After the day at Bempton Cliffs I thought I was going to be stumped for a title, and I might have to cheat with an albatross reference – hanging motionless upon the breeze. But then I remembered a song called Seabirds. Pink Floyd to the rescue!
There were two objectives to the day. Fear, surprise, and a fanatical devotion to the Pope … there were three objectives … Sorry, wrong script. First I wanted to get photos of puffins. Second I wanted to try capturing birds in flight.
Now even I know that puffins live in burrows they dig out of the earth, so how I thought sheer limestone cliffs would be an ideal place to find puffins is now beyond me. Apparently, I was told on the way in, they are difficult to spot at first, but then you get your “puffin-eye” in. Difficult?? One of the rangers was there at a viewing platform with a telescope, and said he could see about 20 of them on the cliff about 50 metres away (for any American readers that is about 55 yards). He even let me look through his telescope to see. Genuinely he must have been puffin’ something himself because I could not see even one. Having moved on, swearing under my breath at the junkie ranger, I did manage to find a couple, and boy did I need the 100-400 lens!
I don’t know about you but I am fairly sure their little beaks might struggle to make a burrow there?
Birds in flight was a bit hit and miss, and I think I need to research the camera settings a bit more. But I did manage this guy getting his ailerons in a twist as he hovered, and another who looked to be folding up his wings before he even landed!
The stars of Bempton Cliffs are the gannets. There are thousands of them – not just the two above. With piercing blue eyes and yellow shaded heads they were everywhere. Maybe it would just have been easier to change the objective of the day, ignore the fanatical devotion, and just go for gannets. In the end I guess I did not get what I was after, and was initially a little despondent, but there is a pub at the bottom of the road that does a nice ham and cheese sandwich and a pint of local ale (a bit hoppy, but very drinkable) so all was not lost.
If you like the words and pictures please do not feel shy about following the blog. Not many do, so you would be in elite company. Any comments are also appreciated. I will leave you with gannets doing what they do. Enjoy.