Guest blogger and volunteer Sandra Young reflects on her weeks' volunteering on Skomer
|Allen making some repairs to Bull Hole Research Hide|
|Geoff sharing his pictures.|
Day time starts with observations at the hides. Even though you may see the same birds day after day there is always something to attract attention. Our jobs are varied from cleaning guest accommodation to repairing rabbit enclosures, fencing and beach cleaning. Working as a team is the key ingredient despite age difference, experiences, abilities or sex. Six of us share a kitchen but sleep two per room. The kitchen routine can be the most challenging but at the same time the most entertaining as each person brings his or her life's experience or lack of to the fore. As this is the warmest room in the complex, unless of course you go to bed, everyone congregates in this small space. This year's mixed bag of people has provided laughter, information exchanging and so on. Bird song and information extricated from an ipod was the most sought after device. A whole array of wild life stuff could be accessed at the press of a button. Another get-together included dining with the full-time Island staff. A four course meal starting with vegetable curry with potatoes and rice followed by pizza and then melon with fruit and last of all bread and butter pudding just before bird log.
|Tea is always essential to happy volunteering|
Bird Log regularly occurs around 8.30 when Day visitors, volunteers and Island staff relate birds and wildlife they have seen and observed that day. This means that you meet other people with different skills and life's experiences. Everyone's contribution is valued no matter how unrealistic or realistic the sighting. It always surprises me how I can be in the same place and the same time as some people and not see the same bird but very often it is because experienced birders know what and where to expect to see a specific bird. They are also, understandably, better at identifying them. What is most relevant is the care and the consideration afforded to the birds. Feet are carefully placed when walking off the beaten track in order to avoid trampling over someone's home. Even though Manx Shearwater carcases litter the island the loss is compensated by their sheer numbers. Greater Blacked-backed are the chief predators but the male Peregrine Falcon will take the weakest puffin.
What a perfect place to be!
|Volunteering always brings together a mixture of people|