We had a good tour around the smaller islands and saw many SEALS, PUFFINS and SHAGS. Come and see the seals! Each year more than 1,500 seals are born on the islands off the Northumberland coast, which are managed by the National Trust. Our work to care for the Farne Islands is critical to puffins' ongoing breeding success. If you make a purchase through a link, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. We boarded the St Cuthbe ... We went out to the Farne Islands with Billy Shiels and saw the cormorants, guillemots and kittiwakes and the seals. The nearest of the islands sits approximately a mile and a half from the beach. The church was built on the island in 1370 and is dedicated to St Cuthbert who spent over 10 years on the island living as a hermit from 684. The spectacle of arriving at Staple right in front of the nesting cliffs is hard to beat! They reminded me of little flying penguins, they looked so awkward. amzn_assoc_title = "My Recommendations"; 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. 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? The 'Shiel' family (Billy Shiel's father) started taking boat trips to the Farne Islands in 1918 - just after the First World War. Seals: This is peak time for seeing adorable fluffy seal pups as they gather on the rocks in their thousands, peaking at the end of October. 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’. Sadly dogs are not allowed inside the lighthouse. We saw the Lighthouse from the boat. Other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns, shags can be seen on the crowded island cliffs. Islands: Both Inner Farne and Staple are open. Social distancing and furlough have meant National Trust rangers have not been staying on the Farne Islands, in the North Sea, where in normal years they monitor the wildlife. We have been members ever since we moved to the UK. What type of seals do we see? Counting the pups. 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). amzn_assoc_region = "US"; This sparsely populated county is made up of castles and farmland as far as the eye can see. Birds: Puffins can be seen on the islands. It’s a great time of year to look for the last few autumn migrants. Published 23 October 2019. The seals at the Farne islands are famous for being curious and will often play with divers in the water, or swim around you to show you their impressive underwater acrobatics. There is more chance for visitors to roam on our beaches after the birds have gone and the weather is warm. 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. Les visiteurs peuvent être débarqués sur trois îles, l’accès aux autres étant interdit à des fins de protection. Apparently, it was part of a much larger monastic complex, but this is the only remaining building. Took on a lovely sunny day, shows yachts and a walker. Pufflings are still hatching, with some of the older ones heading towards the sea. Islands: Inner Farne and Staple islands are closed but you can still get a boat around the islands. October 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. 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. Throughout April, August, September and October this tour is available morning and afternoon. Inner Farne and Staple islands are closed from January until the almost the end of March. amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "howbeautifullifeis-20"; Grey seals can be seen from boats and you can get an early insight into how our monitoring is going. 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. As part of the Northumberland region, the Farne Island archipelago can be found 3-5 kilometers off the coast between Seahouses and Bamburgh municipalities. Sir David Attenborough’s favourite place to ‘see nature at its best’ is surely somewhere worth checking out. Golden Gate Farne Islands Boat Trips is a Family Attraction in Seahouses. Although I wouldn’t call myself a serious ‘birdwatcher’ I do enjoy watching them in the garden and when I’m out hiking either in woodlands or cliff sides. Not only do you get free entrance into the islands, but there are lots of amazing NT properties to visit in the area and car parks around the UK. I would really recommend this boat tour. Grey seals and can be seen from boats and shags can be seen on the islands. They were smaller than I was expecting. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; Seals: Grey seals can be seen by boat. Grey seals and seal pups can be seen from boats. Your email address will not be published. Since May, five assistant rangers have been camping on the beach at Long Nanny keeping a 24 hour watch on the breeding birds. At the start of the walk we found warning tape cutting into the path edge and wondered why it was there. Farne Islands seal colony sees first pups of season. 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. During this time, two islands are open to the public for birdwatching: 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. Farne Islands seal colony sees first pups of season. Eider ducks start to leave and are generally gone by the start of July. About The Farne Islands & Seal Diving The Farne Islands are located just below the Scottish border on the east side of England and are known as one of the best locations in the UK to dive with seals. There are many seals too… Tips when planning a visit to see the Farne Islands puffins. This is one of the top grey seal pupping sites in England, with more than 2000 pups born out at the islands every Autumn/Winter. 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 islands are also the permanent home for a large, and inquisitive colony of Atlantic or Grey Seals. Pictured on the right is the late Billy Shiel MBE whose grandfather founded Farne Island Boat Trips in 1918 shortly after the 1st World War. Eider ducks start returning mid-month and other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns – start to arrive. Inner Farne and Staple are closed. There are betweeen 15 and 28 islands, depending upon the state of the tide. 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. June If you make a purchase through a link, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. Don’t forget to have a look at our Skipper’s Blog before you arrive and see what’s been happening around the Farne Islands and Northumberland Coastline. Eider ducks start to leave and are generally gone by the start of July. The Farne Islands, lie just off shore midway between Seahouses and Bamburgh. Seals on the Farne Islands. 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. Birds: Puffins are departing, but you may catch some at the beginning of the month. The staff were very welcoming and made sure we all got safely on board. Heres what else you can see throughout the year on the Farne Islands: January, February & March Bring a hat to protect you from the dive bombing Arctic terns. The adolescent seals are around and the water temperature is between 12-15°C (54-59°F). The captain provided a running commentary as we were brought up alongside the island cliffs. 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 … Farne Islands Northumberland, England A boat trip from Seahouses onto the Farne islands is a must to see the many nesting birds. Puffins, eider ducks, kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns, shags, and many more birds besides, can be seen on the islands. You’ll see different things depending on what time of year you visit. Thankfully apart from a bit of wind, the weather was clear as we set off on the open boat. But during the nineteen-sixties, the seal population has been building up to an intolerably high level. 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. Inner Farne and Staple islands are closed from January until the almost the end of March. 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. “This has meant we’ve been unable to carry out our annual seal pup count on the ground. 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. There's a reason people refer to Castle Combe as the prettiest village in England. In fact, the Farnes are home to one of the largest grey seal colonies in Europe. 1928) recalls taking visitors to the area to see the seals. The boat tours to the Farne Islands depart from Seahouses Harbour, sat nav NE68 7RN. Other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns, shags – can be seen on the islands and are looking really nice on Staple with the cliffs packed to the rafters. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); I’m Colleen. In September on the Farnes, the first seal pups start arriving: small, fuzzy white balls that look like cotton wool. Arctic terns are nesting on Inner Farne. 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. Credit: PA Images An annual seal census in Northumberland has had to be carried out from the air because of the coronavirus pandemic. Required fields are marked *. 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. The first seal we saw on this visit was asleep at the top of steps on Staple Island, at least until we approached. When Bartholomew first arrived Aelwin was already living on the Inner Farne and finding the newcomer unbearable, tried to get him to leave. Staple and Inner Farne are open. Occasionally we would see a head bob out of the water to look up at us with their gorgeous big black eyes. We booked the first departure of the day, so arrived at Seahouses early in the morning and parked at the main carpark just of the Main St roundabout. To see the breeding seabirds, the best time to visit the Farne Islands is between May and late July when activity peaks as the birds are feeding their growing chicks. As well as puffins, there are seals and numerous other birds. We went on the Inner Farne boat tour as we wanted to get off on the island. There were toilets here and a small information centre with helpful rangers, keen to educate everyone about the bird life on the island. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; Search available accommodation in and around Seahouses. Islands: Inner Farne is open and Staple is closed. Inner Farne and Staple are open Seals: Grey seals and can be seen from boats. I loved the way the guillimots flew like torpedos zooming through the sky and landing rather ungracefully in the water with a splash. Find out more about what species you might see, when and where, as well as the other features of the Islands, such as St … We split into buddy pairs (Steve & Mike, Jamie & Dawn, Ellie & me), before entering the water at slightly different intervals. Billy Shiel joined his father at the age of 14 years and now Billy Shiel’s Farne Island Boat Trips have been operating out of Seahouses for over 60 years. Kittiwakes and fulmars can be seen till mid-month and usually until the end of the month. Other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns, shags – can be seen on the islands, and many other species besides. The islands have the largest breeding colony in England with some 1,000 pups born here each autumn. The pair went out on a stormy night with only a row boat and rescued survivors of the paddle steamer the ‘Forfarshire’ which was destroyed when it ran aground on rocks. We were starving when we returned to shore, so decided to indulge in some classic British seaside fish and chips in Seahouses. The lucky ones then reappeared with a mouthful of food. amzn_assoc_asins = "B06XH9MJRC,0753726289,B01HSE4EPW,B01BV14I40"; They were crowded and raucous sea birds including guillimots, razor bills, shags and kittiwake. Arctic terns nest until mid-month so you will still need a hat. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; Below I’ve listed each of the months and what you can expect to see. All recommendations and opinions are my own. Diving with Seals in the Farne Islands with Miss Scuba UK - Duration: 11:42. 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? 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. Read my full disclosure. 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. See all tours & tickets . It was fun watching their antics. Puffin season on the Farne Islands is between April and July. There was a real buzz onboard the boat when we finally got to see the first puffins. Land on Inner Farne, Staple Island, and Longstone when the islands open in spring until autumn time. Jumplings (baby guillemots) are leaving the cliffs by jumping into the sea – normally in the evening but occasionally in the daytime. You might spot the first fuzzy seal pup! Our son was excited as he learnt about Grace at school. To see the thousands of seabirds that nest on Inner Farne, including puffins, shags and terns, head out in the summer months. As we wanted to see the puffins, we visited at the end of April. 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. Seals on the Farne Islands. 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. In April, you could visit Inner Farne later in the month, when most other birds will be present, but not Arctic terns. How drones can help with counting seals. Don’t forget to get a side of mushy peas for a true British fish and chip experience! 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. The parking is pay and display and there is also a public toilet here. 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! But, the peak puffin breeding season is around May and June. May For some family fun, head to the The Bunker crazy golf course, then grab a drin… At this time they are very inquisitive and will engage with scuba divers. 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