Sunday 1 August 2010

The Farne Islands, Northumberland - Part I

On the way to the Farne Islands. To the left is the mighty Bamburgh Castle whilst to the right is Inner Farne.

Having never visited The Farne Islands before I thought it was about time that I finally gave it a go. I am so glad that I did. We boarded one of the many boats that sail from Seahouses harbour at around 10.00am and enjoyed an extensive tour of the main islands initially. Even though it is now pretty late in the season there were still plenty of birds to see. The main attraction are undoubtedly the Atlantic Puffin colonies around the Islands. We estimated to have seen around 1,200 birds during our day. The only species that was missing from the regular breeding list was Guillemot, a species that does not tend to hang around too long at their nesting sites. The stunning views of Shag, Kittiwake, Common Tern, Arctic Tern and Sandwich Tern more than made up for the lack of Guillemots though. Other species included 20 Eider, 6 Fulmar, 45 Gannet, 36 Golden Plover and 2 Ruddy Turnstone as well as the usual Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Black-headed Gulls, Oystercatcher, Eurasian Curlew and Common Redshank.

A posse of loafing Grey Seals on Brownsman Island, Farne Islands.

Atlantic Puffins at Inner Farne lighthouse.

adult Shag & adult Kittiwake - black & white living together in perfect harmony!

The Kittiwake family - two 1st winter birds (left) and one adult bird (right).

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