Splash – a lesser black-backed gull takes off
Trip 5 was one for my own photography and amongst the oodles of puffins, razorbills and guillemots there were lots of cute ‘jumplings’: baby guillemots taking their first plunge as they fledge off the cliffs into the open seas. There are tens of thousands of guillemots on the Farne Islands – what a noise – and smell! Later in the trip, razorbills were being buffeted by the high winds up the lighthouse cliffs, which made for some unusual portraits. And lastly, I tried some flash-lit shags, which I think really brings out those luminous green eyes.
Visits 6, 7 and 8 were also for my own photography and resulted in some shots I didn’t already have. There’s always something new to be found at the Farnes: it’s reassuring to know how diverse the wildlife is throughout the season and a trip to the islands is never wasted, even if it’s pouring down.
One of the trips was an evening looking for minke whales. We didn’t see any, but I managed to snaffle some manx shearwater and common scoter shots and we saw a harbour porpoise on the way back. No whales, but good opportunities to photograph the regiments of gulls and gannets that passed by.
Part of my mission for visits 6 & 7 was to get two of the more rare visitors to the Farnes: the roseate terns and the ‘mega’ twitch, the bridled tern. I’ll blog about those separately in a while.
The weather may be damp and dull and the summer may well be gasping its last breaths, but the swallows are still swooping about and chirruping happily. I’ve spent a fair bit of the summer photographing them in the UK and France this year, so that’s where the next blog post will take us.
In the meantime, if you’d like a copy of my book, “Wildlife of the Farne Islands”, you can get one here.
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