Well, sort of! A few gannets arrived back on the cliffs yesterday and the fulmars are here too.
We have also had our New Year visit from the guillemots, with thousands on the cliffs over the last few days - but, as usual, they tease us with their return and then they all go back out to sea. Won't be too long before they back to stay, though.
But it's a sure-fire reminder that the seabirds are on their way back. Over the next few weeks, they'll grow in number - and then it will be all-systems-go for another wonderful wildlife specactle, as 200,000 of them turn the cliffs into a seething mass.
Big Garden Birdwatch has had a brilliant boost, thanks to our friends at Welcome to Yorkshire.
Gary Verity, who's the boss of the tourism body, has called on every tourism business in Yorkshire to join in Big Garden Birdwatch this coming weekend.
Gary said: “Yorkshire has amazing wildlife, which every year attracts huge numbers of people to visit the county. Garden birds are an important part of that mix and the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is something all businesses can easily do, either in their garden, around the workplace or in the local park.
“We need to do all we can to provide the information needed to ensure Yorkshire’s garden birds thrive into the future and continue to provide enjoyment for us all."
How good is that? Thanks, Gary, and everyone at Welcome to Yorkshire, for your support. We think yo'ure cool!
Big Garden Birdwatchers can request a free Big Garden Birdwatch pack over the phone by calling 0300 456 8330, or visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch for more information and to submit results online.
Gary Verity (left) and RSPB Northern England regional director Peter Robertson get ready for Big Garden Birdwatch by filling up feeders at Wonderwood in Holbeck Urban Village.
Never imagined for one minute that I'd be writing at the end of January, reporting that the Desert Wheatear is still here and still frequenting Staple Newk. Word is, that on some days it can be so obliging as to be almost too close to photograph.
Other things of note over the last few weeks have included an unidentified large, long winged, long legged bird south over the reserve. Thought possibly a Common Crane by the finders at the time, its likely identity may well have been the White Stork that drifted down the Northumberland and Yorkshire Coast the same day, before settling for few days in a field to the south of Bridlington. Also overhead a flock of over 50 White-fronted Geese headed north recently. It has been an excellent year for large flocks of White-fronted Geese, but these birds were a nice surprise none-the-less. A coupe of Twite have recently been reported and although rarely seen the Short-eared Owl is still roosting on the reserve.
On the cliffs there are increasing numbers of Gannets, plenty of Fulmars and the occasional day when there are thousands of Guillemots. A Peregrine has been sighted pretty regularly of late and, of course, Kestrels and Sparrowhawks are ever present. Look closely on the sea and you'll likely find a Red-throated Diver or two as well.
If the feeding station is your cup of tea (and its a good place to enjoy one), there are masses of Tree Sparrows and Greenfinches, a few Goldfinches and Chaffinches and the odd Reed Bunting. Enjoy!
This weekend's snow did not stop our hardy visitors - and what a treat they had.
A bitterm, of all things, blew in on Sunday, making it quite possibly a first for the reserve. Of all the birds you wouldn't expect to find at Bempton Cliffs, I'm sure this guy would be high on the list! The bird hung around all day, resting up in an area not far from the visitor centre. We think it might have been pushed over from the continent by severe weather.
The desert wheatear is starting to look like a fixture on the reserve, again delighting visitors over the weekend.
And around 70 tree sparrows, in the sniow and lovely winter sunshine, are certainly drawing lot of admiring comments.
What's next this week, I wonder?
Visitors to Bempton in recent weeks will have seen that we're making a few changes around the place - all with the aim of improving things for our visitors.
Our latest project is refurbishing the toilets. We know it's not very convenienet (see what I did there?) but while the contractors are working on one set of loos, we're temporarily making it so the others can be used by everyone. We promise we'll get this done as soon as posible and things will return to normal - just with much better toilets.
Re-surfacing the two paths from the visitor centre to the cliffs has been a welcome move for our visitors, especially during the recent snow.
The new cycle shelter hasn't had a lot of use just yet - but we hope that when the weather picks up, more cyclists will stand on those pedals and head in our direction.
If you know anyone who's a keen cyclist, let them know about the Big Skie Bike Rides in the Wolds. One of them comes to Bempton, so they can combine a ride through beautiful countryside with a visit to one of this country's best spring and summer wildlife spectacles.
Not yet the busiest spot at Bempton - bring on the cyclists.