Tuesday, 21 April 2009

What a Hoot!

Our Long-eared Owl, roosting for the day in the Lighthouse compound, Inner Farne

Visitors enjoying views of our Owl visitor!

Tuesday 21st April
One assurance about the Farnes I can give everyone is that we have plenty of unpredictable weather! Today brought a mixed bag, as we started sunny and calm, went to drizzle and rain and then back to sunny and calm!!

Despite the weather, the visitors enjoyed another day on the islands, with Puffins and co all showing well. However there was one added attraction – a migrant Long-eared Owl which had pitched up in the Lighthouse compound on Inner Farne. The bird, possibly heading for Scandinavia, was discovered early morning and remained throughout the day. With some quick thinking, we opened up the pathway, staffed the area and enabled everyone to view this unique visitor. Those who saw the bird (most of the people who visited the island), enjoyed great views and it was well received, especially by a handful of American birders. So one minute Puffins, then Spoonbill and now Owls – it’s never dull out here! Stop Press – crikey its all go – female Marsh Harrier was watched as it battled its way westwards towards the mainland mid-afternoon – only the Farnes seventeenth and the earliest ever – there goes another record!!

The build up to the ‘big’ match continues, as the Farnes team prepare to take on the local boatmen in a game of football tomorrow evening. I’m not sure how we’ll cope, with very little training, but we’ll give it our best shot and don’t be surprised to see a match report on this blog in the very near future…

Weather: W1-2 increasing NW 3-4 sunny spells with occasional drizzle! Mixed!

Highlights: Marsh Harrier female west mobbed by Gulls, Long-eared Owl 1 showing well in Lighthouse compound, Merlin adult, Sandwich Tern 400+, Arctic Tern 3, Sand Martin 2 north, Swallow 16, Wheatear 3, Redstart male for sixth day, Willow Warbler 6, Chiffchaff 5, Blackcap 1 and Goldfinch.

Breeding birds: Not much to report as more birds settle and Tern numbers continue to increase including the appearance of three Arctic Terns, Shelduck remain, Guillemots – more eggs including some predated by large Gulls.


Ash said...

'What a hoot' and 'over the spoon'. How long can you keep up the cheesy headers?! I'm looking forward to 'I predict a wryneck' and possibly 'Knock knock, hoopoes there' very soon!

Jan said...

Look forward to the match report, good luck!

Ipin said...

what's the odds on the boatmen, think I'll stick a fiver on them!

kezia said...

Oh how I love owls - a wonderful pic again . David EJ now has 3 eggs at Loch Garten so what do you say to 4 - maybe ?? So bearing that in mind I shall say 4 for the Farnes team and 3 to the boatmen - I have to stay loyal dont I !!!! Take care all and have fun , dont upset the boatmen too much remember who has to take you home .