Friday, 2 June 2017

Roseate Tern

Highlight of the Northumberland trip was Coquet Island and the Roseate Terns. I may have seen them before but they were distant and I could not be sure. This was a chance to bury the doubt. I would still not get close views as you cannot land on the island but I would at least get a record shot.

I used Puffin Cruises for the trip around the island. They are based in Amble and the short trip out and around the island lasts about an hour. The boat trip was far more enjoyable than the Farne Island trip. Numbers on the boat were severely limited, there was plenty of room to move around, and it was a lot easier to see things and to get pictures.

One tip, book to go on a high tide. The boat can get closer to the island and you will get better views.

The Roseates like to nest in holes so a wall has been built and nest boxes installed for them to use. Roseates can be seen sitting outside boxes 142, 139 and 11 and below are close crops on numbers 11 and 142.

The Roseates have distinctive all black bills which makes them easy to identify even from a moving boat. Taking pictures though is just a little bit harder.

I would like to have got closer and to have come away with better picture but it was not possible and also not worth the risk to the birds. They are a red listed species, in rapid decline, with only about a hundred nesting pairs in the United Kingdom and with ninety percent of those on this island.

Wardens guard the island during the breeding season and these efforts by the RSPB are seeing a gradual increase in the numbers breeding there.


I was only really interested in the Roseate but there are huge numbers of other birds around the island. Terns, Guilemots, Razorbills, Puffins and Eider were all there in large numbers. In particular the large rafts of Puffins just off the island were very impressive.

1 comment:

  1. Martin, GFB are a not-for-profit social enterprise supplying bird hides, tern rafts, sand martin banks and nestboxes for birds of conservation concern. Good to see 'live' pictures of our 'Rosy' boxes in use (the grey speckled ones, like #139). Can I have your permission to use a pic or two for our publicity please? You can delete this comment when read, as I'm not trying to hijack your blog as a "free ad"! Pls reply to Nigel = gbn(at)