Thursday, 29 November 2012

Farne Islands...part 2.

As I mentioned previously, well, some months ago when I wrote the first of these two posts, the seals were only part of the wildlife we saw on the Farne Islands trip recently. The Farnes are also home to a vast number of seabirds, from Guillemots and Razorbills, via Terns & Kittiwakes, through to the adorable but extremely strange looking Puffins of course...

Although they are National Trust Islands, the regular boat trips only really run out there during the breeding season - May, June & July, allowing people to visit, and photograph these amazing birds when the largest numbers of them are present on the islands. The majority of the Puffins are resident on Staple Island (the one we visited previously back in 2008 - see the album on the main site for photos from this) while Inner Farne (where we landed this time) is the main place for the Terns. Indeed, on coming ashore from the boat one of the first things we realised was that you REALLY need to watch your step - the things are everywhere!

There were Terns on the walkways, fences, gateposts.....wherever there was something to perch on, there was a Tern. Some of them were rather young and helpless looking, too - this one for example cried steadily for food all the time we watched - periodically Mum or Dad would arrive, ram something into the waiting beak, and then fly away again, at which point the cries resumed!

There were a good number of Puffins about, but nothing like as many as we saw on Staple Island on our last trip. Those that there were seemed content enough to pose for photos though thankfully...

Mostly though this trip was about the Terns - it's only when you see them close up that you realise how stunningly beautiful they are...

Fabulous colouring, and that amazing almost transluscent wing structure. They're feisty little devils though - in the main breeding season you are advised to wear a cap and old clothing as they have a habit of dive-bombing and pooing on people...thankfully by the time we got there they had remembered their manners and mostly behaved, except for one which took a dislike to MrEH and went after him. No photos I'm afraid - I was laughing too much. 

We certainly want to make further trips to the Farnes, and hope one day to manage to do both Islands, although as things stand we well and truly got our moneys worth from this trip, getting much MUCH longer than you usually do on the Island itself, and a fabulous cruise round in stunning weather, too. 


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