RSPB Bempton Cliffs

RSPB Bempton Cliffs is a nature reserve in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and boasts a large seabird colony on the North Sea cliffs.

Gannet, Guillemot, Razorbill, Guillemot, Kitiwake, Fulmar and of course Puffin all nest on the cliffs, along with Stock Dove.

With such glorious weather, I couldn’t miss the chance to go and try for a shot of a Puffin on the cliffs, or Gannets reaching skywards with their beaks.

An onshore wind gave me a fabulous opportunity to try and grab pictures of Gannet on the wing.  All in all, and amazing experience.

Hawarden Airport June 2018 – Red Arrows

2018 Armed Forces day was hosted at Lladudno, with displays by the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Disaply Team (The Red Arrows), Typhoon FGR4 and Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight.

The Red Arrows based their BAE System Hawk T1a aircraft at Hawarden Airport for the day, so we were treated to a departure and recovery in glorious early afternoon sunshine

Some of the locals put on a good show too, with 2 Beluga departures either side of an arrival in the 3 hours I was there.  With the local flying school adding to the photographic opportunities

Fowlmere and Weeting Heath

With the weather looking good, I decided to head over to East Anglia for a weekend to tick a few birds off the year list.  Bittern, Crane, Cuckoo, Hobby, Woodlark, Stone Curlew and Turtle Dove were the main targets.

Turtle Dove was top of the list, having not seen one since the mid-80’s when I was far too young to realise chasing one around my grandparents garden probably wasn’t the best thing for it’s health(it flew off safely).

The RSPB reserve at Lakenheath was the first place to visit.  An early evening trip was good for the hoped for Cuckoo.  Three birds showing and calling.  A quick walk to the furthest view point revealed at least 5 booming Bitterns, some seemingly only yards away in the reeds.  Within 30 minutes one flew by, incredibly close, at eye level.  Where was the camera?  in the bag, argggghhhhh!  No hoped for Common Crane, so back to the car before dark.

Out early the next morning for a trip to RSPB Fowlmere, Turtle Dove the target.  Arriving at the reserve  by 06:30,  a few Corn Buntings were singing from the telephone wires on the road in, bonus bird!

After spending a wonderful few hours walking around the reserve, I’d ticked Barn Owl (unexepected as it was at 08:30 in broad daylight) and  Marsh Harrier.  A couple of hours away from the reserve at IWM Duxford indulging in my other hobby (Aircraft), and then back to Folwere for an afternoon stint looking for Turtle Doves.  Hobby, Red Kite, Reed Warbler and more spectacular Marsh Harrier views topped the day off.  Sadly no Turtle Dove 🙁

 

After the disappointment of missing out on Turtle Dove at Fowlmere, I headed to Weeting Heath for Stone Curlew and Woodlark.  Checking the rare bird news services, Turtle Dove had been seen (or at least heard) a few times at Weeting over the previous days, bonus!

I can’t believe how close the Stone Curlew are to the road, and how easy they are to see.  Three birds seen within a couple of minutes of being in the hide, just a shame about the heat haze.  The woodland hide gave brilliant views of Yellowhammer, Marsh Tit and Blue Titand the off for a walk and those pesky, hard to find Doves.  Sadly there were none to be seen, or heard.  Woodlark were also absent, but a super smart Tree Pipit and at least four Green Woodpecker were a great bonus.  Back to the Woodland hide for more Yellowhammer, and then a Spotted Flycatcher flitting around.  Not a bad weekends trip.

Hawarden Airport June 2018

Grabbed a nice couple of hours in the sun, on the ‘Mound’ at Hawarden Airport today

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight had Spitfire AB910 call in for fuel and break between flybys and returning to Connigsby (back again tomorrow, but England are playing  . . . . )

Nice and busy, with Number 4 Beluga landing, locals doing touch-and-goes, the resident BAC Strikemaster departing and a Phenom 100 inbound whilst I waited to 910

BAC Strikemaster

BAC Strikemaster

BBMF Supermarine Spitfire

BBMF Supermarine Spitfire

Phenom 100

Airbus A300-600ST ‘Beluga’

Airbus A300-600ST ‘Beluga’