Arctic Tern – The Farne Islands

The Arctic Terns were nesting right on the paths on Inner Farne. When people walked by one of the pair would launch into the air and attack like a missile! A hat was a real necessity!

The Major and I both got pecked on the head!  It was difficult to avoid the gauntlet of the Tern area.  It seems amazing that the birds nest so close to where people walk.  The other birds didn’t seem to mind the hords getting close!

We saw 4 different types of Tern: Arctic (red bill), Sandwich (black bill with yellow tip), Common (red bill with black tip) and Roseate (Black bill with red base)!


Puffin on the Move – Farne Islands

So yesterday we finally succeeded in getting out to the Farne Islands! We saw enough Puffins, Razorbills, Terns, Kittiwake, Guillemots to last a lifetime! Not to mention the odd Shag!

We spent about 6 hours either on the Islands or bobbing about on a boat. Great fun! It was somewhat chilly – and wet! But well worth it. The Major took about 400 photos and yours truly probably the same! And this is the best Puffin picture I took!

Eurovision – The Final Solution!

The solution is to put Alan Sugar in charge of the semi-final rounds with unlimited powers to Fire as many acts as he feels necessary! The Final would then consist of any remaining acts plus those countries allowed straight through to the Final.

This would have the merit of

a) Ridding us of all the rubbish and

b) reducing the lengh of the final contest

As a final blast The Lord Lloyd Webber and his judging panel could be brought in to ‘nail’ any possible interloper by suggesting they liked a particular act – thus encouraging the public throughtout ‘Europe’ to vote for the underdog!


The Farne Islands or not!

Inspired by the intrepid Bill Oddie and the ever delicious Kate Humble, Major Dickie has brought me to Seahouses with a view to zipping over to The Farne Islands to see the pretty little Puffins.

Well!  You may think the weather in the North was great over the Bank Holiday but the wind here is blowing “Dogs off Chains”  as these seafaring peoples are minded to say!   And come to think of it I haven’t seen many chained dogs to they must be right.

As for a mad dash to the islands – no chance.  A case of “So near yet so Farne away”

Perhaps if the wind takes to ‘puffin’ rather than ‘blowin’ we will be in with a chance. 

In the meantime The Major is lapping up Spring Watch each evening and following Kate’s Coal Tits with eager anticipation. 

Weekend Voting – Eurovision

Oh dear! I think I made a complete hash of the voting last weekend.

I voted for Sweden to cook at The Gherkin –

Chef Tom Kitchin to be the next Nancy –

And Andrew Lloyd Webber as the best Eurovision song.

Sorry! I’ll try and concentrate this weekend and do better

Can we have a few reruns until we all get it right?


Was the Russian entry sponsored by British Gas? All that blue lighting looked as if they’d had a hand in it!

You’d think we’d do well given most countries seemed to be singing in English this year! After all it WAS our language first!

Red Kites

One pair of our Roller Pigeons recently had the bright idea of nesting on the ledge of the dovecot instead of in one of the nesting boxes. All was well until the baby was big enough to move – which must have been yesterday! It then fell over the edge and died. End of parenthood for one pair of pigeons.

But hello food for one Red Kite!

I put the corpse out on the grass and left nature to take its course. Which it did some 20 minutes later.

First one Red Kite appeared overhead, then another, then another until 7 were circling at about 60 feet above the garden. None of them had the courage to make a dive for the fodder – presumably as The Major and I were standing watching.

Then finally temptation got the better of one of them and it swooped down to grab it – and missed. So a second one had a go – also missed. Then two more swooped together – the 1st of these got it and was hotly pursued through the trees by the other!

The whole escapade can’t have lasted more than a couple of minutes at the most!

Very exciting whilst it lasted.

The pigeons were VERY unimpressed!