Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A Northumbrian Odyssey - Part 2 - The Farne Islands

We decided to go for the all day trip to the Farnes, we have done this before and know that it is well worth it, the trip lasts about 6 and a half hours with time on both Staple Island and Inner farne. Both islands are brilliant but very different.

For those that have never done this trip a few practicalities, the trip this time was £30 each, this doesn't include landing on the islands, which are owned by the National Trust, so join.... then it's free. Also the first island that you visit is Staple Island and there are no toilets, so don't drink too much before you go as it may be 4 hours before you can get to the loo on Inner Farne, so on to the trip.

We set out at 09:30 from Seahouses Harbour in good weather if a bit dull, so it was a nice easy trip out to Staple Island. We did a circuit of the Island, first looking at some of the birds on the rocks and cliffs:

then before landing a good view of some of the Grey Seals:

Staple Island is very rocky and care is needed when clambering about, but it does offer the best views of the Guillemots and Razorbills, not forgetting the Puffins, Fulmars, Kittiwakes and Shags. Predatory Great Black Backed Gulls and Herring Gulls are always on the lookout for an unguarded chick or egg. The noise that the Guillemots make as a Black Back flies over is great, all point their beaks upwards and they let out a combined guttural warning cry it was fascinating to watch and listen.

So a few shots from Staple Island:
Noisy Fulmars:
 A Pied Wagtail
 Rock Pipit

 On the Rocks!
 Puffin posing
 Puffin his chest out!
 Heads Up!
and a Guillemot with one of the early chicks

Inner Farne is a much different place very green with clearly marked board walks to prevent you straying into any Tern or Eider nests or Puffin Burrows and most importantly if you can get past the attacking Terns a loo!

This is the place to get close and personal with Terns. The Arctic Terns nest everywhere even on the board walks, under benches, on walls and even the small beach by the jetty. It's absolutely magical! The Common and Sandwich Terns tend to nest well away from the paths.
The Terns and the Puffins are the stars of the show here (with a great supporting cast from the Kittiwakes, Shags, Razorbills and Fulmars again) So on with a few pics:

Puffin on the Roof
 Cosy Arctic Terns
 Here's looking at you..
 Puffin away
 Kittiwake turning the eggs
 On final approach
 Razorbill taking the Sun
 Herring Gull on the lookout
 Rock Pipit
 Sandwich Terns
 Puffin excercise
 Puffin at rest
 Iconic Puffin shot
 Arctic Terns on the attack!

 It's all white!

What a day!

I have chosen a few photos at random from the 700 I took on the day, possibly missed some of the best, but I will be adding some of the rest to the gallery once I've finished the blogs, so do keep an eye out, I will add the link here when I have put them on:

Farnes Gallery now up:  More Photos

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