Monday, 15 September 2014

Just an update

Its been very quite around the Farnes lately but one or two good birds have been dropping in but unfortunaly I have never been able to see them.

We have been getting a good few Guillemots and Puffins hanging around Inner Sound and Staple Sound which is really nice for myself as well as our guests as they think they have missed them for the year, and we have seen a good few Harbour Porpoise too.




I have also been seeing the usual suspects coming in again and the numbers are starting to build up too, with the Purple Sandpipers and Golden Plovers being the main ones.




At this time of the year we get to see the Fulmars come into their own as they glide past the boat and often using the boat to show off the flying skills. They are beautiful birds and to see them in a best light has to be our Sunset Cruise.  


We also have seen a good few Manx Shearwaters go north, but not a many as last year.


The Gannets again have been lovely to see.


We also noticed the same seal for two days using the cardinal bouy as its place to rest. I'm surprised they don't use it more often to be honest.  
 

 
I also noticed four Roseate Terns on the Knivestone and the Longstone at the weekend, with a Turnstone keeping a good eye out for it. It was also nice to see an Eider Duck back into its beautiful plumage after moulting.
 

 
 Hopefully over the next few days with the slight easterly wind coming in I might get to see some good birds too. I have heard Mr Steel, the head warden of the Farnes getting some good birds drop in to say hello so fingers crossed for myself.

Anyway here is a couple of pictures of The Pele Tower, The Inner Farne's cliff face and Bamburgh Castle as we wrap up our last two Sunset Cruises for the year.





 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Sandwich Terns

Everyone that comes to the Farnes are obsessed on getting pictures of the Puffins with sand eels in their bills so this time I have decided to try and change that trend and get Sandwich Terns with fish in their bills.

Luckily at this time of the year you can watch what they are doing as they seem to have a bit of a routine so the shots are not as difficult as the Puffins.

Saying that they are still a bit of a challenge but hopefully I have captured the moment for you.








Monday, 18 August 2014

Our Sightings

Its been a really mixed week this week and it started last Monday when I was out with divers.

We had finished our dive at the Big Harcar and we were lying at Staple Island as it was sheltered so it was easier for me to make the guys a cup of coffee, when one of them shouted look at this.

The sea had come alive with Coalfish jumping out of the water. The only ever time I had seen this was on the TV when a whale rounds the shoal of fish up and then eats them.

I waited and waited to see if there was something around but nothing surfaced.

It happened again about 20 minutes later and again nothing surfaced.

I thought this was a one off but it happened again the next day and a few more times during the week.
I gave one the guys a call on the Islands to see if they had seen it and they had. They thought it was a young seal not knowing what it was doing or just having a bit of fun.

Whatever it was it was just amazing to watch and I did manage to get a few pictures too.



The gulls were on the ball as they also got an easy meal.

 
There still has been a good few feeding frenzies going on and even the Gannets have been getting in on the feast.



A picture of the sand eels taken from the surface.


A nice little yaught passed the islands but it was the sail reflection in the water that caught my eye.


The Golden Plover numbers are increasing


as well as the Turnstones


 and we have had a good few Gannets passing throught the islands.



a few Harbour Porpoise have been sighted lately.


but the biggest sighting we have had this week was the Saga Sapphire passing the Inner Farne before heading out to sea.

They say she a small ship carrying 720 passengers, weighing 37,301 tones but she is not small compared to me or even the Inner Farne.



 
 

A seal playing with one of the lobster pot bouys.


Our first Sooty Shearwater of the year flying north past the Brownsman


but the Coalfish stole the show this week and they can jump some height out of the water aswell.

So here is the last picture of them clean out if the water.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Last but not least

Over the last week we have been watching the last pair of Razorbills on a small ledge at the Pinnacles and everyday we have been wondering if they will still be there the next day.

Well today was the day they left....

We watched them this morning on our first trip and then the second trip but by the time we got to the last trip they were gone or so we thought.

The parents know where to be seen but all of a sudden we heard a call and the baby Razorbill walked to the edge of the cliff face. Two seconds later the chicks parents arrived from the other side of the Pinnacles and they were calling too.

One of the Razorbills disappeared under the water but we never seen that one again, but the other stayed calling.  Now I don't know why they don't call the chick a "Jumpling" like the Guillemot chicks are called, as they do the same thing and I'm sure its the father who takes care of the chick after that but it was just amazing to watch and to hear them both calling.

With all the other seabirds around in the height of the season sometimes all you can hear is the Guillemots but this the is the first time I have ever heard the Razorbills call and because no other seabirds are around its quite something. To me its sounds a bit like a Arr in a crocky voice but I might be totally wrong.

We hung around for a little bit but I did not want to put it off so I decided to stay well away.

Anyway I don't know if this is a late record for the Farnes but I will try and find out tomorrow, but for now here are a few pictures I got today.






 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Roseate Tern

The Roseate Tern numbers are steadily building on the Inner Farne over the last week and they are beautiful to.

Yes they are coming out of their summer plumage but they are still lovely to see. I did see a few at the beginning of the season but they were either to far away over just flying over but lately they have been close up so I have managed to get a picture or two.

I have also been told that they have had a good season on Coquet Island with around 94 pairs and 105 chicks ringed by Tom Cadwallender which is great news.

Fingers crossed one day they will breed on the Inner Farne but until then I will just have to enjoy them while they are here.













Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Minkie Whale

It was one of the best days on the Farnes today with flat calm seas and beautiful sunshine, but what made it even better was the Minkie Whale that decided to circle the boat to give our guests a great show.

A gentleman said that he had spotted something like a dolphin in the water but I dismissed it straight away saying that it was a seal, but I had to back track as it broke the surface and I saw a Minkie Whale.

I could not believe it and I had to apologize to the man as he was right and I was so wrong, but the Farnes keeps on making a fool of me as every year it produces something new and different which is why I love the place.

Anyway.....

It was only small but that did not matter at all, as it came to say hello again and again and again, so after a few pictures this is what we were (or I was) getting excited about, but after looking at some of the pictures I noticed some fishing net around it which was really sad and I just wished I could have jumped in to cut it off but I did not notice at the time. I would have probably got wrong anyway.

Such a shame.