Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Sand Eels for tea

Firstly we would like to apologise for being so lax when it comes to blog posts recently. We did more in the spring and we will definitely do more once the breeding season is over. Right now we are so busy counting birds, fixing tractors and helping researchers with work day and night that we have a struggle to stay awake long enough to blog. However, here is a quick update on how the season is going. We will also have a few guest bloggers to try and get more island news out.

So to the birds: Some Razorbill chicks hatched on the 10th of June and the adults are now busy feeding the cute little balls of fluff on oil rich fish. 

Sand Eels for tea

Another chick gets fed

Some of the colonies are densely packed and counting them is a challenge (especially from a boat) but with patience and by counting more than once we can get a fairly good idea as to how many individuals are frequenting the nesting ledges during the summer. Skomers seabirds are generally doing well and ledges that held a few hundred a few decades ago now look like this.

The Guillemot colonies are particularly dense

Not many birds can breed at such high densities and a complex social structure is needed to allow this strategy to work.

The whole island needs to be counted from the land and sea as many times as we can during the short breeding season. Whilst the weather is good whole days in a row are spent on the waves.

Five people is the optimum number to do the counts

It is still slightly too early to say exactly how this years figures compare with past years but we will update the blog with news as soon as we have pulled all the counts together.

All pictures by Pia Reufsteck

Eddie Stubbings, Skomer Warden  

1 comment:

  1. We're coming to visit again on Saturday - hoping to see the short eared owls again, are they still hunting regularly during the day?