Wildlife watching in May

Go wildlife watching in MayPuffin © Lynne Newton

The frenzy of the breeding season is now underway, with the impressive seabird colony of the Flamborough Headland offering one of the UK’s finest wildlife spectacles

RSPB Bempton Cliffs is possibly the most accessible seabird viewing colony in the UK, and May sees a flurry of activity as thousands of seabirds return to the cliffs to breed. The first sightings of charismatic puffins making their homes on the cliffs are always a favourite at this time of year.
With the return of the seabirds, so too returns one of Yorkshire’s best wildlife activities – boat trips to get a seal’s eye view of the impressive colony. RSPB run Puffin and Gannet Cruises aboard the Yorkshire Belle pleasure cruiser which take passengers around the impressive Flamborough Headland. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust work with local fishermen to run Living Seas Safari boat trips on traditional fishing boats which leave from North Landing, Flamborough.

Budding and experienced photographers alike will love the range of seabird photography workshops of offer from Yorkshire Coast Nature, including Diving Gannet photography workshops aboard a boat as featured on BBC Countryfile.

May is also a perfect time to look for rare birds, with Spurn, Flamborough and Filey amongst the best places in the country to go. Watch out for summer migrants returning to our shores, with continental treats such as Icterine warbler, red-backed shrike or wryneck among them. Keep up to date with the latest sightings on the Spurn Bird Observatory, Flamborough Bird Observatory and Filey Bird Observatory websites.

Inland, wildlife is just as exuberant, with the region’s wetland reserves offering views of a huge range of species. Avocets and other waders will start egg laying, with YWT North Cave Wetlands, YWT Kilnsea Wetlands and RSPB Blacktoft Sands great places to visit.

Another springtime favourite, visit YWT North Cliffe Wood (near YWT North Cave Wetlands) and Millington Woods for impressive displays of bluebells and other woodland flowers.

Yorkshire Coast Nature

Yorkshire Coast Nature is an independent Yorkshire based wildlife tourism company offering a variety of activity tours, events and workshops for all levels of interest from beginner to advanced. Visit www.yorkshirecoastnature.co.uk to view all tours, events and workshops.