Thank you. We then headed out on a tour around the islands. Read my full disclosure. Arctic terns are nesting on Inner Farne. amzn_assoc_title = "My Recommendations"; 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. Eider ducks start to leave and are generally gone by the start of July. In September on the Farnes, the first seal pups start arriving: small, fuzzy white balls that look like cotton wool. Islands: Both Staple and Inner Farne are open. When the birds leave in late summer the Islands become the pupping grounds for the second largest colony of grey seals in England. Given the right weather conditions, the seals are visited every four days and new … Islands: Inner Farne is open and Staple is closed. 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? 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. At this time they are very inquisitive and will engage with scuba divers. A visit to Staple Island in the peak breeding season (between May and July) offers a guaranteed tern free visit. 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. 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. Shags, cormorants, spoon bills and white-tailed eagles might be seen flying overhead. 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. They were bobbing atop the surface of the water, then would dive below in search of food. The fish was lovely and fresh, and there were also non-fish items on the menu for non-seafood eaters. In 2013 we recorded 39,962 pairs of Puffins on the Farnes, level with the previous year. 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. Grey seals and seal pups can be seen from boats. I would really recommend this boat tour. Farne Islands seal colony sees first pups of season. May 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. Read my full disclosure here. 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. Our journey since 1918. Last year the islands' seal pup numbers reached a record high of 2,737 - … It is hard to miss the seals, m ainly because the grey seal colony at the Farnes numbers around about 5,000! 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. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; We had a spectacular boat trip with lots to see. Our work to care for the Farne Islands is critical to puffins' ongoing breeding success. The boat tours to the Farne Islands depart from Seahouses Harbour, sat nav NE68 7RN. The best time to dive the Farne Islands with seals is late September to early October. When Bartholomew first arrived Aelwin was already living on the Inner Farne and finding the newcomer unbearable, tried to get him to leave. 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. Other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns, shags – can be seen on the islands, along with many other species. Take a look at our boats, our trips & tours, then plan your visit and if you wish, reserve your place online now! Shags can also be seen on the islands. 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. It was a beautiful June day and the sea looked calm. A good day out. Required fields are marked *. Seals at the Farne Islands. To see the thousands of seabirds that nest on Inner Farne, including puffins, shags and terns, head out in the summer months. 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. See all tours & tickets ... We went out to the Farne Islands with Billy Shiels and saw the cormorants, guillemots and kittiwakes and the seals. We use cookies to provide you with a better service. Grey seals can be seen from boats and you can get an early insight into how our monitoring is going. Seals: Grey seals and seal pups can be seen from boats. Grey seals on the Farne Islands This was my first autumn trip to the Farne Islands. T hey are one of the world’s rarest seal species, officially endangered by a combination of water pollution, fishing nets and seaside tourism. Land on Inner Farne, Staple Island, and Longstone when the islands open in spring until autumn time. Sir David Attenborough’s favourite place to ‘see nature at its best’ is surely somewhere worth checking out. Testimonials. We even saw some puffins peeking out of their burrows. 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… Northumberland is a historic county in the northeast of England just south of the Scottish border. Inner Farne is open but Staple is closed. You may have heard a story about Grace Darling. 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. Farne Islands: Seabirds on the Farne Islands - See 729 traveler reviews, 753 candid photos, and great deals for Northumberland, UK, at Tripadvisor. Seals on the Farne Islands. Read about 10 facts about the Farne Islands’ seals here. We have been members ever since we moved to the UK. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; We split into buddy pairs (Steve & Mike, Jamie & Dawn, Ellie & me), before entering the water at slightly different intervals. Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, I paid for this trip myself. p The only boat licensed to land on Longstone Island plus unique access to tour ... but must be kept on a lead at all times as you can get very close to the seals on occasions. It... Rīga is a large sprawling city where a third of Latvia's population lives. 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! 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. Thankfully apart from a bit of wind, the weather was clear as we set off on the open boat. The parking is pay and display and there is also a public toilet here. Inner Farne and Staple are closed. The first seal we saw on this visit was asleep at the top of steps on Staple Island, at least until we approached. Took on a lovely sunny day, shows yachts and a walker. 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. 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? 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. Seahouses is a quaint little harbourside village with a variety of shops, pubs and café’s. 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! There were toilets here and a small information centre with helpful rangers, keen to educate everyone about the bird life on the island. 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. There are many seals too… Tips when planning a visit to see the Farne Islands puffins. See all tours & tickets . Kittiwakes and fulmars can be seen till mid-month and usually until the end of the month. 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… Kittiwakes and fulmars can be seen until the end of the month. Inner Farne is now open but Staple is still closed. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies. 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. Diving with Seals in the Farne Islands with Miss Scuba UK - Duration: 11:42. What type of seals do we see? Islands: Inner Farne and Staple are closed. We eventually landed on Inner Farne, where we had an hour to explore and birdwatch. Once we have fitted you with equipment and you have changed into a wetsuit, a picturesque boat journey takes us to the Farne Islands. As well as puffins, there are seals and numerous other birds. 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. Sir David Attenborough’s favourite place to ‘see nature at its best’ is surely somewhere worth checking out. 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’. Puffin season on the Farne Islands is between April and July. The nearest of the islands sits approximately a mile and a half from the beach. It was only in the late 1930’s that the business as we see it today really got going. 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. However, be aware that all timings are approximate, as the weather and other factors can affect migration, nesting and breeding times. After a week of watching the weather and two days of checking sea conditions, the wait was over and finally after being booked a few months previously, six members of Marlin Sub-Aqua Club were in Seahouses ready to dive the Farne Islands. Heres what else you can see throughout the year on the Farne Islands: January, February & March 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. “This has meant we’ve been unable to carry out our annual seal pup count on the ground. The two lighthouses on the Farne Islands were manned by a succession of keepers until the 20th century. This sparsely populated county is made up of castles and farmland as far as the eye can see. Islands: Both Inner Farne and Staple are open. They are home to a large colony of Atlantic Grey Seals. Arctic terns, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, and common terns begin to leave too. The puffins will also be strutting their stuff, pairing up and displaying dominant or submissive behaviour. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; 11:42. Farne Islands seal colony sees first pups of season. Once home to saints, soldiers and legendary lighthouse keepers, the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast are now a sanctuary for seabirds and seals. Record number of seal pups born at Farne Islands colony. The lucky ones then reappeared with a mouthful of food. Birds: Puffins are departing, but you may catch some at the beginning of the month. 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. If in doubt, call ahead to check what you’ll be able to see. Seals: Grey seals and can be seen from boats. 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). 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. Seals on the Farne Islands. * During the breeding season, May – July, the Inner Farne tours are only available in the afternoon. Birds: Puffins can be seen on the islands. Inner Farne and Staple are open 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. Islands: Inner Farne is open, but Staple is still closed. 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. Exploring The Farne Islands. You’ll see different things depending on what time of year you visit. 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. The shags look wonderful this month, with their beautiful breeding crests making them look most like a cross between a dragon and a punk. 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. The 'Shiel' family (Billy Shiel's father) started taking boat trips to the Farne Islands in 1918 - just after the First World War. 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. 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. Harbor Seals Just Want To Play - Duration: 2:56. Occasionally we would see a head bob out of the water to look up at us with their gorgeous big black eyes. If visiting Farne Islands puffins is the main thing you want to do on your trip, then you need to plan your visit right around the breeding season. 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. 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. 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. 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. The name 'Shiel' has long associations with the Sea on this rugged Northumberland coastline. Inner Farne is  open but Staple is closed. Staple and Inner Farne are open. amzn_assoc_asins = "B06XH9MJRC,0753726289,B01HSE4EPW,B01BV14I40"; SYNOPSIS: The peaceful Farne Islands, off England's Northumberland coast, have for years been one of the most popular breeding grounds of the grey seal. Eider ducks start returning mid-month and other seabirds – kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sandwich terns, common terns – start to arrive. Scubaverse 6,139 views. There is more chance for visitors to roam on our beaches after the birds have gone and the weather is warm. It’s been on my bucket list to see Puffins for some time, but so far, the closest I’ve gotten to seeing them was on the menu whilst in Iceland! amzn_assoc_region = "US"; 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. Our ranger team undertakes an annual census (previously every 5 years). If you make a purchase through a link, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. 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. Aware that all timings are approximate, as the prettiest village in England 10 facts about the life... Late 1930 ’ s favourite place to ‘ see nature at its best ’ is surely somewhere checking. 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