Thursday, 23 July 2009

A great end to a great day! 23/7/09

Been out and about today. First, we went to Big Waters then St. Mary's. We actually started at St. Mary's but the tide was too far out to see any waders. We decided to come back after Big Waters to see if the tide had come in any more. So we went to Big Waters. When we arrived, we went to the main hide to see what there was on the feeders. There was a lot more than I expected. When we first had look there wasn't much but it got better. Soon a male bullfinch showed up closely followed by the female 5 minutes later. We watched them for 10 minutes before they left the feeders again. We sat for another 15 minutes without seeing much on the pond or the feeders. There was 6 ducklings and 7 cygnets in front of the hide and 2 little grebes further across. Not much more on the pond however. But soon after, a yellowhammer showed up on the feeders with 3 stock doves. A juvenile GS Woodpecker made an appearance as well. There was also baby great, blue and coal tits as well as a wren. Plenty of chaffinches and greenfinches too. At 2pm, we went to St. Mary's. The tide had come in, so we went to the North bay to see the waders. We noticed the sand martin colony too on the way round. Unfortunately, there wasn't many waders even at low tide so we called it a day. However, on the way back to the car, we did see 2 waders fly in towards the shore, so I went down to see them and got some photos. I think they are curlew sandpiper, what does everyone think? Bullfinch
Tree Sparrow Wren
Pair of Bullfinches Yellowhammer Stock Dove
Goldfinches Dunlin

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Farne Islands 18/7/09

I have just returned from the farnes today. I love the Farnes. It's one of my favourite places to go so I have been wanting to go for weeks. Anyway, we got the 10am ferry across to Staple Island then to Inner Farne. We returned at 4:30pm. We spent 3 and a half hours on each island. The bad weather didn't stop us! We arrived in Seahouses at 9:30(ish) to have a look on the rocks. Not much around so we went straight to the ferry. It left prompt on 10 and we made our way to Staple Island. We saw the usual creatures on the way over such as: puffin, guillemot, razorbill, gannet, Arctic, common and sandwich terns and seals. When we arrived on Staple Island, we saw the big colony of guillemots on the way in which was astonishing to see that many (although I saw them last year it was still amazing!) I spent the first 30 minutes standing at the entrance of the island taking puffins in flight! After many attempts, I got a good one. We walked round the island and as we wandered round, we noticed that a few guillemots had white eye stripes but most of them didn't. We thought this was strange and don't know why that is. There was colonies everywhere such as: puffin, fulmar, razorbill, shag, guillemot... the list could nearly go on forever! When we got back to the boat and went to Inner Farne, we saw 2 whimbrel as we past Brownsman which was quite nice. Inner Farne was much the same but with a difference. The Terns. Arctic, Common and Sandwich Terns. As soon as we got onto the island we got attacked from everywhere by the arctic terns. Luckily, we had hats so they didn't hurt but their peck hurts if you don't have a hat. Most of them had young but a couple still had eggs. It is quite late in year for eggs, we only saw 3 nests with them. On the journey back to Seahouses, we saw loads of gannets. I was interested in seeing little terns, so I asked the warden where to see them and he suggested Long Nanny. So, we went there. When we got there, we saw loads of arctic terns and after looking carefully I managed to see 5 pairs of Little Terns. I had never seen little terns before and it was nice to them nesting. On the way back home, we saw a hare run off the road to the side where we took some photos. Puffins Galore! Babies Everywhere: Grey Seal Shag, Kittiwake and Arctic Tern Razorbill
Brown Hare