Day 10: the Farne Islands

Walked down to Seahouses and ate lunch in harbour (young eiders, terns). Boat trip around islands – grey seals, gannets, puffins, occasional guillemot or razorbill, shags, cormorants, kittiwakes on rocks, various gulls. One rather impressive Arctic Skua which the pilot and guide didn’t notice, although the little boy beside me piped up ‘big brown bird!!’ – he must have an eye for ornithology. Very distinctive tail with the telltale prong (typed ‘pong’ accidentally, had to go back and correct it!), with sharp pale front. Various terns.

Landing on Inner Farne: puffins, a few guillemots, cormorants and young, kittiwakes and young, terns and chicks – identified Arctic , Common, Sandwich and Roseate terns. Air thick with birds – hard to describe both proximity and density of birds around us. We came before in 2006, so more prepared this time – and less compelled to take pictures of absolutely everything.

Back to Seahouse for fudge chunk ice cream. Went out for evening meal at the Craster Arms in Beadnell. Back at cottage, looked at moon through Andy’s spotterscope – could make out craters on the shadow side – awesome. Bats, too, and owl shrieking somewhere. Curlews calling across fields.

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