Another early start. This time a seriously early one. A perfect insomniac storm. 3am. Hawklad has woken and can’t sleep. I have not been to bed yet and sleep feels a million miles away.

Hawklad wonders if we can see the dawn brake. On the coast.

So a few moments later and after I had sampled the meanest of espressos, we are driving. Driving past badgers, foxes and owls. Before 4am we arrive at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. It’s still pitch black and we have the site to ourselves. It’s such an eerie feeling walking in the complete absence of light and sound. Even to early for the thousands of seabirds perched precariously on the cliffs. No wind and even the sea was strangely becalmed.

In perfect time to watch dawn brake. No thoughts of an Albatross who was apparently out at sea. Who needs one bird when you get to watch all this unfold.

The dark was a challenge to my iPhone camera but it gave it a go.

By 7am a few people had started to arrive, mainly here to take up prime spots and wait. Hoping on catching sight of one particular bird. They had no idea what they had just missed. The deafening sound of seabirds hides the peace that existed just 2 hours ago.

We were back in the car and driving a few minutes later. The site had lost its appeal to Hawklad. Even a handful of strangers proving too much for him. But he had got to see a spectacular show first hand. Just the two of us so without his anxieties. He slept during the ride home.

Yes it was a ridiculously early start. Yes I went more than 24 hours without sleep. But it was worth it for those couple of hours when Hawklad felt that he had the world to himself. I suspect it won’t be the last time we do this. Yes there will be time for trips out to build those social bridges but those come with anxieties. We all need these times and places of sanctuary. Hawklad does. Yes even a worn down parent needs them.

54 thoughts on “Birds at dawn

  1. A moment you’ll both never forget. As a hiker I used to get right in the woods at sunrise. And at times, sunset. Greeting the day with solitude and beauty is a gift. And what a gift you shared with him; even in your exhaustive state. 💚💛❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful photos and thank you for sharing them with us.
    As much as I am not that of an early morning starter, to see that, that definitely would be nice.
    And then go and catch up on further sleep after.


  3. Sending matchsticks for the eyes… Dawn breaking (or braking – I’m now doubting myself) is spectacular whether it’s some seventh wonder, Canary Wharf after an all-nighter negotiating something pointless or a piece of Yorkshire cliff art.


  4. As children, we go through many ailments, some are spiritual, while some are medical but I’ll forever be grateful to parents for not giving up on us.

    I am grateful to you single parent for not giving up on your son!


  5. Your photos took my breath away and my heart now longs for this. I have no words there isn’t no way to describe it but I believe my heart can. Thank you for sharing this with all of us as well. I do hope you two venture out soon. This is so good for both of you. Hugs Gary💕


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