My first long-distance (>10 miles) trip for many months and the monotonous driving experience put me off doing another for many more.

The change of scenery was, however, very refreshing, though for the first hour or two there wasn’t much to be seen as the sea fog was slow to clear. Hence the quality of this early morning shot of a passing Fulmar.


At Bempton, the seabirds were wholly predictable with the exception of Shag which I didn’t see but I learned later that they aren’t many and they hide themselves away. (I did see some on my last trip here about twenty years ago.)

Here follows the clich├ęd set of photos that everyone with a camera comes home with:

Guillemots and Razorbills
Fly-by Gannet

And one that probably doesn’t make it onto most photographers’ slideshow. I didn’t take a flora with me but I learned years ago that if you see a plant at the seaside and it looks slightly different to a familiar one, stick the word ‘sea’ in front of it and that’s probably what it is – hence this is Sea Mayweed.

Sea Mayweed (Tripleurospermum maritimum)

And this one, at Flamborough Head, is Sea Plantain. It was growing cheek by jowl with Buck’s-horn Plantain but doesn’t have the toothed leaves.

Sea Plantain

I don’t see many Rock Pipits, and especially not in summer and although they look pretty different I had forgotten, if indeed, I ever knew, that they have a song and parachuting display flight that is a lot like Meadow Pipit. This discombobulated me for a while.

Rock Pipit

I know Portland Bill much better than I know Flamborough Head and the latter is much more interesting and varied – and dangerous! The day’s deficiency in Shags was rectified here with one flying by just offshore.

Northern? Marsh Orchid

I cheated with this one as an information panel said that Marsh Orchids grow there and BSBI maps shows that Northern Marsh occurs in three tetrads around Flamborough (though there is a square for Southern nearby). The colour of the flowers, though, has not rendered as the “deep velvety magenta with a deep crimson tone when fresh” described by Harrap but Dave will sort it!

And Dave has! Northern Marsh Orchid.