Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Scarborough, Bempton and Bridlington

I spent yesterday out and about in Yorkshire with Luke. We started the day off in Scarborough, before driving down to the RSPB Bempton Cliffs reserve, and finishing off in Bridlington.

We started off in Scarborough so that Luke could see his first Black-necked Grebe. Luckily the bird was still present in the harbour, and we managed to see it straight away, swimming around the boats. The Turnstones were around (no colour rings today though), as were Herring Gulls, Kittiwakes, and, best of all, a single male Wheatear, hopping about on the sea defences, presumably having just arrived in the country. Luke managed to grab this distant record shot, before it continued on its journey to who knows where...


From Scarborough, we headed off down the coast to RSPB Bempton Cliffs. The weather turned when we arrived, and we ended up being blown about and rained on, as we stood looking over the famous cliffs. Luckily, we managed to spot all the key birds through the rain, with excellent views of Gannets, Kittiwakes, Fulmar, Guillemots, Razorbills and, best of all for Luke, Puffin ( a new species)! 


After Bempton, we drove down to Bridlington so we could go for a boat trip out along the coast. We had an hour long ride up towards Flamborough Head. Unfortunately, the weather didn't improve and we only managed to see  a few birds, including Kittiwakes, a couple of Gannets, several Herring Gulls and a winter plumaged Guillemot. The only highlight, though, was a "year tick" for me and a new species for Luke; Common Scoter. We saw about 6 birds flying past in small groups.

After the boat trip we walked around the harbour where we spotted another dozen or so Turnstones, another Black-necked Grebe (!), Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls and a Barnacle Goose.

Black-necked Grebe

Barnacle Goose

Further investigation via Twitter, lead me to find out that the Barnacle Goose is a feral bird that has been around the harbour for about 5 to 6 years. A very strange and unexpected addition to the day's birding.

Year List update:
131- Wheatear
132 - Gannet
133 - Razorbill
134 - Puffin
135 - Common Scoter

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