Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Blacker The Better...

Sorry for the pause. Much like an aged iPod I have become slow, distractible, prone to freezing and making strange noises. All this mounts up to an overall lacklustre blog posting frequency. And lot has happened. Weather, birds, more weather, more birds to infinitum. Some were white. Some were black. All were amazing.

Rapidly becoming my favourate Farnes breeder...Cormorants! Big black buggers! Check their nest-flex. The only things even thinking about breeding at the mo!

First to the weather. The nacker nibbling bite of easterly that was our predominant climatic conditions of late has finally given way to the every-lingering danger of ‘the Atlantic’ effect bringing some extremely appreciated warmth, but also the prospect of very few migrants and with gales blowing harder than something naughty, very few breeding birds also.

However they were here!

Black and white army! Have some Puffins as proof!...

So onto the birds. The birds! Winter birding has continued in synchrony with freezing temperatures. However in spite of this there have been some signs of migration as that desperate frantic push to breed overcomes the gonad shrinking weather.

Several small influxes of late winter/early spring migrants have seen Redwing and Fieldfare remaining along with higher numbers of Blackbird and Song Thrush. While ninja migrants such have Dunnock and Robin have been flicking and bounding in the Farnes non-vegetation. 

Male Blackbird ringed and ready!

Robins eeking out an existence on visitors leftovers...

Robins cotemplating their fate...

More insect eaters such as Wheatear and Chiffchaff have also made landfall allowing small but regular doses of cripple to be absorbed from time to time however I am still lusting for something yellow..or Swallow shaped.

Wheatear are AWESOME. So nice to see these nuggets flopping around.

The first Chiffchaff of the year...latest since 1986 (the year of my birth), watched coming in off the sea whilst stonking our inner-eyes with the years first Wheatear. #magic

Oddities have been regular but low level, mind-blowing all the same though. The Black Guillemot, that clearly prefers the company of Eider and Black-headed Gulls than its own kind (…racist bugger) has been putting on a show, swimming, sitting, flying, calling, fighting etc…basically ticking the ethological boxes big time. While another Blacky, this time a Black Redstart also graced us with its brilliance, or should I say their, as there were two!

The blacker the better! Black Guillemots are truly beautiful seabirds.

The two female Black Redstarts that adorned the rocks and property markers. What beauties and hopefully ushers of spring in the not too distant future..
Finches/Buntings have been bigging themselves up hardcore with nearly all the ‘common ones’ putting a showing in (no Redpoll though boo) with the ‘resident singing Twite going for it and a #superficiallyfemalebutactually2ndcalenderyearmale Brambling and male Reed Buntings bringing some culmen based grip. 

The Twite that has lasted all winter may well have departed today, he will be missed!

Getting arty with Reed Bunting. #combo mate.

Finally one final doses of winter. In white not black this time. Iceland came to the Farnes a week ago with an Iceland Gull seen on Knoxes being white and long in the wing, as they are. Oh and present just along the reef was a Short-eared Owl that exploded from my feet on Inner Farne moments earlier. 


I know I know, I am a pro photographer.

Short-eared Owl and associated Larus getting their mob on!

 Finally there was a canny bit of vismigging, something dear to my heart. Birds moving, migrating and junk. Just awesome. Here's some black birds I saw migrating, and some whites ones too:

Jackdaws passing through. RARE! No Nordics...

Can you spot the migrating Crows? Or are they migrating?

Some whitish blobs...beautiful yelping Common Gulls in V-formation as they passed over...

So what will happen next? Anything.

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