Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Many birds, one moth
I was at Bempton Cliffs yesterday with Chris Thomond, making another of our short Best Views films for the Guardian website. Best view it is, indeed. Everyone appreciates wonderful landscapes, but I also enjoy a view where something is going on, and there's no difficulty with that at Bempton, the biggest, easily-accessible seabird nesting colony in the country. Puffins, Gannets, Razorbills, Kittywakes (named accurately after their cry), fulmars, goodness, the whole place is quite amazing and so is the noise. Watching and chatting to the birders is also fun; we met an Australian family whose two small boys had talked about coming to see puffins all the way from Perth.
There was a sea-fret, or fog, in the morning which made everything spooky, but we went off to Bridlington and interviewed returning passengers from the Yorkshire Belle steamer who had enjoyed clear weather at the base of the chalk wall while we were plunged in grey gloom 400ft above. By afternoon the fret had gone and the views were marvellous. If you are anywhere within reach, I hugely recommend a visit before most of the non-gulls leave in late July for distant lands. Take the Belle's 'puffin cruises' as well, or just enjoy yourself in cheery Brid.
Sorry this is meant to be about moths. The top of Bempton Cliffs is no place to run excitedly after them, but thanks to Chris I got a quick pic of this micro (I think, although I always despairingly call these simply 'grass moths'). It then fluttered away to the concrete ruins of the Cold War listening base which added their own spookiness to a Bempton trip. You wouldn't want to see my bird pics, but I'm ending this post with a couple courtesy of Chris - gannets above, puffins below. "He's so focussed," says Penny, and here's proof of that. I, by contrast, am King of the Distant Blur, although I think it works (spooky again) in the cliffy pic above.