Thursday, 9 June 2011

Sprinwatch: Some pictures from behind the scenes

Springwatch all began back in Januar with a meeting between myself and a producer and a cameraman - Ian llewellan. The original aim was for a Short-Eared Owl Diary. This developed into Iolo coming live from the island for one night, which then developed to live every night - not something you would normally agree to in the first week of June - the busiest time of year on Skomer both for wildlife monitoring and people. Thanks to all the efforts of the volunteers, assistant warden(sarah) and Sue (VSO) - without which this would never have been able to have been pulled off. With there help they have kept me sane from the Springwatch invasion and have kept the island running.

I am currently sat here while the programme goes live, my main purpose now is to be here should something strange go wrong with the power supply - thanksfully the sun has shone most of the week so it is fairly relaxing (except the first night when there was too much being drawn from our batteries during the live show, all was ok when I found some rather power hungry battery chargers which when turned off - saved the show! - I needed a beer after that one!)

Here are a few shots.

Just a nice sunrise

Mid-April filming begins, cameraman Ian Llewellen was living in my house for 3 weeks to capture the early season footage of bird returning to the island. It was also a cracking time for the Manx Shearwaters...........

Using an adapted second hand CCTV camera (sounds like a high budget production but it worked) Ian captured Manxies performing adult behaviour on the surface - something which we do not think has been recorded before.

An arty night shot
Steve was my second housemate who came in to film the second half of the footage, including chicks from Short-eared owls.

Gary Moore - wildlife soundman got his parabollic reflector out......amazing piece of kit which made you feel right in the centre of the sound. Dread to think how much it cost.

During the pre-live filming week the crew were stuck on the island. But the warden's house is amazing in how many it can accommodate (all other beds on the island already full)

When it came to live week, people needed organising. In order to maintain sanity of the warden the garage was converted into the storage area.

The lime kiln shelter was converted into the communications shed.
Pictures being beemed back to a sattellite truck on the mainland

The library was converted into a general meeting room - here is Iolo learning his script.

Lots of different locations. As warden I had to be a grumpy old man to ensure that nobody was going off the paths and damaging habitat. All in all the crew were well behaved, but sometimes you have to guide them away from sensitive areas
Holly, Tim and Iolo preparing to download a geolocator.

It has been a great week and thanks to all involved. I hope it has shown all sides of Skomer to audiences that may never have experienced such a place.

Skomer Warden


  1. Brilliant - well done all you chaps & chappeses. Mike

  2. Its amazing how much kit is required to do an OB. Glad they have it though. We get to see places that we cannot get to.