Birds at Bempton Cliffs

Summer, 2022

Bempton cliffs is a fantastic place where thousands of seabirds gather here between March and October.

The views are spectacular from 300 feet (~100m) cliffs above the North Sea.

The visitor center is open from 9.30am to 5pm. The nature reserve is open daily, dawn to dusk which gives a great opportunity to sea beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Waiting for sunrise in the darkness is quite a memorable moment. 

We headed to Bempton Cliffs mainly for Northern gannets which migrate to Bempton from West Africa for a breeding season. We've visited the reserve in May and June.

There are over 11,000 breeding pairs at Bempton. To us, Bempton is one of the best places to witness Gannet behaviour from a relatively short distance. 500 mm and 300 mm lenses with 1.4 or 2 extenders we used most of the time.

It's fun to watch how male Gannets collect and offer females their 'love gifts'. 

Gannet with Nesting MaterialGannet with Nesting Material

Gannets are incredible flyers with a wingspan of 165 - 180 cm. 

With the right wind direction it's a joy to photograph these birds in flight.

Gannet in FlightGannet in Flight Between March and October guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, herring gulls, fulmars make their home at Bempton along with gannets.

Razorbills are one of our favorite birds. They are so charming and photogenic.

Between April-July, Atlantic puffins join the rest of the seabirds. They tend to nest in rock crevices, whereas burrows are used at most UK sites. It is relatively difficult to get a close view of them comparing to other places in UK.

The Black Browed Albatross is a Super Star at Bempton. We saw him at Staple Newk viewing platform. This magnificent bird, named Albie has visited the cliffs since 2017. He is most likely have been blown off course. 

In the month of May the cliff tops are covered with Red Campion flowers where tree sparrows look for insects. Seeing so many of these birds in one place is a real thrill.

Shrubs and grassland are great for spotting other birds, even Barn Owls. Late afternoon is the best time to see them gliding over the fields in search of a vole.

Bempton cliffs is a truly remarkable sight. During the first visit we've booked Airbnb in Bridlington, in June we've stayed in a bed & breakfast in Bempton and every morning enjoyed a half an hour stroll to the cliffs.
It was definitely well worth visiting.


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