Wednesday, 19 May 2010

One nest, two nests, three nests, four...

Gull counting galore on the islands at the moment; researcher Mike spent last week walking the forbidden paths of Skomer counting lesser black-backed gulls and in the last few days we have been walking back and forth through a selected few colonies to get a (hopefully) precise number of nests.
Gull counters ready for action (l-r): Chris, Jerry, Jonathan, Mike, Andy, Jonathan, Lyn, Nancy (standing) Amy, Simon, Geoff (kneeling).

These can be quite long days requiring a surprising amount of concentration just to remember a few numbers, but it’s great to be out on the reserve, appreciating the spread of the bluebells as you regretfully trample through them, finding the occasional oystercatcher or short-eared owl nest.
Working hard on those counts.

Last week I was over on Skokholm along with Andy, our Long-Term Volunteer, and six others, doing a similar job. Only with angrier gulls, where it is essential to wear old clothes and a wide brimmed hat.
Skokholm Gull counters (l-r): John, Phil (standing) Wendy, Steve, Andy, Sam, Irene, Jerry.

Whilst over on Skokholm we had plenty of other work to be getting on with; there was a day trip on the Monday as thirty visitors, some of whom had been waiting three or four years to get there, managed a day in the sun. Before that we had been preparing for them by re-marking overgrown paths and scrubbing algae off the jetty.

A lot of clearing, cleaning and tidying went on the whole week. Repairing winter-damage, painting window frames and doors and emptying a storage hut of what felt like a decade’s worth of containers. I’d like to thank all that weeks volunteers for their tireless enthusiasm, good humour and feeding myself and Andy so well that every meal since then feels like a disappointment.
Contemplating the removal of all those empty containers.

Jerry Gillham.
Assistant Warden for Skomer and Skokholm.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like the Skokholm crew are modelling the new Asda summer collection.