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Safari Cal

Seabird Get Together - Northumberland, UK - Spring 2014

131 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Thanks @@Kitsafari.

 

@@Soukous spoke to Ian, he wants to take the car. Thanks for the offer though :)

 

Any thoughts for the Sunday?

 

I think it may depend a bit on how Saturday turns out. If the saturday boat trip goes well then Sunday will be free for other ideas, if Saturday has poor weather then i think the plan is to re-schedule the boat trip for Sunday.

@SafariCal is the chief planner, me just caterer.

Edited by Soukous

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We are driving up and keeping everything flexible too. If the Saturday goes well we'll probably go sight-seeing but have no definite plans. Suggestions will be welcome.

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Hi all,

 

Sorry for being quiet for so long, been busy at work since I got back from Borneo. Almost time for the Seabird extravaganza :D

 

The seats are booked on the Saturday morning all day trip, but if the weather is bad we can hopefully rearrange for the Sunday... fingers crossed spaces are available, it can be busy. But even if it isn't possible to get on the all day trip it's normally possible to get on a half day trip to one of the islands.

 

If the Saturday goes well there are many opportunities on the Sunday, the Northumberland coast offers so much. From castles and bastilles to valleys and coastline sunrises. Not too far from Seahouses is Alnwick where the castle and gardens are, the castle was used in the Harry Potter films, or Alnmouth is down the coast and is very picturesque. Lindisfarne is north and worth a visit.

 

I'll post a few things through the week to give you all some ideas.

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@@Safari Cal x 1

@@JohnR x 2

@@africapurohit x 1?

@@Soukous x 2

 

By my count we are 8

 

@@Safari Cal x 1

@@JohnR x 2

@@africapurohit x 1

@Soukous x 2

@@kittykat23uk x 2

 

have I missed anyone? or included someone who won't be coming?

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Nope, I think you've nailed it @@Soukous

 

Unless anyone else would like to join us on the day???

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OK then.

I will cater for 8 - picnic lunch on Saturday.

if anyone has any dietary needs please let me know.

Also, could I ask that everyone brings their own drinks for the boat trip please?

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Quick question, best place to park as I don't want the new motor going walkies/drivies?

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone, sorry I've not been around much recently. I've been maxed out at work lately and finishing off a project as well. But really looking forward to the weekend ahead. So... as @@BigBaldIan asked the first question:

 

Directions

 

As you come into Seahouses past the golf course you eventually arrive at a mini roundabout on a T junction where you turn right down the main street . After a couple of hundred yards you arrive at another roundabout where you take the 3rd exit heading down to the harbour. As you come off the roundabout you'll see the pub on your right hand side after 30 yards.

 

Parking is available at the Olde Ship Inn either behind the pub or in courtyard by the beer garden. Be careful though as there isn't that much room in the car parks and knocks can happen. You get a ticket from reception that you put in your car window once you've booked in.

 

 

So what's the plan everyone??? Meet in the bar area at around 6:30 - 7pm for drinks and dinner? Shall I pre-book a table for us all?

 

I'll confirm sailing times for Saturday morning with the Billy Shiels office tomorrow and post an update tomorrow night.

 

 

Here's the latest National Trust Blog:

 

Saturday 17th May comments: Time moves so quickly and within just a few days the islands have been descended on by our most famous of all visitors; the Arctic Terns. Birds have been displaying and carrying fish and on Wednesday the first eggs were discovered. It'll be a matter of a few days before the first 'head pecking' commences, so be warned. They're back!
Other latest news included the discovery of our first Sandwich Tern eggs and Fulmar eggs and now we just await the first kittiwakes eggs to have a complete set. With Shags on eggs, it won't be long before we are boasting Puffin and Eider young and then the Farnes will be in full flow by then. So come along, enjoy the ride, but please bring a hat....
Some Notes
You'll see Fulmar on Staple Island, and the Terns are on Inner Farne.
Puffins, Shags, Guillemots and Razorbills are found on both in good numbers. The landing fee is paid on landing on both islands plus the boat fee before we leave Seahouses. They take credit cards at the Billy Shiels office or booth, but cash on the islands I believe.
DON'T FORGET YOUR HATS
Don't forget your National Trust membership cards
Check the weather forecast before you leave but I'd recommend you put waterproofs in the car - just in case!
There's no shelter on Staple but some is available on Inner Farne - the visitor hut, Church and toilet block
Maybe bring some wipes, as the Terns poo on you... and your camera/lens, as well as peck you. There's no running water on the island, only containerised supplies
Bring sun block if it's hot and sunny
Wide angle lens is required for the Terns
Longer lens for Puffins etc
Anything else you want to know, please ask :D
Edited by Safari Cal

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Posted (edited)

Did you mention 'Bring a hat'?

 

the weather is looking a bit crap for Saturday, marginally better on Sunday, if the forecasts can be believed.

Edited by Soukous

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Posted (edited)

I'll see what they recommend when I chat today. If it looks like being a washout on Saturday I'll see if we can book seats provisionally for the Sunday... watch this space.

 

The forecasts can be wrong and the weather on the mainland is often different to that on the islands... fingers crossed we strike it lucky.

 

... and did I mention, don't forget to bring that all important hat ;)

Edited by Safari Cal

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Hope you all have a fantastic time.

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looking forward to all the great shots....

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yeah, hopefully @@Safari Cal will bring a camera

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Looking forward to seeing you all!

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I called Billy Shiels today and provisionally booked seats for the Sunday all day trip as well as the Saturday one, to give us options based on the weather.

 

I called the Olde Ship Inn as well and they told me that they are fully booked over the weekend, so let me know about booking a table for dinner on Friday evening as it does become an issue for groups wanting to eat.

 

See you all very soon :)

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yeah, hopefully @@Safari Cal will bring a camera

More than one @Soukous ;)

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I think I might leave my camera at home.

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Latest weather forecast for Saturday, looks better than Sunday, but Monday is going to be the best day! What a shame, but the islands have their own little micro-climate so you never know.

 

 

 

 

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I think I might leave my camera at home.

 

:o You'll regret it Jo, the birds are so close and offer so many opportunities to catch behavioural shots.

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Yes to booking a table Friday night (me+1). It looks like Saturday is the best day for us as we have to drive back Monday.

 

I'm not expecting to get good pictures on this trip as I just bought a new camera (5D3) and lens (Tamron 150-600) and haven't begun to get it set up properly as the number of options is gigantic.

 

I'm thinking of bringing 3 cameras (5D3, 7D, P&S) but do I want that much equipment covering in bird pooh? Neither Canon camera has weather seals.

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Yes to dinner too please! As for packed lunch, Ian doesnt like raw tomato and I am not keen on coleslaw or raw onion. Other than that we eat most things. We are not veggie. :)

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I'll give them a call and book a table for us all, if anyone doesn't make it then it's easier to cancel a couple of spaces than add them.

 

We can sort out any arrangements for Saturday on Friday evening, but after a day on the islands Fish and Chips are always a good option from Neptune Fish and Chip Restaurant.

 

 

See you guys tomorrow evening :D

 

Here's tatest Update from the Nat Trust Rangers Blog:

 

Tuesday 20th May comments: Today has been another action-packed day on planet Farnes. With an easterly flavour to the wind there came a very welcome passage of birds, with the highlight coming in the form of a Red Throated Pipit over Staple Island. The bird was identified by its very distinctive call as it was not seen on the ground, but a fantastic record nonetheless and the first of this species since 2009! The day continued strongly as later in the afternoon a stunning male Bluethroat was spotted on Inner Farne and was soon giving both visitors and rangers alike fantastic views!
A Collared Dove on the mainland would not give too much cause for excitement, but on the Farnes they are an uncommon visitor. Last year there were only two records of this species, and today we had our first record of 2014 with an individual perched in the old veg patch of Inner Farne. With other birds of note including Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and Tree Pipit, it was a very good day for our passage visitors.

As far as our breeding birds our concerned things are really starting to kick off. Arctic terns are now busy laying eggs left, right and centre, after discovering our first egg last Thursday. Today we also welcomed our first Eider ducklings of the year on Inner Farne. After around six weeks of incubation Shag chicks are now starting to hatch underneath their parents and can be seen around the islands.

Eggs are being laid and eggs are hatching. This is the Farnes at its best so come and share it with us!
Today’s totals: Jack Snipe 1, Roseate Tern 3, Collared Dove 1, Whitethroat 4, Chiffchaff 5, Willow Warbler 4, Sedge Warbler 1, Spotted Flycatcher 2, Wheatear 1, Robin 1, Bluethroat 1, Tree Pipit 1, RED THROATED PIPIT 1

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Yes to dinner too please! As for packed lunch, Ian doesnt like raw tomato and I am not keen on coleslaw or raw onion. Other than that we eat most things. We are not veggie. :)

 

Don't worry Jo, you and ian are safe from raw tomato, onion and coleslaw.

 

Cal, a table on Friday night would be great. We'll be 2.

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Ooh I hope the bluethroat sticks around!

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Hello All

 

I plan to arrive in Seahouses late on Friday night, so I will not be able to make the dinner, but look forward to seeing you all at the Billy Shiels "check-in" on Saturday morning.

 

Thanks again to @@Safari Cal and @@Soukous (veggie please :) )

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