Unbridled Passion

by on Jul.02, 2013, under Birdwatching, Farne Islands, Northumberland, Photography

I love a lot of things; seabirds, cetaceans, Northumberland, photography and, of course, Sarah 🙂

When news broke yesterday that a Bridled Tern had been discovered roosting near the jetty on Inner Farne I immediately began wondering whether it would hang around until today and, if it did, how could I fit a visit to Inner Farne into my schedule, between office work this morning and a meeting with the Northumberland Wildlife Trust this afternoon?  After getting a few of my admin tasks out of the way first thing, a quick ‘phone call to Billy Shiel’s booking office secured my place on a sailing at 10:00.  The drive north on the A1 was plagued by the ever-present worry that accompanies a twitch – would the bird still be there?

Arriving at Seahouses harbour in good time for the sailing I was chatting to William Shiel when he mentioned that he was about to send a boat across to the islands to collect one of his crew…and would I like to go across on that one?  So, I had the extraordinary experience of being the only passenger on Glad Tidings IV and was soon watching the tern, although it was quite distant.  The 10:00 boat arrived and the birders on it had a view of the bird for about five seconds before it flew off.  At about 11:00 I heard the bird calling, but it couldn’t be located anywhere in the roost.  Then, half an hour later, Phil found it roosting on the rocks just below a group of Puffins.  As boats arrived and collected their passengers, I was eventually left on the island with two other birders and a few of the National Trust Rangers.

We could see our boat heading across Staple Sound from the outer islands then, the stuff of dreams; the roosting terns lifted and the Bridled Tern flew past us, then back, then past us, then towards us…then settled on the rocks no more than 30′ away 🙂

Bridled Tern,Onychoprion anaethetus,Farne Islands,Northumberland,bird photography, bird photography tuition,bird photography holidays,Northern Experience Images

Bridled Tern,Onychoprion anaethetus,Farne Islands,Northumberland,bird photography, bird photography tuition,bird photography holidays,Northern Experience Images

Bridled Tern,Onychoprion anaethetus,Farne Islands,Northumberland,bird photography, bird photography tuition,bird photography holidays,Northern Experience Images

Bridled Tern,Onychoprion anaethetus,Farne Islands,Northumberland,bird photography, bird photography tuition,bird photography holidays,Northern Experience Images

Bridled Tern,Onychoprion anaethetus,Farne Islands,Northumberland,bird photography, bird photography tuition,bird photography holidays,Northern Experience Images

With excellent help from William and his skippers, the very accommodating Farne Islands rangers who were ‘enjoying’ the unusual experience of visitors on Inner Farne in a morning, and the remarkably obliging Bridled Tern posing in front of my camera, I headed back down the A1 for my meeting full of enthusiasm…not that I’m ever anything other than enthusiastic when meeting with NWT of course 😉

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