Have you ever had to move house? Yes, then you probably know
how tedious and tiring it is to move heavy boxes full of books: banging into the door frame as you go - down
the stairs, narrowly avoiding a slip - along the pavement, skirting the dog
poop - into a van, mind your back! and then everything in reverse at the place
Now imagine moving into a multi-storey building and the lift
is broken - and to make things a bit more interesting someone has spilled
grease onto the stairs.
Now you can imagine how we felt on Saturday when we had to
move all of our belongings down onto a very slippery jetty at Martins’s Haven
and up 80 uneven and just as slippery steps on Skomer Island.
|The jetty at Martin's Haven with all our possessions|
To be honest, we
probably would have resisted buying the 25kg sack of rice and the 20kg of
potatoes, not to mention the box of Tunnock’s bars or the family pack of
toothpaste, and we might have even settled for the small bag of flour and
abstained from beer and wine if and only if we had known how strenuous the
Skomer take-over would become.
The trouble was that our little inflatable boat - which
could have landed on the beach, where the tractor can get to - broke that very
morning so that we ended up using the Dale Princess. We are very grateful that
John Reynolds came to our rescue and made moving to the island, that Saturday,
|Bee and Nia on the Dale Princess |
Huge thanks also go to Chrissie and Gary from Lockley Lodge for
assisting on the mainland and especially to Nia and Chris who with enormous
bravery helped tackle the task of lugging all of our gear up those steps. We
felt a bit ashamed helping them carry their three bags each...
We worked like Sherpas till sunset and managed to get
everything into the house that night.
|Eddie carrying 40kg of flour up the steps on Skomer|
Since then our days have been filled with endless wonders:
fire alarm system, septic tank, generator, solar PV ... but luckily everything
is working and after a bit of spring cleaning we are feeling at home already!
Of course there is more to Skomer and the Warden’s job than
just buildings and maintenance, there’s the absolutely fabulous wildlife too.
And we have already been in for several treats. On Monday the 4th we
heard the very first Manx Shearwater for the 2013 season and listened to the
eerie call of a hunting Short-eared Owl. The next day we did an all island
recce and literally looked at every nook and cranny of it. Ed spotted a
Northern Wheatear opposite the Mew Stone and as there have only been four
earlier Skomer records since 1969 it was quite an exciting observation. Chris spotted
a Chiffchaff in North Valley later that morning and at 1300 we saw four
Pink-footed Geese flying from the North Pond towards the mainland. Another good
find was a Raven’s nest with 5 lovely blue eggs in it.
|Oystercatcher roost at Welsh Way|