Here on Skomer Island there is so much that goes on that we don’t see. During July and August we began to receive sightings of an otter roaming about on the island. Excited by the news, we placed trail cameras at certain places on the island hoping to get a better sight of this rare and elusive mammal. While we did get fleeting views of the otter, what also excited us was the other wildlife as well as the behaviour shown when humans were not around to interfere. In particular, we were especially excited by the appearance of water rail! These particularly shy birds are recorded only rarely on the island during summer but by using these hidden cameras, we have been able to regularly get some great views!
|Water Rail zipping past the camera|
It was not just water rails that were seen however. Our cameras also recorded fighting shearwaters, a puffling recently emerged from its burrow, foraging wood mice and even a dead shearwater that attracted gulls, crows and magpies to feed on it. All in all, it’s been really interesting to see what goes on when we’re not looking!
|Carrion Crow, doing what it says in the name|
|A curious Magpie|
While the trail cameras have been recording shy species and interesting behaviour on land, Jake, one of our Long Term Volunteers, has been putting out an underwater time lapse camera in North Haven to monitor the fish species that pass by. The kelp beds by the edge of the cliffs have proven to be particularly rich in life, with sea bass being regularly seen there, along with ballan wrasse, two spot gobies and shoals of both adult and juvenile pollock.
|Bass swimming past the camera in the North Haven kelp|
Jake and Joe, Long Term Volunteers