SAVE BEMPTON CLIFFS FROM FRACKING!
Photo journal of the Gannet colony at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire
IF YOU DON'T WANT TO LOSE THIS NATURE RESERVE YOU NEED TO TAKE ACTION NOW - SIGN THE PETITION TO STOP FRACKING AT BEMPTON CLIFFS
- AND PASS IT ON TO YOUR FRIENDS.
I am republishing this as a protest against the decision to allow fracking in this area - PLEASE HELP
|Gannets with Chicks at RSPB Bempton Cliffs|
Watching the huge colony of breeding gannets at Bempton Cliffs Yorkshire is a birder's idea of heaven. Some 2000 birds come back every year, to the same mate and the same nest site. The purpose-built viewing platforms provide a wonderful opportunity to document the gannet's behaviour. Of the hundreds of photographs I took at Bempton this year, it hasn't been easy to select only 25. These are some of favourites and I hope you enjoy them.
|Adult Gannets on the nest|
The Gannet is an elegant seabird, known as shorebirds in the Americas. They winter mainly in the warm waters off the coast of Africa but breeding adults return to coastal areas of Europe to nest. Interestingly, the juveniles leave the nesting areas when they fledge and join the adults around the Mediterrean. They will be about 3 years old before they return and they will not breed until they are around 10 years old. Juvenile gannets can be identified from the adults because they retain some black markings on body and wings, while breeding adults are pure white with black only on the wing tips and, of course, adults have that beautiful peachy blush on their head and nape.
|Juvenile Gannet about 3 years old|
The nest sites are packed close together on sheer cliff sides. Indeed, one often wonders how chicks and adults manage to maintain a foothold on the cliffs: there is hanging space only in places. In the original gannet pictures you see here, you can identify the youngest chicks as those being the whitest, except for the mud they collect from the seaweed in the nest of course. The darker the chick, the older it is.
|adult gannet with chick in nest -|
|Adult Gannet and Gannet Chick on Cliff Nest|
The chick in the picture above is relatively young compared to this one
|Adult Gannet with Gannet Chick on Cliff Edge Nest|
All the images on this page are by the author - please do not copy them.
Adult gannets in bonding, preening and greeting rituals
|Adult Gannets Preening - bonding ritual|
Gannet coming in to land
The elegant Gannet was caught in flight as it comes into land. He is collecting grass and so on for the nest.
Nests need constant attention so collecting fresh grass and seaweed is a frequent task. I was lucky to be able to get quite close to this chat - he landed close to the fence at the viewing point.
|Adult Gannet coming in to land RSPB Bempton Cliffs|
|Adult Gannet spreads his wings|
|Gannet collecting grass to freshen their nest|