Farne Island is an archipelago situated off the coast of Northumberland, England. Known for its stunning natural beauty, it is home to an astonishing variety of bird species.
From fluffy puffins to majestic seagulls, these birds add to the island's charm and make it a popular destination for birdwatchers. The unique habitat of Farne Island provides breeding grounds for thousands of seabirds every year.
These birds come to the island to nest, breed, and rear their young during the summer months. In this article, we will explore the rich birdlife of Farne Island and why it is worth visiting for bird lovers.
1. Common ringed plover
The Common Ringed Plover is a small migratory bird found in Arctic Eurasia. It has yellowish feathers and its Latin name, Charadrius hiaticula, means 'bird of ravines'.
This species breeds on beaches and tundra during northern summer months before flying south when winter arrives.
Its diet consists mostly of insects which it catches by running along the shoreline or through shallow water with wings spread open to create a shadow that helps catch prey.
The common ringed plover nests in short grasses near water's edge where they lay two eggs per clutch which hatch within three weeks.
These birds are highly territorial so will often defend their patch fiercely against competitors.Scientific classification:
Also Featured In: Egyptian Birds, Birds that Live in Greenland
2. Black-headed gull
The Black-headed Gull is a small, migratory bird found in much of the Palearctic. It breeds mainly in Europe and coastal eastern Canada but can also be found further west in milder areas.
In North America it's known as the Common Black-headed Gull.
Its plumage consists of grey on top with white underneath, while its head has a distinctive black cap during breeding season which fades to brown outside of this period.
They are often seen by coastlines or near inland waters where they feed off fish, insects and crustaceans caught either from the surface or underwater depending on their preference at that time.Scientific classification:
Also Featured In: Birds of United Kingdom, Flight Birds You Should Know
3. Sandwich tern
The Sandwich Tern is a medium-sized tern species belonging to the family Laridae. It has close relationships with four other crested terns, and is known to interbreed with the lesser crested.
These birds are distributed throughout Europe and as far east as Caspian Sea in summer, while they migrate south during winter season up to South Africa and India.
They have long wings which help them fly over vast distances effortlessly.
The plumage of these birds consists mainly of greyish tones on its body combined with white head and neck area; whereas it also sports an orange beak along black markings near their eyes - giving them a distinct look from other related species.Scientific classification:
Also Featured In: Birds of Netherlands, Common Birds of Portugal
4. European shag
The European shag, or common shag, is a species of cormorant found in western and southern Europe, southwest Asia and north Africa. It usually winters in its breeding range except for the northernmost birds.
The bird has an unmistakable look with it's greenish blue feathers on top of its head while having white underparts along with some black stripes over them.
Its long neck helps distinguish it from other cormorants as well as provide great sight while searching for food beneath the sea surface.
This seabird mainly feeds off fish but also eats crustaceans occasionally when available near their nesting grounds which are usually located around rocky coastlines close to open water bodies like seas and oceans.Scientific classification:
|Genus||Gulosus Montagu, 1813|
Also Featured In: Birds found in portugal, Birds of Orkney
5. Lesser black-backed gull
The lesser black-backed gull is a large, migratory bird found along the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America.
During winter months they are commonly spotted along the British Isles to West Africa while in summer many birds can be seen year-round on both east and west coastlines.
In recent years numbers of these birds have risen dramatically with some winters having great abundances present throughout their range.
They measure around 48cm long with wingspans reaching up to 110 cm across when fully grown - making them larger than most other common gull species.
These hardy seabirds feed mainly on small fish, crustaceans, molluscs as well as carrion or scraps from human activities that occur near coastal areas such as fishing ports or refuse dumpsites.Scientific classification:
Also Featured In: Amsterdam Birds You Should Know, Brown Birds of Florida
6. Common murre
The Common Murre, also known as a Common Guillemot is an Arctic and Boreal seabird that can be seen in North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans.
It has a stocky body with white underparts, black upper parts and striking yellow legs.
They are relatively large birds compared to their relatives but have weak flying abilities - they fly fast but not very agilely.
Their agility lies underwater instead where they are able to dive deep into the ocean depths for food such as fish, crustaceans or molluscs.
During breeding season these birds come ashore on rocky cliffsides or islands where they create burrows for nesting purposes.
The female lays one egg each year which both parents share incubation duties over it until hatching at around 30 days later.Scientific classification:
Also Featured In: Norway Birds, Birds that Live in the Ocean
7. Roseate tern
The Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) is a species of bird that belongs to the family Laridae. It gets its name from its pink breast in breeding plumage, which gives it a "roseate" appearance.
The genus Sterna comes from Old English and means “tern” while the specific dougallii refers to Scottish physician and collector Dr Peter McDougall (1777–1814).
This species was first described by George Montagu in 1813.
They are most common near coasts but can be found further inland occasionally too. These birds mainly feed on small fish like sardines, anchovies or herring as well as crustaceans when available.
They typically lay two eggs each year during their breeding season between May-September before migrating south for winter months.Scientific classification:
Also Featured In: Ireland Birds, Great Abaco Island Birds
The Razorbill is a seabird of the family Alcidae and is closely related to the extinct great auk. It lives in subarctic waters of the Atlantic Ocean, primarily black with white underside and both male and female look identical.
They have long pointed wings which help them dive underwater for their food that consists mainly of fish and crustaceans.
Usually they form large colonies on cliffs or rocky islands but can also be found solitary during breeding season when pairs nest together in crevices or rock ledges near sea level.
During winter they migrate southwards into open water areas where they stay until spring arrives again before returning back to breed once more.
The razorbill's population has been declining due to human activity such as overfishing so conservation efforts are being made by governments across Europe in order to protect this species from extinction.Scientific classification:
Also Featured In: Iceland birds, Common Cornwall Birds
Puffins are small seabirds that belong to the bird genus Fratercula. They primarily feed by diving into the water and breed in colonies on coastal cliffs or offshore islands.
They can nest in crevices among rocks or in burrows in the soil. There are three species of puffins, with two found in the North Pacific Ocean and one in the Atlantic Ocean.
The tufted puffin and horned puffin are North Pacific species, while the Atlantic puffin is the only puffin species found in the Atlantic Ocean.
These birds have colorful beaks that are often compared to clowns' faces, making them a popular sight among birdwatchers.
Puffins are fascinating creatures that have long been the subject of fascination and study among the scientific community.Scientific classification:
|Genus||Fratercula Brisson, 1760|
Also Featured In: Birds You'll Find in the Sea, Famous Paintings Birds
Fulmars are seabirds that belong to the Procellariidae family. They have two current species and two previous fossil species. They look like seagulls, but their flight and tube noses make them distinctive.
Fulmars lay one or two eggs on a ledge of bare rock or on a grassy cliff during breeding season. They nest on cliffs.Scientific classification:
|Genus||Fulmarus Stephens, 1826|
Also Featured In: Most Common Scotland Birds, Shetland Islands Birds You Should Know
Kittiwakes are part of the gull family and there are two species, the black-legged and red-legged. They are distinguishable in North America, but in Europe, only the black-legged species is found.
They predominantly live near the coast and feed on small fish and other marine creatures. These birds are well adapted to life at sea and can glide over vast distances with minimal flapping of their wings.
Breeding colonies are found in rocky areas, where they build nests made of grass and feathers.
Unfortunately, kittiwake populations have been declining due to factors such as climate change, overfishing, and pollution.
Conservation efforts are being made to protect these birds and their habitats.Scientific classification:
|Genus||Rissa Stephens, 1826|
Also Featured In: Feathered Wonders of the Farne Islands: A Bird Watcher's Paradise,
12. European rock pipit
The European Rock Pipit, also known as Anthus Petrosus, is a small passerine bird that inhabits rocky coasts in Western Europe.
This bird has streaked greyish-brown upperparts and buff underparts and looks similar to other European pipits.
There are three subspecies of this bird, among which only the Fennoscandian form migrates and spends winters in shoreline habitats in Europe.
The European Rock Pipit is a pretty common sight for birdwatchers, and often found near the seashore where it scavenges for food.
These birds are versatile and adaptable to their surroundings, enabling them to thrive in the rocky coastal habitats.
They have a unique call and behavior, which makes them a familiar sight for local communities living near coastal areas.
Overall, the European Rock Pipit is a fascinating bird species that is widely appreciated for its unique characteristics and adaptability to different environments.Scientific classification:
Also Featured In: Birds That Live in Anglesey,