By Gavin Bickerton-Jones in General Articles, Blogging | 17th August 2021
Gannet Flight Paths.
Spent a couple of days at Bempton Cliffs, near Scarborough, over the weekend, my first visit there. Once we got there (Helen came along for the ride this time) after a tiresome 5 hour drive up the A17, we went straight to the RSPB centre on the cliffs at about 1PM, and had something to eat in the nice cafe there.
Weather was bright but windy (well it is a cliff!) as we set off for a walk along the cliff edge to the various watchpoints along the way, to see what was about. It was a bit late in the year for Puffins and Razorbills, but there were still thousands of Gannets flying around and perched on the cliff face with chicks of various ages as well.
After walking the whole length of the cliff, it seemed the most ‘action’ was around the rock archway at Staple Newk, so I took some shots around there of Gannets in various poses. Difficult to lock on focus for flying shots against the sea as it picks up on the contrast of the waves if not careful, so good practice on spot focus to tune my eye in. We also saw Fulmars, Herring Gulls and Kittiwakes around, but there was word that a very rare Black Browed Albatross was making sporadic visits, and we had just missed one sighting.
After checking in to the Stables B & B which was only a couple of miles away from the cliffs in Bempton, I got ready for a solo visit after some pub grub in the evening. It was lovely light, and I practised some settings for a long exposure shot I wanted to get of the Gannets flight paths, which I would get early the next morning inn the darker light. It was a nice ‘mini break’, tied in with a trip to Scarbourough, and on Saturday evening at about 6.30 I got some nice shots of the Albatross with its massive wingspan, which finished the break off nicely.
Black Browed Albatross flies over packed Gannetry.