Category Archives: Seabird Colonies

Common, Arctic, Sandwich, Roseate AND Bridled – what a day out!

A great day out with Tony and Glyn, to the north-east.

An early 5.15am start saw us off to South Shields, looking for Roseate Terns. Disappointingly, there were none there, although we saw Arctic, Common and Sandwich Terns. There were also 2 Purple Sandpipers, Turnstones and a few Kittiwakes.

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Moving round to the north of the Tyne at Tynemoth, we saw a large colony of Sandwich Terns, loafing, but still no Roseate's. Off then up to Seahouses, for a 12pm appointment with a "Serenity Tours" boat trip to Inner Farne, one of the Farne Islands.I'm not usually very good on boats, but needs must and I put myself through it every year, so down with the Stugeron tablets and here goes. My tactic this year was to drink plenty of water and also to eat some cereal bars before and during the trip. Oh, and to recognise any nausea symptons, as they appear, and stop photographing birds, until it wears off.

Out to the islands there were the usual birds, Puffins, Gannets, Razorbills, Guillemots, Common Eider, Herring Gulls, Kittiwakes, Shags, Cormorants and of course Common and Arctic Terns.There was also a large flock of Common Scoter. The boat trip first went to Staple Island, the farthest out, to trawl around the "needles" for the many nest sites, then round by Brownsman Lighthouse, for the usual patter about Grace Darling, etc., etc., then stop to have a look at the seals, aaah, then eventually to Inner Farne for approx. 13.30h, which normally is the earliest you can land here during nesting season.

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I say earliest, but over the past week or so there has been a very special visitor here, the first twitchable Bridled Tern in over 20 years. The few days before our visit, the bird had been seen very sporadically, so we were not hopeful, especially only having 1 hour on the island. Well, landing at Inner Farne I saw a birder with a telescope pointing at a bird and asked him if it was possibly the Bridled Tern – to my surprise he said yes, and I and my friends got great views through his scope, until he had to dash for the boat.

A lifer for me!

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Great stuff.

Well after this, a quick wander around the island, to photograph the Terns, the Puffins, Razorbills, Shags, etc., until the boat back.

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More images in the gallery below.

On the way back, after chips, peas and gravy [very nice], we called in at Amble Harbour and eventually connected with a Roseate Tern at around 6pm. After that it was a long drive home [for Tony anyway, he was driving – thanks Tony], arriving back home at 21.40h. 

Great day out.

I've changed the blog format slightly, in that i now link directly to a gallery of images below, rather than having to resize them all to fit into the blog space. It means i have to do less processing and you get to enjoy looking at full-size images.

Cheers.

Richard

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Also posted in 2013, News, Visits, Year