Hello! I’m Catherine and I’m the long term conservation volunteer here on Skomer Island. My season began slightly later than planned so I only arrived two weeks ago, but I am already fully settled into island life and will be here until the beginning of July.
I think I should begin by talking about the blind panic I was in as I reached the boat landing with my four large plastic boxes of food. I was sure I was going to have to carry them up the steps by myself and furthermore be judged by the amount I had brought... Instead, everyone was very helpful in helping to carry the load and I was welcomed like a hero into my shared kitchen for bringing in fresh fruit and veg!
|My food rations for the next month
From my first day here onwards, I have been spending a large proportion of my day at Bull Hole, where I sit with a telescope and survey a razorbill and guillemot colony to monitor their breeding success. I get so excited when I catch a glimpse of one of their turquoise coloured eggs that I do sometimes talk to myself (a habit I have noticed increasingly since living on an island!) Alastair was with me for the first few days to help, as looking at a cliff face through a telescope can be quite daunting. Every day it gets a little bit easier though as you start to recognise different rock shapes and get the feel for it. There is also a little hide at Bull Hole that is handy in bad weather, although my time here so far has been blessed by beautiful weather! Saying that, there was one afternoon where Alastair and I took shelter in there from a heavy thunderstorm and it was precarious to say the least!
|Monitoring Razorbills and Guillemots at Bull Hole for the JNCC
|My entry into the Puffin photographic competition
|My neighbours at Bull Hole: Marcy and Marvin, the Greater Black-backed Gull chicks
|Catherine Blower, Long Term Volunteer