England: Farne Islands – Cruising Around the Island
Farne Islands lie just offshore of Northumberland and constitute two archipelagos of about 15-20 islands (number fluctuates as the islands are low lying and some get submerged at high tide. The Inner Farne group has some remnants of human habitation, while the Outer Farne are sheer rock cliffs with thousands and thousands of nesting birds in the summer. Around 20 species nest here, most numerous being guilllemots (80k), and puffins (70k) (worthy of a separate post). Inner Farne has a large colony of arctic terns that nest here in the summer before flying to Antarctica (yes, Antarctica, it’s not a typo – this is the furtherest flying bird in the world). Other species are razorbills, kittiwakes, shags, herring gulls, cormorants, and other. The boats cruise all around the islands, getting very very close for the cacophony of sounds and smells (wear a hat and don’t gaze with a wide open mouth). There are also several very scenic lighthouses on the more remote islands.