Bempton Cliffs visitor centre may soon be home to some new baby birds. The swallows that have been swooping in and out of the centre’s porch have now built a fully serviceable nest and so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we will soon hear the cheeping of tiny little beaks. The prospective parents seem to be enjoying their new celebrity status in the mean time though. They have been delighting onlookers by posing for photographs on the fences and showing off their flying skills by performing daring fly-bys within centimetres of people’s heads. We are hoping too, that with a few more mouths to feed, our resident swallows might snap up a few of the pollen beetles that seem to be at the height of their summer populations at the moment. Just a word of warning for now though: don’t wear yellow!
We do also have a rather more shy and retiring bird on our reserve at the moment. The ‘wet my lips’ call of the common quail has been heard with astonishing regularity over the past two weeks but as we would expect, nobody has spotted this tiny African migrant yet. Despite the fact that we are unlikely to see it in the tall vegetation it favours as its home, we are glad to be lucky enough to hear the visiting quails’ distinctive call. If you want to come down to the reserve to try your luck at becoming one of those privileged enough to hear it yourself, we can direct you to the right area from the visitor centre.