It seems that we're really on the world map. We've had another bumper month of visitors from across the globe. We're thinking of putting up a map with pins in it showing all the different places that our visitors hail from just so we can keep track.
Meanwhile, our cliff top reporter, Chris, has been out and about chatting with some of them:
'It's not often the chance arises to discover what other volunteers think of Bempton but that's exactly what happened when Laurie Sachtleben from Indianapolis in the USA (home of the legendary 500 mile motor race) popped into the centre as part of her holiday.
She said: “I'm in this country for 10 days and four days in Yorkshire. I have a private guide who comes from Hull and he often uses the reserve. He said it was well worth a visit and he's right.
“I do some wildlife volunteering back home but our centres are not like this. I'd like to learn to work with raptors but I don't think I'm brave enough.
“The centre here is well managed, beautiful and having people to greet you outside the front of the centre on a lovely day was just great.”
And after taking time out for a quick chat Laurie was on the move again, this time to spend an afternoon seeing what wildlife could be found on the North Yorkshire moors.
Laurie Sachtleben from Indianapolis USA, home to the famous motor race.
Visitors to the rugged coast of East Yorkshire take a look at the reserve for a variety of reasons.
Leaving the best until last is maybe one of them and certainly recent visitors have included a trip to “birdland” as late items on their agendas.
Kat Wacheter and Brian Johnson popped in from Florida having been tipped off about the centre by a friend who lived in the York area.
Most of their break has been spent in the London area but eight days have been here in Yorkshire and the visit to Bempton was taking place before the couple headed back to London and then back home.
Said Brian: “We were told this was a wonderful place to visit and from a first look it seems we have been given the correct information. We are looking forward to seeing the seabirds and it seems we might have picked a good day as we have been told there are some Puffins around.”
From the long trip to America to somewhere closer to home was Lien van Sinay. And cutting it fine is one way of describing her arrival.
Lien, who lives in Belgium, had been working on an excavation at the Roman site of Vinlandia in Northumberland for two weeks and was on her way to Hull to catch the overnight ferry to Zeebrugge and home.
“But I was a little early for the ferry and then saw the signs for the reserve and decided to come and have a look and see how good the attraction was. I am looking forward to exploring very much. I know the weather is much better than when I left Northumberland and that makes the visit even better.”
And the residents on the clifftops were on their best behaviour so Lien managed to see a fantastic display of seabirds and even those elusive creatures - the Puffins - made an appearance too.'
And whether you're from Brussels or Bradford, that's sure to make your day.
Image: Kevin Groocock
We are well and truly into puffin season now, and I'm still as excited as a child on Christmas morning every time I see one. Our Puffin Patrols have been full every day and we've had some lovely feedback from the excited visitors that are seeing puffins for the first time. The novelty really doesn't seem to wear off, and that's probably because the puffins are here for such a short space of time. If you are planning on coming to see a puffin with your own eyes, make sure you get here before the end of July as the puffins will be leaving then and we don't want you to miss out! For those of you that can't make it to Bempton Cliffs during puffin season, here is a gorgeous video that our live cameras captured of a puffin that appears to be posing for the camera. They really are good looking little birds, aren't they?
Razorbill and egg - Image by Michael Babcock.
I'm still really enjoying myself in my role of Visitor Experience Assistant, I'm learning something new every day and sometimes really stepping out of my comfort zone, which has been scary but rewarding. I'm looking forward to what the rest of the season has to offer and I'll hopefully have plenty more to blog about in the months to come. Thank you for reading :-)
It's been a while since my last blog post, so we've had quite a lot of sightings on the reserve. We've seen corn bunting, oystercatcher, swallows (back in the nest at the entrance to the visitor centre), iceland gull (flew over), peregrine (pair), short eared owl, red kite, common buzzard, osprey (flew over), house martin, yellowhammer, lesser whitethroat, whitethroat, sparrowhawk, grey seal and porpoise.
Every year we're fortunate to have a number of enthusiastic young people join us on the reserve to see how we do things. They learn a lot and they teach us quite a bit too. And we love having them around and getting their views on life on the edge. Helen is with us for the summer and this is Hello from her:
First things first, let me introduce myself – my name is Helen and I am the new visitor experience intern here at Bempton Cliffs. I have only been here a week, but have had an amazing time so far and everyone is really friendly and helpful. I am learning so many things from going out on walks with other volunteers and staff members that I have had to make many notes so that I don’t forget anything!
So far I have spent a couple of days out on Bartlett and Grandstand to spot Puffins and have been lucky enough to see quite a few. Setting up the telescope and seeing our visitors’ reactions when they see them, sometimes for the first time, has been great. We have had many visitors from both the UK and all over the world, but they all have the same reaction when they see our little clown of the sea!
I was also involved with the BioBlitz last Sunday and helped to record the species that we saw during the day. We had many surveys happening over the course of the day and there was lots to see including bird ringing and small mammal trapping. Hopefully have a final tally soon of everything we counted on the cliffs. We also set up the moth trap but, due to the cold wet weather overnight, it wasn’t as successful as we had hoped and only recorded 2 Hebrew Character moths (although they were lovely!). I hope to set up the trap again in a few weeks time and we should get a better result – watch this space.
Bird ringing tent at BioBlitz
In the short time I have been here, I have seen a Gannet and Puffin released back to the wild (please also see the Gone Gannet blog) that had been cared for by Whitby Wildlife Rescue. On Friday we also released a Razorbill who that been found on Cliff Lane. After having a health check to make sure it was ok, it was released back onto the cliffs. Good luck to them all!
Razorbill ready for release
I’m really excited about being at Bempton Cliffs for the next 6 months, so please say hi if you see me around the reserve, I will be the one who chuckles and smiles every time I see a Puffin, sometimes I do forget that other people are around