Sunday, 17 June 2012

Farne Islands - Seabirds galore!

With a few days spent in the North East, the lure of the Farne Islands could not be resisted. Trouble was, Easterly winds had set up a swell which was slowly abating and unsafe for sailing / landing during the early morning :-(

With a lunchtime boat booked courtesy of  the 'Billy Shiels' operation (be assured they look after photographers and birders alike!) , I had a drive over to Holy Island. Whilst there, a Red Backed Shrike was reported - I couldn't find it and it was never seen again! Only images were of an obliging Skylark.....

The 12:00 boat set sail and greeting the assembled were 1,000s of Guillemot, Razorbill, Shag, Kittiwake, Puffin etc.

This would make a nice easy jigsaw puzzle? :-)

First problem after landing - the Arctic Tern reception party - don't they look a picture of 'innocence'?

Vicious things brandishing an 'offensive' bill and one or two victims ended up with a little of the red stuff flowing. Fortunately, they seemed to pick on tall people or coloured hats - lucky me on both counts!

Eider were much more benign, females loafing on the island....

Immature male, on the water....

More Shag to come but here's one in flight!

Kittiwakes snoozing on the cliffs

Or busy tending to their young chicks....

Plenty of Guillemot were within range, either on the water....

Including the bespectacled Bridled variety!

They were even more showy on terra firma.

The word showy however, belongs to the Puffins! Wherever, whatever, they are always photogenic!

Flight of course sees them at their most exciting!

One fish.....

Or lots of fish!

And amusing, as they prepare for landing with feet splayed!

There are plenty of 'bad guys' waiting to relieve the Puffins of their fish!

I'm sure some of them take a breather whilst Gulls are stood outside their burrows?

Sandwich Tern to finish off here and another wrestle with fish....

More Puffins to come (in better light!) Plus a few more of the other residents too....

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