Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Mediterranean Days

At its best - a stunning Shag at Lighthouse cliff on Inner Farne

A migrant male Wheatear on Inner Farne
(Photos by Joe Cockram Farnes Warden)
Tuesday 7th April
A pleasant day, as the wind eased allowing some of the team to head to Seahouses for important supplies – especially beer supplies for this evenings football! It was a good day for visitors, as the islands were busy throughout the day and with the good showing of Puffins, everyone was happy! Its still early in the season as the team settle on the islands, although with the opening of Brownsman in the very near future, its becoming an exciting time. The day produced a handful of migrants, as they continue to move through the islands, albeit slowly, but the first Blackcap of the year appeared and was hot on the heels of yesterdays Willow Warbler. The best of the bunch was a first-summer Mediterranean Gull at the Knoxes Reef roost.

Weather: SW 2-3 increasing 5-6, sunny spells

Highlights: Mediterranean Gull first-summer with Black-headed Gulls on Knoxes Reef, Sandwich Tern 61 – big increase, Wheatear 2, light Wagtail and Pipit passage, Blackcap male (first of the year), Chiffchaff 2, Goldcrest 3, Jackdaw 8. Porpoise two heading north in Inner Sound.

Breeding Birds: A good showing as Puffins and Guillemots were on view throughout the day, whilst good numbers of Kittiwakes and Fulmars were around the islands. Also Shags remained loyal to nest sites and Ringed Plover’s continued to nest scrape on the beach.

Monday 6th April
It was a mixed start for a Monday morning, as some of the team (including me), attempted to use the Zodiac to reach Seahouses for supplies, but sadly failed as the wind increased during the morning. However we still saw a few visitors, as the larger boats can make take on the choppier seas. However it was a welcome sight as Farnes historian Anne Wilson arrived on the islands for some catch-up work whilst Emily Barlow arrived for five days, as part of her long term study in Shag behaviour. Interesting some of our Shags are now on three eggs following the discovery of the first egg on 1st April with the Isle Of May reporting their first on 2nd April - so its early everywhere. Otherwise reasonably uneventful with a few highlights including an increase in Sandwich tern numbers,

Weather: S or SE 4-5

Highlights: Peregrine male, Sandwich Tern 19, Wheatear 2, Meadow Pipit – light northerly passage, Willow Warbler 1 – first of the year, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest 2 and Lesser Redpoll.

Breeding Birds: Everything returned as the Puffins, Guillemots and Razorbills returned in good numbers on the cliffs ledges and on the island ‘tops’. Although this will probably be a brief visit before they head off again, the Shags are going well with some nests now containing three eggs.


Jan said...

Been a beautiful day in the midlands, birds rushing everywhere and birdsong to deafen you (especially the rooks and jackdaws!)

Beautiful photos on this blog, very talented people you are :)

kezia said...

Great photos - does Joe take them all ?? if so he is very talented . I like the IMPORTANT supplies Beer ?? hope you enjoyed the footie and the beer I am sure you deserve it . So much is happening at the moment its difficult to keep up with everything - so many webcams to watch - when will you get one set up on Farne ????????? So many birds have eggs as well and soon they will hatch and the fun really begins . Take care all and enjoy some good weather and lots of visitors over the Easter .