Thursday, 26 May 2011


It ha been another busy week on the best island since the Galapagos and as per usual I havn’t updated. Well here’s one in on and around your facial space.

On Monday the great storm of 2011 hit the Farnes with gust easily blowing myself, other wardens and unfortunately several nests over and away. However despite the ferocity our tides are fairly small, meaning that mainly spray not waves crashed over our stacked cliffs.

Since the storm subsided the breeders have carried on with dogged determination while migrant species have been almost absent….til today!

 This morning saw us complete a new concrete walkway to ease congestion around the jetty’s resulting in my monitoring work being undertaken after our visitors had departed this evening. Whilst on Eider ‘4’ Ciaran crackled over the radio shouting Red-breasted Flycatcher Brownsman! We steamed over in big sea’s and after an anxious search (with good views of Lesser Whitethroat) this cheeky ficedula gave great views in the veg patch alongside a ‘Common’ Whitethroat.

What will be here tomorrow?

Monday, 23 May 2011

Climatological flatulance

So as things get busier and busier the posts get sparser and sparser! In a nutshell the last week or so has been dominated by the breeding birds as their numbers continues to build up giving some great experiences – like walking out your house to 200 Arctic Terns at your feet (and head)!

Migrant birds are slim on the ground however the arrival of Roseate Terns and the odd Little Gull, have been nice additions to the ma-hoosive tern roosts.

The undoubted highlight was a lovely Honey Buzzard that passed west over the Inner Group while a Wall butterfly was my insect highlight.

Now breeding birds are down and settled, monitoring can resume. This includes ringing birds as well as surveying nests etc. So in this vein I was privileged enough to get involved with some of this to which I owe Chris many thanks.

Anyways with winds of 70mph hitting us this afternoon I’m off to watch the spectacle.  

Barnacle Goose and Farnes backdrop

Eiders away!

Common Tern

Garden Tiger


View from the front door

Arcitc - Brownsman combo

Mine and Becks' kickbox for a cheeky Arctic Tern

Sad Guillemots parents looking at their drowned egg

Arctic Tern nest-scrape and egg

Wall butterfly

Just wait til you see the storm pics from today!

Sunday, 15 May 2011


Despite gripping events going down, in, on, and around the east coast and Lodmoor (Weymouth), migration on the Farnes has slowed. However the stonking breeders are still doing their thing. The first Arctic Tern eggs have been discovered while Eider chicks are on the prowl, or should I say the hungry Herring Gulls are. While monitoring this morning produced the first Rock Pipit chicks.

Our work is coming along nicely with all the habitatty stuff done so it's on to general maintenance and lots of monitoring - where you sit and watch birds (counting egg, chicks, their state etc), which as a birder is dream come true! To be involved in and contributing to this amazing colony is a turely fantastic experience and it's brilliant to see birds doing well.

Anyway here's a feck load of pictures that kinda some up the awesomeness:

Dunlin in Cuthberts Cove

Dark Swordgrass

Hebrew Character

Puffin Monitoring

Upto my armpits in burrow

Veg Patch Shag getting rescued

Little Terns roosting up in the cove

My monitoring patch for Kittwake and Shag

Razorbills are awesome!

All 3 species of breeding auk

First Arcitic Tern egg outside the front door

Black-headed Gull colony

Translucent wings of the stonking Arctic Tern

This combination is only on the Farnes - Scarce Fiddleneck and Arctic Tern sharing the frame

The semi-residents Canada Geese and lighthouse

Got more pics to come but that's enough for now!