Monday, 2 July 2012

Calm between the storms

I am hoping that we are over our stint of weekly storms (having the winds pick up on four consecutive Thursdays was starting to feel a bit like “Ground Hog Week”) and thought I’d share some of the nice bits between the wet and windy bits:

Sun through the Red Campion
I admit that this photo wasn’t taken in the last few days; the weather hasn’t been that kind to us this week.  But in between the rain, winds and mist/fog of the last month there have been the usual beautiful moments on Skomer when the sun decides to pick out the plants, rocky landscape or simply a few clouds.

Sunset at the Garland Stone viewpoint
On the island the Puffins are still bringing in beaks full of sandeels for their hungry chicks, with the largest youngsters preparing to head out to sea already- but still plenty of small fluffy ones so don’t worry about them all disappearing quite yet!  The Manx Shearwaters have started to hatch in real numbers, and with the nights now drawing in, albeit slowly, there should be busy nights full of their parents croaking calls (one thing the mist and fog actually improves).  And the cliffs of Razorbills and Guillemots are getting ready for the large chicks to take the plunge into the sea so there is plenty of activity around the whole of the island! Enough to keep our researchers on their toes at least, a recent blog from Annette shows how active the bird colonies and their respective studies are:

And autumn passage seems to be upon us with the first few passerines making their way back south for the winter.  A steady trickle of Goldfinch and Linnet are being joined by the occasional Reed Bunting and juvenile Stonechat, just leaving us in anticipation of the next rarity to stop off on our isle.

Trig point at dusk
So plenty to see during the day but for a more committed viewing of Skomer at its best, here is Rich’s account of midsummer morning (i.e. 4.30am):

Enjoy the summer,
Lewis Yates
Hostel Warden

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