Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Telling Tails

Spring delight: Long-tailed Tit in the courtyard on Inner Farne (Bex Outram)

Gannet on the rocks - a rarity (David Steel) 

Not an Eider - the Black Guillemot for second day (David Steel)

Noisy Arctic Terns (David Steel) 

Now on eggs...Arctic terns (David Steel)

Tuesday 15th May comments: The islands are buzzing now as we are in full swing with the number of nesting Arctic Terns increasing daily. The first 'real' peck had yet to be landed, but I assure you, it won't be long now before we are advising everyone to wear hats. This is your final warning! We also received some reassuring news that Puffins have been seen mating again, an indication that new nesting attempts are being made following the washouts of the previous few weeks. 

The islands have had a very northerly feel in recent days (and not just because we can see snow - yes snow - on the nearby Cheviot Hills) but also because the summer plumage Black Guillemot remained for a second day whilst an adult Gannet took up residence on the cliff tops of Brownsman - something we do not see everyday!

Other headline breaking news came in the form of a Long-tailed Tit - only the islands 19th (and 2nd ever spring) record. The bird was found at the feet of the observers in the courtyard, sitting bemused alongside our breeding Arctic Terns. The bird appeared in good health although with no trees on the island, soon departed west. So just another day on the Farne Islands, where we really do expect the unexpected.  

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