Cruising for birds at reserve

THE RSPB has announced details of bird-watching cruises around the 400ft cliffs at its Bempton reserve near Scarborough.

The bird charity runs two sets of cruises each year.

On the first set, from May 5 to July 14, passengers should see the hundreds of thousands of seabirds that battle to raise their young on the high cliffs.

They include gannets, puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots and fulmars.

The reserve is the country’s only mainland gannetry.

The boat gets as close as possible to the cliffs.

The sight, sound - especially the noisy kittiwakes - and smell of birds at such close quarters is an experience few forget.

On the second set of cruises, from September 2 to October 6, passengers will see migrating seabirds such as skuas, shearwaters, terns, auks and gulls as they start their flights south for the winter.

The boat sails up to three miles out to sea, tempting birds to fly close to the boat by spreading rotting fish.

Cruises take place aboard the Yorkshire Belle.

The cruise starts and finish at Bridlington harbour.