Day 37 Puffins at Flamborough Head

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Flamborough to Reighton Gap, near Filey
14 miles
Moor House Farm Campsite

Wow. What a fantastic day. It started well when I found a cafe in Flamborough village and had my first cooked breakfast in 6 days (not that I’m counting!). I also wrote a postcard to Raymond. Ready to face the day I headed down to the cliffs at South Landing and began my walk around Flamborough Head. The sun came out and even though the wind was still strong it was pretty much perfect. My first proper cliffs of the trip, and they were stunning.  

Looking back at Flamborough Head
As I got to the Head itself there was the lighthouse just inland and I could look down to Selwick’s Bay and see a line in the sea where the brown water met the deep blue. Amazing.  

Brown water meets blue, which side would you prefer to swim from?
I carried on round the cliff, turning more into the wind, and suddenly I saw them (and heard and smelt them), hundreds of sea birds covering the cliffs. And these were only the start because the 400ft high Bempton Cliffs were yet to come. From North Landing all the way along Bempton Cliffs there were thousand of birds nesting. My timing was excellent in this regard and I got to watch gannets, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and even puffins hustling for space on tiny cliff ledges and soaring on the updraughts. A phenomenal sight. It was my first sight of puffins and, next to the expert flyers like gannets, they looked like small clockwork toys with big orange feet, flapping their little wings like mad to stay in the air. I wished I had my binoculars but a kind man loaned me his so I could get a closer view of all these wonderful birds.  

Sea birds covering the cliffs

Gannets, guillemots and kittiwakes in this spot
I even saw a guillemot egg that had been dropped on the footpath.  

Guillemot egg for breakfast?
On the North side of Flamborough Head the 2 tiny bays of North Landing and Thornwick Bay have beautiful blue water contrasting with the chalky cliffs and they are full of caves that need to be explored from the sea.  

North Landing, complete with cobles (small Yorkshire fishing boats with flat bottoms to make them easier to haul up the beaches)
  
Thornwick Bay with Bempton Cliffs in the background – look at the colour of the sea!
Unsurprisingly, Bempton Cliffs is an RSPB reserve and so, just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, I saw a sign for the RSPB cafe. Time to stop for a coffee, check of the puffin activity on the webcam and chat to the friendly helpers. 

To finish this amazing day I walked down off the cliffs, leaving East Riding and entering North Yorkshire, onto Speeton Sands at the Southern end of Filey Bay. What a view across the bay.  

Filey Bay with Filey Brigg at the end
The wind was getting stronger and I was getting sand blasted on the beach but I didn’t care. This stretch of beach is where the only remains of an amphibious dinosaur were found a few years ago and I met a couple of dinosaur hunters looking for more in the special soft blue-coloured clay. I walked back up the hill to my campsite and managed to pitch my tent behind a big hedge out of the worst of the wind.  

not hard to find a pitch on this campsite! Filey Bay in the background
I had to walk a mile to the nearest pub but it was worth it for decent fish and chips, a pint, wifi and a plug socket for my phone (the last 2 being essentials these days). Luckily I didn’t have to walk back as the barman gave me a lift in his Fiat Panda 4×4.  

  

5 thoughts on “Day 37 Puffins at Flamborough Head

  1. Val K May 12, 2015 / 8:13 pm

    Fabulous pictures Luc, really breathtaking, what a great day. Thank goodness you managed to
    get a good cooked breakfast! Vx

    Like

  2. jomunday99 May 12, 2015 / 9:09 pm

    Awesome. I guess when you report on days like today I can understand why you’re doing this crazy walk! Looks as though you’ve got a lovely stretch ahead.

    Like

  3. chris frazer May 13, 2015 / 3:15 am

    Are you sure you are not related to Bill Oddy…he of twitcher fame????? Outstanding post loved it, felt as if I was there too. Fabulous piccys……..The scenery makes up for the grot you left behind in Lincolnshire and Humberside……now to test your hill muscles……well done Juice.

    Like

  4. jstumm May 14, 2015 / 4:13 pm

    Oh no, can we change our plans for the October week? Puffins, I want to see Puffins, ever since we got those Puffin socks, do you remeber them?

    Like

    • Lucy May 14, 2015 / 7:34 pm

      The puffins won’t be there in October – they come for breeding April – July. Sorry.

      Like

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