Saturday, 19 May 2012

Winds from the east and a helpless beast!

Grey Seal with netting around its neck (David Steel) 

Freedom - released with net cut off (David Steel) 

Ranger Ciaran holding some of the netting (David Steel) 

'White' Wagtail on Staple Island

Saturday 19th May comments: 40 stone of pure blubber, muscle and hyped up aggression. Say hello to a bull Grey Seal on the Farnes.

As we arrived on Staple Island we were greeted by a seal with fishing net around its head. Following a review of the situation we swiftly went back to Brownsman to collect a few items and returned a few minutes later to take it on...

To take on an adult seal takes skill, timing and a bit of experience (having done this before) and one thing we would recommend: don’t try this at home! After a few minutes (with three grown men pinning the animal down) we cut away the netting and released our friend back into the North Sea. Although it wasn’t too grateful, we knew we probably had just saved its life. Just a typical working day for the Farne Island ranger team.

The weather appears to have weakened and the low front is disappearing quicker than we thought – which is good news. However it came too late for our young Pied Wagtails in their nest, as they all succumbed to the rain yesterday as all were found dead this morning. A sad end and yet more victims of this terrible weather. On the passage migrant front, there had been a huge clear out over night as all our star birds had departed and moved on. Highlights of the day included several lingering migrants with the summer plumage Black Guillemot returning to the kettle just off Inner Farne.


Citybirding said...

Well done!

Flotsam said...

You are a brave bunch. Although seals look full of blubber they must have a good set of swimming muscles under there.