Me of course, I love the birds, and studying them. I love their colours and shapes, their patterns and their noise. I want to learn everything about them, understand them and watch them. In fact, I could watch them for hours.
Peter just thinks they're birds.
OK, so it takes nearly two hours to drive there from Richmond. And OK, the trip to Staple Island that I had wanted for us to go on wasn't available. But, having just completed the trip to Inner Farne, we can't recommend Billy Shiels Farne Island boat trip highly enough. And I mean we. Peter really enjoyed it too. Definitely value for money, and definitely worth the drive and our time. We enjoyed it so much, we got off the boat at the end and asked each other "Can we go again?"
I've deleted over 100 photo's and I still have 181 left, which of course made it very difficult to select which ones to put on here.
First there was the little boat trip/tour showing us the islands in general. This is Staple Island, the one that I had hoped we could land on.
|The Pinnacles just off Staple Island|
|I picked this one because of the bird flying. Looks odd doesn't it. These are Guillemots and Kittiwakes|
|You can't even begin to work out how many there are.|
|I was dead chuffed with this picture, cos I didn't even know I'd taken it, and it was quite hard to get a photo of the seals in the water.|
|Big mama seals. The bulls are bigger and black.|
|So cute. This must be a very late pup, as there was only one other that looked like a youngster. Normally, the pups are born in the Autumn.|
|The Longstone lighthouse from where Grace Darling spotted the wrecked ship and then went with her father in a rowing boat to rescue the survivors.|
For those of you who need reminding of the story, there is a whole website dedicated to her: Grace Darling
Aggressive little beggars - they attack as you walk past. We were advised to put hats on, but they can still hurt with them sharp little beaks.
They are only protecting their nests, which are right alongside the walkway. You have to be careful where you put your feet lest you stand on eggs, or chicks, or a sitting bird.
|When you see this coming towards you, you duck.|
|Black-headed Gulls have chocolate brown heads. These seem like nesting in the same area as the Puffins.|
|I think there might have been more Guillemots than any other type of bird. There are also Shags and Kittiwakes nesting on these cliffs.|
|Unlike the other birds on the island, the Guillemots seemed to keep well away from the visitors. I managed to get pictures of these chicks using Peter's camera.|
|I only got one clear picture of a Kittiwake. They tended to stay away from the people too. Very noisy birds, but pretty too.|
|Easy to mix up with Guillemots from a distance. I really like these, especially with those white go faster stripes on the bill|
|A noisy group of Sandwich Terns nesting away from the visitors walkway. I like the black crests, a bit like a loose toupee in the wind.|
|This bird still has unhatched eggs. But many Shags had nests of two or three large furry chicks.|
|Not a pretty bird. When you see them like this, it's easy to imagine their reptilian ancestry.|
|I must of taken 50 photo's of empty sky and fuzzy things whizzing past, trying to get this picture. It was like Kings Cross Station - birds coming in with beaks full of sand eels, and birds flying out to get more.|
|Cormorants and Shags do not have the oils that other sea birds have to make their feathers waterproof. That's why you often see them stood like this - they're drying out!|