Friday, 3 April 2015

Day 151 - Lovely Leighton Moss and Beautiful Bempton Cliffs

A lovely scarlet elf cup at Leighton Moss
Hi all today's Day 151 and as it's the Easter holidays I've had the chance to get out and about a bit again. I have been at two very different places in as many days and managed to do a cool coast to coast with RSPB reserves as I went to the East coast - the East Riding of Yorkshire and the brilliant Bempton Cliffs, and to the West Coast at the lovely Leighton Moss in Lancashire.  I have lots of favourite places but Leighton Moss and Bempton Cliffs are certainly amongst them.

A lovely lapwing
Leighton Moss is special to me as I saw my first wild otter there, and I managed to meet some of the Springwatch cast and get on Autumnwatch Unsprung last year. Aside from that I have seen lots of wildlife there from voles to deer, from Marsh Harriers to dragonflies. It was great to get back there even though it was a wild, wet and cold day, it was hailing at points and my mum is in a wheelchair again at the moment as she has just had another leg operation so it was a bit too cold and wet for her  - but it`s so accessible there it`s another one of the reasons why we love it. Still not all of the wild life was sheltering from the weather, here's some of the things that I saw:

An inquisitive pheasant
  • Greater-Spotted Woodpecker
  • Long-Tailed Tits (5)
  • Blue Tits (4)
  • Great Tits (2)
  • Marsh Tit (2)
  • Goldfinch (2)
  • Pheasants (7)
  • Mallards (5)
  • Teal (20+)
  • Bullfinches (2)
  • Chaffinches (8)
  • Marsh Harrier
  • Black-Headed Gulls (30+)
  • Lapwings (2)
  • Robins (3) (including one that ate out of Mums hand)
  • Greylag geese (3)
  • Canada Geese (2)
  • Squirrels
  • Scarlet Elf Cup
  • Hello neighbour - a Puffin greets a Razorbill
  • and probably a Peregrine Falcon but it was a bit distant to be sure
Bempton Cliffs was today and it was a special day as it was the opening of the new seabird centre there. It's a big improvement on the last centre and everyone was thrilled to see it complete. One of the things that they are proud of is that it is probably the most accessible sea bird colonies in Europe, wheelchair users can get to the viewing platforms easily and see all that I saw. 

A view along the cliffs - hard to make out but there are
thousands of birds on the cliffs here
Bempton is a site of international importance as it is home to 250,000 nesting seabirds. It also has a special place in wildlife conservation history. Two things used to happen there which don't now. One is the 'climmers' who used to tie a rope around themselves and climb down to collect eggs to eat and sell. They noticed that the shooting parties that would come by sea were shooting so many birds that the populations were declining rapidly. The 'climmers' got help from the Rev Henry Barnes-Lawrence. He took the problem to parliament and fought to get the destruction of the seabirds stopped. This resulted in the Sea bird preservation act of 1869 which protected the birds and stopped the hunting :-)

Mrs P at the opening ceremony
Well I'm normally lucky on my nature hunts with the weather but today was probably colder than when I went to Leighton Moss, still the birds didn't seem to mind. I didn't see many species but I saw a lot, I mean a lot, of birds:
  • Puffins (5)
  • Gannets (200+)
  • Razorbills (200+)
  • Kittiwakes (100+)
  • Guillemots (50+)
  • Skylarks (3)
Me & Mrs P
So if you want to find out more about these great places see these links

Thanks to the RSPB for looking after these wonderful places! :-)

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. I love that shot of the Pheasant Zach, really nice. Looks like you had a lovely time! - Tasha

    1. Thanks Tasha - was great if not a bit chilly :-)