Tuesday 20 January 2009

Visiting 2009

Nothing but doom and gloom in the world at present, so thought I would cheer everyone up and give you a flavour of the season ahead. Anyone wanting to visit the Farnes this year will not be disappointed...the islands last year supported over 78,000 breeding pairs of seabirds including (pairs of birds):
Fulmar 229, Cormorant 145, Shag 1,015, Mallard 11, Eider 718, Red-breasted Merganser 1, Oystercatcher 39, Ringed Plover 9, Herring Gull 530, Lesser Black-backed Gull 509, Black-head Gull 369, Greater Black-backed Gull 8, Kittiwake 4,275, Sandwich Tern 1,358, Common Tern 104, Arctic Tern 2,239, Guillemot 43,864 (individuals), Razorbill 326, Puffin 36,835, Rock Pipit 24, Pied Wagtail 6 and Wren 1 (our first ever confirmed nesting Wren on the islands!).
The islands will be open daily (weather permitting) from 1st April-30th September and again for the half-term at the end of October. Inner Farne is open all day during April, August-September. During the breeding season (May-July), Staple Island opens from 10:30-13:30 and Inner Farne opens 13:30-17:00. This half-day opening during the summer months help reduce disturbance to nesting seabirds. Please note Staple Island is a rugged island, with no facilities, whilst Inner Farne has (basic) toilets. For further information check out the National Trust website.
I'll give you all more information about the islands in mid-March and looking forward to seeing everyone out there!

Thursday 15 January 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year - A Farne Islands Seal Pup

Greetings everyone and welcome to a New Year. I'm glad to report all the counts are complete and I've been back to the islands on a couple of occasions to check that all is well - which it is!
The autumn of 2008 produced a final total of 1,318 seal pups, our highest birth rate since 1998 and its pleasing to report that mortality was lower than recent years, although the final figure has yet to be determined. Staple Island has taken the crown as the largest colony with a whopping 380 whilst nearby Brownsman produced a reasonable 219. Its now back to business and it won't be long before me and my team return for another action packed season but this time, you'll be able to log in to find out all the latest... so watch this space. Don't go anywhere and stick with me, its the Farnes 2009 show.