Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Getting ready to go

Puffins with Brownsman in the back-ground - ready to go!

Puffin chick - not many remain, almost all gone

A welcome sight - fledged Arctic Tern chicks on Inner Farne pathway

Wednesday 22 July comments:
The seabird breeding season is approaching its final furlong. Apart from Fulmars, every other breeding species has free flying fledged young and where on our way to celebrating one of the best seabird breeding seasons we’ve ever witnessed. Sandeels galore continue to be caught by eager-eyed parents with hungry chicks whilst the weather continues to hold, but only just. A few more weeks and we’ll see the end game as birds will depart the rocky shores of the Farnes for wintering grounds which will range from the huge expanse of the North Sea to as far as the southern hemisphere. If anyone wants to see Puffins, you’ve not got long left – take it from me, their getting ready, ready to leave… watch this space.

As usual, visitors continue to arrive on a daily basis to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells (!) of the islands, whilst the warden team are coming to the end of monitoring as the birds depart. It won’t be long before we start work on vegetation management and the Grey Seals will be giving birth…well not just yet, but where it time going!

Dr Richard Bevan was with us again today, as we caught more adult Puffins to fix small ‘geo-locators’ too for the research we have been running this summer (and winter – hopefully). We also had a visit from ex-head warden Robin Harvey, now at Minsmere (always good to see an ex-warden, especially Rob who was a top Farnes warden) and ‘Kezia’, a Farnes blog fan who enjoyed her first ever visit to the islands.

Breeding birds: Guillemots and Razorbills have now all but gone (only a very small handful remain from the 40,000+ pairs we had), Puffins are grouping and showing amazingly well – it’s the best sight I’ve seen as ranks upon ranks of birds sit around the island ‘tops’. However don’t be fooled, the reason behind this, is because they are preparing to leave and not return until next spring, so be warned! The Ringed Plover family of four on Inner Farne are well on the way to fledging, whilst Oystercatcher young can be seen in flight across several islands. Arctic and Sandwich Tern are now producing huge numbers of fledged young and many have moved away from nest sites and onto roost sites along the rocky areas of the island – its an impressive sight at the evening roost! At long last, the first Kittiwake young are now flying and their season looks likes its been reasonable despite the recent weather,

Highlights: male Crossbill on Inner Farne today – our first in three years and part of the invasion which is happening down the east coast – expect more records to follow! Peregrine – a wandering juvenile, Grasshopper Warbler on Brownsman on 20th – migrants have started moving!

Butterflies: A good numbers of common residents as well as a small number of Painted Ladies and a Small Copper on Brownsman today

Cetaceans: two Bottle-nosed Dolphins seen the wardens from a Zodiac boat on 18th July is the only record of note recently

1 comment:

Jan said...

Just been catching up with your blog posts while I've been away on Mull. Fabulous wildlife there, been very lucky & enjoyed trip to Staffa and Treshnish isles where there were still pufflins in evidence - although not as curious and tame-seeming as the adult puffins - you almost tripped over them!

So what comes after the tagging, nest and fledgling counting? Anything exciting or new expected?

Glad you managed to get your visit Kezia.