Saturday, 5 March 2016

Springing into action

Lots to talk about from these first few days on Skomer Island, which probably are best illustrated with minimal rambling and lots of pictures! Everything from emergency repairs of damaged roofs and solar hot-water panels at the farm (it was a rough winter), a tonne of spring cleaning (will it ever end?), cold, wet and windy weather with a few glimmers of spring and plenty more.

Welcome home! The farm still stands, and its good to be back (for those of you who have never seen it, you may be thinking "well where's the roof?!" Fortunately this part of the farm complex is supposed to look like this, preserved in the same state as it was when purchased by the WTSWW)
Unfortunately not all was rosy, with two holes in roofs caused by the strong winds over the winter. These solar hot water panels didn't fare too well, and a fair amount of water has been making its way into the building during the last few months.

A temporary fix, which should keep the water out long enough to allow us to get someone in to repair the damaged panels. The roof being watertight should also mean that the building will dry out, allowing us to crack on with much needed cleaning of the hostel and researcher quarters

Pretty much most of the island looks like this; brown and battered after a harsh winter. However, if you look closer on hands and knees there are lots of signs of life amongst the old bracken... these bluebell shoots. A couple of months from now and the island will be in bloom!

Also some of the ground ivy is flowering already, surviving salt spray and battering winds due to its low creeping nature
The willows at North Valley Crossing are also coming into leaf and flowering

And as always, the daffodils are looking great around the farm

North Valley Crossing, and indeed most other areas of the island are looking extremely wet, with standing water in lots of places that it shouldn't be. Temporary pools such as the one in the bottom of this picture have held some surprises... this clump of frogspawn. Being right in the middle of the path isn't exactly ideal... We found frog spawn on our first day arriving on the island on 28th February, which is pretty early
Lesser black-backed gulls are all present and on territory, with plenty of displaying being noted

Despite what this picture suggests, most of our Oystercatchers are yet to properly pair up, with most birds remaining along the rocky coastline of the island

A few winter visitors remain on the island, like these teal and snipe on North Pond. How many Snipe can you see?

a small number of blackbirds remain on the island, along with a few song thrushes and plenty of robins

1 comment:

  1. Thank you .. always good to see what is happening in heaven