Sunday, 23 April 2017

Birthday Lifer

It was my birthday this weekend, so I travelled up to Teesdale and RSPB Bempton Cliffs with my family for a couple of days. High on my wish list was a bird that I've looked for before - Black Grouse. This year luck, and a bit of research, paid dividends, and I got to watch an amazing 22 males and 19 females at a lek site in Upper Teesdale. The birds were seen (and heard) from the road, with the birds about 500m away. After the lekking was over, a female bird and 2 males flew closer to me, allowing a couple of reasonable shots from the car.

Black Grouse (female)

Black Grouse (male and a Curlew)

Driving back down to our hotel in Barnard Castle I managed a couple of lovely photos of 2 other moorland birds; Lapwing and Snipe.



Other birds seen in Teesdale were: Red Grouse, Common Sandpiper (1 on the Tees in Barnard Castle), Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Curlew, Swallow (5) and Red-legged Partridge (year tick).

After Teesdale, we drove across to Bempton Cliffs in North Yorkshire, and added another 4 species (Razorbill, Puffin, Gannet and Kittiwake) to the "year list", taking me to 141. It was pretty windy when we got there, and the Gannets, in particular, were hovering just on the edge of the cliffs, and dropping down onto the grass to grab mouthfuls for  their nests, allowing some decent photo opportunities.


Other species seen here were: Guillemot, Tree Sparrow, Skylark, Fulmar and Herring Gull.

Year List update:
136 – Black Grouse
137 – Red-legged Partridge
138 – Razorbill
139 – Puffin
140 – Gannet
141 – Kittiwake


  1. Looks like an enjoyable trip, Peter. Many happy returns.

    1. Many thanks Doug. It was a great trip, with super company.