Me on right under attack on the toilet run
You shall not pass
Close up Sea Clown
Digiscoped feeding time
Bridled Tern in flight
The Bridled Tern excitement became to much
Seahouses at the close of play
Farne Island location
The journey from Staple Island to Inner Farne took about thirty minutes with landing. Brian Stretch kindly text me that the Bridled Tern had been relocated during the morning but there had been no sign for a number of hours. I scanned both sides of the landing jetty without luck so we made our way on to the boardwalk which was about 1/2 mile in length. Within yards you were under attack from the Arctic Terns who had young or eggs centimetres from the walkway. You would be very brave not to wear a hat as these demons of the sky certainly made their presence felt with noise and actions.
The walk to the toilet block is particularly high risk due to the high density of nesting birds. As you can see from my top photograph once you avoid a tern nip there is another waiting for you. It was a real life experience for sure.
As you headed up hill the Arctics were reduced in numbers giving way to a colony of Sandwich Terns and more Puffins. Black-Headed Gulls did try and mob the Puffins that returned with food but the Puffins dived into their burrows frustrating the Gulls. At the top of the island you could have chill out from being dived bombed and we had our lunch looking out over the Puffins and sea where there was a constant flow of Gannets flying along the shore line.
The National Trust wardens were doing a great job welcoming and guiding all the visitors. They did have their work cut out as there was a couple of misinformed photographers clearly antagonising some the Arctic Terns for photographic purposes. There were plenty of terns to be photographed.
In terms of numbers of breeding pairs on Inner Farne, the 2010 survey indicated 280 Shag, 313 Eider, 1,278 Kittiwakes, 761 Sandwich Tern, 110 Common Tern, 1,110 Arctic Tern, 9,813 Puffins, 128 Razorbills.
I then headed back down to the jetty area on the hope the Bridled Tern may have returned. There was about 4/5 of us having a serious look for the bird and among the scanned birds I found a single Roseate Tern which was pleasing. Just when I was going to take a digiscoped image another birder shouted "Bridled Tern" and I switched camera to grab an image of the bird flying away from us. The bird then landed when I managed to get some digiscoped images and some video. This rare tern has made it's way from the Caribibean so is a genuine MEGA. It's thought it is the same bird that visited the island last year, it is thought it's only the 25th record for Britain.