Hello hello! My name is Joe and I am one of the two Long
Term Volunteers working on the island. I am currently an undergraduate at
Aberystwyth University studying zoology about to enter my final year in
September. I have spent a few weeks on Skomer in previous years prior to this
placement as a short-term volunteer where I got a flavour of island life and
from the moment I arrived in mid-July my time here has been nothing short of
|Me struggling to see out of the Warden’s ringing glasses.|
Since arriving I think it’s fair to say my clumsiness hasn’t
gone unnoticed so if you’re thinking of visiting the island over the next few
weeks and you see someone stumbling out of hides or tripping over boardwalks
say hello, it’s probably me!
Recently we have been setting several camera traps about the
island in response to the exciting otter sightings. Below I have complied a few
highlights of the footage which currently spans over 20 species!
My favourite footage captured on the camera trap so far is
without doubt the elusive water rail sightings. When viewing the footage for the
first I got so excited I leapt vertically several feet out of my chair, bruised
my ribs and jumped up and down madly for a while.
IT’S A WATER RAIL!!
Can you spot the huge cyst on the otter’s hindleg?
A Puffling from earlier in the season just sneaking into the
Check out the wingspan of the Manx shearwater…
Each Long Term Volunteer
takes on a personal project whilst on the island and I have decided to
investigate the calls of the numerous Manx shearwater. I aim to analyse the
begging behaviour the shearwater chicks which are currently tucked away in a
burrow waiting for their parents to return with food under the cover of
darkness. I hope to integrate this research with my university honours project
so keep an eye on the blog early next year for a link to my dissertation
So far my time on Skomer has
been incredible - the wildlife sightings are something else and with the
arrival of autumn migration and seal numbers beginning to increase once again
it will only get better! Over the coming month or so I will be helping the
Wildlife Trust monitor seals and their super cute pups which are popping up all
over the place as well as experimenting with moth traps and camera traps around
the island. There’s never been a more exciting time to visit and I look forward
to welcoming you all to the island over the next few weeks.
Joe (Long Term Volunteer)