Monday, 11 November 2013


One of 2579 Blackbirds today! Feeding amongst Grey Seal pups! (Bex Outram)
Redwing stops for a rest and a well deserved apple! (Bex Outram)
Merlin rubbing it's talons together with all the migrants! (Bex Outram)
Cock of the rock! What a way to see a Woodcock! (Bex Outram)
Mucky pup! Grey seals doing well so far! (Ciaran Hatsell)

Monday 11th November comments: It’s been a very busy day on Planet Farnes, for birds, seals and rangers alike!

The day started with the trill of Blackbirds overhead, as they piled in off the sea after a long journey from Scandinavia. These birds use the Farnes as both a navigation marker into the country and as a fuel stop after flying hundreds of miles across the sea. Everywhere we looked, there were birds! It was an incredible sight and it kept going all day, with the final total standing at 2579 Blackbirds west over the islands! Get your apples out everyone and be ready for an invasion!

There were Woodcock hunkering down in every crevice, bursting from underfoot. There were two tiny Little Auks battling the waves and several duck species adding to the excitement. Then at 10.30am, a beast of a Hawfinch flew low over Brownsman heading south! This is a major bird for the islands, only the sixth ever record, the second ever Autumn record and the first one to be seen since 2007! This is also the 191st bird species to be recorded this year by the team, after the addition of Scaup broke the record on Saturday. It just keeps getting better! Well done to the team for a great effort, you’ve made history!

These last two days have also seen the ranger team out on the seal colonies and it’s getting busy! There were 195 new pups in the last four days, bringing our total to 962 pups born this year! The pups seem to be doing well, with no major storms giving them the best chance possible at a good start in life.

It’s all go on the Farnes at the moment so keep tuned for more action from Englands’ largest Grey Seal colony which so happens to also be an internationally important seabird reserve and one of the most awe inspiring places to watch migration in Britain. This is nature, at its best!

Totals: Wigeon 125N, Velvet Scoter 4N, Long-tailed Duck 1N 1S, Goldeneye 4N, Little Auk 2N, Arctic Tern 1 (latest ever record!), Pomarine Skua 1N, Woodcock 41, Merlin 1, Starling 83W, Song Thrush 6W, Redwing 145W, Blackbird 2579W, Fieldfare 188W, HAWFINCH 1 South (6th Farnes record, 2nd ever autumn record and first since 2007!), Brambling 10W, Twite 2, Snow Bunting 2W. 

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