Zenfolio | THE GREY GIANTS OF AFRICA by John Deakin Photography | Farne Island and Puffins

Farne Island and Puffins

July 13, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

This was my second trip to photograph Puffins and my first to the Farne Islands.

My first trip to photograph Puffins was two seasons ago when I visited Skomer Island situated off the Pembrokeshire coast, South West Wales. On that visit the feeding of eels to the young pufflings had not started, the season was later than normal, however I was still very excited to see and photograph my first puffins there.

My recent foray onto the Farnes was timed perfectly and there were puffins flying in with beaks full of sand eels, landing close by to their burrows and then scurrying as quickly as possible down to their pufflings underground in order to escape the onslaught of the eel hijackers, the gulls who would attack immediately the puffins landed and many puffling meals were taken away before the youngsters had a chance to eat. Thats nature......

The morning we arrived to catch the 9.30 sailing from Seahouses harbour the conditions were overcast but bright enough to have a chance of capturing some photographs, indeed far better conditions than bright sunlight when wanting to photograph subjects which are so 'black and white' as are the puffins, so we headed off with great expectations. The sea was calm and on the way to our first docking we passed colonies of puffins, guillemots and razor bills and the odd gannet too.

The morning was fine with only a few light spells of drizzle and we all captured some worthwhile photographs before heading on to the second island where we would see the terns, the pesky birds that I was warned about, the birds that dive bomb the visitors and in some cases draw blood if you are not careful ...... I was lucky and came through without any scars :).

We were 10 minutes into the stay on the second island when word was sent to us all that boat would be sailing back to Seahouses early....within 10 mins....... they were expecting a storm to hit the area real soon...... we didn't want to get caught on the islands and not be able to leave .....

All the visitors to the various islands, together with the boat trippers, were now heading back to Seahouses in their respective charter boats, it was akin to the stacking of flight arrivals into Heathrow but with only one docking point available at the Seahouses harbour we were now caught out in the sea waiting our boats turn to off load its passengers, four or five bpoats in the queue ahead of us and the same behind us.... and the storm arrived...... yes, the heavens opened and yes we got drenched through to the skin and we all made the best of it and laughed our sodden socks off as our boat eventually docked and we disembarked to the nearest cafe to enjoy warming coffee and freshly baked hot scones.... 

A wonderful day spent with great friends....

Here are a few memories of my time there, I won't forget this day in a hurry....

With thanks to friends old and new and especially to my friends from the States who made the day all the more special, long time friends never previously met... but our shared love of wildlife and photography eventually made our first meeting happen, after many years of 'on line' contact, all the more perfect for that meeting to be spent on the Farnes...... and I hope it won't be the last meeting between us all... you know who you are, thank you :).





















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