The Farne Islands are on TV with the terns attacking Simon King, I want to go back there this year! When we went one tern just plonked itself down on my dads head and he was walking around with it on his head with everyone pointing at him! Still, meant he didn't get pecked!
Millie & Fly the Border Collies
The Farnes are so lovely, I've been once but mean to go back sometime. Hilarious story about your Dad!
A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
In reply to Rach:
The farnes are brilliant, I am not sure about letting people land on the inner farne, to have the birds disturbed, they must not like it otherwise they would not attack people, Holy island is also a great place to visit, marsh frittilaries are quite common there. Alan
always many sides to an argument
In reply to robin red:
Jackfrost - The Terns used to have their nests more spread out across Inner Farne, but over time they have moved their nests closer and closer to the boardwalk (some of them nesting actually on the boardwalk), as the presence of humans protects them from predation by the gulls, who are scared off by all of the people. Plus, visitors are only allowed on the island for 4 hours each day, so the majority of the time they remain relatively undisturbed (other than the wardens moving around that is). The Wardens take care that the Terns aren't disturbed, and very few eggs/chicks are lost due to disturbance. The Terns attack because its in their instincts to attack any 'predators' near the nest, they literally attack everything, its not just because people are there!
Kat Tai - I missed out on the program! Sounds good though! I remember when I was working there we had so many camera crews come out! I remember that Tern as well...used to sit on peoples heads and then try to peck through hats! There is another that attacks shoulders, and one that goes for ears!! Always good for some painful entertainment! You should go back this year if you can, although maybe not at the moment, as the winds are ridiculously strong! May or June are best really. Do you follow the Farne Islands blog?
Home again, home again.
Check it: http://sarahwestsblog.blogspot.co.uk/
In reply to SarahW:
Sorry Sara I still dont like it to watch the poor birds going frantic cannot be right, just to make money for people, you can get a lot of pleasure going on a boat around the island, to se all the birds and seals, sorry but if anyone was going near a nest on the mainland and was seen by such as yourself, they would be fined. Well done on you new post on papa westray, what a placxe. Alan
I went to Inner Farne last year, and whilst the Terns did attack, there were other birds, such as Shags who had no problem with people getting close, even when they were sitting on nests. One of the staff there explained it was because they knew they were safe, and did sense that the presence of people was one thing that kept them from harm. It was a great experience and I'd love to go back.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
In reply to appleanne:
JackFrost - All of the money made on the Farne Islands is used to maintain them. Without visitors there would be no wardens and without the wardens the islands would descend into chaos! The plants would grow non-stop so there would be no Terns nesting at all, and those that did nest would be predated by the gulls! I agree that the sail-arounds are good fun, but the money paid to go on the boat trips does not go to the islands and therefore doesn't help to conserve them (other then when they bring visitors on). Visitors still aren't allowed to go near the nests, and they are definitely not allowed to wander off of the paths, to the more vulnerable Tern colonies, which is what they would be doing on the mainland. The Terns do get disturbed to some extent, but even without visitors there would still be wardens on the island, as they are necessary for maintaining the Tern nesting areas and carrying out important research on the colonies. But I do understand that some people are uncomfortable with it. Have you visited Staple Island instead? No Terns nesting there :)
P.S. - When did I mention Papa Westray? I don't remember doing that!
Appleanne - I agree! Most of the birds there are now used to the presence of humans and don't get worried by people at all, except when they get too close, which is why public access is restricted to the pathways.
KatTai - Happy memories of the Farnes too. My Dad was mad about the puffins and I was besotted by the terns. So elegant in their profile and when feeding. My young daughter was terrified however. Wish I'd seen that programme. Thanks.
In reply to Snapdragon:
(access is restricted to the pathways) and yet the birds are still going frantic at them surely this means the birds are getting disturbed, and I believe in the wildlife and countryside act, that is against the law ?? or have we got double standards here. Alan
The Terns go frantic at everything! It's impossible to move the paths to somewhere else without disturbing every bird nesting on the islands, covering Puffin burrows etc. And there are many restrictions on how long the island is allowed to be open and how many people are allowed on the islands during this time. I understand your concern with disturbing the Terns, but I assure you precautions are in place, and nests very rarely fail due to disturbance. Weather/overfishing/climate change are much more prominent concerns.
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