Thursday, 2 October 2014

Another Seal Pup.

Unfortunately my last post about the first seal pup did not end to good, as it was washed off the rocks and did not survive, but today we saw another new born seal pup and this one had very mixed emotion's too.

It was not until our second trip out this afternoon that we saw a new born on the rocks at the north west end of North Wamses and if it was not for the wind on the south side of the islands, forcing us to go to the north side then I don't think we would have seen it at all.

When we first saw it, we all went ahhhh including myself, but then the ahhhh's went to oh no in the matter of seconds as a wave came in and knocked it off the rocks and into the water.

I could not look, as I thought that's it another one lost but I have to give this little pup some due as it was as brave as hell and it made it back the rocks and hauled itself out.

Everyone on the boat breathed a sigh of relief but it looked shocked and shattered.

The wind started to pick up again and yet another wave came in and knocked the pup off the rocks. Oh no not again, please.

The emotion's were sky high on the boat but everyone was praying for a happy ending.

As we watched the pup struggle to stay a float, then all of a sudden its mother appeared and then rescue mission started.

She nudged her nose into the pups tail and encouraged it back towards the rocks. The waves were hitting it harder and harder, but this little fella was not going to give up and its mother was not going to let it happen neither. She managed to get the pup close enough to the rocks and with the waves still hitting the pup she gently coaxed the pup back into dry land.

Again everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

We watched as the mother made the pup climb further up the rocks so that the waves did not hit it again and then we left them alone.

I later got a text to say that the wardens had seen it up high on the rocks and that the sun was drying it out.

Here is some pictures of today's events.








       
To see the look in the mothers eye after she got the pup to safety was just amazing. It taught me a lot about the bond between a mother and her child and this is the strongest bond I have ever seen and this is why this pup will survive.
  

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Basking Shark

What a day and what a sight......

I was in the harbour this morning waiting to pick up my guests when I got a phone call from a friend saying that he had seen something in the water like a whale or a shark but he was not sure what it was.

Quick as a flash I had the throttle up and I was on my way out to the area he was. We were about 2 miles from Seahouses when we spotted Gannets diving then all of a sudden a dorsal fin appeared at the surface.

As we got closer it disappeared but then all of a sudden it was back at the surface right beside the boat.

Oh my god it was a Basking Shark and a big one too. It must have been about 30 foot.

At first I was shocked just how big it was but then you just have to stare at this amazing beast.

It was gliding gracefully through the water eating plankton along the way and you could tell it was a big shark as it's dorsal fin flopped over at it breached the surface.

We followed it for about half an hour and then I realized that I had guests waiting on the pier to be picked up so I headed back to the harbour.

It just goes to show how carried away you can get when you see something amazing like this and so close up too.

I do this job everyday and it still blows me away with what we see.











First seal pup of the year

On my sail around this morning we stopped at the Longstone to see the seals, when I noticed the first seal pup of the year lying on the rocks.

Firstly I was gob smacked it was so quick and secondly where it was, as I've never seen a seal pup on that area before.

It was near the end of the Longstone and it was just above the tide line. It seemed to be enjoying the September sun but its mother was not in sight.

On my second trip out the tide was coming in fast and it had covered the area where it was but as I looked a bit more I noticed it was a bit further up but this time it did not look so happy as the seas were a bit close to it and it was soaking wet.

I do hope we don't get any bad sea's to knock it off and I do hope its mother is not to far away.

My fingers are crossed and I will see what tomorrow brings.

Here are some pictures and come on fella you can make it.



Monday, 15 September 2014

Just an update

Its been very quite around the Farnes lately but one or two good birds have been dropping in but unfortunaly I have never been able to see them.

We have been getting a good few Guillemots and Puffins hanging around Inner Sound and Staple Sound which is really nice for myself as well as our guests as they think they have missed them for the year, and we have seen a good few Harbour Porpoise too.




I have also been seeing the usual suspects coming in again and the numbers are starting to build up too, with the Purple Sandpipers and Golden Plovers being the main ones.




At this time of the year we get to see the Fulmars come into their own as they glide past the boat and often using the boat to show off the flying skills. They are beautiful birds and to see them in a best light has to be our Sunset Cruise.  


We also have seen a good few Manx Shearwaters go north, but not a many as last year.


The Gannets again have been lovely to see.


We also noticed the same seal for two days using the cardinal bouy as its place to rest. I'm surprised they don't use it more often to be honest.  
 

 
I also noticed four Roseate Terns on the Knivestone and the Longstone at the weekend, with a Turnstone keeping a good eye out for it. It was also nice to see an Eider Duck back into its beautiful plumage after moulting.
 

 
 Hopefully over the next few days with the slight easterly wind coming in I might get to see some good birds too. I have heard Mr Steel, the head warden of the Farnes getting some good birds drop in to say hello so fingers crossed for myself.

Anyway here is a couple of pictures of The Pele Tower, The Inner Farne's cliff face and Bamburgh Castle as we wrap up our last two Sunset Cruises for the year.





 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Sandwich Terns

Everyone that comes to the Farnes are obsessed on getting pictures of the Puffins with sand eels in their bills so this time I have decided to try and change that trend and get Sandwich Terns with fish in their bills.

Luckily at this time of the year you can watch what they are doing as they seem to have a bit of a routine so the shots are not as difficult as the Puffins.

Saying that they are still a bit of a challenge but hopefully I have captured the moment for you.








Monday, 18 August 2014

Our Sightings

Its been a really mixed week this week and it started last Monday when I was out with divers.

We had finished our dive at the Big Harcar and we were lying at Staple Island as it was sheltered so it was easier for me to make the guys a cup of coffee, when one of them shouted look at this.

The sea had come alive with Coalfish jumping out of the water. The only ever time I had seen this was on the TV when a whale rounds the shoal of fish up and then eats them.

I waited and waited to see if there was something around but nothing surfaced.

It happened again about 20 minutes later and again nothing surfaced.

I thought this was a one off but it happened again the next day and a few more times during the week.
I gave one the guys a call on the Islands to see if they had seen it and they had. They thought it was a young seal not knowing what it was doing or just having a bit of fun.

Whatever it was it was just amazing to watch and I did manage to get a few pictures too.



The gulls were on the ball as they also got an easy meal.

 
There still has been a good few feeding frenzies going on and even the Gannets have been getting in on the feast.



A picture of the sand eels taken from the surface.


A nice little yaught passed the islands but it was the sail reflection in the water that caught my eye.


The Golden Plover numbers are increasing


as well as the Turnstones


 and we have had a good few Gannets passing throught the islands.



a few Harbour Porpoise have been sighted lately.


but the biggest sighting we have had this week was the Saga Sapphire passing the Inner Farne before heading out to sea.

They say she a small ship carrying 720 passengers, weighing 37,301 tones but she is not small compared to me or even the Inner Farne.



 
 

A seal playing with one of the lobster pot bouys.


Our first Sooty Shearwater of the year flying north past the Brownsman


but the Coalfish stole the show this week and they can jump some height out of the water aswell.

So here is the last picture of them clean out if the water.