Tuesday 3 April 2012

Great Gale Shrike

The North Sea - looking rough in Staple Sound (Andy Denton)

North end of Inner Farne (Ciaran Hatsell)

Rough seas from looking over St.Cuthbert's Chapel

Puffins sheltering on island top

Steely inspecting the cliffs - standing well clear! (Andy Denton)

Tuesday 3rd April comments: Goodbye spring, hello winter. What a day, the weather did exactly what it said on the tin - gale force easterly winds with driving rain (with the occasional snow showers). The wind gauge surpassed the 70mph mark whilst the wind chill dropped below -10 degrees. Yes it was that cold. The warm barmy sunny days of last week were long forgotten as we battened down the hatches, locked down the islands and stayed as warm as we could.

The Puffins were in shock (a bit like the rangers), the nesting Shags dismayed and the Guillemots were no where to be seen. It felt and looked like mid-winter. Lets hope it eases soon and we can get on with life as normal. I'm just glad this is not during the breeding season.

On the bird front, the easterly winds did bring a very stunning visitor - a Great Grey Shrike - the 21st for the islands (and eighth in the last eight years). The bird was discovered sheltering in the lighthouse compound early morning and was a real bonus for the day (another good bird for use for the year). Other migrants recorded included Blackbird 10, Song Thrush 10, Fieldfare 1, Redwing 3, male Black Redstart, Robin 4 and Chaffinch.

No comments: