Monday, 28 May 2012

Herring Gull Bully

As I was finishing my speech the other day I noticed alot of Gulls flying around The Inner Farne so I decided to investigate. As I got around the corner I saw a Herring Gull trying to kill a Kittiwake. It was not nice to see but I could not help myself so I took a few pictures.

After watching it for a while I had to put my camera down and stop this fight going on. I hoped that if I move the boat alot closer the Herring Gull would get a fright and fly away. Lucky for the Kittiwake it did.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Little Tern

Arriving at the Inner Farne the other day, one of the Rangers told me that there were some Roseate Terns on Lady's Path (The rocks on The Inner Farne) but when I looked there was nothing there. Just as I said Oh well next time maybe, 2 Little Terns landed on the beach. With all the passengers on the boat ready to go home, I quickly told them that they would have to wait a few minutes until I got a picture.

One old lady said to me, "Go on then son, but don't be long as I need a cup of tea". With a smile on my face from the lady's comment, I dashed into the jetty and snapped away. When I got back on the boat the old lady said to me. "Well son did you get your picture" I replyed yes thanks. She said, "Good, now lets go home".

We let the ropes go and headed back to Seahouses.

Oh by the way I made the old lady's day by making her a cup of tea for her journey home, but for me the Little Terns made my day by far.


Icterine Warbler

On Wednesday we had thick fog in the morning but by 10.30am it had burned off. With calm seas and lovely weather I was itching to get out to the Islands. At the end of a perfect day I was told by the Rangers that there was a Icterine Warbler on the Inner Farne so I asked if I could come back and see it. With the green light I went back out at 5.30pm to see if I could get a chance to see this cracking little bird.

After being attacked by the Artic Terns on the way up the bank side I got a shout to say that they had seen it feeding on a bush beside the Info Centre. I grabbed my bins and then I saw it, my first Icterine Warbler. Boy oh boy was I a happy lad.

Not being satisfied with just a look I sat on the ground with the camera ready to snap at the first chance I got. With it being very sunny and a lovely evening the bird was hopping around the bush feeding on flies and insects. Every now and then it would come into view but then hide again. As I waited it did eventually show, and I got the picture I wanted.

Sorry its a bit far away but I was not as lucky as the Farne Island Rangers.


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Black Guillemot

Over the last week we have had a Black Guillemot lingering around the Inner Farne and every time I've tried to see it, it decides to hide. I even popped out the other morning to see if I could find it but without any success. I thought my chance had gone as it was not seen for a few days, until today.

My brother Toby gave me a phone call to ask me if I would bring out some milk for him, as the milk he bought in the morning had decided to jump of the bench, do a little somersault and land on the floor. Nothing to do with the big waves as he left the harbour this morning. After making him wait for a while I decided to let the ropes go and head out.

As we left the harbour on top of some cracking waves we steamed out towards Toby and all of his divers, who looked very happy to finely get their cup of coffee.

Job done so of we went across the rolling waves towards the Inner Farne. As we approached the Inner Farne I got a call to say that the Black Guillemot was back. As the cheesy grin appeared on my face I got my camera out to start taking pictures when the battery died. As you can imagine there was a few choice words coming out of my mouth but then I thought, ah what the hell at least I can see it.

Happy with my sighting we headed home, but just before we got to the harbour entrance we were welcomed by 2 Harbour Porpoise playing in the waves. We stopped the boat and they turned around and started to circle the boat. It was great to see but I was very surprised as they are normally very shy creatures. They put on a great show and then dived down but never surfaced again.

Back in the harbour I was kicking myself about my flat battery that I decided to open the booking office and give the battery a quick charge and head back out.

With the battery charged I steamed towards the Inner Farne praying that it was still there. Bingo, One winner.
A very happy lad and after taking a few shots I could see that it was in first summer plumage and was just amazing.

Hopefully I will get some closer pictures next time. Finger crossed it stays that is.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Beautiful Day

It was a beautiful day today which feels really nice to say. The Islands were buzzing with activity today, with birds flying around, grooming themselves, preparing their nests, mating and when you have weather like today it makes it even more special.

We saw lots of Purple Sandpipers and Turnstones today which is really nice to see. We also saw a Robin, a Wheater, 3 Rock Pipits and on the Inner Farne we saw 2 Little Terns and 2 Roseate Terns which was the highlight of the day. I don't have any pictures of the Roseate Terns so I have put them on the top of my hit list this year. I do hope they stay and increase in numbers, as they might breed, and that would be great news for the Farne Islands.

I do hope this weather continues but I'm not very confident that it will, but for the moment I'm enjoying it as much as I can.


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Bath Time

Now I know I said I would blog alot more but I need to be out and about around the Farne Islands to get something to blog about.

This has been the worst start to a season we have had for many years, and if it's not been strong winds it's been heavy rain that has stopped play it's been totally dead. To make things worse we have now lost more days at the sea in April than we did for the whole of last year and we will probably lose more before the year is over.

Oh well life is here to test us I suppose. Never mind back to the birds.

I was sitting on the boat the other day watching Guillemots bathing themselves when I noticed that they were totally turning themselves upside down with their feet in the air. I had never noticed this before so I had to get a picture.

The shots I got are not very good and they are taken over a few days and some of the light is not the best, but I did manage to get some pictures to show you what I mean.

I also watched a Shag having a bath but this was more like some kids splashing around in their own bath.

On the bird front around the Farnes we have all our birds back now and alot are now sitting on eggs. The Artic Terns are back but they are not settled just yet. A few more days I think and they should start to settle and you know what happens after that......Oh Yes it's hard hat time.