A WALK ON THE WILDSIDE---PAUL FOSTER

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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Farne Islands Northumberland.

Ringed Plover
Lying on my belly I got some good views.

Eider duck out at sea.






Lovely drake Eider...




Female.
I`d been promising myself a trip to Northumberland to visit the magnificent Farne islands, so I decided to make the 200 mile journey north to coincide with the brilliant weather we`d been having and also to call in and see my brother Stephen,who had recently moved up there!
He`d been telling me for ages to come up and enjoy the fantastic scenery of the rugged north eastern coastline and surrounding areas.It really is another world up there and I could see the reason he`d upped sticks from Lancashire to go and live in that quiet,unspoilt area.He spent a good few hours showing me around his local patch, where every other bird seemed to be a Yellowhammer
blasting out its repetitive tune.The cottage he lived at was attached to a farm,and Swallows were numerous around the outbuildings.There must have been 12 pairs breeding there along with a pair of Barn Owls which afforded good views towards dusk!However it was the Farnes that excited me the most, and the following morning found me on the harbour at Seahouses.It was only 6.30 a.m so I had plenty time to wander around. The first boat didn`t leave till 9.45,so I made my way around to the headland where I hoped to see some Eider duck.I was told it was a good place to search for them and scanning the bay,I soon located a small group out to sea, bobing about on the waves.A bit distant really but it was a start anyway.I came across a pair of Ringed Plover, one of which came to within 20 metres of where I was sat.Some decent images were obtained before I concentrated on finding more Eider, hopefully within camera range.A few birds flew in off the sea and settled behind another headland,although a bit exposed I decided to take my chance with them and carefully manoeuvered myself into a position where I could observe them at close range.The Drake is a beautiful looking bird with its black and white plummage interspersed with the limey green colours around its head.The female being a plain brown bird,not so eyecatching.I noticed too, plenty of newly hatched ducklings accompanying their mothers in the shallow bay.
Luckily a few drake Eider came and settled on the edge of the shoreline not to far away and again I was happy with the images I obtained!Time was getting on now, so a quick call into the cafe was made, for a bacon sandwich and coffee before I proceeded to the harbour to board Billy Shiels` boat `Glad Tidings`.
His charter had been recommended to me, and I was excited at what lay ahead. It surely is a mecca for birdwatchers and photographers.I`ll tell you all about it in my next blog.I wasn`t to be dissapointed!!!!




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