Saturday, 30 April 2011

Guillemots Egg

On Thursday it was just beautiful day and as the sun glistened of the water and everyone started to put their suncream on, the Kittiwakes were hoping for a little bit of shade, but there was not going to be much chance of that.

Along the same cliff face we noticed that an egg was just sitting there on its own. At first we thought it must be broken or abandoned but when we came back out on our next trip we saw a Guillemot land beside it and then started to move it so she could sit on it. I was totally surprised that it stayed there so long and a Gull did not get an early lunch.
Most of the Guillemots eggs are Green with Brown blotches but i have since been told you can also get Yellow-ish with Brown blotches and a few White ones with Brown blotches.
We were lucky to see the White ones today.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Amazing April

Well its been just a pleasure to be out on the sea, around The Farne Islands over the last few weeks. We had a few days of fog which was very frustrating, but other than that we can't complain at all.

The Puffins are busy flying back and forward gathering nesting materials for their burrows. Lots of Shags are still building their nests but lots of them are sitting on eggs now. The Guillemots are sitting on eggs and I'm sure i heard a chick the other day on The Brownsman but everywhere i looked i could not see a thing.
We have our first Razorbills on eggs and lots of the Eider Ducks are on eggs now.

The last count on The Inner Farne for Sandwich Terns was 800+ and in the mornings it was up to 23 of Little Terns before heading off.

On Scarcar Rock the other day we saw our first Whimbrel. This was the first sighting for the islands this year and we were pleased as the wardens did not see it. Mind they got their own back as they saw a Hawk Harrier. Oh well at least we had our little moment of glory.

With the winds being from the west over the the first half of the month it never really brought any different bird in but the wind has changed direction over the last week so it might bring in a few different birds.

I saw my first Sparrow Hawk flying high over Staple Island the other day. A few Pied Wagtails and a Rock Pipit which is nesting on Longstone Island.

Also either resting on Longstone Island or flying above it we have seen a good few Purple Sandpipers and Turnstones.

A little Willow Warbler landed on the boat the other day and it was so tired that it could not be bothered to move as i took pictures of it.
We think its from Scandinavia area as it does not have the Olive Green you see on most birds. If I'm wrong then please let me know.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Weird Bridled Guillemot

We have had beautiful weather over the last few days and it looks to continue for a while.

On one of trips we encountered a weird Guillemot. As i was doing my speech along the west cliff face at the Brownsman Island i noticed a Bridled Guillemot with a yellow bill.

I quickly grabbed my camera and rushed to the side of the boat and starting snapping away. After a few shots i ended up with some nice pictures.

A Bridled Guilllemot with a yellow bill.

Sunset on Serenity II at Seahouses harbour.

A Puffin collecting twigs for it's burrow.

A Guillemot Grooming

Sorry a rubbish picture of the Black Scoter.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Just Another Day in a Seabird Paradise

With Britain's eighth Black Scoter lazing off the beach north of Bamburgh we're expecting a few extra visitors over the weekend. With calm seas and many birds back at The Farnes there is plenty to keep them occupied if they decide on a trip across.

Today's calm seas offered exceptional views and steady photo opportunities from the catamaran as we crossed. Puffins are back in numbers and many sat on the sea as we arrived; elsewhere Kittiwakes, Shags, Guillemots and Razorbills.

The rockier islands are littered with large gulls with many Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls in smart summer plumage.

Grey Seals continue to offer good close views with many adults lounging around at high tide or loafing a few yards off the islands.
On Inner Farne many of the Shags are now on nests and Puffins are starting to show interest in the nesting burrows, flying back and forth from the sea.

Any visit to the islands produces special birds and today was no exception, an immature Merlin was picked out atop the small crane on Longstone and we were able to approach slowly and get some great views of this diminutive raptor.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Things are starting to settle.

Well its been a lovely day at The Farnes today, even though the S.E. Wind picked up towards the end.

The Puffins are coming back in the thousands and yesterday we saw 2 pairs at the Wideopens and a pair at Gun Rock mating in the water. One pair were at it so much that they did not care one bit that everyone was watching them. So it will not be long before they start to lay eggs.

The Guillemots were found on eggs yesterday but when i think about it they have been coming and going for 6 or so weeks now. They don't seen to be settled on The Inner Farne yet as every time we go past with the boat they all fly off, but when we get to Staple Island they never fly away. This will be the reason why the eggs are on Staple Island.

At the west cliff face on Brownsman Island we saw a Bridled Guillemot with a yellow bill. We think this must be in the jeans. I spoke to one of the wardens and they seem to think the same. It was weird to see but the worst thing was that my camera went dead and forgot that i had a camera on  my phone. Never mind i will have to have a look out for it tomorrow.

There was a Sparrow Hawk on the Brownsman Island today which was nice to see.

At The Inner Farne this morning there was a Shag showing off the size of stick he had to build his nest with.

I also got some nice pictures of the Eider Ducks (Cuddie Ducks) in the harbour.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Its slowly getting busy.

After all the strong west winds we have had over the last week or so, things seem to be getting a little bit more settled. The birds are still coming and going, and lots more are still to come, but some of the Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Razorbills and Puffins seem to be settling down now.

We have a few Shags on eggs now and 5 swallows were seen at The Inner Farne today.

As we landed our customers on The Inner Farne this afternoon i counted the Sandwich Terns on Knocks Reef and its up to 71 now. Just 2 days ago it was 39 so things are on the up.

A single Wheater flew past and landed on the island for a little while and then off again.

We have also got new signs for the Booking Office down the harbour so I'm pleased with those.

A pair of Razorbills on the cliff at The Inner Farne.

Guillemots on the south side of Staple Island today.

Sorry, but i feel like a little boy in a sweet shop. I get to see this every year and i still get a buzz.

We have some fantastic trips coming up over the year so don't miss out. 

Water, Wildlife and Walking on the 22nd of April and there is only a few places left.