Thursday, 20 February 2014

Burton Agnes Snowdrops, Bempton Cliffs and Flamborough Head.

An excellent day today.  Despite a very poor forecast, the weather turned out well; breezy but with plenty of sun and no rain.  We had arranged to go with good friends Brian and Heather to see the wonderful display of snowdrops at Burton Agnes in Yorkshire and arrived at 10.00 am to pick them up.  It is only a short drive to Burton Agnes, our route taking us over the Humber Bridge, and we were parking up nicely in time for coffee and cake; an important part of the day!  Once refreshed we set out to explore the woodland walk and enjoy the snowdrops.  It was very breezy and we were serenaded by the delightful sound of the giant wind chimes.  The snow drops were again magnificent and now in their prime.  It was soon time to head off to our next destination: Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve.  We were soon heading off down to the cliffs, stopping briefly on the way to watch the tree sparrows busy at the feeding station immediately outside the visitor centre.  I always find Bempon and excellent spot for these delightful birds.  Once at the cliff top we followed the path alongside the vertiginous drop of some 300 feet to Staple Newk.  This is an impressive arch jutting out from the cliff and home to hundreds of gannets throughout the breeding season.  Despite only being February, the cliffs were already a hive of activity with large numbers of raucous gannets on their ledges, plenty of fulmars wheeling out from the cliffs with their beautiful smokey colouring, so difficult for the camera to lock onto. and good numbers of kittiwakes.  There were even a few guillemots about but we saw no razorbills or puffins.  It was good to hear a skylark singing as it soared above us as if suspended on an invisible thread.  It was strange not to be there with the birding lens but just as enjoyable to be walking and bird watching.  Our stomachs were beginning to tell us that it was time for fish and chips in Bridlington, but we managed to fit in a quick visit to North Landing at Flamborough first.  What an excellent day that felt more like early spring.

To view large, click on an image.

Bempton Cliffs with the arch of Staple Newk.
North Landing, Flamborough.
North Landing, Flamborough.

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