The winding down of the seabird breeding season on the Farne Islands must bring mixed feelings for the islands' wardens. On the one hand, the chance to get home for a wash; on the other, an end to one of the most exhilarating wildlife experiences on the planet. It certainly reads that way on the excellent Farne Islands blog. We spent a day there at the back end of July which is well past the peak time for breeding auks. Most of the Guillemots and Razorbills had left, but there were plenty of Puffins still on the islands. The soundscape, however, was dominated by the Kittiwakes. With the cliffs to themselves, and only the guttural noises of Puffins and Shags to compete with, it was easy to get the kids tuned in to their distinctive call, and they repeated it all the way home. And the next day. And the next day...
|Juvenile Kittiwake - a beautiful plumage in my view|
|Kittiwake - adult|
|Nicely backlit on the cliffs of Staple Island|
|A very young bird still with downy feathers|
|Kittiwake panting on the nest|