This bird reserve in Yorkshire is an excellent one to introduce grandchildren to the delights of birds. At some reserves, you can expect to see certain species, but at this one you are guaranteed that they are there! The best time to go is the breeding season, May/June.
You walk through a meadow awash with wild flowers, accompanied by the song of skylarks. The height of the cliffs shields you from the smell, noise and sight of the birds till you are at the viewing platform – then it hits you, hundreds of noisy birds wheeling around; sitting on their nests, precariously balanced in ledges, or swimming on the sea. Gannets, guillemots, razorbills, puffins, kittiwake and fulmar – a full role call of cliff nesting birds. They are all close to see, especially the gannets. They come close, seeming to hang in the air as they ride the wind, which sometimes is quite strong and cold, coming off the North Sea.
There are paths along the cliff top, and viewing areas in several areas. Fences protect people from venturing too close the edge. There are information boards for added interest.
The visitor centre there has been recently updated and is excellent. There are two large screens beaming images of gannets on their nests. To amuse children there was a table of activities, colouring and making things. A lower table had childrens books and toys. Hot drinks and sandwiches were available, and there was a large shop. Outside a covered area had seats overlooking a feeding station, where tree sparrows were hoping around. In the centre, and around the site, RSPB helpers were on hand to point things out.
I went there on a RSPB coach trip from the midlands, and met up with my daughter in law and two grandchildren, who live nearby, and had an excellent day out.