Wednesday 30 June 2021

Black-browed Albatross at last

Black-browed Albatross is just about the dream for all birders. I remember growing up in the 1990's and seeing the photos of the Hermaness in Shetland, which had been present since the 1970's. The idea of seeing such an epic bird among our epic seabirds just seemed like a dream to me. But as a youth Shetland seemed an impossibility to get to and once this individual disappeared, this southern hemisphere species became sort after by a new generation of birders. 

But history can repeat itself and a new individual has been hanging around the North Sea since it first appeared on German island, Heligoland in 2014. It's made several visits to Britain during it's stay but all have been brief and last year I missed it by a day when it visited Bempton Cliffs for the second brief time. 

News earlier in the year of it's apparent demise at the claws of a gang of White-tailed Eagles obviously was shocking news and indeed it appeared to be true. That was until Monday, when it was sighted heading towards Bempton Cliffs! Tuesday it spent all day hanging around the area and came back into the cliffs to roost. 

A 2.45am start this morning with Dad saw us in situ by 5.30am but there was no sign. The crowd became increasingly restless until 7.30 when finally the shouts went up! For the rest of the morning we enjoyed some terrific and very special views, often at point blank range of this amazing, dream seabird. 

Frustrating to photograph, I never really got 'the' shots but the views were frankly epic and ones neither Dad or I will ever forget. 

A Black-browed Albatross in Britain, England no-less! A school boy dream realised. 

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