Bempton Cliffs Trip Report – 28/4/15

Following a short flurry of snow in the Ogston car park, thirty people joined the coach for the John Tagg Memorial Trip to Bempton Cliffs. John, a long time member of OBC, had requested that after he died, his photographic equipment should be donated to the club. His family subsequently suggested that we might like to sell it and use the proceeds to fund a club trip. John’s favourite birding location was Bempton Cliffs, so after discussion by the committee and consultation with the family and RSPB Bempton, it was decided that a fitting memorial would be to have a picnic table installed at the new visitors’ centre.  Johns brother and family were delighted with the decision and have expressed their thanks to the Club

When we arrived, the RSPB warden at Bempton took us up to the picnic area where John’s memorial bench had been installed. Here he thanked everyone involved and following a few moving words and moments of reflection, the group posed for a photo to be sent to John’s brother.

After the brief ‘ceremony’, the group went off to explore the reserve. It was a very windy but bright day, and there was no shortage of ‘old hands’ to guide the first-timers to RSPB Bempton, around the platforms on the cliff tops where we saw many, many nesting birds.  There was no shortage of gannets, guillemots, razor bills and kittiwakes on the cliffs, and one or two puffins posed for the photographers. We also had some fine close-up views of the birds in flight.

Following a short, sharp hailstorm in the afternoon, we were treated to an aerial display from a peregrine, and several people also saw some great skuas in flight.  After retreating to the brand new visitors’ centre for a cuppa and a little retail therapy, those out on the terrace saw a weasel, while those watching the webcam screens inside were treated to a very brief glimpse of the first gannet chick to hatch.

Many thanks to all those who put in the hard work behind the scenes to make the day possible – it was a great way to remember John Tagg for those who knew him well, and for those who wished they had known him better.

Below are a sample of the photos taken by members.  Photos 1 and 2, table and plaque.  Photo 3 Bempton Cliffs looking south to Flamborough, 4 gannet, 5 guillemot, 6 fulmar,      7 razorbill, 8 peregrine, 9 & 10 loveins on the cliffs.

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