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.


Black Redstart

There has been a cracking Black Redstart hanging around the harbour over the last few days. I eventually caught up with it on Sunday and again today, and it up on a really good show too.

I meet up with Gary who had spotted it on my garage roof at the harbour and then it eventually moved to the little pier before flying off to the middle pier and this is where it showed really well.

Myself and Gary spent about half an hour watching it fly back and forth feeding on flies and it was not bothered about us at all. I'm sure it was just putting a show on for us and at times we could not even focus our camera's as it was that close.

I did manage to get a few pictures and hopefully it will hang around for a while.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016


About 3 weeks ago I visited Iceland for the first time, and I was really looking forward to it. I was hoping to see the northern lights but it was not a major factor I am lucky to live in a county were its really dark and we get to see the northern lights quite a lot.

I booked to fly from Glasgow because the flights were a lot better and its not a bad drive from Seahouses. I arrived at the airport in good time, parked the van and settled down with a good cuppa while I waited for my flight to board.

Once on the plane I was gob smacked how much leg room I had and even if you were a person with really long legs there would still have been enough space. A big tick in my book and the whole flight was spot on from start to finish which was an extra bonus. It was not a long flight but it got a big thumbs up from me and a great start to my trip.

I have never been to Iceland before but I had read enough to wet my appetite and gave me enough on places I wanted to see. 
I also decided to stayed in a apartment, as I wanted to please myself what I did and was not burden to anyone or anything. This suited me down to the ground as I could come and go as I pleased and if the northern lights were dancing across the skies and I did not come back until the early hours in the morning then I was not going to annoy anyone at all.

I also choose a place a bit central for what I wanted, so I did not have am mega amount of hours to drive before reaching my destination, so this is why I choose Selfoss. It was an hours drive one way to the waterfalls and 2 hours the other way to the hot springs, with a few things on my door step too.

I also hired a car for the time I was there and this is a must if you are planning a visit iceland. Most people hire 4x4's but I was on my own and it would have been a lot expensive for me. I had it all planned in my head that I was going to stay on the south coast for my first trip and if I enjoyed it enough to go back then I would have learned enough for the next trip.

I arrived in Selfoss at 6pm and got myself settled in for the night, as it was cloudy so there was no chance of seeing the northern lights tonight.

I woke early that morning so I could get on the road and be at Seljalandsfoss waterfall before daylight and to beat all the tourists. It took about 2.5 hours to get there and it was still dark at 9am, which felt a bit weird but it did not become daylight until 10.15am.

The weather was dreadful but I was going to make the most of it. There was no snow either and I had become prepared for freezing temperatures but this was not the case. In fact it was a lovely 7 degrees so I had to take a few layers off.

After watching all the tourists arrive I decided to get back into the car and head to Vik but before I did that I stopped at another waterfall called "Skogafoss" which was only 20 minutes drive away.
I had only been there a few minutes when 6 buses arrived with loads of people so I decided to keep on going to Vik and stop here on the way back.

I arrived at the small village of Vik and I wanted to see the black sands. The weather had taken a turn for the worse and at time you could not see a thing, but I was not going to let it spoil my trip and I wanted to see the black sands no matter what the weather.

I liked what I saw but the weather did not do it justice, so I have to come back. (Good excuse)

Over the next few days I visited as much as I could but the weather was not the best and it did stop me going to some places, because there was so much rain.

Don't let this put you off as it only made me more determined to go again, as there is so much to see and do and its so beautiful too. I kept on thinking its very much like Northumberland for its beauty, openness, and dark skies, but it had something special about it that I can not describe, and this is not going to be my last visit as I need to explore more and more if this stunning island.

My trip was not all doom and gloom as it did brighten up a little at times and I did manage to get a good few pictures which were okay, but the one big tip I will give you, is bring a flask. It was a life saver during the trip as sometimes it would an hour before you would find a place to eat or drink.

I'm going to sign off with a big thumbs up for Iceland and this will not be the last time I will visit as there is so much to see it will take more than one trip.