Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Rosy's return!

Stay close: female Eider with ducklings

A rare sight on the islands: Mute Swans fly-by

An odd rare: Bar-headed Goose returns to islands

Happy days: Newcastle down and out.
Bobby (Glad Tidings skipper) on good form but not today
(photo taken last week - sorry Bobby, chin up)
Tuesday 26th May Comments:
Move aside Springwatch. It’s Farnewatch time. The popular BBC program may have started for another three weeks but we’ll bring you all the news and stories from the islands, so stick with us everyone and don’t tune over…

Its all go on the islands as the breeding season has ‘stepped up a level’ and we’ve had plenty of interesting discoveries and plenty of people to share the experiences. The Puffins and Guillemots now have their first chicks, but plenty still to go, whilst Roseate Terns have returned. The Arctic Terns have started settling and attacking our visitors – even the wardens are not immune from the attacks, so we’ve got to wear hats almost 24-seven. Its all go.

An interesting story has developed as (for those regular readers) you may remember we placed cages over our Ringed Plover nests to protect the eggs - allowing adults to leave but to stop predator Gulls from stealing the eggs – its simple but effective. The adult Ringed Plovers have since moved out of the cage as they’ve hatched their young and moved on, leaving the cage empty for the past week or so. However that has now changed. Amazingly we’ve had a breeding pair of Oystercatchers move into the cage and lay eggs – protection without even trying!! Very strange but its protection for the Oystercatchers.

On a final note, to all those friends who support Newcastle United including boatman Bobby – chin up, it could be worse…actually no its couldn’t. There down and the might of Peterborough, Scunthorpe and Blackpool wait and you never know, they’ll be playing Gateshead in a few years time…

Highlights: Generally quiet as spring migration is coming to an end but still some interesting sightings including Mute Swan 14 north, Red-breasted Merganser male, Bar-headed Goose – adult returned for two days off Inner Farne on 23rd-24th, Sanderling 1 still lingering, Golden Plover 30 south, Roseate Tern 2, Little Tern 23 at roost and Tree Pipit one over calling.

Butterflies: Painted Ladies 7 on Inner Farne today with small numbers of Large and Small White’s and Small Tortoiseshell 2

Breeding birds: Puffin and Guillemots now have chicks and feeding activity has increased as parents are whizzing backwards and forwards to collect food to raise there hungry chicks. A pair of Roseate Terns returned yesterday with one noted today – fingers crossed for a breeding attempt, whilst more Eider young are on their way, as females take young to sea. All three passerines which nest on the islands have chicks including our pair of Wrens (which only nested for the very first time on the islands last season!). So it’s all go and its not about to stop.

Up and coming: If things feel busy now, well its just about to increase yet further as my team have one huge task over the first few weeks of June – to count the entire seabird population of the Farnes. Good luck lads, but as ever, I’ll be bringing you all the news and comments and watch out, its not good news for Eider numbers...

1 comment:

Mattzappa said...

Excellent site, great to hear whats happening over on the Islands. We're all jealous as sin.