Last Friday my second season on the Farnes finished in a final booze filled fury. Needless to say I felt suboptimal the following day, as you do.
Anyway birds and shiz. The final weeks of the Farnes consisted of alot of wind, mainly from undesirable directions that saw a few highlights of Snow Bunting, Short-eared Owl, Waxwing forms as both numbers and variety of birds decreased incrementally with the temperature and vegetation!
Classic winter seas off the Farnes.
And there were victims of these conditions, besides Seal pups, this male Eider came onto Inner Farne to shelter and was later found dead. Handsome boy eh?!
Since the Farnsenally of my 2012 northern adventure I have returned to a southwesterly flex for christmas on Scilly. I tell you it's noticeably warmer down here, that's a good small-talk point I feel is working well for me at the moment - feel free to use it. Anyway I digress again.
From one island to another...
Birds. Yes. Birds. First weather. The domination of blustery SE veering WSW winds over the past few days have kept temperatures reasonably high along as with rain volumes. Understandably bird life is thin on the ground but a trip to Porthellick yielded the White-fronted Geese plus some Chiffchaff trying to be rare, a metric f##kton of Rock Pipit.
The rare sight of grey geese on Porthellick
The wintering Chiff population seems well, lots of morphs including this smart pale nominate bird.
The Longstone patch has been fairly productive with daily Woodcock, Blackcap and sprinklings of Redwing. However a major highlight came this evening when a (seemingly wintering) Long-eared Owl came millimetres from taking a cocky Blackbird about 10ft away...got to love birding for such amazing experiences, a new one for me at that!
Crested nugget. Gold nugget!
Other wanderings in pseudoclonic weather produced mre Chiffchaff, Snipe along Porthloo Lane and a cracking Firecrest at Lower Moors that absolutely blew my trousers off! Which was embarrassing for everyone concerned. An unfortunate shoe malfunction meant the woodland carr dwelling Dusky Warbler eluded my detection...one for tomorrow.