Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Grey Seal Trip 23rd November

We did a Grey Seal landing trip on Sunday 23rd to the Longstone Island and the weather was good until the wind picked up later on.

We steamed out towards the Farnes and I had to go back to Knocks Reef to see if the Grey Phalarope was still there but sadly it was not.

We got some pictures of the seals and a few Mallards near Knocks Reef but that was it so we decided to go across to Staple Island.

On the way across to Staple we saw 3 Little Auks on the water but the light was dreadful and the wind was picking up. We all managed to get some good pictures before we headed across to the Longstone.

On arriving at the Longstone we were greeted by loads of seals in the water.

The guys got off the boat and went to take some pictures of the seals and scenery.

The Longstone is a very rocky island so you have to be very careful and have some good footwear as it is very slippy in places.

We intended to be there for two hours but the wind picked up and the boat started dancing at the jetty so after 1 hour 15 minutes we had to leave. A bit disappointing really but it could not be helped.

We did see a young pup which was moulting and a few other seals enjoying the sunshine.

We left the Longstone and headed towards Staple Island to where it was sheltered so we could get a cup of coffee.
While we were there we saw some Turnstones and a cracking Purple Sandpiper posing in the sunshine.

We had decided that we would go to Stag Rock again so see if we could find the Long-tailed Ducks and anything else was there.

As we were just about to leave Staple Island we had a Little Auk turn up and boy oh boy did it show well.

I don't think anyone on the boat would have a bad picture as this little fella was more bothered about us at all and it just washed and groomed itself while we floated beside it enjoying it in its full glory.
At one stage I heard someone say it was to close for them to get a picture due to the size of their lense. Now that's how close it was.

After spending quite sometime with this little seabird we steamed across to Ross Sands before slowly moving down to Stag Rock.

The Long-tailed Ducks did not show as good as they did the day before but it was still really nice to see them.

After arriving at Stag Rock with high hopes we were a bit disappointed as all we saw was a few Eider Ducks. Not that there is anything wrong with them at all but after the other birds we were hoping for something special. Oh well another time maybe.

As the sun was setting behind Bamburgh Castle we headed back to Seahouses and I think a good few people will have lots a pictures to sort through after this trip.

Once again guys thanks for joining me and hopefully I will see you again sometime.

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.