Sunday, 14 August 2016

Bempton Cliffs

Spent the morning at Bempton Cliffs, an RSPB reserve. There were thousands of gannets still nesting on the limestone cliffs. It takes a few weeks for the young gannets - known as ‘gugas’ - to take flight. I saw them, perched on their tiny ledges, exercising their wings. It’s amazing how they keep their footing; with one wrong move, or a sudden gust of wind, they would plunge headlong into the sea… where they’d be prey for marauding skuas.

According to an information panel, the head of a gannet is “sunshine yellow”. Hmmm, I’d say the colour is more like the nicotine-stained fingers of a heavy smoker. The gannets share the cliffs with smaller numbers of fulmars, kittiwakes and herring gulls. The fulmars fly on stiff wings, with barely a wingbeat and, seemingly, the minimum of effort. Superficially, they may look like gulls, though they’re actually related to albatrosses…

Viewing platform, Bempton Cliffs...

No comments:

Post a Comment