The wildlife here amazes me. There is such a varied variety of birds that come and go throughout the year and one of my favourites is the Sandwich Tern that turns up about the same time as the swallows. They are incredible hunters, flying twenty or so feet above the water and then suddenly diving to catch a fish. These birds were flying close overhead at Amble Harbour this week. The light was good an there was a brisk wind that slowed the birds’ flight right down in one direction and made them impossible to capture in the other.
It is quite distinguishable from the more delicate-looking Arctic Tern which has bright red bill and longer streamers in flight.
Delicate they may look, but Arctic Tern have the longest migration of any bird, travelling between both polar regions.
They are aggressively territorial too and will peck you on the head if you walk near a nest. Yes, they can draw blood and visitors to the Farnes wear hats. It may seem counter intuitive to allow visitors to the Farne Islands during the breeding season, but people keep the gulls away and gulls predate the eggs and young of the terns.
I haven’t yet managed to get photos of the Roseate Tern. The largest nesting colony in the UK is on Coquet Island. There is a fantastic live webcam feed from the island viewed here. It’s worth a watch. Turn your speakers down, they are noisy blighters. You should spot some puffin too.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.