Posted by: mynaturaldiary | July 11, 2015

Jubilee Corner

Bempton Cliffs is the home to the largest seabird colony in England, set upon the Yorkshire Coast.

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It is the home to 250,000 seabirds, which nest on the side of the impressively high cliffs of some 100m height beside the North Sea.

Puffins are on the cliffs, near some flowers which grow from the rocks.

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They also fly out to sea for sandeels.

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Puffin (Fratercula arctica)

Alongside these auks are Guillemots, with sharp pointed bills.

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They cling to seemingly impossible sheer faces.

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Guillemot (Uria aalge)

Razorbills are also on the rocks. They have a thicker bill, with a white stripe.

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Razorbill (Alca torda)

Fulmars fly with their fixed wing shape, gliding wherever possible.

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Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)

The cliffs are also home to Kittiwakes.

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Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)

They too are rearing their young,

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who are covered in down.

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Whilst in the far distance lurks a predator; a Peregrine Falcon, seemingly undisturbed on another part of the cliff.

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Peregrine (Falco peregrinus)

Herring Gulls also prey on the young (tho’ nature red in tooth and claw).

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Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)

Another watchful opportunist is the Jackdaw.

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Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

They are watchful, ready to plunder unguarded eggs and chicks.

Across the whole reserve are Gannets.

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Gannet (Morus bassanus)

Gannets have piercing blue eyes and yellow heads.

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These are large seabirds, with an impressive wingspan.

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The strong breeze blowing gives an uplift from the cliff face, which allows the Gannets to hang in the air with little effort, as their wingshape makes them natural gliders.

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They shorten

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or lengthen

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their wings as required to get the lift they need. When launching themselves from the cliff faces, it is easy for them to get flying.

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They are here to breed, and you have to look closely to see their young chicks, now well developed.

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the world must be peopled, said the Bard. It must be Ganneted, too.

The cliffs are covered in their nests.

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The cliffs wheel with thousands of flying birds.

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Back on terra firma, the land is covered in crops and wild flowers, accentuating the summer feel.

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Tree Sparrows cluster around the new visitors centre.

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Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)

They are a regular bird here too.


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