Facebook fame for pair

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NOT to be outshone by Countryfile presenter Matt Baker’s recent visit to RSBP Bempton Cliffs, the reserve’s true celebrities are set for internet fame.

Gannet couple Peckster and Flip, who were named by Bridlington primary school children, have become firm favourites with staff and visitors to Bempton for being the first to do everything.

Every year they are the first pair to return to the same spot in the cliffs and are usually the first to nest and hatch their chick – and now they will be the first of Bempton’s gannets to star on Facebook.

CCTV cameras, which are beaming live images back to the visitor centre, have revealed that the couple have already laid their egg, and updates on the feathered family’s progress will be posted regularly on RSPB Bempton’s Facebook page.

Steve Race, community officer at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, said: “Peckster and Flip have become something of celebrities among our thousands of visitors.

“This year we are giving everyone who wants to follow the progress of these two wonderful birds the chance to keep bang up to date by following them on Facebook.”

Peckster and Flip live among the 20,000 gannets at RSPB Bempton Cliffs – the only place in mainland England where these birds breed.

“At this time of year, things are really hotting up among this amazing seabird colony,” said Steve. “Already thousands and thousands of birds, including those endearing puffins, razorbills and guillemots, have returned to these magnificent chalk cliffs and are building nests on the impossibly-narrow ledges.

“Most of them are incredibly easy to see from our specially-built viewing platforms – and the brand-new CCTV cameras are giving us even better insights into the lives of the birds nesting on the famous Staple Newk rock outcrop.”

BBC Countryfile recently featured the gannets as part of a feature on the Yorkshire Wolds which saw Matt Baker take a tour of the reserve.

The programme was watched by 6.29 million people and is sure to have boosted Bempton Cliff’s national profile in a similar way to its appearance on Springwatch did three years ago.

You can follow Peckster and Flip’s progress on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RSPBBemptonCliffs.