East Yorkshire offers an enchanting tapestry of wildlife habitats that beckon both seasoned nature enthusiasts and curious explorers alike. From rugged cliffs to serene wetlands, each corner of this region teems with life, promising unforgettable encounters with some of Britain's most iconic species.

So pack your binoculars, lace up your walking boots, and join us as we embark on a journey through the top wildlife spots in East Yorkshire!

RSPB Bempton Cliffs

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RSPB Bempton Cliffs is a sanctuary for seabirds, boasting one of the most spectacular seabird colonies in the whole of the UK. From March to October, the cliffs come alive with the vibrant hues of puffins, razorbills, guillemots, and gannets, all nesting precariously on the sheer rock faces.

Take a stroll along the well-marked paths, pausing to admire their aerial displays and melodious calls. With breathtaking vistas stretching out to the North Sea, Bempton Cliffs offers a captivating glimpse into the world of coastal birdlife.

To get up close to these impressive creatures, take a 3-hour seabird cruise from nearby Bridlington and watch in awe as the birds glide overhead and dive into the sea in search of their next meal. Get your cameras ready as you’re guaranteed to get some incredible shots.

Once the seabird have migrated, the wintering birds of prey become the stars of the show. Join a guided walk for your chance to spot short-eared owls, peregrine falcons, kestrels, barn owls and sparrow hawks.

Learn more about RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Spurn Nature Reserve

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A slender strip of land jutting into the Humber Estuary, Spurn Nature Reserve is a haven for migratory birds and rare wildlife. Wander through the dunes and salt marshes, keeping your eyes peeled for elusive species such as the pied flycatcher, wheatear, and spoonbill.

During the autumn months, Spurn becomes a bustling thoroughfare for thousands of birds embarking on their epic journey southwards, making it a prime spot for birdwatching enthusiasts. With its ever-changing landscape shaped by the relentless forces of wind and tide, Spurn Nature Reserve offers a serene retreat for those seeking solace in nature.

And to make your visit even more unique, why not enjoy a Spurn Safari? Travelling aboard a specially adapted ex-military Unimog, you’ll hear all about the peninsula’s natural, military and maritime history and you’ll even get to visit the top of the iconic black and white lighthouse, which is the tallest in northern England.

Learn more about Spurn Nature Reserve

Seals at Flamborough

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Tucked away along the rugged coastline, Flamborough is not only renowned for its dramatic cliffs and hidden coves but also for its resident grey and common seal colonies.

Venture to North Landing where you can often spot them basking on the rocks or playing in the waters below.

Join a guided boat tour for an up-close encounter with the seals in their natural habitat, learning about their behaviours and the conservation efforts aimed at protecting their coastal home.

With its unspoiled beauty and abundant wildlife, Flamborough offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Please remember to respect the seals when you visit and keep your distance.

Learn more about Flamborough North Landing

East Yorkshire's wetlands

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From tranquil marshes to bustling reedbeds, East Yorkshire's wetlands provide a vital haven for a diverse array of bird species and aquatic life.

Explore reserves such as Tophill Low where you can stroll through 300 acres of scenic woods and wetlands with the likes of dragonflies and otters to keep you company.

At North Cave Wetlands, you can enjoy scenic trails and observe rare birds such as bitterns, marsh harriers, and avocets In fact. North Cave has up to 2% of the national breeding population of avocets, one of Yorkshire’s biggest sand martin colonies and up to 2,000 pairs of black-headed gulls,

Whether you're a seasoned birder or a novice nature lover, the super-charged habitats of East Yorkshire's wetlands are great to visit. 

Dolphins off the East Yorkshire coast

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On your exploration of the East Yorkshire Coast, you may well be treated to a magical encounter with dolphins frolicking in the waves. Guests on board the Yorkshire Belle, which departs from Bridlington and takes visitors on a journey along the rugged coastline, often spot these playful marine mammals. 

If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, pods of dolphins can often be seen as you stroll along Sewerby Cliff Tops.

Red kites over the Yorkshire Wolds

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As you wander the rolling hills and lush valleys of the Yorkshire Wolds, keep a watchful eye on the skies above as you may just spot the graceful silhouettes of red kites soaring overhead.

Once on the brink of extinction in England, these magnificent birds of prey have made a remarkable comeback thanks to concerted conservation efforts and can now be seen right across the Yorkshire Wolds. With their distinctive forked tails and huge wingspan of up to 5 feet, they really are an impressive sight against in the untamed landscapes of East Yorkshire.

Learn more about the Yorkshire Wolds

We always love to see your encounters with East Yorkshire's wildlife so don't forget to tag us in on Facebook, Instagram and X at Visit East Yorkshire.