WHEN tens of thousands of gannets decide it’s feeding time, competition for fish is bound to be fierce – as these spectacular images captured off the East Yorkshire coast demonstrate.

Bempton Cliffs, near Bridlington, is home to England’s largest gannetry. About half a million seabirds gather at the RSPB reserve between March and October to raise a family on towering chalk cliffs which overlook the North Sea.

Most of the seabirds have now gone, but the northern gannets will remain until October.

Gannets dive into the ocean from a height of up to 40m above the sea – four times as high as the top board in an Olympic pool – reaching speeds of up to 100kph.

To cope with the violent impact with the water, the gannet has inflatable air sacs under the skin of its chest and face and no external nostrils –they are located inside its bill – to stop seawater shooting into its lungs.

Autumn hioghlights at Bempton Cliffs include short-eared owls arriving to stay for the winter and the arrival of migrants such as willow warblers, chiffchaffs, whitethroats, lesser whitethroats, reed warblers, sedge warblers, goldcrests, stonechats, whinchats, wheatears and redstarts.