Bobbing around on a boat

I've been waiting ages for a spell of good weather so I could head off to the Farne Islands and try my hand at photographing the Puffins and other sea birds.
It's an hour and a half from Gilsland to Seahouses on the Northumberland coast, travelling along the A69 and then up the A, not a bad run.
It was perfect weather and I'd arranged to go with Serenity, the skipper Andrew is @thefarnes on twitter and he kept me updated with all the information I needed for the day.
Got there early and explored the coast, saw some Eider Ducklings with female Eiders.
I love these Cuddy Ducks and had hoped to photograph some males who look very splendid in their mating plumage but alas, most of the drakes I saw were moulting and looked very bedraggled.

Eider Duckling stepping out.

The boat Serenity II, a catamaran, was leaving at 12.15 and I was on board and eager to get underway, I'd taken some pills to avoid sea sickness and it wasn't particularly rough.

View to Bamburgh Castle from Seahouse Harbour

There's a tour around before you land on Inner Farne and to be honest I got on the boat thinking that was going to be a waste of time, but it was brilliant.
We sailed around the Pinnacles, great towers of rock, absolutely covered in nesting sea birds.

The Pinnacles

The smell on a hot day was eye watering, lots of guano giving the rocks a white hue and encouraging lots of flies too, but the birds don't seem to mind it, building nests in tiny cracks or shelves in the rock.

Nesting birds fill every ledge

Andrew and his first mate Keith took us in really close and pointed out the various nesting birds.
Then off past Staple Island and the Longstone Lighthouse with a bit about local heroine Grace Darling.

Longstone Lighthouse with a Grey Seal or two watching the boat.

Northumberland has a population of Grey seals on these islands and as we approached the Island they popped their heads up and posed for photographs.

Grey Seal

Inner Farne
 Then it was on to Inner Farne and time for my big lens, but more from that tomorrow, but for now here's a Puffin shot hopefully to whet your appetite.

1 comment:

David Richardson said...

Great shots of the puffins and the close up of the seal