By mollyblobs

Gannet love...

Another grey start, with a chill east wind, but this didn't deter us from heading to the bempton Area. We spent the morning on the beack at North Landing, doing a bit of rock-pooling and admiring (and photographing) the many nesting fulmars and gannets. There were caves to be explored too, and by lunchtime there was even a bit of feeble sunshine.

In the afternoon we headed up to Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve, which was the highlight of the holiday for me. The first excitement was watching a colony of tree sparrows feeding in bushes next to the visitor centre. After that we headed to the cliffs for fantastic views of the gannets, which nest on the sheer chalk faces. We had hoped to also get good views of nesting guillemots, razorbills and puffins, but although the first two species had returned to the cliffs, they were mostly out at sea. The puffins eluded us completely.

One of the best moments was watching a peregrine swooping in to catch one of the many feral rock doves which nest on the cliffs. It missed its prey, but sat on the cliff to recover, giving us all a good chance to see it. During the afternoon the sun became quite warm, and it was possible to believe that spring might eventaully arrive, especiially with the song of the sklylark overhead.

We left just before 4, and headed to a nearby tea-room which refused to serve us because we arrived precisely one minute too late. I was not amused...The lads bought drinks at the associated farm shop and we then headed to the lighthouse, to admire the many geological features - stacks, arches and a really impressive blow-hole. We spotted a grey seal in the sea, and watched it manipulating a large pinkish fish in its paws. So dextrous! We think the fish was probably a lumpsucker.

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