Thursday, 4 June 2009

Blowing from the north

Stunning: a Shag on nest at sunset

Female Eider with ducklings

Jason getting some thanks from an Arctic Tern - Farnes style
Thursday 4th June Comments:
The sun, flat calm seas and settled life is becoming a distant memory, as the cold northerly wind has kicked in and the atmosphere has changed on the islands. The Farnes remain active as ever, as the daily hustle and bustle of life in the seabird colonies continues but temperatures have dropped and we’re on the way to becoming cut off from the outside world. Staple Island was closed for a second day, cliff counts were cancelled, and visitors only landed in the afternoon on Inner Farne, but only just. I just hope the storm doesn’t reach gale force; otherwise our breeding seabirds could be in serious trouble just at the crucial time. Watch this space…

As for the team, the islands will be shut completely soon (I suspect) as the northerly winds are due to increase in strength and the weekend looks bleak. We’ve already started planning for the worse, as food is stock piled and water rationed (we don’t have a water source so we import it from the mainland) and we’re bracing ourselves. It’s never dull out here and that’s just the weather.

Breeding birds: Wrens still feeding young on Inner Farne, otherwise much the same as usual – we’ve got 80,000 breeding pairs of seabirds, so plenty happening!

Seawatching: Red-throated Diver 2 north, Canada Goose 9 north (migrating to northern Scotland), Common Scoter 2, Manx Shearwater 45 north, Great Skua 3 north, Arctic Skua 1 north.

Highlights: Golden Plover 3 east, Sanderling 1 summer plumage bird – with only one leg! Knot, Starling 6

Moths: A noticeable highlight tonight as a Hummingbird Hawkmoth appeared on Brownsman – a cracking first of the year (we get about 4 or 5 a year on here). The moth trap will be set tonight in hope of some interesting species

Butterflies: Painted Ladies 5 and Small White


Jan said...

I can beat your starling count, I had 27 on my lawn this morning!

Hope the storm isn't as bad as expected, and you can get on with counting.

kezia said...

Oh dear poor you sounds as if its going to be bad , maybe a case of baton down the hatches and ride the storm out , lets hope its not too bad and doesnt do much damage to all the nesting birds . Lovely pics again thank you . Good luck for the weekend weather wise .