Once a year, in breading season I build up enough resolve to visit RSPB Bempton. The cliffs, views and wildlife there are simply stunning. However the concept of fencing off a place with legal public access, charging for access and heavily monetising nature can never sit easy with me. I much prefer the freedom of our local cliffs and the Cleveland Way, however, sadly the birds generally don’t.
The phrase visible on every wall, on ever t – shirt, on every glossy banner, on every label of £15 fluffy puffins – “Giving Nature A Home”, seems to suggest that the RSPB have built some cliffs and allowed the birds to live there. Nothing could be further from the truth. Im a regular donator to the RSPB and other nature causes but I draw the line at heavily monetising mother nature in this way.
Enough of that for now, The wildlife is to die for Gannets by the thousand, all busy building their nests, Razorbills, Puffins, Kittiwakes and too many other species to mention. It certainly was a busy day at Bempton with all species visible and active, someone even said they had been watching a Peregrine.
If your into photography and want half decent pictures then Morning is your best time for a visit. Strong sunlight onto the cliffs allows for super fast shutter speeds and low ISO. Perfect conditions for capturing the moment here. Come at sunrise and you’ll get photographs to die for.
After several hours on sight, we headed to somewhere equally as beautiful and far less monetised – Flamborough Head. if your in the area and visiting Bempton then dont overlook Flamborough down the road. The cliffs, coves and sea stacks are far more beautiful and you can walk around the head end without cost, and at freedom to roam without the in your face advertising of The RSPB.
Although their are far less nesting Gannets, they do actually come here to fish in the tidal stream of Flamborough Head. Its a great place for watching them catch their food or fly past en mass. The much lower cliffs give a far better vantage point of Gannets on the move too.
All the other species are here, and I would say with almost certainty that there are far more puffins on the cliffs of Flamborough than there are up at Bempton.
As you walk around the head end, keep an eye out for the Peregrines, we were lucky enough to observe a nesting pair doing a swap over on the eggs. We will return in a few weeks to see if they are successful in raising a family.
On our way home to Whitby we stopped at the Grand Hotel in Scarborough and then at Marine Drive in Scarborough, both of which have nesting pairs of Peregrine Falcons and are places where nature chose its own home and you don’t have to pay to watch mother nature at work.
These aren’t the best of photographs, and are simply posted as a record of the presence of Peregrine Falcons at both Scarborough Venues. If you spent enough time here with the right camera equipment and weather conditions Im sure you could do them real justice.