Bempton Cliffs looking towards Flamborough Head.
Bempton Cliffs shown within East Riding of Yorkshire
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The hard chalk cliffs at Bempton rise are relatively resistant to erosion and offer lots of sheltered headlands and crevices for nesting birds. The cliffs run about 6 miles (10 km) from Flamborough Head north towards Filey and are over 100 metres (330 ft) high at points.
There are good walkways along the top of the cliffs and several well fenced and protected observation points. Most times there will be helpful bird watchers with a range of scopes and binoculars on hand.
The Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica) at Bempton Cliffs tend to nest in rock crevices, whereas burrows are used at most UK sites. For this reason, although there are estimated to be around 6,000 (2005) birds, it is relatively difficult to get a close view of them. Nevertheless, there are plenty to be seen in May and June.
The Bempton puffins mostly fly 25 miles (40 km) east to the Dogger Bank to feed. Their numbers may however be adversely affected by a reduction in local sand eel numbers caused by global warming, in turn caused by plankton being driven north by the 2 degree rise in local sea temperatures.
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