Flamborough Head is a large chalk promontory jutting out 6 miles into the North Sea. The geographical position of the Head ensures that it is one of the best seawatching locations in Britain, rivalled perhaps only by some of the Cornish sites. The Head also acts as a magnet for migrants, and the numerous areas of cover frequently yield rare and scarce migrants. Migrants can turn up anywhere on the Head, though some sites habitually attract the quality birds.

Flamborough Head attracts huge numbers of seabirds, the northern cliffs host the largest mainland seabird colony in the UK.  Also, the numbers of shearwaters, skuas, wildfowl and other birds passing over the sea at the Head can be significant with occasional sightings of rarities including multiple sightings of Fea’s Petrel and Black-browed Albatross.  The headland  is also famous for its enviable record of passerine migrants, especially extreme rarities with Crag Martin, Brown Shrike, Taiga Flycatcher, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler, Eastern Crowned Warbler, amongst others, all featuring in recent years. The spectacle of thousands of thrushes making landfall after crossing the North Sea in October is unforgettable.

Birding Sites

The Observatory area can be subdivided into several distinct areas. Buckton and the RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs in the west hold the most breeding seabirds and are the best areas to witness visible migration.  Danes Dyke is a wooded fortification that crosses the entire headland north to south.  East of the Dykes are South Landing, a second wooded valley with a sandy beach, North Landing and Thornwick, a more scrubby area and rocky beaches, some scrub and two pools, North Marsh, a small wetland near the golf course on the north side of the headland. Old Fall Hedge and Plantation, famous for its rarities is always worth a look and finally the extreme Outer Head itself notable for both its passerines and seawatching which now takes place from a new purpose-built observatory on the cliff top.