Sunday, 28 July 2013

Razorbill Bully

We were in the middle of the trip the other day when Andy (my crewman) noticed a Razorbill having a go at a Jumpling (Guillemot Chick)

At first we thought the jumpling had just got mixed up between a Razorbill and a Guillemot but as we watched it the Razorbill was really having a go at it. The poor little jumpling was trying to get away but the Razorbill just kept on going so in the end we had to intervene by splitting the two up with the boat.

We waited for a while as the Razorbill headed out to sea and the jumpling went looking for it's dad.

Here is some pictures of the Razorbill attacking the Jumpling

Everything looks ok

 The first blow

 And another

 Then another

Now it time to split them up.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Minki Whale

The season has been good so far for all the seabirds with some great surprises. A Blue Fulmar passed Staple Island, the arrival of the Bridled Tern was and still is amazing, and just when we thought it could not be beat, I received a text from a friend to say that he had just seen a Fea's Petrel at Beadnell Point and then 5 mins later one of the Rangers saw it fly past Staple Island.
The most incredible part about it was that this was in thick fog and Gary even managed to get a picture. Now this is a mega mega bird so my hat has to go of to Gary for seeing it, never mind getting a picture of this wonderful bird.

Well done Gary.

July has just been stunning with flat calm seas, clear skies and very warm, but it's been the amount of sightings of Mini Whales that has amazed me. They have been spotted on a daily bases by myself, fisherman and other people, which is great news. The mackerel has been plentiful during July also, so this is another good reason for the Minki's being around, as it's their favourate food. 

We decided to trip a Whale trip but the first one was a bit of a flop as we did not see any, but I was not going to give up yet and the next day I came out of the harbour and I spotted one only 200 yards from the harbour entrance.

I quickly stopped the boat and it came right along side of the boat before going under it. I clicked away taking as many pictures as I could.

The underwater visibility is great at the moment as it's about 10 meters so I could see the white on it flipper, so I just kept on clicking away. Again it went around the boat as if it was checking me out.

They are just beautiful mammals and a delight to have around our waters, so I decided to try another trip to see if we could hit the jackpot.

Things were not looking to good as the fog had dropped in and after 2.5 hours of searching we did not see a thing. We were just about to give up hope when a Minki broke the surface. We watched the Minki for about 15 minutes before we lost it in the fog.

The guests were so pleased and so was I.

Never mind, here are some pictures of the Minki Whale on both occasions.

During the Fog. (Below)

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Bridled Tern

Well what a mad few day's it been. I have never had so many phone calls in my life and have never been so tired but it was well worth it as I have been blessed by this beauty of a bird. I have also met some really nice people on this roller coaster ride and I hope they enjoyed the bird just as much as I have.

I have to say a big thank you to everyone that has joined me or my brother on the boat to see the Brilded Tern and a massive thank you to David Steel and all the Rangers on the Farne Islands for all their hard work the past few days. You guys need a pat on the back.

The Tern has now been sighted at Cresswell just down the road from us but you never know it might return to the Inner Farne once again.

I would like to say thank you to Gary Woodburn for helping me out and Alan Tilmouth, Tom Tams and Mike Malpass for the pictures they have gave me to post, which was very kind of them. 

Until the next big twitch here are some of the pictures for you.

Mike Malpass pictures.

 Tom Tams pictures.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Bridled Tern on Inner Farne!

Northumberland's fifth ever Bridled Tern was found by NT warden Will Smith this afternoon and we ferried over 20 birders out to twitch the beast tonight. The first boat to arrive and land birders and the tern was on the rocks by the landing jetty just waiting to greet us, superb.

It put on a great show for all the birders that made the trip in superb light.

Jumpling Time

Over the last few days I have noticed gaps in the rocks from were all the Jumplings (Guillemots Chicks) have been. On our Sunset Cruises the noise has been defining, from the Dad's calling the jumplings and the mothers encouraging the chicks to jump, hence the name Jumplings.

It is a fantastic sight to witness. These tiny birds taking that leap of faith of the edge of the cliff faces and from a height that you and I would not even attempt. Sometimes (well most times) they bang of the rocks on the way down and when they hit the water they just shake themselves off, and away they go with their dad's to the north sea. This is a truly amazing sight and you hope and pray the these little fellas make it to adult size and one day return to the same spot where they were born on the Farne Islands.

Wildlife is the most beautiful thing but it can be ugly too. When the birds arrive back to the Farnes you hope for good weather so they can just get on with the breeding season without any problems. You see the first eggs appear and you watch as they bring the chick into the world. They feed it, shelter it from the wind and rain until they are ready to make that jump and then all of a sudden and Gull comes along and takes it life away. I know I should not really show this but it is the harsh reality of nature but it does break my heart to see it.

On the plus side more make it than those who don't, and that's how I want it in my own little world.