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 amazing.
|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 frame.
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 findings!
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)