Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Winter blues

Stunning drake Long-tailed Duck in Seahouses harbour


A very quiet harbour with some boats out for winter work
Wednesday 6th February comments: It's been a little while since the blog has been updated as midwinter is a quiet time for the Farne Islands. The team are living far and wide (some are even currently in India!) whilst report writing and all the pre-season prep which goes with the territory has been keeping me occupied.

The north-east has been dominated by strong westerly gales in recent weeks, restricting any access to the islands and it appears to be making life tough for our seabirds. News is filtering in of a 'wreck' of Shags in north-east Scotland, as birds find it difficult to feed in relentless gales. From recent studies, we know some of our Shags winter in the affected area, so we'll have to wait and see what effect it will have on our breeding stock. Another troubling story comes from the opposite end of the country where Auks are being washed up on the south coast following 'spillage of an unknown substance'. Just like our Shags, that area is also a known location for our wintering Guillemot population. Troubling times.....

On a lighter note, Seahouses harbour has been playing refuge to seaducks including some stunning Long-tailed Ducks, whilst the boats are out of the water, ready for their winter cleaning. It won't be long before we're back and the Farnes is open once here we go again. What will the summer of 2013 bring?

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