After a few days around the local patch seeing the usual shelduck, cuckoo, 2 gadwall, cetti's etc. I visited my brother for a few days conveniently close to the Farne Isles. The journey up the A1 produced plenty of buzzards and a count of 8 red kites which fizzled out as we approached Lincolnshire. I booked a two and a half hour trip from Seahouses out to Staple Island although there was plenty of room and booking was not really required (they didn't run to Inner Farnes that morning).
Seahouses Harbour from the pub where we had lunch
Eiders in the harbour
Approaching Inner Farne - boats hold up to 70 people
Motored around stopping at the common seal colony for photography
Arctic Terns flying around us tempting photography
Masses of guillemots plus shags and a few razorbills
You had to be quick to catch puffins from the boat as they dived on approach
Most of the guillemots seemed to be loitering and not on eggs
Taken from the boat - lucky the sea was calm
Visitors on Staple Island
On Staple Island, manned by several young National Trust wardens
Lesser black-backed gulls patrolled the puffin breeding area and tried to attack the puffins as they flew in with a beak full of sand eels
This one made it without being robbed
Razorbills were nowhere as abundant as guillemots
Shags were well advanced with their breeding, this one was being targeted by three wardens to have a radio tracker fitted. It was growling and swearing at them, all the time most unhappy, when we returned after doing our circuit they were still there, the bird still unhappy which I suggested but they said no, it was fine! They were ready with a noose on the end of a pole, no doubt to go around its neck!
Kittiwakes were plentyfull
Can't resist the puffins
On our return to the harbour we did a circuit around Inner Farne after an hour on Staple - the Arctic terns breed here but not on Staple.
A few shots from the boat - light changes rapidly the razorbill here was taken at ISO 6400 as I had it set on auto.
Whilst I was visiting the area it was clear that swallows were in considerable more numbers than in Kent and kestrels were quite common along the roadsides. Off course roads were much better all over, mainly new dual carriageways, no tiny lanes plus facilities were new and numerous eg. a brand new hospital just opened close to where I was staying. It is quite clear there is a north south divide and we are on the wrong side of it plus they have more birds as well!