The aroma, noise and constant activity of a cliff full of stinky auks, Gannets and Kittiwakes is always a stirring experience, so it would be churlish to get too bothered over the great big Black-browed sized hole in the Bempton Cliffs seabird spectacle today.
The absence of the albatross in the room detracted from the atmosphere somewhat, as did the solo drive over and back.
The in-car conversation just ain’t as sparkling when you’re twitching solo, but at least I get to choose the music, and it’s safer.
Either way, a closed M62 made the journey over a tad onerous early doors, and Saddleworth was invisible both ways.
Bempton was as stinky and thrilling as ever though, with the tang of the Covid edge hanging in the air more pungently than the smell of stale guano.
Even with 200 odd birders strung across the cliffs first thing social distancing was possible, as long as you avoided the viewing platforms at times.
Especially chatting to friends at a careful distance during a prolonged dip.
You know it’s not there, I know it’s not there – stop ogling that Puffin!!!!
With the added bonus of a soaking wet and seriously grumpy Long Eared Owl on the cliff-top early on, before it flopped off inland over the grasslands, I put in eight hours in the hope that yesterday’s magnificent Black Browed Albatross would materialise out of the cloud of seabirds.
Brief rubbish video of Mr Grumpy Owl on You Tube here.
Plenty of Guillemots, Razorbills, Puffins, Gannets and Fulmars to distract from the lack of the big boy, one, possibly two Bonxies offshore and the grasslands shivering with Tree Sparrows and Skylarks, plus a Siskin or two through.
There’s no show without Punch, and there’s only so long you can listen to folk praising Puffins, so I pulled out and headed home over the Yellowhammer and Corn Bunting-rich Wolds just before 3pm.
You win some, you lose some.
Catch you next time, you smug tubby little fish parrots.