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The story behind the shots – Gannets at Bempton Cliffs

Bempton Cliffs is an RSPB reserve with a fabulous seabird colony just south of Filey and because it’s on the coastal path you can take dogs (happily for Wilf)

Here are a few facts about  Gannets (Northern Gannets if you want to be pedantic😉)

  • They are Britains largest seabird (with a wingspan of two metres)
  • They migrate to Bempton Cliffs each year from West Africa, arriving from early February and leaving by October
  • There are over 11,000 breeding pairs at Bempton
  • They hunt fish by diving into the sea and pursuing them underwater
  • Their eyes are far enough forward to enable binocular vision so they can judge distances accurately
  • They can dive from a hundred feet hitting the water at sixty miles an hour
  • They can do this because their nostrils are inside their mouths and they have air sacs in their face and chest which act as shock absorbers

And yes, the Gannets’ supposed capacity for eating large quantities of fish has led to ‘gannet’ being used to describe someone with a voracious appetite!


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