Monday, 24 November 2014

Winter Wildlife Trip

I had a few people asking about our Winter Wildlife Trips so I decided put a trip on for Saturday 22nd November and I was really pleased with the response and I was looking forward to it.

With the weather changing its mind every two minutes I decided I would take a chance and go for it and I was really pleased I did as it ended up being a cracking day.

On our way out the seas were really big at times and there was a heavy swell in the water but I had to give it a go as some people had come a long way for this trip and I did not want to disappoint them.

Once we arrived at the Farnes I had a little plan in my head of which way I wanted to go and what I was hoping to see, but I did not except to stumble across a cracking Grey Phalarope tight into the corner of Knocks Reef.

My main reason for being there was that I wanted to see if there were any seals pups on the beach at the Wide Opens and hopefully some ducks would be around too, but to see this cracking little bird was a total bonus.

As we got closer I had to be really careful as the swell at times really big and I did not want to be picked up dropped onto the bottom in the shallow waters. Its a great bird but not worth destroying my boat for. Anyway after manoeuvring the boat so everyone got a good view I moved away. I did manage to get a couple of pictures myself but they were rubbish as I had the wrong settings on my camera and I was not in the right place to start to change them.

We headed across to Staple Island were we saw a new born seal pup on the jetty and it gave us a real dirty look as if to say leave me along.

While we were watching the seal its mother decided to come and say hello to, but it was more like stay away from my child.

We moved further along looking as we were going when we spotted my Lapwing on it own which was a little surprising to see.

We decided to keep on going to see some more seal pups and after a while we turned and headed towards Holy Island.

The seas had calmed down a bit and we were surfing them so it did not seem that bad.

We passed a few Little Auks in the distance. We also saw a few Razorbills, Guillemots and Puffins on route and then again another Grey Phalarope flew straight past the boat. Two in one day. Get in.

Once we arrived at Holy Island it was flat calm and it was a good time to give everyone a cuppa.

We were really surprised that it was very quite but we all had our fingers crossed that we would stumble across something good.

We went really close to the rocks and sand banks at Holy Island and we saw loads of Oystercatchers and some Godwits.

After our cuppa and spending a bit of time near Holy Island we went along Ross Sands.

I just took my time just in case something mega would fly past and say hello but it was not until we got level with the entrance to Budle Bay that we saw a few Common Scoters and some cracking Long-tailed Ducks.

The light was perfect and so were the seas and I had a feeling things were going to get good.

We tried to get good views of the birds but they were not playing so then I decided to go slowly then switch off the engines and just drift into the birds with no noise at all. It worked perfectly.

It was so calm and peaceful then all of a sudden I heard the Long-tails calling. This is the first time I have heard them call and boy it was a great call it is. I could have sat there listening to them all day, but they were really close now so it was time to get some pictures.

After some great views of these beautiful birds we went down towards Stag Rock were we saw a Red-throated Divers but it was not playing ball at all.

Then all of a sudden I heard Andy (my crewman) shouting Grebe.

Everyone was on the wrong side of the boat and if it was not for Andy we might have missed it.

It was a Red-necked Grebe just sitting there right beside the boat and it put on a really good show.

It was not bothered about us at all and it seemed to enjoyed the fact that we were getting very good views in the beautiful winter sun.

This was the height light of the trip for me and I was smiling from ear to ear.

I would like to thank everyone who joined me on this trip and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I will also be doing another one at the end of January if anyone is interested in joining me then give me a shout.  I have not decided on a date just yet but either watch here or my Facebook Page or Twitter Feed.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The last 4/5 weeks

Just a little blog of what I have been seeing over the last 4/5 weeks.

The season has now come to the end and I have taken 1 of our boats out for its annual paint but I'm leaving 2 boats in the water for trips out and about over the winter.

We have had a really good run lately and I don't really want it to stop but I know all good things have to come an end at sometimes.

The weather has eventually broke this week but we can get some good days and then some days its bad so I can't complain. It gives me a little break and catch up at home.

Some of the pictures were taken in the last week of September up until now and you would think these pictures were taken during the summer judging by the light.

Late September I was at Holy Island to pick some guests up who had been on the Island all day and they wanted a lift back to Seahouses where they would catch their coach back to Newcastle.

Around Holy Island was lovely and the birds were starting to arrive or just enjoying the sunshine and some good sightings on the way home too.


Oystercatchers, Waders, Guillemots, Puffins and a few Harbour Porpoise thrown in on the way back.

Around the Islands we have seen bits and pieces but I wished I could be on the islands when the good birds start to land but I can live in hope eh.

We still get to see some nice stuff so I can't complain at all.

We have had some cracking sunrises and some of the divers have been having some great fun playing with the seals.

Check out this Video called Dancing on the

The Purple Sandpipers were just beautiful in the sunlight too.

Some nice Robins, Skua's, Kestrel's, Thrushes and Redwings dropping in and don't forget its nearly the height of the seal pup season now.

The best of all was the Bottlenose Dolphins again. They have been the stars of the show so far this year and the other week we had 60/70 around the boat which was amazing to see.

Hopefully I will a lot more to blog about over the next few weeks too.

Oh if you do like the rubbish I write about and some of the pictures I have entered into the UK Blog Awards, so if you have got the time could you please vote for me. Cheers

Until my next blog see you later guys.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Little Auk

I have seen a single little auk over the last few days and I must admit I love these little fella's.

Last year was not a very good year for seeing them around the Farnes and I think there was only 12 reported for the year, and this year so far there has only been a few sightings, so I've been a bit lucky to see them really.

We saw a one on its own again today and with the wind picking up and the dreadful light, I was surprised that we even spotted it.

I did manage to get a few shots before it flew off into the distance. Fingers crossed we do get another chance to see some more and hopefully in better conditions and better light.

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.