Monday, 1 June 2009

Its flaming June

Puffins Galore

Cliff counts begin - the team counting the seabird populations

Monday 1st June comments:
For those regular readers, you can tell when I'm going through a busy period on the Farnes as the blog is not updated daily. Well the fine weather (its been amazing!) has resulted in some long days, thousands of visitors and tiring work - and its not just me putting the work in, but also my great team I have out here - all eight wardens are working very hard and deserve a medal for their achievements so far (but sorry lads, its not over yet!).

As well as all the bird monitoring, the general day-to-day tasks, and the occasional odd job, we've welcomed hundreds of visitors to the islands overt the past week. Amongst the masses, we've had visits from ex-wardens from 1991-92 and more recently in 2006-08, and various National Trust staff, which are always pleasant to meet. However one visitor stood out on Saturday - our Farne historian, Anne Wilson. Anne is not employed by the Trust, but just helps for the love of the Farnes, travelling 100 miles all-round journey from home to spend the day on the islands. On Saturday she reached a milestone of 300 visits - a great achievement and many thanks for all the hard work. Other than that its all go, with plenty to tell and I'll keep you posted, so keep reading.

Media: For those interested in seabirds and the Farnes, you can catch up with the latest at 11am on Tuesday 2nd June on BBC Radio Four - its worth listening!

Population Counts: Its 1st June and for the team it means one thing – the start of the population counts. As well as dealing with all the visitors and the various seabird research, we now start our day at 06:00 to count all the cliff nesting species – and there’s lots of them!! The team will carry out a co-ordinated count over the next ten days (weather permitting) and assess the populations of Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Shags. The end result will bring us our population totals for the year but we’ve got some hard work to do before we can start talking about that! Our days have just got a bit longer...

Breeding birds: It’s now all go – the Farnes is running on full steam – everything is busy, all birds have either eggs or chicks and it’s going to be an action packed month ahead. We’ve got Razorbill and Guillemot chicks hatching everywhere, Puffins bringing in countless Sand-eels (although not all have chicks), Shags and Cormorants with two weeks old youngsters, Kittiwakes on eggs although typically, some still have yet to build nests whilst the first Tern chicks are just around the corner.

Highlights: All quiet on the migration front with 30 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Grey Plover early this morning. Starling families have started bringing family parties over from the mainland (it’s a safe area as we’ve got no aerial or ground predators). Greylag Goose 9 over Brownsman, Mute Swan 3 west through Inner Sound, Little Tern 6at roost, Roseate Tern - our pair continue to roost on an evening but will they linger to breed?!

Moths: Trapping last night brought Spectacle 5, Bright-line Brown Eye 6, Swift 1.

Butterflies: Painted Ladies – migrants have started moving through the island in small numbers whilst our regular visitors are starting to slowly increase in numbers.

Cetaceans: The dolphins seen last Friday were identified as Bottle-nosed Dolphins thanks to the Glad Tidings Three team of Micky Craig and Andy Smith – the lads got some cracking views and even better photos (as will be shown on the blog tomorrow) – us wardens were very jealous when we saw the results. So not only do they beat us at football, but they also get bow-riding Dolphins – nice work chaps, but share the great occasion with us next time!


Miss G said...

Visited on Bank Holiday Monday and must say what a fantastic job all you wardens are doing out there! The birds were amazing but you wardens were very hospitable. Thank you all for a wonderful visit.

Jan said...

Lovely pic of puffins - one of my favourites....
and you can have some of my starlings, the babies start screeching to be fed at about 4.30am - not good!