Posts Tagged ‘Escorted wildlife tours

04
Jul
17

I never cease to be amazed

I was trying to photograph Orchids at Upton Fen the other day and a Marsh Warbler started to sing almost beside me. I saw it briefly before heavy rain set in but having a macro lens fitted for the orchids I never had the remotest chance of getting a photo. The thing is you never know what you’re going to come across.

I’ve been visiting the Farne Islands off Northumberland for many years, perhaps more than I care to remember. On our tour there the week before last I was talking to one of the wardens on Staple Island about rare terns I’ve seen on the islands in the past; Sooty Tern a few years ago and in the nineties a Lesser Crested Tern frequented the islands for several years each breeding season. I saw on it on a couple of occasions. She was christened Elsie – LC for Lesser Crested – get it? But perhaps the best tern I’ve seen there is the Aleutian Tern I jammed in on during my very first visit in 1979 – a random visit not a twitch – I hadn’t a clue what it was and I don’t think the warden who pointed it out to me as it flew low over our heads was at all sure either; but Aleutian Tern was mentioned in conversation.

The Farnes are spectacular. As we sailed there the other week I looked out over the sea. It was full of Auks (Alcids if you’re reading this the other side of the Atlantic). The feathered biomass sat on the flat calm surface was just something else. Every time I go there it never ceases to amaze me. Rare birds or no rare birds it is a place I love to visit.

We decided amongst our group that the Puffins were without doubt the highlight. As usual as they returned to their burrows they were running the gauntlet of piratical Black Headed Gulls; so intent on stealing the Puffins Sand Eel booty.

I caught one individual from below as it flew over. It reminded me of Davy Jones the fictional character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, portrayed by Bill Nighy. If you’ve seen the films you’ll know what I mean.

Next years tour is on the website and I’m already taking bookings – ping me a mail if you’re interested. If you are a photographer or a bird watcher this is the place for you. If you are both … you’ll be in heaven.




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