Farne Islands (4) – other species

So far my Farne Island blogs have covered grey seals, puffins and razorbills but there are also shags, kittiwakes, guillemots, arctic and sandwich terns there.  Below you can see examples of these other species plus the view from the boat as we leave Inner Farne.

Shag (Phahacrocorax aristotelis) and Guillemot (Uria aalge)
Colony of Sandwich Terns (Sterna sandvicensis)
Colony of Guillemots
Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), Razorbill ( Alca torda) and Puffin (Fratercula arctica)
Arctic Tern(Sterna paradisaea)
Inner Farne

Farne Islands (3) – Razorbills

We love razorbills.  They are the closest living relative of the now extinct Great Auk and the only surviving member of the alca genus which had a much greater diversity three million years ago.  They also choose one mate for life (see featured image).  On Inner Farne we were able to get closer to razorbills than I think we have ever been before.

Alca torda – Farne Islands


Farne Islands (2) – A Puffin Tale

We went to the Farne Islands to see a variety of birds but, the main reason most people go there… is for the puffins. Clownish little auks that waddle around and work incredibly hard to fish and then fight off the gulls to deliver food to their young.

The captioned pictures will hopefully give you a flavour of one puffin’s fishing trip…

Taking a relaxing stroll through the fields before a challenging flight
Final check of tail flight feathers
Shall I fly north, or south, or east, or west?
Final check on the sea conditions
Back on dry land after a successful mission.  Showing off the catch to my mates before heading to my chicks in the burrow.

The elusive Chough

First day in Pembrokeshire and we spent all morning and all afternoon walking along coastal paths enjoying the scenery and hoping that we would see a chough.  We did not see one.  Next morning we did the same thing – walking along clifftops, grassy banks, rock formations etc. – nothing.  After lunch we went to the beach at Marloes Sands.  We walked for a good two hours and, just as we were about to leave the beach, what did we see high up on the grassy bank between the rocky crags?….a pair of choughs.  A bit of a distance away but a lot better than not seeing one at all.


London’s Ring-necked Parakeets

People used to go to London to see the Queen or St Pauls, Big Ben or the Tower of London but, these days people go to see the Shard & the Gherkin or the London Eye …..or even the parakeets.  Yes, the parakeets!

We were in Kensington Gardens and, while we knew all about the Ring-necked parakeets that populate many of London’s parks, we were astounded at how many overseas tourists visit to see them.

Psittacula krameri