Thursday, 7 March 2019

every day is a lesson

It's been over a week now that we have been back to the island. Strong wind doesn't seem to want to drop but that doesn't stop us from carrying out tasks outside.
The theme for the past week has mostly been electricity and problems associated with it. First it was the internet that didn't work, still is in places, then no power at all, which in the end was quite an easy fix and today we couldn't work out why the well pump wasn't pumping any water to our garden tanks. There was no power going into the pumpshed whatsoever and there was no obvious explanation why. We spent a good hour going up and down, clicking, checking the fuses, switching things on and off and basically mostly just fiddling around. We remembered having the same problem in November last year and that it wasn't working and then suddenly it was. There was still no apparent explanation as to why it didn't work in the first place but we were happy to find the pump working again and left the island thinking that all was well. Our theory was that the water in the well tank was below a certain level for the pump to be able to pump into the hill tank and continued to blindly and naively live in that theory of ours until today.
Sarah-K remembered seeing lights flashing and switches moving inside the big grey box of commands whenever the pump master switches are moved into manual, off or auto mode. She discovered that our ''there is no way I am going to pump water without electricity'' pump main switch sometimes doesn't click the way it's supposed to. It is supposed to make a sound when moved to one of the three sides and you know when it does! So to conclude, we now know that there was never a problem with the water level in what we way too easily believed. It has hopefully been a case of that specific pump switch being either incorrectly used or potentially the big grey box of command may need looking into. Fingers crossed it's the first one!



ALSO

THANK YOU ALL for your amazing contributions for the new Skomer vehicle! We have had many amazing donations so far and thank you to the Friends of Skokholm and Skomer for taking the lead and organising the fund raising!

Keep the donations and comments going, we love to read them! We agree, no one should need to carry their own luggage all the way up to the Farm! ;-)

here is the link if you want to donate:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/friends-of-skokholm-and-skomer

Your Skomer team :)


we probably would have spent a few days carrying all our food and stuff up the stairs on our arrival day last September,      10 points for tractor : 0 for us :)

Guillemots and Razorbills are back by the way. We have also seen 12 Puffins out in the sea.

A raft of Razorbills and a probable odd Guillemot
Love the sounds they make
Coordinated spring dance;-)


Friday, 1 March 2019

We are back on Skomer!

WOW, time does fly!

We are back on Skomer again! Let the 2019 season beginnnnn yessss!

Our arrival to the island went very smoothly and we were even very fortunate with the lovely weather - the hottest day in winter in Britain ever recorded apparently!
So very lucky! Oh but that night, equally glorious, sky sooo full of stars, it was absolutely stunning! Just wanted to dive in and be one of those stars it was that beautiful!

Things have been pretty great since the arrival day (27th of Feb), we found things quite the way we left them in November last year, except from maybe mould, some rocks fallen on the track up from the boat shed and lots of soil flung onto the paths by rabbits digging new burrows.
There are plenty of fulmars on the cliffs, a few Manx shearwaters are back already, way over a hundred oystercatchers, some migrants flying through such as blue tits, chiffchaffs, woodcock, snipes, sand martins, song thrushes, blackbirds, goldcrest, lots of starlings.
We have even heard from Richard (Skokholm) that they have seen the very first puffin of the year in Broad Sound, which is fantastic!! It counts as theirs this time haha but we were the ones who got to the island first ha;-);-) (hugs and kisses Rich and Gi)

We are very excited to be back and are absolutely convinced that it is going to be a brilliant year, because why not?!

We are planning to work very hard to ensure that everything is just the way it should, including providing visitors with great experience, carrying out good quality species monitoring, working well with volunteers and researchers, organising awesome events and the all rest! But we are also planning to have a lot of fun, which is extremely important! What would life be without fun?!
We are hoping to make friends here, get to know people visiting, spread the love for wildlife, to encourage others to make some lifestyle changes, which will benefit the environment and most of all to really continue the great work that is being done here.
There are some exciting projects that will be carried out here this year, of which many are a continuation of what has been done here over the years, which is great! Continuous, standardised data collection is crucial when it comes to long-term monitoring/research.
There are soooo many things happening this year that I don't even know where to start!
However, this is something that you will have to find out by reading our blog, twitter, facebook and by visiting obviously and most importantly!
We would miss out all the fun by telling you all about it now;-)

To the fantastic 2019 season on Skomer then! Cheers!

Here are some pictures from the last 3 days


haha no comments needed here :)
Martins Haven beach
Leaving the mainland

Wilkie posed well when driving:)
I'm not so bad myself, what a thinker! Steve was enjoying himself too, clearly;-)
Sarah and Sarah did a fantastic job carrying our stuff up to be then loaded onto a tractor! 
Very happy helpers, thank you Anna, Steve and Mick!! You're awesome!
Steve was happy to find that the water tanks hold water, this much is currently in:)
Tractor started first try! yeyyy (doesn't usually happen) driving down to load it up with our stuff
Oh what a glorious day it was!
Tea time in between the tractor runs!

Fulmars
Nathan got me when I was very focused on eating

APPEAL

We also would like to add that Friends of Skokholm and Skomer is raising funds for the new Skomer vehicle and we are very grateful for this amazing action!
As probably most of you know Skomer island has been functioning very well (day visits, overnight guests, maintenance, boat launching and more) with a continuous usage of our island tractor. Our 17 - year old tractor has proved itself extremely useful over the years but it has also proved to be very maintenance costly and is starting to fail.
It is therefore vital that the vehicle supports our work as best as possible in order for us to be able to continue to run Skomer nature reserve and for it to remain functional.

If you want to help you can donate via the just giving page
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/friends-of-skokholm-and-skomer

Many thanks!

a lot of luggage and no space in the tractor

overnight guests' luggage

tractor chair:)