Skomer has been running at full steam ahead with lots of day trippers and sometimes all 250 tickets being sold out for the island by 9.30am. The Puffins have been spectacular lately with plenty of chicks needing to be fed by the parents. This week just gone though has been a bit quiet on the boat front due to lots of cancelled sailing.
The first two weeks of June is also a busy time for the field work. As part of the JNCC Seabird Monitoring Programme we are carrying out our whole island counts and study plot counts. This can be done from the land but also from the sea. The boat counts sound appealing but two hours on a boat staring through binoculars can be the test of anybodys stomach. The whole island counts have been tricky this week due to the Northerly winds (we can't launch our boat) which do not seem to be shifting.
The researchers are also extremly busy trying to recatch geolocators. Geolocators are small devices attached to a ring on a birds leg. The device records sunrise and sunset (against time) and from this you can roughly work out the location. The devices were depoloyed on the birds last year and we are looking forward to working out the winter behaviour and important feeding areas of several species including Razorbill, Kittiwake, Guillemot and Fulmar. The Manx Shearwater research also continues.
Bird highlights include up to 4 Black Tailed Godwits on North Pond/Moorey Mere.