MAY 2018 WALK EVERY DAY FOR A WEEK CHALLENGE – DAY 7
It is a nature reserve run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) at Bempton in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is best known for its breeding seabirds, including Gannets, Puffins, Razorbills, Gullemot, Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Herring Gulls and Shags.
The hard chalk cliffs at Bempton are relatively resistant to erosion and offer lots of sheltered headlands and crevices for nesting birds. The cliffs run for about 6 miles (10 km) from Flamborough Head north towards Filey and are over 330 feet (100 m) high at points.
We went on Sunday during the second May bank holiday weekend and were blessed with excellent sunny weather, perfect for bird watching.
We have seen lots of the above mentioned birds but only a few puffins. They are quite hard to spot with bare eyes because of the distance but also due to being relatively small. I wish I had a proper big lens for my camera to take some close up shots.
You can easily walk along the public footpath (grassy path, not paved) to their six cliff-top viewpoints. All viewpoints have built-in wheelchair bay. At each viewpoint there were RSPB volunteers who had their telescopes set up so you could see the puffins.
You can also rent binocular at the Seabird Centre. Entrance is £5 for an adult for a day and there is a cafe, gift shop and toilets in the Seabird Centre.
We did a puffin trails so here are some facts we learned about these beautiful little creatures:
- A baby puffin is called a puffling.
- A puffin is about 8 inches ( 20cm) tall.
- A puffin can up to 60 meters under water.
- The oldest puffin ever recorded was 42 years old.
- Puffins have to flap their wings 400 times per minute to fly.
- 83 is the record number of sand eels held in puffin’s beak at once.
- Puffins start leaving Bempton Cliffs in July and heading back to the sea, where they will stay until the following spring.
The puffins along the Yorkshire coast are now endangered. Their numbers may however be adversely affected by a reduction in local sand eel numbers caused by global warming, in turn caused by plankton being driven north by a 2 degree rise in local sea temperatures.
The cliffs at Bempton are some of the highest in England.
They are the UK’s biggest seabirds. Their wingspan is a massive two metres (6 feet).