Northumberland Holiday 2014 71
Farne islands
The last day proved to be the best as we set sail courtesy of Billy Shiel’s boats trip to the Farne Islands, the islands are run by the National Trust and are a haven for wildlife. They say they are the most exciting seabird colonies in England and after visiting I must agree, we both have never seen wildlife so up close in all our travels. The Farne Islands are a group of islands off the coast of Northumberland, England. There are between 15 and 20 islands depending on the state of the tide.[1] They are scattered about 1½–4¾ miles (2.5–7.5 km) from the mainland, divided into two groups, the Inner Group and the Outer Group. The main islands in the Inner Group are Inner Farne, Knoxes Reef and the East and West Wideopens (all joined together on very low tides) and (somewhat separated) the Megstone; the main islands in the Outer Group are Staple Island, the Brownsman, North and South Wamses, Big Harcar and the Longstone. The two groups are separated by Staple Sound. The highest point, on Inner Farne, is 62 feet (19 metres) above mean sea level.

History
It was on one of the islands we passed, that
Grace Darling, aged just 22 years old with her father rescued 9 people in thick fog and gale corse winds in a rowing boat no mean feat for a young girl. You will pass the Red & White Longstone lighthouse (map) that stands high on the island and it is from her bedroom that she saw the sinking of the Forfarshire, its a shame she had such a short life, she died of tuberculosis in October 1842, aged just 26.


Wildlife
On landing at Inner Farne, National trust rangers warned us to have our hats on, we both thought this was to stop birds pooing on us, how wrong we were. The island had thousands of
Arctic Terns all with their young chicks and these birds protected their young with much aggression and ferocity, Gail was attacked numerous times as was I please see our video on Youtube , they are a small bird very sleek and make one hell of a noise when approached. The Arctic Tern is by far the longest migrations known in the animal kingdom. The Arctic tern flies as well as glides through the air, performing almost all of its tasks in the air. It nests once every one to three years (depending on its mating cycle); once it has finished nesting it takes to the sky for another long southern migration. Recent studies have shown average annual roundtrip lengths of about 70,900 km (c. 44,300 miles) for birds nesting in Iceland and Greenland[3] and c. 90,000 km (c. 55,900 miles) for birds nesting in the Netherlands

Other species of birds that nest on the island are
Guillemots, Razorbills, Eider Ducks, 4 species of Terns and a staggering 70,000 Puffins, the puffin was a funny looking sight flying through the air, its a wonder they stay up there, they also live in Burrows in the large flat plains on top of the island. We were also told by the skipper that they do get Killer whales up there after the large population of Seal Pups that breed freely around the islands you will see loads on your travels.

A great trip out and a place i think we will visit again and do a few more of the islands next time, we both can’t recommend this trip enough you will not be disappointed by the £30 price tag you get a full 2.5 hours for your money.