The Yorkshire coastline from Bridlington to Whitby is a great location for a family holiday. It is also a superb place for birdlife, and the last few days of May has proved that this coastline is great for migrant and rarer species of birds, whilst the more common birds are present in good numbers.
A party of bee eaters had graced Flamborough on the Thursday and Friday prior to our holiday trip to the coast, but would these colourful birds remain into Saturday as we set off on our holidays. Unfortunately the answer was a resounding no, as news reached that the birds were flying south and had crossed the Humber as we reached our destination. The weather during the week was variable to say the least, with rain, sun and more sun, with a little more rain for good luck.
Sunday afternoon saw us take to the high seas, as we took a trip on the Bridlington Belle out of Bridlington. The plan had been to take an hours cruise up to Flamborough along the coast, but a high sea swell put paid to this, and we had to make do with a trip into the bay, with the boat rolling quite nicely as the tide and sea swell made the journey less than pleasant for some. As we left the boat, news came through of a Night Heron turning up at Filey Dams, just down from our caravan. An opportunity not to be missed, so a quick trip saw an even briefer view of the night heron, which was roosting in trees at the other end of the pond. A Spoonbill present on the same site was a pleasant surprise and a good start to a birding week.
A trip to the Yorkshire coast is not complete without a trip to Bempton Cliffs RSPB site to see the seabirds in all their glory. Puffins were high on the agenda, and they obliged with good views within minutes of our arrival. Gannet’s and Kittiwakes are another big presence on the cliffs.
If we thought Bempton was a great place for Puffins, we were surprised and delighted to find more puffins, and even closer views on the cliffs and rocks around North Landing, Flamborough. The puffins were coming and going over our heads as they headed out to sea to feed. North Landing is a great little cove, with caves, rocks and rock pools as well as a small beach and is a great favourite. It is also a short 2 mile walk to Flamborough Lighthouse around the coast, with continuous great views of sea birds, and at times porpoises, whales and dolphins off the coast.
The week finished with another good migrant rarity, a superb Male Red Backed Shrike at the sailing club at Filey. This bird was amazingly confiding, whilst the Icterine Warblers in the nearby scrub at Filey Country Park were less confiding.
Whilst some great birds were seen, other rarities, including the Bee Eaters, Common Rosefinch, Red Breasted Flycatcher and a possible White Tailed Sea Eagle were all reported on the coast during the week or before we arrived / left.
Again more pictures are available on my Flickr page.