Tag: Bridled Tern

A game of two halves; Farne Islands Safari 24/06/2014

by on Jul.01, 2014, under Birdwatching, Farne Islands, Northumberland, Northumberland Coast

Even when you can see inclement weather ahead of you, there’s usually a light at the end of the tunnel 🙂

I collected Stephen from home in North Shields, and then Peter from his holiday cottage at Eshott, and we headed north towards the Northumberland coast and the Farne Islands, our destination for the afternoon.  The first half of the day was planned to be a walk along the coast from High Newton, but the deteriorating weather made that an unwelcoming prospect and instead we had a ‘car as a hide’ morning of birdwatching.  A Spoonbill in Budle Bay was an unexpected find and the eerie calls of Grey Seals carried through the mist and drizzle across the low-tide mudflats.

Then the light at the end of the tunnel appeared, well not so much a light as an incandescent ball of wildlife magic.  We were eating lunch, and looking forward to the journey across to the islands, when Peter said “They look like dolphins off the end of the rocks”.  I lifted my binoculars and the view was filled with Bottlenose Dolphins 🙂  We watched as they passed close to the shore, then they settled and began feeding between Bamburgh Castle and Inner Farne.  A quick text to William meant that, by the time we arrived at the harbour, all of his skippers knew where the dolphins were and our journey across to the islands included several minutes with them bow-riding our boat.  I’ve been studying this group of dolphins for the last three months, and some inital findings are in MARINElife’s press release.  Following a cruise around the islands, we landed on Inner Farne.  One of the wardens mentioned that the Bridled Tern had been seen, and a quick sacn soon revealed it’s location in amongst the roosting Arctic, Common and Sandwich Terns.  Here are a few pictures of this stunning seabird from last year on Inner Farne

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

After an hour amongst the Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Shags and terns, we crossed back to the mainland and headed south.  Miserable morning, magical afternoon 🙂

 

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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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