DO’S AND DON’T’S
1 DO YOUR HOMEWORK: As you’ve seen, some seabird sites require boat and ferry trips, or overnight stays, while any seabird-watching day can be spoiled by the British weather. Book ahead, keep an eye on the forecast, and try to rearrange if it looks like it will be blowing a gale.
2 DRESS TO BEAT THE MESS: Warm, waterproof clothing is a must, as even on fine days sea spray and wind can take their toll. And always wear a hat – seabirds lose their appeal when they poop on you, or worse, attack your bare head.
3 GO EQUIPPED: A spotting scope is always worth taking, if you have one, and even a small compact camera can get great pics at seabird cities as it’s their overall scale that really blows you away. Above all, take your lens cleaning kit – sea spray, again, can be a pest.
4 GET YOUR TIMING RIGHT: Many seabirds breed late, so check websites to see when numbers are at their peak. Generally, May to the end of August is the breeding season for seabirds.
5 DON’T GET TUNNEL VISION: Great as seabird cities are, don’t forget to scan out to sea, for passing non-breeding species, or around you onshore – a bird in the car-park might be worth two on the cliff.