Early August on the Farne Islands

The sea bird season is coming to its end in early August, only a few Puffins, Gulls and terns are still about. I always get on to the islands in June and early July when the bird numbers are at their highest. The advantage with going later in the season, is there are less birds so its easy to focus on a few specific shots.

Its always great to see the Puffins bringing food in for the last of the Pufflings.

Arctic Terns are getting ready for one of the longest migrations in the birds world all the way to Antarctica.

Shags are common on the Farnes Islands and have a longer breeding season that most of the other seabirds. They feed their young with regurgitated food, often they are so keen to feed they will force their heads downs their parents heads.

Arctic Tern chicks grow quickly and gain strength for the trip south to the Antarctic 19000Km away!

Inner Farne is one of the 2 island that’s the public are allowed to visit from the 1st of May every year.

Atlantic Puffins form in large groups called rafts as they prepare to head out to sea for the winter.

When the wind is in the right direction puffins can take off quickly and easily. When you watch puffins alot you can tell when they are about to take off. This image is a composite of a puffin taking off on Staple Island (one of the outer Farne Islands).

Hint and tips for photographing on the Farne Islands:

Ideally get on the all day boat trip (with Billy Shiel, http://www.farne-islands.com/). This year you have to pay extra with the national trust, so if you planning on going more than 2 times in the years its cheaper to join the National Trust.

Pick a few subjects on each of the islands and spend your time on them rather than running around the island trying to get lots of shots. Best time of the highest number of birds get there in June and July, early July has always given me the best photos.

I will be writing a detailed guide to the islands as part of my Puffin Islands Project.

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