On our 4th day in northern England, the seas were again too high for the morning boat out of Seahouses. So our afternoon trip to Inner Farne would be our only birding for this day!
We once again had to take the 2-hour boat ride around the Farne Islands so were happy once we landed on Inner Farne, this time with no added adventures (see Day 1).
As we motored around the islands, I thought about what I wanted to look for during this one-hour visit. I wanted to try getting some more puffins with sand eels in their beaks as they flew by, look into some of the puffins’ burrows hoping to see a puffin chick, look for some pair behavior, and look for any other chicks. That is a lot for one hour but I move fast! LOL!
The first thing I noticed was that there were a lot more Arctic Tern chicks. These nests are all around the “entrance” to the island so you cannot avoid them. And with the chicks, the adults were even more aggressive in protecting the nests. I was pecked many times while getting the following images!
All of the images below were made with my Nikon D850 with my Nikon 200-500mm lens.
The Sandwich Terns were nesting away from the walkway more into the center of the island.
There are several gull species nesting on Inner Farne. The Black Headed Gulls had nests here and there!
As I reached the area where the puffins have their burrows, I saw this pair that had popped up above the foliage.
I checked out the burrows that had some light shining into them. I did not see any chicks but I did catch a few adults peering out!
At this point on the walkway, I realized that there were many puffins flying perpendicular to my position. I could follow them with my long lens from my left to my right in a straight shot. Occasionally one would fly the other way and sometimes right toward me. Puffins fly so fast that I did not worry if they had anything in their beaks or not, I used the “Spray and Pray” method, which is required for fast-flying birds!
From there I turned to the outer cliffs to find some “pair” behavior. The Razorbills, in amongst the Guillemots, were showing some interesting pairing movements!
The Shags were also showing some pairing behavior.
Our time on the island was getting short, so as I walked back toward the boat landing area I took a few more images.
That was another great hour on Inner Farne! Each time I came back with more interesting images but each time I realized I had not seen and caught everything yet!
I recommend the boat trip out to Inner Farne. If you can go more than once I highly recommend that! For a bird photographer, once or even twice, is not enough! I am looking for more than simple portraits…
The boat service we used was Billy Shiels, but there are several others. They normally go out of Seahouses Harbor from May through July but be sure to check with the National Trust to make sure they are letting people on the islands.
Click on any image to see a larger version OR visit my galleries to see and purchase prints and other items with these and many additional images: Gallery Link – Inner Farne Islands
My next blog will be Day 5 with another visit to Inner Farne and Seahouses cliffs.
That is all for now!