Sunday, 1 May 2016

Guillemots on Eggs

On Saturday we noticed Guillemots on eggs at Staple Island and Brownsman Island and as we looked around we noticed not just one or two but a lot.
So there we have it, the season is definitely underway and we only have to wait for the next 40 or so days and we will have our first chicks of the season.
Exciting times are ahead and everyone at Serenity is really looking forward to it.

We also have had some dreadful weather lately and we have hardly been at sea, so this is why I have never blogged for a while.
I also took a cheeky week away to the sunshine and I could not have timed it better as I only missed one day at sea.
It was great to get away, but a real shock to the system coming back from 30 degrees to 1/2 degrees.

Serves me right eh..... lol.

Over the last few days we have seen Guillemots on eggs, a Gannet sitting on the cliff edge with all the Guillemots and not a care in the world, Kittiwakes building their nests, 3 seals with tags but I have to say the tags are dreadful as the numbers just rub off which is really annoying. Some dirty Puffins and a good showing of Bottlenose Dolphins on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday there was about 60 and Sunday about 15. Great to see and once again our guests had big smiles on their faces.

Fingers crossed this weather starts to behave itself and we have a good summer but sometimes you can get some nice pictures when the weather is changing all the time.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Mixed Easter so far.

It's been a mixed Easter so far, with all kinds of weather. Wind, Rain, Calm Sea's, Rough Sea's, Sunny and Overcast.
To be honest Easter was far to early and our seabirds are just not ready to settle just yet. In my last blog I said the the Puffins were back, but the second I said that, they disappeared again.
Since Good Friday there has not been any Puffins, Guillemots or Razorbills around the islands. It's like they knew the weather was going to change, so they decided to leave and come back when the weather is better. This is not uncommon as its tends to happen every year but because easter is quick this year people seem to think that everything should be here, but sorry this is not the case.

Never mind, we were treated to a good show of Bottlenose Dolphins for two days on the trot which kept our very cold guests smiling.
We have seen a single Greylag Goose knocking around the islands for a few days now and there still is a few Purple Sandpipers hanging on too. The Sandwich Terns are starting to arrive too and numbers are building up daily.
We also saw a female seal a wee bit bloody. I don't know what happened but there was lots a blood and it looks like her nostril is a little bit torn and maybe that's why there is so much blood around. She does not seem to be bothered about it, as my mam would say "its a scratch, get on with it".

Anyway, fingers crossed in the next few days everything will change and all our seabirds will be back and the islands will be buzzing again.

Here is a few pictures for you all.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

The Puffins are back.....and lots more

It's been a busy week in Seahouses this week with all shops, cafe's, bar's and restaurants getting ready for Easter, and they are not the only ones. We have had our boats have been inspected by the MCA (Marine Coastguard Agency) for our out of water inspection a few weeks ago and then the in water inspection was done on Wednesday. We have ticked all the boxes so we are ready to go for the season and I can't wait. We are allowed to sail through the winter but we are limited to how many people we can take during that time, but when the season starts again we revert back to our full carrying capacity. This happens every year and some things we agree with but others we don't but it keeps everything right and the main thing safe.

The National Trust Rangers are also back on the Farnes and they are also getting ready for the new season with lots of work to be done. A few new faces have joined the team this year along with some old ones so it should be a good season.
They are working really hard at the moment fixing the board walk, cleaning the jetty along with a list of jobs as long as their arms. You see it's not all glamour for the rangers.

So there you have it, everyone has been really busy getting ready for the season and fingers crossed the weather will be kind to us and we all have a great season.

Myself and Andy have been back on the water this week, and it's been very cold but it's nice to be back out again and Serenity II needed a good run too. We also have brought our booking office back down the harbour after her annual paint job and that's about it, we are good to go.

While on the water this week we have seen lots of things happen from the weather changing very quickly, to one day thousands of seabirds and then the next day none.
I know the seabirds are nearly ready to settle but it will not be long that's for sure.
The cliff's were covered on Guillemots and the buzz about the place was unreal but today there was hardly a Guillemot to be seen. The Puffins also arrived back at the islands with a handful then within a few hours there were thousands. The Inner Farne was littered in Puffins today and they were all cleaning out their burrows, making sure it was all tidy and clean for the new chick arriving. We have also seen Guillemots, Puffins and Razorbills mating so it won't be long and we still have all the Terns to arrive yet, but when they do we will be in full swing once again. 

It's really nice to see the Islands buzzing once again and I know I see this every year but hand on my heart I honestly still love to see it every year and it never gets boring at all.

So there you have it, a little update about our life around the Farnes and hopefully I will bring you as many updates as I can this year.

You can also follow us on  Facebook or Twitter for instant updates.

The Pinnacles 

 Staple Island full of Guillemots

  Staple Island with Brownsman in the back ground
 Turnstone and Purple Sandpipers

 Longstone Lighthouse

A very small seal but I wanted to show you her tail as she spread it out. This shows you why they can swim very very fast. 



This Kittiwake was in a real scrap

My crewman Andy, casually birding with one hand. Show off. 

 The board walk being fixed by the rangers

 The rangers doing a great job getting the Inner Farne ready for the new season

and of course the Farne Islands favorite the Puffin  


Monday, 14 March 2016


We had a film crew on board the boat last year filming a new series called "My First" for CBebbies and the little boy who featured on the program was a little star. He never looked down the lense of the camera or told to be a good boy and behave, he just got on with it and everything you see in the program was shot in one go and only a few times did they ask him to do something again and that was just to get another camera angle. If there was a child TV star in the making then he was it.

Well done Adam.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Mothers Day Aurora

How fitting was it to have a truly wonderful aurora on mother's day. My brother and I lost our mam a few months ago and this was the first mother's day without her, so it was beautiful to see mother's nature light up the skies not only for my mam but all the mam's out there.

I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Farnes Update

I eventually got out the other day and I was pleased to do so, as I have never been out for weeks and weeks and it was doing my head in, so a farnes fix was just what the doctor ordered.

Andy and myself got all the checks done, boat cleaned and then we moved across to the slipway to pick our guests up. Once out of the harbour we saw our first Razorbills but as we got closer to the islands we noticed lots of Guillemots rafting on the water.
I would say about 3000 in total around the islands which was a really nice sight to see. We also had a single Puffin, lots of Shags and Fulmars and of course hundreds of seals.

We noticed that the seals had made a mess of some of the islands, which is not a good start and with all the rain we have had this winter has not helped at all. Fingers crossed it just look bad and before you know it, the grass is growing again and what looks like a mess, turns into lush green full of noise and activity from all our seabirds returning.

The season is not far away and its getting to that time again when the mca are back doing their inspections on the boats and before you know it we are back at the islands everyday. Bring it on.