Puffins on Inner Farne

After a wet and windy morning put us off the boat trip to the Farne Islands yesterday, today we made the crossing. The Farnes are a group of 15 – 20 or more islands depending on the state of the tide. They are very famous in the bird watching and nature photography communities.The boats all leave from the nearby harbour of Seahouses. We travelled about 8 miles to the Outer Farnes, mainly to see the seals and nesting Kittiwakes. Once around the Outer Farnes the boat headed back to the largest island called Inner Farne where we were able to get off the boat. Walking up the path to the main part of Inner Farne is probably what puts a lot of visitors off, thousands of Arctic Terns are nesting, literally within inches of the path and they tend to dive bomb people to protect their nests and young. One member of our party was pecked and drew blood but I think that is because he stopped to take a photograph, if you keep moving past their nests and wear a hat then you should be safe. The main reason I wanted to go to the Farne Islands was to see the Puffins, 55,000 nesting pairs on Inner Farne this year. I had never seen a puffin before but I saw hundreds today. They are small birds, like pigeons or seagulls but they nest underground, in what can only be described as rabbit holes. It’s very surreal seeing a bird swoop down, land, and then waddle along into a hole. The above photograph shows two puffins, I found it difficult to get good photographs as I don’t have a long, fast lens but I liked this picture so thought I would share the experience with you.

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