East Yorkshire Seabird Trips
Seabirds on Land & Sea
With all that Bridlington has to offer, how can you make sure you experience some of its best bits in just one day? A brand new day trip, the Seabird Spectacle, organised by Visit Hull and East Yorkshire, offers the solution.
Our trip began with a two-course lunch at four-star hotel, Rags, complemented by superb views of the harbour and exceptionally friendly service.
We then took our minibus to Bempton Cliffs reserve – home to 200,000 nesting seabirds during spring and summer. On arrival, we were met by our dedicated guide, Steve, and equipped with binoculars – plus explorer backpacks for the kids!
A panoramic view of the cliffs and the shimmering blue North Sea greeted us as Steve described some of the delights that were in store: puffins, kittewakes, razorbills, guillemots, herring gulls, fulmars, a pair of nesting peregrines and the UK’s only inland gannet colony.
We explored five viewing points along the cliffs, aided by Steve’s expert knowledge, bird-spotting skills and specialist telescope. The weather was perfect and as puffins are sun-lovers, there were so many out that we spotted our first one before reaching the first viewing area. Through the telescope, the bird’s comical facial features were clearly visible as the puffin preened in the warming sunshine.
Throughout the three-hour expedition, we saw several species of birds nesting and feeding their young. Our guide also homed in on a herring gulll snoozing with her three spotted chicks and a fulmar sat contentedly on her nest. Some label this bird ‘the skunk of the sea’ as they squirt a smelly, oily liquid at potential predators.
A highlight was seeing the famous Peckster and Flip: the first gannets to nest at Bempton each year. Gannets mate for life and this pair produces the first chick each season, which explains why their youngster was much bigger than the rest! Gannets are a real success story here: they’re increasing in numbers and Bempton now welcomes around 20,000 of them; in 1968 there were just 10 nesting pairs.
We took a well-deserved rest with a refreshing drink at the Ethical Catering Outdoors cafe before returning to the harbour to begin our Puffin Cruise.
We boarded the Yorkshire Belle to the sound of the Bridlington Fiddler playing suitable sea shanties. Conditions were a little choppy so we were unable to sail quite as close to the cliffs as usual. The boat typically ventures so close to the shore that you can see the thousands of birds crammed tightly in the cragged ledges even without binoculars. The cliff face appears alive – seemingly moving as a result of the hectic bird activity. It’s a sight, sound and smell to behold!
Our onboard guides still ensured that our excursion was remarkable though; we voyaged further out to sea to watch the birds busying back and forth between sea and cliffs. We even caught a glimpse of a seal as it popped its head up in the boat’s surf.
Numerous guillemots and razorbills swooped above us with their freshly caught fish gleaming silver in their beaks – including a puffin carrying several sand eels!
As we journeyed back to the harbour, the day began to cool so I sipped a hot drink from the onboard bar, watching the sea glittering gold in the setting sun and reflecting on all the marvellous sights I’d experienced in just one day.
The Seabird Spectacle provides an affordable yet extraordinary experience. Everything is organised for you with extras on top – so all you need to do is relax and enjoy your day.
The trip includes – an excursion on the Puffin Cruise; a two-course lunch plus drink at Rags Hotel; a guided tour at Bempton Cliffs reserve with use of binoculars plus explorer backpacks for children; a drink at the reserve and aboard the Yorkshire Belle; and transport to and from the cliffs.
Saturday 25th June - 9.30 sailing
Saturday 2nd July - 4.00 sailing
Sunday 10th July - 9.30 sailings
- the day includes the 3/3.5 hour boat trip - hot drink, 2 course lunch with drink at harbour restaurant followed by
transport to Bempton and tour of Bempton with RSPB Guide refreshment and transport back to Bridlington.
Cost is £36.50 (adult) & £26.50 (child up to 14 years) or £110 (family - 2 adults, 2 children).
See the webpage to book and further info.
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