Thursday, 28 June 2012

Turn up the Bass!

Wow. Booom! The reverbial bass frequencies being emitted from the mighty Bass Rock (or The Bass) blended my ears almost as much as my eyes! I had never been to a Gannetry before so this new experience was relished eyewise both al fresco and through a lens. Here's the result: 

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Such a beauty-o!!

Just like a football, no better, far far far better than any football or related boardgame...a Hobby! Falco subbuteo. The usual summer weather of torrential rain and strong easterly winds have continued, and have continued to favour us delivering this 6th for the Farnes at around 17:45 this evening when the war cry went up from 2400 Arctic Terns! A bird you dont see often in my westerly and northerly haunts so mega crippled..

Inner Farne lighthouse-Hobby combo...a rare sight indeed.

After initial flight views the clearly exhuasted bird took refuge on the Pele Tower where we had a sneeky peek before leaving it in peace to roost.

Typically Farnes esq views of this mighty little falcon...if only we had some dragonflies to feed it!

Jumping Jillikers

Well. So. Now then. It's been a pleasant fews days here on planet Farne, well when I say pleasant what I actually mean is 3 days of sun wedged between what seems like an eternity of strong winds, big seas and rain!

More of these stunning sunsets please!

Of course at any other time of year these low pressure stonkers would be welcome, bringing us migrant and vagrant birds from the continent or, if we're really lucky, Siberia. But alas the migration of the days of yor has ground to a relative halt and our attention is firmly fixed on the breeding birds. Which we might have just a few of!

Hashtag Arctic Tern maaaaaate.

Kittiwake colony on the mighty Brownsman.

Puffins hanging out with their wangs out.

Being mid-June the breeding season is, and in some cases has peaked. With Guillemots the first to produce a major fledging event in the form of the awesome 'jumpling'! At 3 weeks old, and less than half adult size/weight these plucky little buggers fling themselves from the relatuive safety of our cliff-faces to be led out into the North Sea by their fathers where they'll mature and hopefully survive!

Young Guillemots taking the leap..good luck guys!!

Guillemot colonies are pretty awesome if alittle smelly.

Male birds with their jumplings.

But its not all about birds....just mostly! The Moth season in the north is late, short and sweet. And hasn't been helped by all this cool, wet and generally unsettled shite weather. So it's encouraging that some of the Farnes resident species are starting to emerge with things like Common Swift and Silver Ground Carpet (below) now present in ever increasing numbers.


And I'll leave you with a loely sunset sequence...bring on the summer!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Pro Creators

With the Rustic cripple still ringing around my aching head, the breeders have done their utmost to out stage that transiberian stonker. And succeeded! My lack of blogging of late is mainly due to the frenetic pace of the Farnes breeders, around which our work n ow nearly entirely revolves, taking up almost all daylight hours!

Sunrise over Brownsman

Migrant birds have become fewer and farer between bar the odd Chiffchaff hanging about, while some hirundine passage in Swallow and House Martin form has continued in very small numbers. Yet another Icterine Warbler (Inner Farnes 3rd this spring!) skulked in on and around the Rustic Rocks (as they shall be known from now on) which had me blinking and sweating until I finally saw its long wings. What a spring is all I can say.

Spot the Icky...A more typical view of this lastest Icterine Warbler, we've had it good with the previous showy inidivuals!

Its a world away from last years westfest, this years eastbeast (winds) has brought so many good birds, and long may it continue into the autumn! But now we want warm settled weather so birds can get get creating. They're pro's don't you know...

Mallard and chicks

Razorbill chick

Kittiwake and chicks

Black-headed Gull and chicks

Hashtag cute!

Privileged view of incubating Sandwich Tern during nestcount

Its protecting these...Sarny Tern eggs

Which make these! Sandwich Terns and chicks in their colony

A rare view of newly hatched Arctic Tern chick

A brooding adult Arctic Tern (with added fluff)

Mega vintage Puffin with Sandeels

Monticilla magic. Pied Wagtail fledgling looking well

Some couples are more shy..these Common Terns are still displaying! Probably failed breeders or frigid virgins.

On nestcount day (where some of the above photos were obtained), we walked every inch of Inner Farne in order to tally our land nesting bird numbers. During this process we had the honour of walking through all sorts of colonies, but the mixed Sandwich Tern/Common Tern/Black-headed Gull colony on Central Meadow was by far the highlight! It made your senses invert!

And some more recent happenings...

1st summer Arctic Tern (probably). One of the few places these bird apear in the UK

And I'll end on a cliche shot...Birds are good.