Sunday, 2 April 2017

Opening day!

We’re now open! And as B said in our previous blog, time has certainly flown. Just a week ago we were a little worried about whether the island would be ready in time, and to be honest, I was still a little worried on Friday afternoon. Things fell into place though and with a last little bit of adjustment we were ready to welcome the first visitors of 2017! 
An almost wind still morning meant the ponds had incredible reflections in them
 Thankfully the weather gods blessed us with a fantastic start to the season and we opened for day visitors and overnight guests on Saturday, as scheduled.

There was quite a bit of luggage that came over on the first boat which included four weekly volunteers, two overnight guests and two new Long Term Volunteers, Thom and Ruby (introductory blogs to come).  It certainly tested the early season fitness going up and down the steps multiple times. 

The first visitors of the year were treated to a fantastic day on Skomer. It was the first calm and sunny day in quite a while which meant the Short-eared Owls were making the most of the ideal hunting conditions, two of which were gliding over North Valley for most of the day, delighting visitors, staff and volunteers alike.

A spectacle which we weren't quite expecting was also the sheer numbers of Puffins that came back to Skomer in the evening. We could see numbers building throughout the day and around 4pm we had over 2,000 in North Haven alone, but they kept building and by 7pm there were an amazing 7,300 Puffins in North Haven. We usually do our whole island Puffin counts in mid-April but if these numbers continue like this we may end up doing them early. To see a video of this, head to our Facebook page. 

Sunrise on Sunday morning, another beautiful day
Saturday was one of those idyllic days on Skomer where the weather was fantastic, the wildlife was on top form and visitors left with huge smiles on their faces. And Sunday hasn’t been bad either, with excellent weather, migrants passing though (Sand Martins, Swallows and Willow Warblers mainly) and a pod of 30 Common Dolphins spotted off North Haven. For us this is an incredibly early sighting and we wouldn’t be expecting to see dolphins off Skomer until the summer!

That’s me done for now, but with the weather forecast to be similar for most of next week, we hope to see more friendly faces on Skomer soon and await more wildlife spectacles!

Leighton (Visitor Officer) 

P.S. To keep up to date with Skomer why not follow us on social media:

Facebook - Skomer Island
Twitter - @Skomer_island
Instagram - Skomer Island 

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