Saturday, 3 April 2010

From the Muddy Banks of Pembrokeshire

This bank holiday weekend should have seen the opening of Skomer for day trippers and overnight visitors, but apparently that would be asking too much of the good old British weather.

The sea around the Garland Stone last Wednesday.
The swell is still stopping visitor boats getting out.

It feels like it's been raining non-stop for a fortnight while the wind's been doing its best blow us off the island completely. It's been cold enough that I've stood by the back of the fridge to warm up, and we've more mud than we know what to do with (suggestions welcome). Yet the sun's out this morning and suddenly spring seems here - swallows are hawking over the ponds, the gulls are courting and mating, and I wore shorts for a few hours (a little optimistically as it turned out there were rain clouds lurking).

All these delays have given us plenty of time to get ready for visitors; the overnight accommodation is sparkling, the hides are looking healthy and we've spent ages trying to maintain the footpaths. In places this has added to the amount of mud so we've had to go back and put temporary boardwalk over patches. Even so, the best advice I can give to anyone planning on visiting Skomer in the next few weeks is bring your wellies.

Volunteers working hard laying boardwalks, demolishing walls and painting hides.

When the weather's settled there's puffins on the land and guillemots on the cliffs. The last few nights have seen the moon rise later and a massive increase in the number and volume of shearwaters. It's all getting very exciting.

So we'll continue getting everything ready and will hopefully see some visitors soon.

Jerry Gillham.
Assistant Warden for Skomer and Skokholm.

No comments:

Post a Comment