Monday, 29 June 2009

There and Back again, The Skokholm Experience

Every two weeks through the summer Jerry and I lead a guided tour around Skokholm Island, and occasionally things don't go to plan. We set off this morning with a boat load of visitors eager to get onto Skokholm to see the wonderful wildlife, but as we reached the island on the experienced Dale Princess we had a rather unfortunate experience. The swell of the sea drove the Princess away from the landing point, much to the disappointment of the visitors. Many of the guests have been coming over to Skokholm for 50 years!!!

But, much to their delight, they were offered the alternative visit to Skomer Island! The wildlife of both the islands are similar, although the numbers of each species differs on both Skomer and Skokholm. The main things to see on Skokholm is the old cottage, which was inhabited by Ronald Lockley on his naturalist adventures, also the rare Blue Pimpernel which is seen on the island. Along with these the vast birdlife draws visitors to visit Skokholm, some main species to see is the breeding choughs, Peregrine, Guillemots, Razorbills, Puffins and many more!Many of these birds can be seen on Skomer, and the visitors enjoyed the sights and sounds of Skomer. They enjoyed watching hunting Short Eared Owls, Choughs at the wick, and Buzzard Pairs at Bull Hole and at the Garland Stone. Along with this, they were able to see surfacing porpoise, and seals hauled out on Skomer's many beaches. All in all, everyone enjoyed their day out here on Skomer, and soon forgot about the morning fiasco.
If you would like more info on visiting either Skomer or Skokholm please click on the link to the Wildlife Trusts' website.

Apart from that, Tessa, Jo, Ben and Holly were interviewed for Countryfile. They will be appearing on Sunday on Channel BBC 1, make sure you keep your eyes open for that! It is Tessa's debut appearance on Television, and we are very proud! We are all excited to see the outcome on Sunday. Ben and Holly are pictured above with the presenter and a week old Shearwater chick, they were talking about the research they are carrying out on the island, so to learn more tune into the programme or keep up to date with this blog.

Dave B is currently undertaking his second 24 hour puffin feeding watch, and he will complete it tomorrow at 1pm, after a long and strenuous watch. This feeding watch allows us to work out the feeding ratio of each puffin chick, and what type of food the parents are bringing in to feed the chicks. We will know tomorrow how well the Puffins are doing, and hopefully they will be doing as good as usual!

I'm now off to enjoy Sam's wonderful Ginger Cake which was kindly made for me!

Haf Leyshon
Long Term Volunteer for Skomer/Skokholm

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