We had a bit of a short day today because of the weather. We did make our trip to Staple Island this morning but the rain arrived just in time to cancel the afternoon at Inner Farne. The reason may not be what you think. Inner Farne is home to a huge colony of arctic terns who are raising their newborn chicks.
All throughout the island, the terns nest in the undergrowth, protecting their chicks.
These little guys are several days old and starting to get around. When younger, the adults will fly up and dive bomb anyone walking by, trying to scare them away from the nest.
Here, you can see Ellen trying not to get pecked on the top of her head. It’s really disconcerting to have these guys flying right around your head, pecking at it. Hats are highly recommended!!
…and sometimes, they may just land to show you how serious they are!!
So ….. just why is it that our afternoon was canceled because of rain, you ask? Well when the adults leave the really young chicks to ward off all the people, the chicks get wet from the rain. Because they are newly born, they can’t handle the wet and cold without mothers warmth. Gotta keep those little peeps warm and dry!
these images were all from yesterday afternoon
And, finally, this is six shots stitched together on Staple Island. I just wanted to give a perspective of just how many birds of all different kinds make these islands home. You have to click on the image to see a bigger version to get the full effect!