestrel
Peregrine

Afterwards, I headed back down to the Staple viewpoint, where the Black browed Albatross was still sat out at sea. Next, he flew and came right over our heads, three times. Getting pictures of that was very difficult. But what a way to end my visit!

Black browed Albatross (lifer)biggrinbiggrin

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Monday 26th of July 2021 07:24:22 AM

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Bempton today,after a short wait,on the sea was the albatross, scope was essential to see it,a tour boat made it easier to spot , while watching it for an hour or so with little movement it went airborne for a bit and was harrassed by a great skua ,after another lap by the tour boat it went to sea and lost to view 1 30 pm ish,thanks for the valued  info



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Monday July 19th 2021

We were in the area anyway so decided to make the journey over to Bempton as already stated an early arrival is recommended we arrived late at 07.15 and made our way to Roll up after thirty minutes or so we got a little restless and walked up to Staple Neuk and we had just arrived and the shout went up " its there" a few seconds later we were watching the Albatross flying in circles beneath us then suddenly it came up higher almost to order and within thirty feet or so, fabulous views.

On Sunday it had apparently flown even closer. One chap on Tuesday told us he had been on one of the Bridlington boats that took tourists towards the cliffs and they had some cracking photographs.

On returning to the car park we found it packed we later learned that there was a feature about the Albatross on Countryfile on the Sunday evening.

It was a lifer for us but not the first of the day......



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If you want to see the Albatross David get there as early in the morning as you can .... walk down from visitor centre to the cliffs and turn Right ..... Roll-up is the first view point you come to ... Staple Neuk is the archway in the opposite cliff face. You really need a scope but you can pick it out with bins (with great difficulty) if you know where it is.

Roger.

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Im going  to spurn  and bempton this week, has anyone got any tips or hints to throw in the ring.?thanks in advance 



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Tuesday 13th July.

With Paul Greenall.

Decided to go for a second helping of the Black-browed Albatross ... arrived at Bempton at 03.30 hrs and on the New Roll-uo view point for 04.00 hrs to be greeted by thick sea mist enabling vision of around 5 metres ..... this persisted until around 06.50 hrs .... great fun !!
The Albatross appeared from the far side of Staple Newk at 07.10 hrs having a brief fly round before landing amongst the Gannets .... 5 minutes later the mist rolled in again and you couldn't even see the cliff let alone any birds !
Another 20 minutes passed, the mist cleared and the sun came out ... all was forgiven !
To say the bird showed well is an understatement .. it paraded, preened and displayed to the Gannets with tail fully spread with a few fly rounds for good measure showing that great wing-span and dwarfing the Gannets ... truly a great bird.
Was settled on Staple Newk when we left the view-point at 10.30 hrs but was reported doing its vanishing act at 12.25 hrs.
Back Of Camera Pics by P Greenall ... cropped by me.

Roger.



-- Edited by Roger Baker 3 on Tuesday 13th of July 2021 06:12:24 PM

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The Black-browed Albatross at Bempton, Yorkshire.30/6/2021

  When I started birdwatching 40 years ago I saw a picture of a Black-browed Albatross sat on a rocky outcrop in the north of the Shetland Isles. Since that moment I have always wanted to see one in the British Isles, with the species being a southern oceans dweller it has been rather difficult! In 2017 one turned up at RSPB Bempton and after a long, wet & miserable evening the wait had to continue. Last year 2020 the same bird turned up at the identical place but I was to rue the chance by not going for the bird for reasons beyond my control. Was there a pattern being developed by this Albatross?

   Fast forward to June 28th at about 10-30pm, whilst I slept, Rare Bird Alert posted that a Black-browed Albatross had been seen that very evening at Bempton. Knowing that I had an important meeting to attend at lunch time and that the small matter of England v Germany in the Euro Championship was kicking off at 5pm, I was kind of tied up for the day. At 6-20am the news came out that the bird was still present and entertaining all present, until it drifted out with the tide and flew around Filey Bay. It came back inshore and was seen going to roost. This was surely my chance to see my Dream Bird News that Bob K and his good lady had seen the bird also inspired me to go, even though this species is not that well known for hanging around. A few calls to get a team together resulting in myself, Kevin C, Gary C (of Caspian Gull/Shaw fame) with Mark R at the controls meeting in Milnrow at 5am.

   The weather in Milnrow when we left was overcast but as we went over into Yorkshire a small amount of drizzle was encountered. Mark made great time and as we passed over the Yorkshire Wolds the weather became greyer and more rain fell. No news about the bird did not help, would it still be there or are we to be thwarted again? The overflow carpark at Bempton was almost full as we arrived and still no news about the Black-browed Albatross. We had a walk down to one of the northern viewpoints and enjoyed the seabirds in their nesting colonies. I had a walk down to New Roll-up viewpoint and in the distance at Staple Newk viewpoint. I could see two lots of 100+Gannets sat around and lots of birders who seemed to be running, pointing and feverishly looking at something, could it be the Albatross? As I joined the throng I soon saw the bird flying around and giving great opportunitys to photograph it. As this happened all the birders present simultaneously began applauding. This was a real Hairs on the back of your neck moment and in all my long years of birding have never witnessed it before. I can describe the bird as absolutely fantastic to watch as it flew around, as close as 10 yards at one point. It`s sheer size was truly awesome making the Gannets look quite small. I am going to stop now trying to describe the bird, only that it made a lot of birders of my vintage very happy people. Oh forgot about the weather, well to be honest I didnt care! Mark R had us all back in the Milnrow area by 11-30am, thanks again for driving pal.

Dave O.



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Also made the journey from Cheshire to Bempton RSPB today, arriving about 25-45mins after Mark. Horrendous hold up in Stamford Bridge where a lorry had hit the bridge and blocked the A166 both ways. After diverting I arrived later than planned but the Black-browed Albatross was on the cliffs and took off just as I arrived. Excellent views through bins as it flew directly towards me and right under the cliff directly in front of me. I had great scope views of it on the water quite close in before it headed off to it's cliff roost again. I moved along the coast to the nearest point that it could be seen. Zooming uo to c.50x the views were really nice, all features being seen clearly. But as Mark says too far for proper photographs. It was murky, drizzly too after leaving Cheshire in a T-shirt and bright, warm sunshine! A montage of digiscoped cropped record-only pics attached.

Oh yeah - a Lifer for me too biggrin



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 30th of June 2021 10:10:43 PM

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Arrived late morning to cool, steady north west winds, dull and, at times, heavy drizzle. After having been told by some nutcase that the Black-browed Albatross had flown out to sea, I was very relieved to be watching it ten minutes later, sat out on the sea. The bird was very distant and later flew around one of the headlands. A southerly walk and, not long afterwards, decent flight views were had before it then flew up onto a cliff edge, where it remained for the rest of my stay. Unfortunately, all views were distant but, a lifer is a lifer, and Im glad I made the effort. The temperature upon my return to the Manchester area was a balmy 23*c and a nice increase from the 15*c at Bempton. A couple of heavily cropped record shots (that wont win any awards) attached.

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Tuesday 29th June.

With Paul Greenall.

Black-browed Albatross. Arrived around mid-day and found bird loafing around offshore with the Gannets .... distant but with good light was able to get good scope views .... OK to see eye-brow and bill and it did occasional wing stretches ... massive ! .... it was never nearer than when we first arrived and over the next 3 hours the bird drifted towards Filey until lost to view.

Roger.

-- Edited by Roger Baker 3 on Tuesday 29th of June 2021 08:44:03 PM

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8th Sep:

This is the first time we have been to the site without  a hooligan blowing in off the North Sea and I guess that's why there so many flocks of Goldfinch, Linnet, Tree Sparrow and mixed in Twite in small numbers. Some of these flocks had well over 350 birds in them and there were several flocks.

The cliffs had the usual Gannet, Fulmar and Rock Dove.

 



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Just a brief summary of a visit in Sunday AM (26/7/20)

Only a single Puffin seen on cliffs hiding in a deep crevice - all other Puffins are now at sea

1 Razorbill

Fantastic views of a pair of Peregrines

100+ Tree Sparrows

Linnet heard

Rock Dove

Gannets

Kittiwakes

Fulmars

Guillemots

Plenty of Yellowhammers heard in the hedges on the road approaching car park

Wish we hadnt gone home the next day because they had a Wood Warbler turn up which Id liked to have seen! Cant see them all I guess.


-- Edited by Sean Molloy on Wednesday 29th of July 2020 12:33:02 PM



-- Edited by Sean Molloy on Wednesday 29th of July 2020 12:37:10 PM

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RSPB Bempton 5/7/2020

  Last week we had planned to do this trip and the events during the week had us thinking, you never know. Kevin drove with myself and Steve B for company, we left Castleton at 7-15am and with the roads being fairly quiet we reached Bempton by 9-25am. With the negative news about the Black browed Albatross on Saturday, it came as no surprise that it was not seen on our visit. A few other keen birders including Rob C from GM thought they might have a chance to see the Black browed Albatross, it may yet return? The cliffs teamed with life with Common Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Gannet, Fulmar, Puffin, all tending nests, eggs or chicks. As usual a spectacular sight with lots of photographic opportunities coming and going, the strong wind didnt make it easy though. Lots more day trippers arrived as the sun began to make it feel like summer!

Dave O.

 



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Sunday 5th July

6.45am - 11.15am in sunny but windy weather. Perfect!
Nice to see Dave Ousey and his gang, and also good to see a mate of mine from Lincs, Steve Routledge.

- Puffins - they mustve had a good year with increased fish and Sand Eel stocks, they seemed to be everywhere.
Other usual Seabirds in good numbers.
Gannet, Kittiwake, Guillermot, Razorbill, Fulmar, only 1 Shag, and very much a forgotten bird at Bempton, Herring Gulls.

Also of note...
- dead Kittiwake dangling from the cliff with something round its neck
- Tree Sparrows all over the reserve, lots of young ones, some near my feet on the main heath path and plenty flying around
- 3 Peregrines up together (6 reported) close views but couldnt manage a shot quick enough before they disappeared below the cliff line
- 3 adult Great Skuas perhaps my best sightings.
Beautiful beigey brown colour with the streaking, all found on the sea, one was eating something quite large, what couldve been a young Auk. 
Bit distant for a shot!



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Sun 6th July (10:30 - 14:00): Bright and warm but with a stiff cooling breeze.

Ashamed to say, this was my first ever visit and it was a joy to hear the Tree Sparrows as soon as we got close to the visitor centre.

All the expected breeding species were present on the cliffs, but once again, no sign of the Albatross. Got great views of the Pigeons, Guillemots, Razorbills, Puffins, Kittiwakes (+chicks) and Gannets (+chicks). Several singing Rock Pipit with Linnet, Reed Bunting and singing Skylark in the fields nearby. Only managed to pick out 2 or 3 Shag and a single Fulmar. There were several Herring Gulls also nesting on the cliffs.

There was some sort of social distancing going on, but still too many people walking straight at you down the middle of the paths without making any attempt to step aside, for my liking. However, the wealth of observation points meant that it was easy enough to retreat to a quieter spot, when the platforms became busy. Several photographers hogging the best spots and also jumping over the fence at certain points - will people ever learn.

The queue for the toilets was never too lengthy and the cafe was serving very welcome hot drinks. I will return!

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For once my timing was impeccable yesterday. After a short wait I was treated to amazing close-up views of the majestic adult Black-browed Albatross and also managed to successfully distance myself from the majority. In truth people, for most of the time, spaced themselves out as regs require. The Albatross paraded up and down keeping close to the cliffs then wheeled and circled clearly looking for somewhere to land, but the nesting Gannets were not happy about it. After about 15-20 minutes it gave up and may have landed out of sight. Unfortunately it was not seen again for the rest of the day.

This could easily have gone In the Magic Moments thread.

Cheers, John

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An early start and arrived at Bempton Cliffs RSPB at 8.00 in heavy mist! And it didnt really lift until early afternoon. But despite that there were still excellent views of all the cliff nesting birds.
Loadss of Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Gannets and plenty of Puffins including views of a Puffling in its burrow. 1 Razorbill chick seen and a few Kittiwakes had chicks. Only 2 Shag seen though.
Lots of Tree Sparrows, including a few young, on the cliff tops plus 2 Whitethroat, a few Reed Buntings and Skylark , a few singing Sedge Warblers heard.

This was my first ever visit in the breeding season. Fantastic place -despite the sea fret.

If anyone is planning a visit, the visitor centre is still closed but the toilets are now open with controlled social distance queueing.

The surrounding countryside on the way had numerous singing Corn Bunting- a reminder of what Chat Moss has lost over the last 20 years or so!

....next, I headed off to Wykeham Forest (see thread)!



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Mark Jarrett wrote:

not sure if the Rock Doves here are considered truly wild but, plumage wise, some of those I photographed looked spot on.

The weather throughout was either sunny or sunnyish and warm despite a rather mixed forecast before we went. Coupled with a few other decent sites highlighted on the Flamborough Bird Observatory web site, a lovely area to spend a week or so birdwatching.




I'm very happy you had a thrilling time at Bempton cliffs and the atmosphere is certainly incredible.

However, i find that many are unsure if the "rock doves" are, as you put it "truly wild". So this gives me a chance to shed some light on this matter as that unfortunately is not the case. Even if there used to be genuine rock doves years ago, their genetics will no longer be of pure pedigree as it were.

The only place left in the UK that I know of is right far north of Scotland and especially the Orkney Islands and Shetland. I've been up north in 2013 and the rock doves they have are striking compared to the close resemblance ones I've seen anywhere else (including Bempton). Your picture does show traces of feral contamination I'm afraid as a couple of feathers have armorial blotches on which I wish I could point out and the cere- which may be small here, but it's still not small enough.

At the end of the day, it's upto each individual asto whether they "tick" a bird that may or may not be truly wild.

Hope this helps to clarify this for you and wish you all the best.

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Spent this last Monday to Friday at a bed and breakfast in Bridlington with a view to spending some time at a Bempton Cliffs. For the first time ever, I had photography in mind, rather than out and out birding. As well as spending plenty of time on the cliff tops, we also went on the Yorkshire Belle 3.5 hr cruise from Bridlington Harbour. On the outward journey the boat lingers nicely, close in to the cliffs at the heart of the seabird colonies. Highly recommended, youre right in amongst the action.

Gannets are everywhere, several thousand of them, likewise Guillemots. Kittiwakes also in their thousands, lesser numbers of Razorbills but I would still say well over one thousand. Not too many Puffins on view, looking from the cliff tops but plenty were seen on the boat trip. Fulmar numbers have declined over the last few years although I think there are still thought to be around 1500 birds in total. Good views of Tree Sparrow could be seen around the visitor centre and in the bushes by the path from the centre to the cliffs. Also here were Whitethroat, a pair of Sedge Warbler, Skylark and Corn Bunting. Not sure if the Rock Doves here are considered truly wild but, plumage wise, some of those I photographed looked spot on.

The weather throughout was either sunny or sunnyish and warm despite a rather mixed forecast before we went. Coupled with a few other decent sites highlighted on the Flamborough Bird Observatory web site, a lovely area to spend a week or so birdwatching.



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After a very stressful week with a lot of uncertainty going on, especially when one thing after another kept going wrong surrounding this Friday for my planned weekend break in Bridlington (since April), finally got here safely dispite the strike action at Northern rail and I just couldn't resist a visit to find the greenish warbler at Bempton.

After the bus journey, I walked up the lane to the car park and straight away the greenish warbler was showing very well in full view and he showed well for a while on and off till he vanished in the dense shrubs on the opposite side. A stunning bird with a heavy eye stripe, faint wing bar and looked kind of um, well... greenish.

Other highlights included a peregrine, large flocks of tree sparrow, linnet and goldfinch, and the gannets giving their expected close views.

Ta!

Ps the attached picture of the greenish warbler is a picture taken with my phone from my camera screen, hence the poor quality. I won't be able to release any of today's official pictures until Monday evening at the earliest.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Friday 1st of September 2017 09:34:04 PM

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Friday 1st of September 2017 11:42:13 PM

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Brief visit this morning from 9.30-10.30

15 Puffin, including young in cliff 'burrow'..1400 pairs nesting in the area according to the wardens. Very showy today.

Thousands of Guillemot,Razorbill, Gannet and Kittiwake in the usual amazing spectacle.

Tree Sparrow, Linnet, Common Whitethroat, Skylark, Kestrel around car park and paths.

2 Yellow Wagtail in fields near Hummanby en route to Wykeham. 



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Sunday 21st May.
Mid-morning visit with Simon Gough, I've not been here since I was a youngster so it was very nostalgic visit and a bit emotional too but in a good way.
The expected Seabirds were present and some in big numbers. I've obviously seen these species before at other sites in the country too but to see some of them again in such numbers brought good memories back.

- Puffin 4 (1 showing really well)
- Guillemots (inc 1 close-up 'Bridled')
- Gannets
- Razorbills
- Kittiwakes
- Fulmars
- Shag...few seen mainly out to sea
- Herring Gull (lots of pairs in close amongst the Kittiwake colonies)
- Whitethroat 4 at least
- Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaff heard in car park
- plenty of Hirundine activity
- Linnet, Skylark and Tree Sparrow around too
...and a Red-legged Partridge stood proud on a mound of earth at a fields edge along one of the roads out.





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Great day here today. Set off with the intention of visiting several sites in Yorks, but with the exception of a short diversion to Flamborough for the Taiga Bean Goose (and setting off for Spurn but turning back sharpish) we spent all day here. Eastern Crowned Warbler was the first bird on our wanted list and showed well first thing, and even better later on in the day - see photos. It is such a distinctive little bird and at times looked to have a black crown with the grey crown stripe really standing out in some lights. Well worth the trip. The bushes where it was hanging around were dripping with Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests and a Yellow-browed Warbler was a nice addition.

There was a report of Greenish Warbler round the car park which we didn't see, but we did catch the Juvenile/1st Winter Bluethroat on the coastal path despite the surprising crowd that gathered to see this bird.

After nipping to Flamborough for the Bean Goose we had started en route to Spurn, but a Twitter Alert to an Arctic Warbler at Bempton had us heading back there. We arrived just in time to get on this bird. There was some discussions between some birders about whether it was a Greenish or an Arctic, but the concensus between most was that we had seen an Arctic Warbler - backed up by hearing it call. Speaking to another Lancashire Birder he confirmed he had seen Greenish yesterday so the two bird theory was a definite possibility.

Also present were Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Redwing, Tree Sparrows plus the other usual suspects for this site.

-- Edited by Craig Higson on Thursday 6th of October 2016 08:24:49 PM

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Called in here on our way back from Saltholme.

Seemed busier on the cliffs than in recent visits, possibly due to the late afternoon high tide, with rafts of Kittiwakes further out beyond the groups of auks strung along the base of the cliffs. At least half a dozen Puffins on the sea and about the same number dotted about on the cliffs. On my earliest visits here (1980's) the Puffins were mostly nesting in burrows on the cliff tops but on this trip they seem to have switched to openings in the cliff face. Maybe these offer more protection against the larger gulls? Apart fro Razorbill, Guillemot, Fulmar and Puffin we had Tree Sparrow, Collared Dove, some very Rock Dove-like Feral Pigeons, Pied Wagtail, Rock Pipit, Linnet and two 'jangles' from an elusive Corn Bunting. A Peregrine flying seaward over the B1229 north of Buckton may have been the bird seen last Sunday.

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Went today for the first time ever:

Saw lots of Guillemots, Gannets, Razorbills and Gannets, a few Fulmar and 7 Puffins. Also one Male Peregrine was on one of the cliffs, and scared all of the neighbouring Kittiwakes off when it flew. Was also pleased to see a lot of Tree Sparrows by the visitors centre.

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late post for sunday 10th.

I haven't been here for a couple of years so it was nice to relax & watch the many of thousands of sea birds after just watching the scoter & pipits not too far away.
guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes in the thousands.
there didn't seem to be thousands of gannets around but I assume many of them may of been out fishing.
several fulmars & shags.
I only managed to see 3 puffins on the cliffs (asleep) & only managed 2 on the sea.
still fantastic to see a close range smile

other birds around...

reports of a firecrest around but after a couple of searches, no luck.
3 chiffchaff
1 willow warbler
1 wheatear
lots of tree sparrows around
several linnets.

a great day out smile

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Afternoon visit today to see all the recently arrived seabirds

40 puffins were around, with about a dozen on the cliffs and the rest flying about or on the sea, some of the birds on the cliffs were showing incredibly well from the grandstand and barnatt's nab
Thousands of guillemots, razorbills, gannets and kittiwakes were flying around and were gathered on the cliffs. I manag d to see about two dozen fulmars, although all of them were flying around and non were on the cliffs. A couple of shags flew low over the sea

Other highlights:

Peregrine flew past the jubilee stand, terrifying all the kittiwakes in that area
Corn bunting
Chiffchaff- this was quite a surprise; the Chiffchaff was actually on the side of the cliff rather than in the vegetation near the visitor centre; probably a new arrival from the sea
Goldcrest
Tree sparrow-30

Also a seal in the sea near the grandstand

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Saturday 23rd May

My first visit to Bempton. What a place!
Nothing out of the ordinary, just a fantastic place to view so many seabirds at very close quarters.
Thousands of Gannets and Kittiwakes.
Razorbills and Guillemots in good numbers, the majority out at sea.
Around 20 Puffins on the cliffs.
Only a few Fulmar seen.
Skylarks in song over the meadows.
Approximately 24 Tree Sparrows around the visitor centre.
Some very good looking Linnets around here too.
1 possible Rock Pipit

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