We split into buddy pairs (Steve & Mike, Jamie & Dawn, Ellie & me), before entering the water at slightly different intervals. Puffins are on their way out – you may catch some at the beginning of the month and see them out at sea. But, the peak puffin breeding season is around May and June. Once home to saints, soldiers and legendary lighthouse keepers, the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast are now a sanctuary for seabirds and seals. Before heading to the Farne Islands, you need to plan your trip carefully depending on what you want to see, as the islands are closed for landings during the winter, and the birds are only there at certain times of the year for nesting. It... Rīga is a large sprawling city where a third of Latvia's population lives. We also got to watch the grey seals lolling around on the rocks on the edge of the islands, barking and groaning at each other. amzn_assoc_asins = "B06XH9MJRC,0753726289,B01HSE4EPW,B01BV14I40"; Throughout April, August, September and October this tour is available morning and afternoon. Grey seals and seal pups can be seen from boats. The Farne Islands are located between Bamburgh and Seahouses on the Northumberland coast and are home to one of the largest seal colonies in the UK with around 1,000 seal pups born each year. T hey are one of the world’s rarest seal species, officially endangered by a combination of water pollution, fishing nets and seaside tourism. It was fun watching their antics. Published 4 December 2019. Îles Farne Farne Islands ... Les îles Farne constituent un habitat important pour la faune, en même temps qu’elles sont très visitées par des excursions en bateau au départ de Seahouses (en). It is hard to miss the seals, m ainly because the grey seal colony at the Farnes numbers around about 5,000! Eider ducks start to leave and are generally gone by the start of July. A visit to the Farne Islands starts in the pretty Northumberland fishing village of Seahouseswhere you can watch an array of activity in the bustling harbour before catching a boat for your journey over. The Farne Islands, lie just off shore midway between Seahouses and Bamburgh. The shags look wonderful this month, with their beautiful breeding crests making them look most like a cross between a dragon and a punk. They managed to rescue 9 of the 62 passengers and crew and as a result, Grace went on to become a Victorian celebrity. Seals and pups on the Farne Islands in the North Sea off the coast of Northumberland (Owen Humphreys/PA) National Trust ranger Harriet Reid said: “Due to the coronavirus crisis, we haven’t been able to live on the islands this year, which we normally do between March and December. A good day out. During this time, two islands are open to the public for birdwatching: As we wanted to see the puffins, we visited at the end of April. Inner Farne is a small island of 16 acres. April Shags can be seen from the boat. Birds: Puffins can be seen on the islands. They are located at the most easterly point of the 'Great Whin Sill', an intrusion of volcanic rock which begins in Cumbria and gives a distinct and spectacular character to the north Northumberland coastline. We saw the Lighthouse from the boat. Staple and Inner Farne are open Grey seals can be seen from boats and you can get an early insight into how our monitoring is going. UK, Farne Islands, June 2019: Grey seals basking on cliffs at Farne, Bamburgh Castle in the distance View of Farne Islands from the beach and coastline of Northumberland. Shags, cormorants and grey seals can all be seen from the boats and who knows what spring migrants might be seen flying over – from spoon bills to white-tailed eagles, you just never know! If you love to see wildlife, and in particular seals, then you’re in for a treat. Each year more than 1,500 seals are born on the islands off the Northumberland coast, which are managed by the National Trust. The boat tours to the Farne Islands depart from Seahouses Harbour, sat nav NE68 7RN. May To see the thousands of seabirds that nest on Inner Farne, including puffins, shags and terns, head out in the summer months. From puffins to seals and Arctic terns to eider ducks, there's bountiful wildlife for you to discover on your visit to the Farne Islands. If you’re not looking for unusual birds, this is when our islands offer the ultimate Easter activity – will you go to one of the UK’s most remote chapels or spot the first razorbill egg? Think about getting a National Trust membership. See all tours & tickets ... We went out to the Farne Islands with Billy Shiels and saw the cormorants, guillemots and kittiwakes and the seals. Seals and pups on the Farne Islands in the North Sea off the coast of Northumberland (Owen Humphreys/PA) National Trust ranger Harriet Reid said: “Due to … Following our landing, we jumped back on the boat and headed back to the mainland. As the nights draw in later in the month the chapel, lighthouse and landscapes all look spectacular in the morning and evening – you could get some fantastic photos at this time of year if the weather is right. It’s a month of excitement as the first puffins arrive back on land, eider ducks start returning mid-month and other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns – start to arrive. The accommodation is quite limited in and around Seahouses, so book early, or consider staying somewhere else nearby and driving to Seahouses. Farne Islands can be almost dived all year-long but if you want to increase your chances of an underwater encounter with grey seals, September is the right period to go. Please note also that all boat trips, including in the summer but especially in the winter, are weather-dependent, so check sailings with the boat trip operators. Published 23 October 2019. The name 'Shiel' has long associations with the Sea on this rugged Northumberland coastline. Seahouses is a quaint little harbourside village with a variety of shops, pubs and café’s. Below I’ve listed each of the months and what you can expect to see. The first seal pup born on the Farnes this year was on September 27, and heralded what is hoped to be yet another successful breeding season. Arctic terns leave and other seabirds – guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns – start to depart too. We had a spectacular boat trip with lots to see. I love sharing my passions with others and write about my travel experiences as well as other interests including health, beauty, and home, This post may contain affiliate links. Farne Islands can be almost dived all year-long but if you want to increase your chances of an underwater encounter with grey seals, September is the right period to go. Pufflings are still hatching, and some of the older ones will be heading towards the sea. This is the best month to see the eiders nesting on Staple, they sit tight on their nests, so keep your eyes down between the rocks! We headed to main office by the carpark (here is also an office you can buy tickets at their booth on the harbour) to check in, then we were directed to head down to the NT booth on the harbour to show our NT cards for our pass to the Inner Farne island. Seals: Grey seals and seal pups can be seen from boats. A visit to Staple Island in the peak breeding season (between May and July) offers a guaranteed tern free visit. Arriving in as early as March each year, the puffin count recorded by the National Trust during the last census in 2013 was 40,000 pairs. In fact, the Farnes are home to one of the largest grey seal colonies in Europe. During this time, the seals gather in their thousands on the shores of the Farne islands, with the end of October being the peak time for the pups, and the best time of year to be out looking for them. Search available accommodation in and around Seahouses, Doxford Hall Hotel And Spa in nearby Chathill, Relaxing in Burgas on the Black Sea Coast, Day Trip from Krakow: Wieliczka Salt Mine, Discover Ireland in Two Weeks – A Detailed Self Drive Itinerary. Took on a lovely sunny day, shows yachts and a walker. The Farne islands is considered one of the best places in the world to dive with seals, The area is one of the richest and most beautiful on the east coast of the United Kingdom. The puffins will also be strutting their stuff, pairing up and displaying dominant or submissive behaviour. Puffins can be seen on the islands, with grey seals still lolling and digesting their fish (they do spend most of their time doing this) and pufflings start to hatch (though you can’t see the baby puffins, as they are underground in the burrows). Arctic terns nest until mid-month so you will still need a hat. William Drumm 61,114 views. It seems in the summer, the grey seals prefer sunbathing in the sun than playing with divers. But when we moved to the UK, I found out about the wonderful Farne Islands in Northumberland, and was excited that I would finally get the chance to see them. As well as puffins, there are seals and numerous other birds. It’s also a great time to experience the tough conditions our past Farnes inhabitants experienced, from Grace Darling to St Cuthbert, sometimes completely alone. Given the right weather conditions, the seals are visited every four days and new … Birds: Shags can also be seen on the islands. It took us a few moments to realise it was there to protect an eider duck that had made its nest on the paths edge. Inner Farne and Staple islands are closed but grey seals and shags can be seen from boats – the seals are generally lolling about digesting their fish supper, while shags are a year-round highlight and fulmars could also be starting to arrive. Shags can also be seen on the islands. Bring a hat to protect you from the dive bombing Arctic terns. Islands: Inner Farne and Staple islands are closed but you can still get a boat around the islands. Its camouflaged feathers placed it at risk of being tread on, hence the taped off area. In 2013 we recorded 39,962 pairs of Puffins on the Farnes, level with the previous year. Inner Farne is now open but Staple is still closed. August Last year the islands' seal pup numbers reached a record high of 2,737 - … September We love them, but appreciate that not everyone wishes to be dive bombed by them; dont let this put you off a visit - there are plenty of options for a tern free visit. Both Inner Farne and Staple Island are owned by the National Trust (NT) so if you plan to choose a boat tour that includes an island landing, then as well as the boat tour fee, you will also need to pay a landing fee to the NT. Islands: Both Staple and Inner Farne are open. Farne Islands Northumberland, England A boat trip from Seahouses onto the Farne islands is a must to see the many nesting birds. Is this a romantic ... One of the must do trips to do in Northumberland is to visit Seahouses and travel across to the Farne islands on one of Billy Shiel's boats, the official National Trust boats. We visited the local fish and chip shop Lewis’s Fish Restaurant which is on the main street, not far from the harbour and also offers takeaways. Birds: Puffins are departing, but you may catch some at the beginning of the month. Arctic terns nest until mid-month so you will still need a hat for Inner Farne only, there are plenty of almost fledged chicks running around the boardwalks. I was also surprised to find a church here. Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, I paid for this trip myself. The first seal we saw on this visit was asleep at the top of steps on Staple Island, at least until we approached. They are scattered about 1 1 ⁄ 2 to 4 3 ⁄ 4 miles (2.4–7.6 km) from the mainland, divided into the Inner Group and the Outer Group. Early indications of this year’s census show a decline of 12℅. Farne Islands seal colony sees first pups of season. Counting the pups. Puffins can be seen on the islands and grey seals in the water and hauled out on the rocks. As part of the Northumberland region, the Farne Island archipelago can be found 3-5 kilometers off the coast between Seahouses and Bamburgh municipalities. The best time to dive the Farne Islands with seals is late September to early October. Inner Farne is open but Staple is closed. June It was a beautiful June day and the sea looked calm. The Farne Islands are located off the coast of Northumberland . We paid £30 to Serenity and then bought our ticket for the national trust to get on the island at £15.40. You may have heard a story about Grace Darling. When the birds leave in late summer the Islands become the pupping grounds for the second largest colony of grey seals in England. The Farne Islands are home to England’s largest population of Atlantic grey seals, with numbers increasing every year. The shags will be displaying their breeding crests. Don’t forget to get a side of mushy peas for a true British fish and chip experience! These trial shingle beds are designed to give the terns an alternative habitat and help us control vegetation on the Islands, Visitors watching a puffin on the Farne Islands, Northumberland, Success on the Northumberland Coast for UK’s second rarest seabird. Birds: Puffins can be seen on the islands, and pufflings start to hatch (though you can’t see the baby puffins, as they are underground in the burrows). It’s a time of firsts and lasts – will you spot the first puffins in the water, a spring migrant or the last couple of furry white seal pups? Inner Farne is  open but Staple is closed. An annual seal census at one of Britain’s most important colonies has had to be carried out from the air due to the coronavirus pandemic. Protected as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with many National Trust sites of interest and heritage surrounding, there is plenty to explore both in and out of the water. They are scattered about 1 1 ⁄ 2 to 4 3 ⁄ 4 miles (2.4–7.6 km) from the mainland, divided into the Inner Group and the Outer Group. The Farne Islands are famous among scuba divers which is largely down to the population of around 4,500 Atlantic Grey Seals that call these rocky outcrops ‘home’. But during the nineteen-sixties, the seal population has been building up to an intolerably high level. Search available accommodation in and around Seahouses. What type of seals do we see? Seals: Grey seals and can be seen from boats. The two lighthouses on the Farne Islands were manned by a succession of keepers until the 20th century. Land on Inner Farne, Staple Island, and Longstone when the islands open in spring until autumn time. Testimonials. Our son was excited as he learnt about Grace at school. Eider ducks start returning mid-month and other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns – start to arrive. It’s not all over, though – you might spot some overwintering birds arriving to re-fuel before they head to the mainland (keep an eye on the stick bundles near the Pele Tower). We have been members ever since we moved to the UK. I loved the way the guillimots flew like torpedos zooming through the sky and landing rather ungracefully in the water with a splash. Come and see the seals! I would really recommend this boat tour. Farne Islands: Nice little trip if you like to see seals and seabirds - See 727 traveller reviews, 750 candid photos, and great deals for Northumberland, UK, at Tripadvisor. The Farne Islands are just off the coast of Seahouses and are really very special indeed - David Attenborough named the Farne Islands his favourite place to spot UK wildlife and we couldn’t agree more. Famously home to 55,000+ pairs of puffins, the largest breeding colony of grey seals in England and an array of other seabirds including terns, razorbills, eider ducks, shags, kittiwakes and guillemots, the Farne Islands offer one of the best wildlife experiences in the UK. They were bobbing atop the surface of the water, then would dive below in search of food. The adolescent seals are around and the water temperature is between 12-15°C (54-59°F). The Farne Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Northumberland, England.The group has between 15 and 20 islands depending on the level of the tide. Seals and pups on the Farne Islands in the North Sea off the coast of Northumberland (Owen Humphreys/PA) National Trust ranger Harriet Reid said: “Due to the coronavirus crisis… The monk Aelwin was living on the Inner Farne during the 12th Century when the islands were sacked by the Norwegians and another known inhabitant of the islands was St. Bartholomew, who was born early in the 12th century near Whitby. The seals are used to divers and love to interact with them, and are often referred to as the ‘puppies of the ocean’ due to their playful nature. There were toilets here and a small information centre with helpful rangers, keen to educate everyone about the bird life on the island. The fish was lovely and fresh, and there were also non-fish items on the menu for non-seafood eaters. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; Sadly dogs are not allowed inside the lighthouse. When Bartholomew first arrived Aelwin was already living on the Inner Farne and finding the newcomer unbearable, tried to get him to leave. These commissions help keep this website up and running, and I thank you for your support. It has a wooden boardwalk circuit, suitable for disabled visitors, that takes you in a circuit around the island. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); I’m Colleen. Your email address will not be published. 11:42. Les visiteurs peuvent être débarqués sur trois îles, l’accès aux autres étant interdit à des fins de protection. Read about 10 facts about the Farne Islands’ seals here. Islands: Both Staple and Inner Farne are open. We had a good tour around the smaller islands and saw many SEALS, PUFFINS and SHAGS. In April, you could visit Inner Farne later in the month, when most other birds will be present, but not Arctic terns. Pufflings are still hatching, and some of the older ones will be heading towards the sea. July See all tours & tickets . Shags are still on the islands and you may see some overwintering birds arriving to re-fuel before they head to the mainland (keep an eye on the stick bundles near the Pele Tower). In this recording, local fisherman William Shiel (b. Arctic terns are nesting on Inner Farne. Grey seals on the Farne Islands This was my first autumn trip to the Farne Islands. The staff were very welcoming and made sure we all got safely on board. 1928) recalls taking visitors to the area to see the seals. Farne Islands seal colony sees first pups of season. If you make a purchase through a link, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. Seals: Grey seals can be seen from boats. At the start of the walk we found warning tape cutting into the path edge and wondered why it was there. Other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns, shags – can be seen on the islands, along with many other species. Inner Farne and Staple are closed. Or you could visit Inner Farne between August and October for a bird free trip, following in the footsteps of St Cuthbert or Grace Darling. Staple and Inner Farne are open. If you make a purchase through a link, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. You might spot the first fuzzy seal pup! The Farne Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Northumberland, England.The group has between 15 and 20 islands depending on the level of the tide. Your email address will not be published. Exploring The Farne Islands. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies. If in doubt, call ahead to check what you’ll be able to see. Islands: Both Inner Farne and Staple are open. Farne Islands seal colony sees first pups of season. “This has meant we’ve been unable to carry out our annual seal pup count on the ground. Farne Islands Northumberland, England Terns, Puffins seals and much more wildlife Farne Islands Northumberland, England Worth a visit in nesting season Farne Islands Northumberland, England Grey Seals sunbathing on the rocks. Seals: Grey seals can be seen by boat. On 7th September 1838 Grace Darling and her father rescued nine survivors from the paddle steamship Forfarshire which ran aground on Big Harca in stormy seas. You might spot our first fuzzy seal pup, a rare migrant or maybe get the island almost to yourself – well, you, some rangers, some seals and still a few birds! Firstly, a mention about terns. Since May, five assistant rangers have been camping on the beach at Long Nanny keeping a 24 hour watch on the breeding birds. There are many seals too… Tips when planning a visit to see the Farne Islands puffins. Published 23 October 2019. Bring a hat to protect you from the dive bombing Arctic terns who will be protecting their chicks. Shags, cormorants, spoon bills and white-tailed eagles might be seen flying overhead. Inner Farne and Staple islands are closed from January until the almost the end of March. At this time they are very inquisitive and will engage with scuba divers. See more. He explains that the animals were so accustomed to human activity that they would not be bothered by the proximity of the boats. We then headed out on a tour around the islands. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; Our 1½ hour cruise sails around all of the islands giving good views of the nesting birds on the cliff faces and viewing the Grey Seals at several vantage points along with an informative commentary throughout. Birds: Puffins can be seen on the islands. Wildlife is the main draw on the Farne Islands, which are most famous for puffins and seals plus many other species, including shags, kittiwakes, razorbills, eider ducks and guillemots. Seals at the Farne Islands. amzn_assoc_linkid = "6457c912f12bd8c0f26397ee2df80bb6"; Warsaw is often overlooked by visitors for the more popular city of Krakow, but this... Sigulda is a short drive from Riga and is set in the stunning Gauja National... Brač is a gorgeous Croatian Island easily accessible by ferry from Split or Makarska. You’ll see different things depending on what time of year you visit. Diving with Seals in the Farne Islands with Miss Scuba UK - Duration: 11:42. If you don’t have a NT card, this is where you can the entry fee. Jumplings (baby guillemots) are leaving the cliffs by jumping into the sea – normally in the evening but occasionally in the daytime. Arctic terns, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, and common terns begin to leave too. And Northumberland's Farne Islands are home to England's largest seal population. Things to see and do on the Farne Islands. Birds: The first puffins arrive on land, pairing up and displaying dominant or submissive behaviour. Once we have fitted you with equipment and you have changed into a wetsuit, a picturesque boat journey takes us to the Farne Islands. Fluffy white seal pups can be seen on the islands from late October. Kittiwakes and fulmars can be seen until the end of the month. Although it doesn’t take long to walk the circuit, there were so many birds to see that we easily filled the hour spotting the different breeds and watching their entertaining antics. We even saw some puffins peeking out of their burrows. Grey seals and can be seen from boats and shags can be seen on the islands. We eventually landed on Inner Farne, where we had an hour to explore and birdwatch. Seals on the Farne Islands. * During the breeding season, May – July, the Inner Farne tours are only available in the afternoon. Thankfully apart from a bit of wind, the weather was clear as we set off on the open boat. 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