Friday 28 June 2013

One Sandwich Short of a Picnic

Plenty of Puffins having a good season (Ciaran Hatsell)

Duck crossing; Eider duck with ducklings

Supper time for Guillemots (Bex Outram)

Razorbill chick showing off (Bex Outram)

Shag chicks growing strong

Picnic take over...Sandwich Terns and Black-headed Gulls (Bex Outram)

Friday 28th June comments: Its all go on the Farnes as the breeding season is coming to a tremendous climax. All the seabirds have now got chicks, so parents are actively coming and going with food as there are plenty of hungry mouths to feed! As a guide, here is what is happening at this moment on the Farne Islands:

Puffins: some birds still on eggs but the general majority are now feeding chicks. The 'Puffin Cam' chick is growing stronger by the day and the full census of the population continues.

Arctic Terns: all now have chicks although pecking still continues so bring a hat!

Sandwich Terns: a 'third wave' of birds has arrived and just started nesting...on our picnic site. This site has never been used before and we've had to temporarily close it - its 'their' island after all!

Roseate Terns: at least one pair seen daily on Inner Farne and are showing signs of breeding, so fingers crossed.

Guillemots and Razorbills: Chicks are growing up and some have already departed for the open sea, having 'jumped' over the last few days.

Shags: All still on nests with many feeding small young.

Kittiwakes: A mixed bag, as some have small chicks but others are still incubating - its going to be a protracted season!

Overall the season has been good for the seabirds, as warm weather and plenty of sand-eels is ensuring everything continues to tick along very nicely. So fingers crossed for much the same over the next five or six weeks and we'll be happy. However as everyone knows, things can change very suddenly. Its still all to play for...

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