28 June 2018

Everything one could wish for, blue skies and sea, a pleasant breeze and no sea fret!


Kittiwake. Photo: Marg Smith.

The Gannets were skimming over our heads; the Fulmars – far fewer in number – flew by on stiff wings using the thermals; the Kittiwakes sat on their nests calling to each other in their onomatopoeic voice. At the base of the cliffs were the nesting Guillemots, and near the top the Razorbills. A few young were visible but the report was that generally everything was a week late. A delightful sight, however, was a Herring Gull feeding three large chicks! A few Puffins were found flying back and forth. Feral Pigeons collected in groups on the grassy banks. The only raptor we saw was a Kestrel being chased by a crow.

Herring Gull chicks

Herring Gull chicks. Photo: Marg Smith.


Many Tree Sparrows were seen around the Visitors Centre, with Whitethroat and Linnet seen and heard in the hedgerow on the way to the Cliffs. We later spotted a bird on a hedge and another birder confirmed it was a Lesser Whitethroat. Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were heard singing; a Reed Bunting flew past, as did a Swallow.

A wonderful day only slightly marred for some by a burst water main causing significant hold-up going through Ilkley as the A59 was closed once again due to landslip.

Josephine Drake