Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Skomer? Haven't I seen you on the telly?

It's been a bit manic the last two days with a full complement of visitors, school groups, important meetings and TV companies.

The sea is still flat calm and with the sun beating down on us it seems half the country has headed to south west Wales. Amongst them a group from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee who came over to check up on all the research work going on here. On the subject of research, a group has been out on the Amos today and ringed 300 Guillemot chicks as part of a large, ongoing study.

You've probably seen Skomer on the television recently. Well, prepare to see more. They filmed a bit of Coast here earlier in the season and the last two days we've had people prospecting for Countryfile and The One Show. To top it all Iolo Williams was out filming today, Haf's still giddy about meeting him.

Some of today's visitors were treated to the sight of a young razorbill chick leaving it's nest site down by the jetty. As soon as they're big enough to be able to swim properly, before their wings have developed, they are encouraged by their parents to leap into the sea - often bouncing off rocks on the way down - and head off into the blue beyond. This should be safer for them than staying on the cliffs. Unfortunately, this individual found that leaving in the middle of the day leaves one open to predation by gulls. It's a sight you get used to but one that's always a little distressing and depressing. On the positive side; if the chicks are leaving it means the adults are having no problem feeding them, which is always good news.

In other bird news we've had both Turtle Dove and Robin on the island today. An early sign of return migration?

Haf returned yesterday, ensuring a warm welcome by bringing a box full of ten fish and chip orders she'd collected from Haverfordwest. It took two kitchens to reheat that lot, though we soon cleared it all away, even if Tessa and I were the only ones piling away the mushy peas.

As you can imagine the evenings are long and sunny at the moment, so I'm off now to another barbeque.

Jerry Gillham.
Skomer / Skokholm Assistant Warden.

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