Thursday, 7 May 2015

Update from the Farne Islands #2 / 2015

A Break in the Weather, Brownsman Island Credit: S Lee

Now up to our full complement of seasonal Rangers for the summer,  last Friday saw the team divide in two to be able to staff and monitor both Inner Farne and Brownsman and Staple Islands. The trip to Brownsman with a boat load of kit was a wet and bitterly cold affair, but no sooner was the lugging and heaving through hail all done, the sun came out and promised a glorious afternoon ahead. This was short-lived as further bad weather set in over the weekend, restricting visitor access to the islands over the following days. A few windows in the weather though enabled limited opening on Inner Farne giving opportunities for visitors to land and see the increasing numbers of birds, many posting some great images on social media of the Puffins, Guillemots, Shags and Razorbills.

Misty View from the Top of the Pele Tower Credit Wynona Legg

Here's a few highlights of the last few days from the Rangers:

1st May: Arctic Terns, Swallow, Manx Shearwater and Merlin spotted on Brownsman.

2nd May: 22 Little Terns in the roost as well as hundreds of Arctic and Sandwich Terns. On Brownsman the return of a pair of Puffins was noted, unusual in their habit of nesting above ground rather than in a burrow.

3rd May: A busy day. The Arctic Terns landed to settle in the Chapel courtyard on Inner Farne. On Brownsman the poor weather and south-easterly wind was bringing birds in thick and fast. White Wagtail, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Tree Pipit, Chaffinch, Meadow Pipit, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Glaucous Gull and Collared Dove were all noted. 

4th May: A pair of nesting Mallard on Inner Farne hatch 9 ducklings and the first Shag chicks are spotted.

Despite the weather the team have been active across the islands with the monitoring, hoping the weather will settle to be able to open the islands more fully to visitors and share the latest news. 

Nesting Eider Credit: S Lee

Sketches of Eider  Credit: Wynona Legg

May and June are some of the best months for visiting the islands  as the breeding season is in full swing. If planning a visit it is worth having a look at our website . And don't forget, you can share your experiences and pictures of your visit with us on Twitter, @NTFarneIslands and @Northumb_Coast .

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