Friday, 25 February 2011

Great mixture wildlife

Well it was just a beautiful day today. Blue sky's, flat calm seas, lovely customers and a good mixture of wildlife.
As we slowly steamed towards The Farne Islands, we hardly got a 100 yards out of the harbour entrance when we approached 5 Golden Eye's, 4 Females and 1 Male. Great little start to the day.

On arriving at The Scarcar Rock, 6 Long-tailed Ducks flew south really low to the water, and on the rock about 20 Shags with full crest of feathers on their heads.
Just around the corner towards Knocks Reef we encountered over 100 Wigeon's flying around in circles then eventually landing in The Kettle. Up above we watched 21 Brent Geese fly over head then land on Knocks. As we manoeuvred the boat closer to have a look we noticed they were sitting there with 9 Cormorant's. A few of the Cormorant's had white patches on thighs.

We traveled over towards Staple Island passing a few Guillemots along the way then across to Brownsman Island to see those Grey Seals.
As we look towards the wardens cottage their were lots of seals are baking in the sunshine then we saw the state of the bank side. The seals have been rubbing themselves up and down the bank side, over the Puffins burrows destroying them as they are molting. I suppose they have to get rid of their lose fur somehow but what a mess.
Some of the seals look a lot like their name at this time of the year (Grey) but i noticed a really dark coloured seal which will be the darkest one i have seen for a few years.

As i turned the boat to head towards Longstone Lighthouse we saw 12 Lapwings resting on Nameless Rock.
I have never seen Lapwings at the islands before but i will have to ask David Steel (Head Warden) when i see him. It may be common but hopefully David will read this and give me an answer.

With the sun shinning and the seas calm we steamed towards The Inner Farne to be greeted with 100+ Curlews resting on the north side of Knocks Reef, and about 30 Turnstone's searching for food. With a single Whimbrel flying west toward land.

As we went below the Inner Farne Lighthouse their were about 1000 Guillemot's on the water.

After thanking the customers for joining us on such a beautiful day we noticed 4 Harbour Porpoise on the bow of the boat. What a nice ending to the day.

Today's Sightings

Golden Eye 5
Brent Geese 21
Long-tailed Ducks 6
Guilliemots 1000+
Redshanks 10
Turnstones 30
Lapwings 12
Wigeon 100
Purple Sandpipers 21
Razorbill 3
Whimbrel 1
Cormorants 15
Curlews 100+
Harbour Porpoise 4

1 comment:

Jason Moss said...

Hey Andy and crew! Enjoying the blog, keep it up! Seeing good birds, I see. The Lapwings are an interesting one. They are considered well represented on the farnes (11-100 per year), but they are very infrequent, usually on autumn passage. However we think we miss birds during the year commuting and roosting on Longstone, so they are prob more common than we think! A nice sighting all the same!
Lets just hope the damage done on Br isn't as bad as it looks. 2 years in a row now tho, so I'm not optimistic... Will have to wait and see what the lads say once they move out!
All the best
Jason Moss