The seabird cliffs at Bempton are always worth a visit during the breeding season. It is the site of the only mainland colony of Gannets in Britain and is one of the best places to see the other common cliff-nesting seabirds, such as Razorbills, Guillemots and Kittewakes, in England.
The weather conditions were not ideal for photographing the birds flying to and from their nests when I was there early one Sunday morning near the end of the month. The best opportunities arise when there is a strong wind blowing that allows the birds to ride the updraughts and will enable more eye-level views of the birds flying past. If the wind is in the right direction, it also makes focusing much easier as the birds are moving much slower as they labour against the headwind. Unfortunately the day I was there was totally calm and the vast majority of the birds were flying at low level far below the clifftops with only the occassional bird flying past at eye-level.
With a wingspan of almost 2m (6.5ft), the Gannet is Europe's largest seabird.
A male Common Kestrel was hovering over the clifftops, hunting for voles.
Below are a few of the highlights from a moth trap a friend ran in his garden in Swansea on the weekend I was down visiting...
The Elephant Hawkmoth is by far the most colourful of the hawkmoths that occur in Britain. This large (70mm wingspan), spectacular species is common throughout most of England and Wales. Another large, common moth is the Poplar Hawkmoth.
Green Silver-lines, another particularly beautiful moth, is common in deciduous woodlands.
We found the soldierfly below resting on a leaf close to the main pond at Kenfig reserve. Its beautifully vibrant colouration renders this fly unmistakable.
It was only as recently as 2004 that the first ever Bombus hypnorum was recorded in Britain. Since then they have rapidly spread throughout most of England and Wales and it will probably not be long until they reach Scotland. I found numerous examples of this distinctive bee feeding on the Bramble flowers along the banks of the River Trent at my home town of Attenborough this spring, and in places it was almost as common as the abundant B. pascuorum.
Banded Demoiselles are very common at the edges of the ponds and river banks of Attenborough Nature Reserve.
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