Tag Archives: Farne Islands

Dolphins more common in North East waters than any other part of England

A pod of up to 100 dolphins has been spotted off the coast at Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear.

And marine experts say the region is currently the best place in the country to spot the mammals.

Both bottlenose and white-beaked dolphins have been sighted in the area over recent days.

Stephen Marsh, from British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said: “White-beaked dolphins are abundant in the North Sea at the minute.

“The ones spotted off Tynemouth have most probably come down from the Farne Islands.

“We have seen a pod of up to 100 passing the region in recent days and the area is by far the best to see these type of dolphins at the minute.

“The reason there are so many is due to the movement of their prey.”

Bottlenose dolphins have also been spotted off the coast at Roker in Sunderland in recent weeks.

Fishermen just outside Roker Harbour reported seeing the mammals jumping as they moved up the coast towards Seaburn.

Experts say the pods could well be attracted to the high numbers of mackerel shoals.

Terry McKeone, senior aquarist at Tynemouth’s Bluereef Aquarium, said: “Mackerel are quite a dim fish and they hang around in large shoals.

“They are close to the shore in the area at the minute so it could be the dolphins are just rounding them up and hitting them in large numbers.

“Dolphins are social mammals and they tend to be seen in large groups. You might get the occasional one by himself but that’s usually because the other dolphins don’t like him.”

Michael Jeffrey,  from Roker, said: “We’ve had the dolphins off the coast for the past few weeks, they’ve attracted quite a bit of attention.”

The white-beaked dolphin is most widely spotted in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Source –  Newcastle Journal,  02 July 2014

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Caribbean bird turns up on Farne Islands

 
The Bridled Tern on the Farne Islands

A Caribbean visitor has seen birders flock to islands off the Northumberland coast.

The Bridled Tern, which has arrived on the Farne Islands, is thought to be the same bird which paid a visit last July, when it stayed for two weeks and attracted around 800 bird watchers.

Farne Islands head warden David Steel said: “It caused birders from as far away as Kent and the South West to jump into cars, drive overnight and admire this beauty from the Caribbean. It was the first bridled tern which was accessible to bird watchers in the UK since 1991, and only the 24th recorded for Britain.”

But last week, the bird was spotted on Fair Isle off the Shetlands by ex-Farne Island wardens before it headed south to Northumberland.

I suspect it may now be with us for some time yet,” said Mr Steel, who believes that the bird may have followed other migrating terns to the UK.

“It is a long way from home, but it seems to be very happy on the Farne Islands, where it has lots of food, and feels safe with all the other terns.

“It is also displaying to the sandwich terns and we may have some hybrid chicks. I think we will have a lot of people coming to see this bird.”

Inner Farne is open daily from 1.30pm to 5pm.

The Bridled Tern on the Farne Islands

 

 Meanwhile, another rare visitor has turned up at Hauxley nature reserve near Amble, in Northumberland.The Black-Winged Pratincole was spotted by birdwatchers at the Northumberland Wildlife Trust site behind Druridge Bay.

The bird, the size of thrush, comes from Turkey and parts of Asia.

There have been only 39 previous records of the bird in Britain, and it is the first sighting of the species in the North East.

Alan Tilmouth, of the Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club, said: “It may just have decided to go in a different direction and been caught in a weather system.

“It is a very unusual sighting for Northumberland.”

Source –  Newcastle Journal, 25 June 2014

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