Thursday, 4 April 2013

Red Throated Diver at Flamborough Head

You might be wondering why I have not blogged for a while, and the answer is because I have been in Yorkshire exploring the wonderful countryside and wildlife. As the city of Leeds came into view on the way there, four Red Kites appeared where they had been re-introduced. Our first stop was Flamborough Head to see if any Guillemots, Razorbills, Gannets or Puffins had returned and when we arrived there were much more than I expected (except Puffins, I only saw three at Bempton Cliffs, which I will go in to in my next blog). 

This is the spectacular view from the top of Flamborough Cliffs. The pictures are all a bit dull, as it was so cloudy and it even snowed a bit, but it gives you a good idea of what we saw.

As you can see there were plenty of birds on the water, but one in particular caught my eye...if you click on the pictures you get a bigger image.

A small grebe shaped bird kept diving and coming back up and as I peered through my binoculars I realised it was a Red Throated  Diver; it was great to see and it was the first time I have ever seen one.

Even though they are my least favourite diver out of the Great Northern and Black Throated Diver, it really made my day.

There were plenty of Fulmars that have arrived, I love the tube-nose on the top of the bill, they have greyish black wings and tail and a almost pure white face.

The bird that is always mistaken for a Cormorant, the Shags paid quite a few visits to the cliffs. 

Some white and black birds caught my eye whey out at sea, and when I looked through my binoculars I realised that there we both male and female Eider ducks, I have never seen one of those birds before either.

At Flamborough we also managed to see a Skylark and 3 red deer.

Flamborough Head also has a Lighthouse that was built in 1806 by John Matson from Bridlington without using any scaffolding. It is 85 feet tall. My brother Harley really likes lighthouses.

There is also a very, very old beacon light tower dating back to 1674 and the only known example in England.  It is the oldest surviving complete light house in England standing at 79 feet high.

So that is part one of my trip to Yorkshire, more to come soon.


  1. congrats on your vacation and birding trip!

  2. Great images I like Harewood House in Leeds my mum goes to a dog show there every year and normally I tag along just to see the Kites. I'm shocked at the low Puffin count as I've been there On March 24th and seen loads so hopefully the Bempton Cliff population aren't part of the Puffins that were found dead in Scotland/North Sea, I lokk forward to your next post.

  3. I can see you've been having a great time Findlay with some really interesting sightings. I live in a completely landlocked area and with a minimum drive of three hours to get to the seaside I very rarely see the birds you saw. Very well done on spotting the Red-throated Diver, I've never seen one at all!

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip to Yorkshire Findlay. You saw an impressive amount of bird life and even managed to get a couple of new 'ticks', can't be bad!.
    That old beacon tower looks interesting, did you get to go inside(up) it?...[;o)

  5. Pleased to see that you've discovered the delights of the Yorkshire coast Findlay. It's one of my favourite birding areas. You did see some great birds, although I can't agree with your order of preference for the Divers. My preferences are based on summer plumage. My favorite by far is the Black-throated, very closely followed by the Red-throated (partly influenced by this being the diver I've seen least of!), and then, trailing way behind, the G-N.

    Those Fulmar have probably been there a while already. There were plenty near Whitby in mid-February.

    That beacon light tower looks wonderful. Must visit next time I'm in the area.

  6. I really enjoyed this post of your trip to the coast! Wonderful photos - you saw some great birds!

    - Wally (Florida, USA)

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