A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

Thursday, 13 August 2015

The fabulous Farne Islands, Northumberland - June 2014

Having visited the Farne Islands last year for the first time to catch up with the returning Bridled Tern, I was captivated by these fantastic islands and the seabirds that make the rocky cliffs their home. I’ve now finally managed to sort through the hundreds of photos I took (a year later!)

Having always wanted to see Puffins up close and on the deck, these small and colourful auks were without doubt the highlight of my trip (forget the Bridled!) and it was incredible to watch them return to their burrows, beaks laden with Sand Eels just a few feet away.
Puffins- Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland

Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Puffin - Farne Islands, Northumberland
The cliffs were also absolutely alive with Razorbills, Guillemots, Shags and Kittiwakes, every available nook and cranny taken up and the birds jostling for space and the best positions. The smell and the noise was phenomenal, and it is definitely one of the more memorable locations I’ve been to whilst travelling the country – a must for seabird enthusiasts.
Shag - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Shag - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Shag - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Kittiwake - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Kittiwake - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Kittiwake - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Kittiwake - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Razorbill - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Razorbill - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Razorbills - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Bridled Guillemot - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Bridled Guillemot - note the white spectacles!
The terns that the Farnes are famous for were also fantastic to see – dive-bombing and surrounding our heads whilst screeching incessantly.
Arctic Tern - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Arctic Tern - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Arctic Tern - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Arctic Tern - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Arctic Tern Nesting- Farne Islands, Northumberland
Arctic Tern Nesting- Farne Islands, Northumberland
Tern - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Common Tern - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Several cute chicks were nestled amongst the grass, and it was great that they were doing so well – nesting in every available spot.
Tern Chick - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Tern Chick - Farne Islands, Northumberland
A Roseate Tern on the jetty was a nice find to finish the day whilst waiting for the boat back to the mainland, the rosy chest and black bill standing out from the masses of Arctic and Common Terns gathered around the rocks, and only my second ever. 
Roseate Tern - Farne Islands, Northumberland
Obviously, I couldn’t forget the star bird and the reason for my visit – the Bridled Tern, remarkably returning for its second successive summer on the Farnes back in 2014. Visible before the boat had even landed, we enjoyed great views of this far travelled visitor as it settled down on the jetty before flying off over the island. 
Bridled Tern - Farne Islands, Northumberland
I was extremely glad that it decided to come back for a second year after not making the trip back in 2013, and as of yet, there have been no reports in 2015 of a repeat appearance, indicating that it may have settled elsewhere. 

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