Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Another day, another storm

'Second-coat' pup on the move - inspecting the cottage

Bull seal checking us out, but we're keeping our distance!

Long-tailed Tit, a rare and unusual visitor to the Farne Islands (by Alex Ash)
Since the BBC Autumnwatch team departed by helicopter on Friday morning, the wind has not eased and the storm has raged. The south-westerly winds have gusted up to 40mph and I suspect even stronger at times. It has been the same story every morning, rising to the dancing roof tiles of the 17th century cottage as the wind blows across the North Sea, battering the life out of this ten acre island. Life on Brownsman hasn't changed much although its a lot quieter on this remote rock without the lads from Autumnwatch.
Life on Brownsman remains the same, as we go about our work, checking the Seal colonies, recording migrant birds and report writing. Darkness falls about 4pm and its always a good time to catch up on paper work (yes we don't escape paperwork despite living on a rock!). Today brought more migrant birds including up to twenty Woodcock although the star of the show was three Long-tailed Tits - a very rare visitor to the islands and first time since 2004!
As for the seals, the colony is settled, although the bull seals are starting throw their weight around and I witnessed one epic fight between two 'heavy weights' which thankfully ended before any serious damage was done. The Cows are as attentive as ever and the pups still don't have a care in the world - after all, why should they? As for Nemo and Lucky, its looking good and are we going to have a happy ending? Lets hope so.

1 comment:

kezia said...

Thank you so much for another lovely update - I like the dancing roof tiles ! , sounds like that wind has been strong up there , I live down in Hampshire and the winds has been blowing down here as well , neally all the leaves are off the trees - but you dont have a leaf problem do you !!!! The nights are long for you now , no doubt it was nice to have the Autumnwatch crew to brighten ! up things . The fights between the bulls must be really frightening when you are nearby lets hope no little ones get in the way . All those little pups will soon be fighting their own battles I guess , good luck to them , looking forward to seeing pics of Nemo and Lucky , take care all on the Farnes .