Beauty at Bempton Cliffs

Gannet flying June 28 7966

Image: Northern Gannet kiting, Bempton Cliffs, England. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 280 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO 400, hand-held

Artie’s Instructional Photo Tour began with a trip down the eastern border of Scotland into England.  We gathered all the participants in Edinburgh and were driven in a van by Peter, one of the photographers.

map

The countryside was full of farm land and gentle rolling hills. The grey stone buildings gave way to red brick houses with white window trim. We arrived in Bridlington, England in the evening and set out immediately for Bempton Cliffs despite the sunny skies that make it hard to photograph white and black birds due to the contrast and shadows. 

Bempton Cliffs June 27 2744

Image: Bempton Cliffs, England. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 200 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO 400, hand-held

It was worth the trip and we got acquainted with the Northern Gannets, a large sea bird, and their flying patterns. 

Gannets landing June 28 8088

Image: Northern Gannet kiting, Bempton Cliffs, England. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 270 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO 640, hand-held

Many other species were nesting on the cliffs, including the Common Guillemots, Kittiwake Gulls, Razorbills and my favorite, the Atlantic Puffin. The Northern Gannets, however, were the focus of our photography on these cliffs due to the large number of them and their activity. 

Gannets flying June 27 2949

Image: Northern Gannets flying, Bempton Cliffs, England. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 500 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO 400, hand-held

We worked on various shots of them—some posing, some flying and some landing. There were several pairs of gannets on the cliffs demonstrating mating behaviors that were quite touching and melted my heart.

Gannets June 28 7452

Image: Northern Gannets bonding, Bempton Cliffs, England. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 500 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO 400, hand-held

Because the wings have extra joints, it was fascinating watching how they landed.

Gannets landing June 28 7814

Image: Northern Gannet landing, Bempton Cliffs, England. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 290 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO 400, hand-held

We saw several gannets going out for nesting material and bringing it back.

Gannet nesting June 28 7938

Image: Northern Gannet flying with nesting material, Bempton Cliffs, England. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 380 mm, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO 400, hand-held

We even got a peek at some chicks when the gannet adults moved around on their nests. 

Gannet baby June 28 6881.jpg

Image: Northern Gannet adult and chick, Bempton Cliffs, England. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500mm at 500 mm, f/6.3, 1/2000 sec, ISO 800, hand-held

We have had some very long days as we leave around 5:30-6:00am and shoot for several hours and head out agin late in the afternoon into the night.  I am very behind on my photo processing, but much of the shooting has been magical and I can’t wait to share!

Author: Dr. Amy Novotny

Amy Novotny is a physical therapist, marathon/ultra runner and nature photographer. She treats patients for a variety of conditions but specializes in chronic pain and calming an overactive nervous system using special diaphragmatic breathing. She has used this technique to help her qualify and run in four Boston marathons! She enjoys the outdoors and can often be found running and hiking on trails in throughout Arizona. She attempts to capture the beauty of nature with her photography both locally in Arizona and also throughout the United States. She is becoming more interested in wildlife photography and attempting to capture the emotion of animal interactions. In her spare time, Amy volunteers as a photo guide for the Arizona Highways PhotoScapes nonprofit and shares her joy of nature with others. Please feel free to contact her regarding her photography, physical therapy or running.

24 thoughts on “Beauty at Bempton Cliffs”

  1. These birds are stunning! Your pictures of them are just gorgeous. I particularly like the photo of the mating pair; just magical. Thank you so much for sharing these and I can’t wait for more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gosh Amy just beautiful…if I keep showing my husband your photos of where you go, he is going to say we don’t need to go now, just look at Amys pictures…lol…makes me want to book a flight…best adventures to you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy, These are just wonderful. I am so jealous. Three years ago when were there we were not able to photograph the Gannets. Love the landing shot and especially the bonding. Wonderful images!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are just spectacular Amy! I SO love the one of the pair in the “loving embrace” – precious. The other pair flying is a great capture as well. And then to be rewarded with the babies! Looks like you are off to a good start on this part of the trek 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy, You have certainly found your calling, in addition to PT! These are AMAZING! The detail! Some of them look like paintings. SO beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanx for including the maps with your outstanding photos and commentary. I hope you can keep up the quality of your posts – they’re becoming addictive almost.

    Liked by 1 person

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