Monday, 15 July 2013

Farne Islands - 4.7.13

With news of a mega rare Bridled Tern in Northumberland I set about gettign a day off work to go. I'd been offered a lift from Chris Sharp of the Sharpy birding collective fame (see blog on my blog list) but couldnt get the day off. Later in the day another lift offer from Tony Blake came my way and with some persuasion I managed to get the day off. I woke at 12.30am and while going to the car 3 Tawny Owl were hooting away and then on my journey nearly ran over a suicidal Badger that shot out infront of me. Tony picked me up at 1.30am and a clear journey saw us at Seahouses at 7am. News from the boatmen was positive that the warden on the Farnes had seen the bird so spirits were high. At 9am I set foot on the islands for the first time and soon learned that the warden hadnt seen the bird as he had a lie in as he'd been up early the previous few days. Spirits dampened and 3 hours went and no sign. Annoyingly we had to leave the island as it shuts for lunch and in the 15 mins it took to get back to the mainland news broke that it had popped on the rocks we'd been staring at almost as soon as we had left but then flew off after 5 minutes. We went back over but again there was no sign and at 4pm hungry and tired we set off for home frustrated that we had missed it because of a strange ruling for lunch breaks! Due to a couple of rest stops and the M1 being shut I climbed into bed at 11.30pm after 640 mile, 22 hour round trip. The next day it was re-found on the mainland and showed well on and off. That's twitching for you! The islands though are very impressive and the sheer numbers of birds is amazing with Puffins, Guillemots and Terns everywhere. I did have a Bridled first though in the shape of my first ever 'Bridled' Guillemot!

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