Friday 29 July 2016

Farnes Reunion

Ex-wardens from the 1990's and 2000's (Stef McElwee)

Juan pointing the way with boat Skipper Bobby looking on (Stef McElwee)

Jason Moss talking about the finer points of seabird management (David Steel)

Like the od days...the boys in the pub (Wez Smith)

Old habits die hard; Steely on Staple talking to new staff member Tom (Wez Smith)

Inner Farne (Wez Smith)

Staple Island looking towards Brownsman (Wez Smith)

Friday 29th July comments: Last weekend a number of ex-Farne wardens met up in Seahouses for a long anticipated reunion. A number of ex-staff had travelled from far and wide to meet up in Seahouses and catch up over old times. From Shetland to Skomer (Wales) to Isle of May (Scotland) and even the south coast of England, eleven ex-wardens stayed in Seahouses for the weekend, reliving their days on the famous islands.
On Saturday the team visited the islands spending a few hours on both Staple and Inner Farne and as you would expect there was a lot of chat about seabirds and island management (especially considering the expertise amongst the group). There were certainly discussion points about the current Tern management on the islands especially from a vegetation point of view, but we’ll leave that for another blog post.
The weekend was a huge success, as the team met up with old friends from Bobby and Archie to William, Micky and Craig amongst many others. A repeat is already being planned for next year and we are looking at expanding numbers to even more ex-wardens.  
Thanks to everyone who made the journey to Seahouses and thanks to Stef and Juan for organising the first of many reunions! Thanks to Wez and Stef for the photos and also thanks to William Shiel ( for giving us a free lift out to the islands; a great day and evening was had by all (and a few sore heads as well).

Monday 13 June 2016

Amazing Arctic Terns

The impressive adult Arctic Tern

On the head mate!

A track from one of the birds off the farnes

Dr Chris Redfern in action

Dr Chris Redfern - the man behind the success

Welcome back old friend.
Monday 13th June comments: Over the last two weeks the BBC Springwatch team have been bringing you some excellent footage from the Farne Islands from Shag project work to the (almost) unbelievable story of the Arctic Terns.
During the late summer last year, up to seventeen adult Arctic Terns were fitted with geo-locators, devises which allow movements of birds to be tracked during the winter. These devises would remain on the birds throughout the autumn, winter and early spring until (hopefully) they would be recaught (as these birds are site faithful) and the data downloaded.

This spring seventeen were recaught and the information processed. The results were staggering as the various media outlets reported:

However this didn’t just happen overnight as it has been three years in the planning. First with me but the real hard work was carried out by Dr Chris Redfern. Over the last two years, Chris has applied (successfully) for funding and the permits required to carry out the work, then purchase the trackers before capturing the birds to put them on. Chris was then successful in finding and removing these devises this spring, so the real congratulations should be to the man behind the scenes; Chris Redfern.
Wildlife still continues to amaze even the hardest of scientist and don’t you just love it?