Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Count Day

'Archie' another addition to the Farnes

The Seal Team in Action

The Farnes Seal Team
(from left to right) David Steel, Ian McNee, Richard Berridge (sitting), Alex Ash (sitting), Anthony Hurd 

The mighty Tuesday had arrived and the islands were a beehive of activity as the BBC Autumnwatch team were active before first light (Gordon was out at 06:00 - one hour before sunrise). It wasn't just the Autumnwatch team, as the National Trust Farnes seal team were up, ready for the seal count.

It was the big day, as weather had prevented access to some of the remote seal colonies for several days and today was our chance. As expected the seal count took the majority of the day, as all seven pupping islands were visited, the seals marked and counted. It was pleasing to see the storm at the weekend had had little effect on the seals and their appeared to be good numbers of strong healthy pups, with attentive mothers. The South Wamses, the biggest Farne Island colony, produced over 150 pups (including little Archie) with the day bringing a total of 415 pups (a third of our overall expected population). The team of five worked hard all day and it'll be another four days before we return and can bring further updates from the colonies. 

Back on Brownsman, the Autumnwatch team were busy preparing for another 'live' and this time it featured the bulls, those ugly brutes of the north beach. If their is one thing you learn quickly on the islands, is that you don't mess with an adult bull seal. 

As for our characters, Lucky is growing by the day and is putting on the bulk weight we expect pups to have before independence. However attentions are back on Nemo, the pup with the underweight problems. Is Nemo going to make it? well I'll keep that for another day but he really could do with some milk... Keep watching.


kezia said...

Here I am in tears at a little seal called Archie - thank you so much . Our little Archie is doing well - may they both live long and happy lives . Wonderful report again last night dont want it to end just yet and please lets hope that little Nemo makes it . Thank you so much all of you , to me it has been the best bit of Autumnwatch (also the sea eagles) and I think a whole hour of you all would be lovely , take care and thank you once again .

ian gordon said...

I agree with the above, this has been the most interesting aspect of Autumnwatch. (Nice to see a pic of the whole tream).

Also, re those bulls: "Ugly brutes"?? Noooo. Great looking characters.

Farnes said...

Many thanks for all the kind words and the team (both National Trust wardens and Autumnwatch team) are very proud of the work which has been produced on here over the past two weeks. We'll keep you all informed of all the latest from the colonies, even after filming has stopped.

David Steel, Head Warden, Farne Islands

kezia said...

Thank you David so much for all you do up there - I am sure it has its many heartaches but I am also sure it must be a wonderfully rewarding job . Tonight on Autumnwatch was just so short I so wanted it to go on and on . Do hope that little Nemo survives I have this feeling he will :o)), look after little seal Archie for my little Archie , I have told him he has a brother for a seal born on the same day .Looking forward to tomorrows updates and so glad there will be further ones after the filming stops .