|3rd year gannet|
Jenny and I have just returned from a short visit to Yorkshire's dramatic and impressive coast, where we took in Scarborough, Bempton Cliffs and Bridlington.
We didn't see much on the way over, the only highlight being a solitary red grouse peering out from some roadside heather.
Jenny had never had the pleasure of visiting Scarborough before and I hadn't been for ages. In fact, I think the last time I was in that seaside town was back in late June 1991 when both a pied wheatear and woodchat shrike were in very temporary residence in the Castle Hill area.
We didn't have any such sightings to rival that pair of cracking rarities but we did enjoy a good walk around the North and South Bay areas in glorious sunshine, taking in various tourist hot spots along the way (including Anne Brontë's grave).
|Window sills as cliff substitutes|
Dozens of pairs of these dainty seabirds were tending to chicks on windowsills above countless amusement arcades, chippies and even the elaborate edifice of the once grand Grand Hotel.
After our afternoon and evening in Scarborough, we started the next day bright and early and drove south along the coast to Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve near Bridlington.
We were met at the Visitor Centre by lots of tree sparrows; always a treat to see. They were nesting in the many boxes provided and actively feasting at the feeding station, giving great views.
Te walk along the cliff top was spectacular; swathes of wildflowers and grasses set against the deep blue of the North Sea beyond.
But it was below and upon the cliffs where the real action was taking place.
|Gannet pair greeting one another|
Jenny was rather taken not only by the sheer scale of the seabird colony but also by the incredible stench that wafted up from the cliffs.
It almost put her off the idea of our planned fish and chip lunch...
The pics here were taken using a compact Nikon Coolpix with a built-in digital 21x digital zoom.
Mind you, I expect those folks trotting around the clifftops with their digital SLRs and Tannoy-speaker sized lenses ended up with somewhat more impressive photos that I managed.
Still not entirely sure I know why they feel the need to drape their gear in camouflage fabric though...
We took in some more wildlife spectacles of a very different nature over in Bridlington before hitting the road and heading back west.
Not a bad way to end a couple of days in Yorkshire!