My name is Alice and I’m one of the long term volunteers on Skomer. I will be around until July so I get the exciting opportunity to be here during the breeding season! I visited the island for the first time last year. I was lucky enough to be brought on as one of the Manx Shearwater researchers. It was a team of 5 and we had the mammoth task of carrying out the whole island census! We also had one exciting day where we went over onto Middleholm where we did a census on there. It hadn't been done on Middleholm for 20 years so this was very interesting to be able to see how the population may have changed in that time period. It was hard work but so rewarding and to get the results that the manxies are doing well here with a whopping 350, 000 pairs of them on Skomer alone. To have been involved in the census was amazing and an experience I will never forget. The island is so important for this sea bird and to have over half the worlds population here is incredible.
Since last year I have been wanting to return to Skomer so to have been accepted for a long term position was amazing.
I will try to not give you my whole life story but a little bit of background about me. I was working before I came out to Skomer for the Cats protection league as cat care assistant. I loved the job and it was very rewarding seeing the cats go to loving new homes. I have always loved animals and been interested in their behaviour. I am passionate about animal welfare and feel we have a duty to look after our natural environment and respect the other living things we share this planet with.
I have done other volunteering, I had a long term placement with the RSPB last year. I was at a beautiful reserve called Burton mere wetlands which is known as the Dee estuary reserve. I was able to live onsite which was a great experience being fully immersed in my surroundings and the wildlife. I was working on both the visitor and warden side so some days were spent talking to visitors in the reception area and pointing out various birds and wildlife they could see. Then other days I spent outside carrying out maintenance work on site, monitoring wildlife and helping with the running of the reserve. I learnt a great deal during my time from improving my wildlife I.D skills, practical skills and being able to grow in confidence with delivering talks and guided walks.
I am passionate about conservation and doing my part to protect wildlife and their habitats. I am wanting to gain further experience in the conservation field and explore different carer options.
In my spare time I enjoy going for long walks with my dog and hiking up mountains. I really enjoy challenging myself and love the feeling of being out all day. I go rock climbing which is a challenge as heights are a little scary for me but the feeling of getting to the top of a climb is amazing.I like bird watching and being out with my binoculars. I also enjoy photography, taking landscape and nature
photographs mainly but love the message that a photo can portray and how it can freeze a moment in time.
I am excited for the season ahead and to get stuck into the survey work. I am now a fledged tractor driver and delivering welcome talks to visitors confidently which is great experience for me to take forward into my next role. I will update on my time here and have more information on the personal project I will be undertaking during my placement.
If your still reading then well done! I'll sign off for now but thanks for reading.