So I did, trying not to dwell on the effects of still more socially isolated twitching that range from sucking liquid Mars Bars out of overheated wrappers to that awful moment when you realise the internal conversation you’re having with yourself in the traffic jam is actually an external one and the other motorists are getting nervous.
Oh dear. Ben Gunn wth a buzz-cut.
Pulling up at Bempton Cliffs just after 1230 today (let’s not go in to when I set off) I was in time for a brisk stroll to the crowded cliff edge, a bit of ‘scope jockeying and there it was on the sea a few hundred metres away – Black Browed Albatross.
Through the ‘scope I could see the beast’s great sweep of Amy Winehouse mascara and was pondering why it was playing a yellow recorder until I realised it was its amazing bill.
More so when it occasionally unfurled its super-long thin black wings for a flap – I may have travelled in smaller planes (slight exaggeration, but y’know).
How do you fold those up again???
No matter, I’ve have waited my whole life to see you.
I ‘scoped the bird for the next three and a half hours as it preened, flapped, dozed and gently drifted further out towards Filey Brigg until my eyes burned and it was no more than a black and white speck.
Even at that range when it opened its wings it looked like someone had lost a black paraglider out there.
It held my attention so much that the jarring sounds and smells of Puffin Central barely registered.
Sadly I had to go before it returned to the cliffs in the early evening (I feel a second visit coming on), and my images barely register a pixel or two of it the range got so great, but it’s out there somewhere over towards the Brigg, so much more than a bird and completely seared into my memory…
Fortunately Neill Hunt got a stunning shot of what is presumably the same bird at Bempton last year as it sailed past him (24 hours before I dipped it), so you can see what all the fuss is about. Ta Neill.
Although given the beast is still standing proud on the cliffs as I write this I’m sure there’ll be a lot more pictures tomorrow morning!