3 June 2013

The Farne Islands: 3 June

It's been a very long time coming but today I finally visited the Farne Islands for the first time, and what an absolutely fantastic place! We sailed with Billy Shiel's Boats - shame it was so busy with people and we were crammed into the boat like sardines (the whole experience reminded me of my trip to the Galapagos), but well worth the visit. I feel slightly ashamed it's taken me so long to get here, but I'll definitely be coming back.

Spent two hours on Staple Island in the morning and then two hours on Inner Farne in the afternoon. On Staple Island lots of Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill, Guillemot, Kittiwake, Common Eider, Shag, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and 1 Oystercatcher, 1 Rock Pipit, Herring Gull, 3+ Mallard were noted, and on Inner Farne lots of Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Atlantic Puffin, Guillemot, Razorbill, Fulmar, Kittiwake, Shag, Black-headed Gull and 1 Rock Pipit and several Barn Swallow. Also seen were small numbers of nesting Great Cormorant on Inner Farne, lots of Great Black-backed Gull, and 1 Sand Martin over north at Seahouses Harbour. Plenty of Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus were seen in the Outer Farnes and lots of Sea Campion Silene uniflora flowering on Staple Island.

Arctic Tern attack, Inner Farne

Arctic Terns nest right next to the boardwalk on Inner Farne. And I mean right next to the boardwalk! The birds were still on eggs...

...and aggressively defending their nests against unwelcome tourists


As it says on the Farne Islands blog "our Arctic Terns are now pecking hard - you have been warned!"

It's impossible to beat the views of Arctic Terns that you get on Inner Farne

Atlantic Puffin, Staple Island

Atlantic Puffin, Inner Farne

Atlantic Puffin, Inner Farne

Atlantic Puffins, Inner Farne

Female Common Eider on nest, Staple Island

Northern Fulmar, Staple Island

Common Guillemots, Staple Island

Sea Campion Silene uniflora, Staple Island

Inner Farne


  1. Excellent post. I wish I could do birding there still this season. :)

    Best, Szimi

  2. Fabulous photos Lee. Especially like the first one. Love to go there