Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Skomer News

Curlew chick - Richard Kipling
The birds are busy out here at the moment either incubating or feeding chicks. First off the blocks the Ravens have already kicked the kids out of the nest! The Oystercathers are sitting on full clutches, or have young chicks, and are occasionally getting up to terrorise passing gulls. Two of the Curlews pairs now have chicks running about so they are very busy keeping a watchful eye on their young. They are such beautiful chicks – big long legs with a ball of golden and brown fluff on top! They have small, straight bills and big black eyes. Great to see.

Curlew chick - Richard Kipling

Gull eggs are hatching at the moment and I’ve seen a few eggs now with a tiny hole in and a little beak sticking out, making a quiet peeping sound. Puffins have been seen coming ashore increasingly often with food so they must have hungry chicks in their burrows. We know the Jackdaw chicks are demanding food as we can hear their calls every time one of the parents pops home; will we have any white ones this year? The Little Owls are busy bringing food back to their downy chicks in the wall near North Pond Hide. I’m looking forward to seeing them when they start to explore the great outdoors.

Lesser Black-backed Gull eggs - Richard Kipling
Razorbill and Guillemot chicks are hatching or about to hatch and the Fulmars are soon to lay their eggs. The Kittiwakes are still building their nests so it will be a while before we see their tiny white chicks. The passerines are busy too with Meadow Pipit, Magpie, Crow, Wren and Dunnock feeding chicks and Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat nest building.

Oystercatcher keeping watch - Richard Allen

Finally, we appear to have two pairs of Short-eared Owl this season. One pair look to be feeding chicks, but the second pair still seem to be unsettled. It is possible they have failed at their first nesting attempt, but, there is time for them to try again. We will keep you posted!

There is a lot happening at the moment, it’s all very exciting out here on Skomer!.       
Sarah Harris
Assistant Warden.  

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