Thursday, 9 May 2013

From suncream to waterproofs...

As I am writing this, the rain and gusts of 56mph are battering the farm buildings and are creating an eerie whistling throughout the hostel. After a busy and sunny bank holiday, with a yearly record of 250 visitors on Sunday, it seemed that finally spring was upon us. Sedge warblers, Whitethroats and Wheatears have been out in numbers and Short Eared Owls have been seen regularly hunting around the island. The Bluebells and Campion have begun to come into bloom and the first Guillemot, Razorbill and Lesser Black-backed Gulls eggs have been seen. However, it appears spring has been put on hold as strong winds and wet weather have been forecast for the coming days.

Weekly Bird Highlights:

Male Ruff
Common Sandpiper
Yellow Wagtail

In the last week, the fine weather gave me and Dave Boyle the opportunity to get some good evenings of moth trapping done. I am currently carrying out some research for my undergraduate dissertation comparing the moth populations in heathland areas with bracken dominated areas.

Moth highlights have included:

Irish Muslin
Dark Sword Grass on migration
Clouded Drab (only second Skomer record)
Hebrew Character (less than 10 ever caught on island, last in 2007)
Common Quaker (last record in 2007)

Irish Muslin
(Lewis Yates)
Hebrew Character
(Dave Boyle)
Common Quaker
(Lewis Yates)
Angle Shade
(Lewis Yates)
The good weather has also given us lots of opportunities for sea watches, with porpoise frequently seen feeding around the coasts.

Some of the 'Skomer Team' seawatching at Skomer Head
(Nia Stephens)

Eddie and Paul

In other news: 
The island will be closed for day visitor for the annual gull count between Monday (13th) and Thursday (16th) next week. We will update you soon with how that goes.

 The tractor is also still in the process of being fixed, with the rear wheels removed and rolled down the landing steps to be taken to the mainland. So we will be wheelbarrowing luggage and food up and down to the farm for the next couple of weeks.

James Roden
Long Term Volunteer 


  1. A real turn in the weather - hope Spring returns soon (and certainly by beginning of june when we are back!).

  2. Love the blogs.
    Are the Puffins still to be seen?
    Are the Bluebells in full bloom?
    Thanks Peter

  3. Puffins have just started to lay eggs and the bluebells are now flowering

  4. Wow love the pictures, thanks for sharing with us nice post, really liked your post.