Thursday, 28 February 2013

Velvet Day

It was a beautiful day yesterday and I was heading out to the Farnes in the afternoon.  I was down the harbour early to put some paint on the boats before I went out, but the boat was frozen. I asked Peter to boil the kettle so we could melt the ice and dry the boat before we started painting. The things you have to do to get on.

After some painting I got the boat ready to go out. I picked the guests up and off we went. Once we arrived were saw about about 1000 Guillemots on the water beside The Inner Farne and their were more coming in from the North Sea, so lets see what the next day brings.

We had 2 Long-tailed Ducks and a single Goldeneye beside Knocks Reef a few Teal and a Pergrine Falcon.

We steamed towards Staple Island to see the seals and their were loads.

After the first trip I was going back out with some friends. They like their photography and the birds so we decided (Well I did) just to go to the Inner Farne and then head up to Stag Rock and Ross Sands.

Oh boy was I pleased they agreed to it as it was just stunning and the birds were just great.

We had lots of Waders along the shoreline at Ross Sands, 2 Red-throated Divers, 12 Long-tailed Ducks, 50+ Razorbills, 50+ Common Scoters and 1 Velvet Scoter.

Why oh why could we not have had this weather on Saturday when we did our 4 hour Winter Wildlife Trip. Never mind I was enjoying this weather and enjoying the trip.

Here are some pictures from yesterday and thank you to David for his picture of the Velvet Scoter as mine was a bit to far away and thank you to everyone else who joined me today.

Winter Wildlife Trip

We have been trying to do this trip for some while now but it keeps getting cancelled due to bad weather, but on Saturday we decided to give it a go.

With all our guests on board we set sail.

We had not even left the harbour and we had a female Long-tailed Duck and a male and female Maganser's. We slowly steamed towards the Farne Islands as it was a bit choppy and the wind was coming from the N.E. so I wanted to get the worst bit over straight away. Once we were there it was calm in the shelter of the Islands and we had 3 Long-tailed Ducks fly past the boat.

After that we headed towards Staple Island to see the Seals, and we were greeted by loads of Fulmars flying around. We had a few Purple Sandpipers, Turnstones and lots of seals. After everyone got a few photographs we headed towards Holy Island riding the waves along the way.

I have never known a day like it, as it felt like 4 seasons in 1 day. We had sun, cloud, wind, calm seas, rough seas but to top it all of we had a heavy downpour of snow just as we got to Holy Island. I kept on looking at my guests to see if they were ok as it was cold and the last thing we needed was snow but out towards the sea was a small bit of blue sky and my fingers were crossed it would come our way.

It did thank god and we were so pleased as out of the gloom appeared a Slavonian Grebe. It was so hard to get a good picture of this little beauty as my camera kept on focusing on the water instead of the bird.

After that we had 30+ Common Scoters and a single Velvet Scoter and along the way we also had 2 Red-throated Divers, some Guillemots and Razorbill and in total 17 Long-tailed Ducks.

We were arrived back at the harbour they guys noticed a male Long-tailed Duck in the harbour, so we had to pop across for a quick picture to finish the trip.

Once again I would like to thank everyone who joined me and next time I hope the weather is alot better for us.

Here are some very dull pictures of our trip and they are not very good either sorry. 

Monday, 18 February 2013

Long-tailed Ducks

After my last post I decided to head I needed a break and headed to the sun for a couple of weeks. Now I'm back, refreshed and ready to go.

I've been out a few times over the last few day's and the weather has been just stunning.

The Guillemots have returned in the thousands again. They may only be here for a few days and leave again but for the moment it's great to see them back. I have also seen a few Goldeneye's, Mallard, Teal,  lots of Fulmars, Shags, Turnstones, Purple Sandpipers, 1 Razorbill, 1 Common Scoter, 1 Great Northern Diver and 3 female Long-tailed Ducks.

Even though it's been great to see all the birds around the Islands again I did not have to go far as we have had 2 female Long-tailed Ducks in the harbour over the last few days and they have really stole the show.

The sunlight in the harbour on Sunday was perfect and the Ducks moved slowly towards the boat, so I lay down on the deck and put my lense through the scupper (A hole in the side of the boat to let the water run of the deck) and clicked away. The light on the water was stunning and the water looked like it was orange.

I have only cropped the pictures and never altered them one bit and you can see how colourful the Duck and water is.

Here are some pictures over the last few days........Enjoy

The light was poor on this Common Scoter but when the sun came out it was gone. Typical.

Guillemots on top of the Pinnacles this afternoon.

Female Long-tailed Duck showing well in the harbour.