Thursday, 27 August 2009

Gales, gales, gales, gales..........

Two Sunfush were seen from the boat today, one of which was nearly 6ft across! There was also lots of Porpoise around today and yesterday.

The island is looking a little ragged around the edges after the last few gales, and another forecast for tonight. The salt laden winds do a grand job of beating down and salt-burning the Bracken, but unfortunately do the same to the veggie plants in the garden.

There have been a few pleasant days with nice sunny spells between the showers and with some waders and warblers to be seen. Turnstone and Common Sandpiper on North Haven and Rye Rocks, Whimbrel, Curlew and Ringed Plover passing through and lots of Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats. First Snipe passing over on the 24th. One Reed Warbler on the 24th. The first Song Thrush yesterday and the numbers of Robins are building up - these birds don't breed on Skomer but do pass through and overwinter here. Fresh Barn Owl pellets found at Moorey Mere hide - one of their favourite roosts. We suspect that a pair has bred this year around the cliffs. One Sandwich Tern heard passing over North Haven on the evening of the 23rd.

Four Seal pups now (all in caves or out of view though) and several more heavily pregnant cows hanging around the pupping beaches. Check out our webcam images which often give you brilliant views of the Seals on the beaches and rocks around North Haven

One incident today of a private boat coming in very close to a pupping beach and scaring several pregnant cows into the water. This highlights the need for good education and awareness of the disturbance that people can cause. Please have a look at and follow the guidelines to ensure you don't disturb Seals or Seabirds.

Pete, our Visitor Services Officer (glamorous title for a chalet host!) left Skomer today. He has been here for the last five months and has done a grand job looking after our overnight guests and generally helping run the island. Have a look at for more info about coming to stay on Skomer.

There are lots of young Shearwaters coming out of their burrows each night now, they are easily distunguished by their slightly overweight appearance and the tell-tale tufts of grey, fluffy down that they still sport here and there. There have been fewer adults coming back in the last few nights, it is likley that some of them have started on their migration to the waters off South America where they will spend the winter.

Battening down the hatches before the next gale...........

Jo Milborrow
Skomer Warden

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