Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Farne island or the isle of May?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Sunday 13th May 2012, 13:04   #1
Garnata
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Spain
Posts: 18
Farne island or the isle of May?

I am travelling to UK around mid June. I may have 3 or 4 days free and I am interested in wildlife photography, specially puffins. I would like to visit the isle of May and Farne Island but I am not sure if I will have the time for both. Could you advice on which one is better? and do you know any other good places in the area?
Thanks
Garnata is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 13th May 2012, 13:39   #2
forthbirder
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: fife
Posts: 188
Hi Garnata. Never been to Farne Island but I can tell you the Isle of May is amazing. You will get point blank views of nesting puffins, eider, razorbill, guilliemot, fulmar, kittiwake, shag, common tern, seals, and on the boat trip you should see loads of gannet.
Other places in the area are the Bass Rock, (world's largest single island gannet colony), with puffins on the small islands just off North Berwick. The boat doesn't land though.
Also in the area is St Abb's Head national nature reserve. All the same species as the Isle of May but minus the puffins. On the upside you have a good chance of peregrine and raven. The cliffs around the lighthouse have the most birds and the best views. Also St Abbs is on the mainland and therefore not subject to heavy seas that can mean baot trips can get cancelled.
Good luck, I'm sure you will enjoy all of the locations you visit and get lots of good pictures.
Mark
forthbirder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 13th May 2012, 14:38   #3
bongofury
Registered User
 
bongofury's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Hamilton, Scotland
Posts: 2,275
I went to the Farne Islands last year and equally good views of the species listed above, except Fulmar. My only criticism was having only an hour on the island we landed at (and this was longer than normal as the weather was too bad to visit the island furthest out). I could have easily kept myself happy for 3 hours. Perhaps I should have gone with a different boat operator, but this may be something worth considering in your planning.
__________________
Latest UK: Arctic Redpoll (226) Alpine Swift (227) Wryneck (228) Spotted Crake (229) BOU Bean Goose Tundra / Taiga split (230) Long-eared Owl (231) American White-winged Scoter (232) Avocet (233) [BOU]
Latest Garden: Tree Sparrow (49) Raven (50)Arctic Redpoll (51) Skylark (52)
bongofury is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 13th May 2012, 14:51   #4
hampers
Hampers

 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 1,701
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongofury View Post
I went to the Farne Islands last year and equally good views of the species listed above, except Fulmar. My only criticism was having only an hour on the island we landed at (and this was longer than normal as the weather was too bad to visit the island furthest out). I could have easily kept myself happy for 3 hours. Perhaps I should have gone with a different boat operator, but this may be something worth considering in your planning.
I did Farnes this week and asked if possible to stay longer on the island, boat operator agreed with no problem.
hampers is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2009 2010 2011 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Sunday 13th May 2012, 15:06   #5
JTweedie
Registered User
 
JTweedie's Avatar

 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 4,383
I've been to both and they're equally worth a visit. They share most of the same birds so it's really a toss of the coin which you decide to visit.

I didn't see any sandwich terns on the Isle of May, but there were lots on the Farne Islands, so if that's a target bird, then the Farne Islands might be a better bet.

This page suggests only one pair has ever attempted to nest on the Isle of May: http://www.nnr-scotland.org.uk/isle-...abird-bonanza/

You can book a tour that'll allow you 2 hours each on 2 islands at the Farne Islands, although when I was there it was too choppy to land on one of them, so we had almost the full 4 hours on the other island: http://www.farne-islands.com/trips/birdwatch.htm

One of the benefits of the Isle of May is that it isn't as busy as the Farne Islands, so you won't feel like part of a big crowd as much. It seemed to me that there were 4-5 boat loads on one of the islands at one time and you literally couldn't walk anywhere without a group of other visitors being in the same area. However, this may have been down to the other island being inaccessible at the time.

The Isle of May only had one boat load from Anstruther and another on an inflatable from North Berwick, so it was a better experience in terms of getting some parts almost to yourself.
JTweedie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 15th May 2012, 15:05   #6
Garnata
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Spain
Posts: 18
Thank you to all of you for your help.
Garnata is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 16th May 2012, 04:38   #7
martin kitching
Obsessed seawatcher

 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: northumberland
Posts: 1,414
Hi Garnata

There are trips which land on the Bass Rock, operated by the Scottish Seabird Centre. They sell out very quickly though.

The Farnes will give you all the species listed by others in this thread. mid-June you have a good chance of the Farnes being not too busy (certainly not as busy as July...). In terms of which boat trip to take, as a photographer your best bet is the all day birdwatch operated by Billy Shiel's Boat Trips

cheers
martin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garnata View Post
I am travelling to UK around mid June. I may have 3 or 4 days free and I am interested in wildlife photography, specially puffins. I would like to visit the isle of May and Farne Island but I am not sure if I will have the time for both. Could you advice on which one is better? and do you know any other good places in the area?
Thanks
__________________
Northern Experience Wildlife Tours www.newtltd.co.uk
Northeast Cetaceans blog northeastcetaceans.blogspot.com
North East Cetacean Project www.northeastcetaceans.org.uk/
martin kitching is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 16th May 2012, 09:14   #8
david kelly
Drive-by Birder
 
david kelly's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Tranent
Posts: 1,077
Quote:
Originally Posted by forthbirder View Post
Hi Garnata. Never been to Farne Island but I can tell you the Isle of May is amazing. You will get point blank views of nesting puffins, eider, razorbill, guilliemot, fulmar, kittiwake, shag, common tern, seals, and on the boat trip you should see loads of gannet.
Other places in the area are the Bass Rock, (world's largest single island gannet colony), with puffins on the small islands just off North Berwick. The boat doesn't land though.
Also in the area is St Abb's Head national nature reserve. All the same species as the Isle of May but minus the puffins. On the upside you have a good chance of peregrine and raven. The cliffs around the lighthouse have the most birds and the best views. Also St Abbs is on the mainland and therefore not subject to heavy seas that can mean baot trips can get cancelled.
Good luck, I'm sure you will enjoy all of the locations you visit and get lots of good pictures.
Mark
Actually there are Puffins breeding at St Abbs on the cliffs below the light house but they are not accessible and in small numbers so the islands are better in that respect.

David
__________________
We ain't never gonna change
We ain't doin' nuthin' wrong
david kelly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 17th May 2012, 14:48   #9
Garnata
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Spain
Posts: 18
Could you tell me if there are gannets on the Isle of May? and on Farne Islands? I know the best for gannets is probably Bass Rock but landing trips are already sold out and I do not like non-landing trips because it is very diffucukt to take good pictures from a boat. So, I was almost decided for the Isle of May when I realized that nobody mentioned gannets for that Island. Please let me know and thanks again for all the previous comments.
Garnata is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 17th May 2012, 15:34   #10
david kelly
Drive-by Birder
 
david kelly's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Tranent
Posts: 1,077
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garnata View Post
Could you tell me if there are gannets on the Isle of May? and on Farne Islands? I know the best for gannets is probably Bass Rock but landing trips are already sold out and I do not like non-landing trips because it is very diffucukt to take good pictures from a boat. So, I was almost decided for the Isle of May when I realized that nobody mentioned gannets for that Island. Please let me know and thanks again for all the previous comments.
Garnata

There are no gannets on either the Farne Islands or the Isle of May. There are other seabord colonies where you could land and photograph the gannets but these are in Wales off the west coast, quite far from the North Sea coasts. There are gannets at Bempton Cliffs on the mainland in Yorkshire but I don't what arrangements are in place for viewing these.

David
__________________
We ain't never gonna change
We ain't doin' nuthin' wrong
david kelly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 17th May 2012, 15:45   #11
birding maniac
Michael M

 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: South Durham
Posts: 1,703
Farnes no competition for me. May is amazing, but the farnes... Wow.
You can do birding trips which do most islands and are out all day.
birding maniac is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th May 2012, 17:15   #12
Garnata
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Spain
Posts: 18
I have decided to go at least one day to the isle of May. I have heard that there are a couple of places on the isle of May where the puffins usually congregate? I know you mentioned that around cliffs near the lighthouse is a good place. Could you please help me pointing to the exact locations where is easier to see them?
Garnata is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th May 2012, 17:43   #13
david kelly
Drive-by Birder
 
david kelly's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Tranent
Posts: 1,077
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garnata View Post
I have decided to go at least one day to the isle of May. I have heard that there are a couple of places on the isle of May where the puffins usually congregate? I know you mentioned that around cliffs near the lighthouse is a good place. Could you please help me pointing to the exact locations where is easier to see them?
That was St Abbs, I think Puffins are all over the Isle of May.

David
__________________
We ain't never gonna change
We ain't doin' nuthin' wrong
david kelly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th May 2012, 20:01   #14
forthbirder
Registered User

 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: fife
Posts: 188
Hi Garnata. You cannot miss puffins on the Isle of May. Just head up on the main trail that crosses along the spine of the Island. On the left are tracks to the cliffs for auks, kittiwake etc, and on the right there are tracks leading to areas with thousands of puffins everywhere. Don't worry it'l be impossible not to see them. Just ask the people giving the talk on the boat and they will keep you right. Be sure to wear a hat as you have to walk through a common tern colony as you get off the boat and they can be agressive but essentially harmless if your head is covered.
Cheers, Mark
forthbirder is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th May 2012, 21:41   #15
Caledonian
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Largs/North Ayrshire
Posts: 267
Are there also Puffins on or around the Bass rock?? I'm going to Bass rock for a landing tour beginning of June but also want to have Puffin if possible.

Cheers,
Rik
__________________
follow me @: http://unitedkingdom.observado.org/user/view/18292
Scottisch yearlist: http://unitedkingdom.observado.org/ejl.php
Best Regards,
Rik van der Starre
Caledonian is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 20th May 2012, 21:46   #16
Andrew Whitehouse
Professor of Listening
BF Supporter 2018
 
Andrew Whitehouse's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 18,849
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caledonian View Post
Are there also Puffins on or around the Bass rock?? I'm going to Bass rock for a landing tour beginning of June but also want to have Puffin if possible.

Cheers,
Rik
I seem to remember seeing small numbers around there when I visited about ten years ago. I think nearby Fidra has larger numbers, but I don't know if boat trips go there. I should think you'll see a few on your trip to Bass Rock anyway.
__________________
Andrew

Listening to Birds
Andrew Whitehouse is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Tuesday 29th May 2012, 21:50   #17
ospreyscotbird
Glad to be here!!
 
ospreyscotbird's Avatar

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northumberland
Posts: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caledonian View Post
Are there also Puffins on or around the Bass rock?? I'm going to Bass rock for a landing tour beginning of June but also want to have Puffin if possible.

Cheers,
Rik
As Andrew says there are puffins on the Bass normally round the south near where you can disembark when landing. The place to see them is on Fidra which the boats normally take you round before heading on out to the Bass. Landing on the Bass has changed hugely since I first went aged 10yrs my birthday treat!! From what others have told me the path is the only part of the island that is 'bird free'!! You will not believe the smell, sound + camotion that is created by the wing beats of the Gannets. There is also a wonderful Peregrine on the island we saw it last summer sitting in one of the windows of the ruin - not far from the path up to the lighthouse.
Quite envious of your trip!! Have a brilliant time!! I will take the kids again later in the season, although I prefere taking the Sula II rather than the speed boat from the seabird centre, much more leasurally + less structrued. I've taken the kids most years since they were tiny, each less than a year, not possible on the speed boat.
For anyone going out to the Farnes, the other island to see is the Coquet with the Roseate Terns. Sailing from Amble, not far south of Alnwick. A great way to spend an evening!!

Last edited by ospreyscotbird : Wednesday 30th May 2012 at 08:59. Reason: Peregrine
ospreyscotbird is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 30th May 2012, 10:54   #18
Caledonian
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Largs/North Ayrshire
Posts: 267
Thanks a lot Ospreyscotlbird for this very nice extensive explanation!
The trip is already within a week and I am exciting for the trip.

Cheers,
Rik
__________________
follow me @: http://unitedkingdom.observado.org/user/view/18292
Scottisch yearlist: http://unitedkingdom.observado.org/ejl.php
Best Regards,
Rik van der Starre
Caledonian is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Farne Island information a_j_steele Information Wanted 5 Sunday 6th November 2011 16:47
What to take to Farne Island? Kevin Birds & Birding 20 Monday 11th June 2007 11:14
Farne Island Area - help Seamoor Northumberland 5 Wednesday 30th May 2007 11:08
Farne Island Info Needed DKR Information Wanted 9 Monday 20th June 2005 22:11
Farne Island birding andrevanderplas Your Birding Day 4 Tuesday 29th June 2004 18:30



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.20024109 seconds with 28 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 23:17.