Trip report - north east England

14th June 2014
Dates: 11th to 13th June 2014

Destination: north east England

Purpose of trip:

The purpose of my trip was to visit 2 of the best seabird colonies in England: Bempton Cliffs in east Yorkshire and the Farne Islands in Northumberland.

Wikipedia – Bempton Cliffs

RSPB – Bempton Cliffs

Wikipedia – Farne Islands

National Trust – Farne Islands

Wild Sight - Farne Islands

In addition, on the final day I visited Grinton Moor between Swaledale and Wensleydale in North Yorkshire, an area I had previously visited for moorland species.

Getting there and getting around:

I travelled up to Hull by Megabus on 11th June 2014 and returned on 13th June 2014. I used the Megabusplus service i.e. train between London St Pancras International and East Midlands Parkway and coach between East Midlands Parkway and Hull. The fares were excellent value, £8 for the outward journey and £15 for the return journey.

In Glasgow, I hired a car from the afternoon of 11th June 2014 to the afternoon of 13th June 2014 from Europcar for £43.20 reduced by 11% Quidco cashback to £38.45.

On the nights of 11th and 12th June 2014, I stayed at the Travelodge - Skeeby near Scotch Corner for £67 for both nights.

For my Farne Islands trip, I booked with Billy Shiel’s Farne Island boat trips, specifically the ”All Day Bird Watch” trip which allowed 2 hours each on Staple Island and Inner Farne.


I had been keeping the weather forecast under regular review, hoping for a 2 day good weather slot before my trip to north Scotland.

Having found a good weather forecast, I quickly made my bookings and the weather did indeed turn out to be very warm and sunny with very little wind for the duration of my trip.


The following summarises the bird species seen on my trip.

Bempton Cliffs: Gannet, Puffin, Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Herring Gull, Tree Sparrow, Swallow, Jackdaw, Skylark, Corn Bunting

Seahouses: Eider, Heron, Cormorant, Fulmar, Herring Gull, Swift, Swallow

Farne Islands: Puffin, Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Shag, Cormorant, Fulmar, Gannet, Arctic Tern, Common Tern, Sandwich Tern, Eider, Rock Pipit, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull

Grinton Moor: Red Grouse, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Curlew, Meadow Pipit

The seabird colonies at Bempton Cliffs and the Farne Islands provided an awesome experience with huge numbers of seabirds viewable at very close proximity, particularly at the latter.

The Farne Islands additionally provided excellent views of large numbers of Atlantic Grey Seals.

Grinton Moor provided at least 25 Red Grouse with numerous juveniles and 10 Golden Plovers also with juveniles.

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