Friday, 22 April 2022

Introducing Kelda, new Skomer LTV 2022

Cyfarchion Gan Sgomer!

My name is Kelda and I am one of the long-term volunteers for the spring season (March – July 2022). I am 25 years old and grew up in London, so coming to Skomer for the first time in March was quite the change!

Myself on my first Breeding Bird Survey.

I graduated from the University of Sussex in 2019 with a degree in Zoology where I had some great opportunities to travel and see some amazing wildlife along the way. I spent 8 months in Iceland on an exchange year and after seeing my first breaching humpback, pair of minke whales, and the puffins on the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar), my love for cetaceans and seabirds was born. Eventually, this grew to include all birds which ultimately led me to Skomer.

Since graduating I have largely been involved in public campaigns and community engagement work tackling plastic pollution. I came to Skomer with the aim of improving my bird identification and practical conservation skills. With help of the supportive team here, I can safely say I feel confident in distinguishing between the different calls of the birds found around the island including the blackbird, wren, meadow pipit, dunnock, curlew, oystercatcher, kittiwake and peregrine. 

Sunset on Skomer across South Field.

Upon arriving on the island on a beautiful sunny morning, we were greeted by a couple of curious seals and the first puffins slowly checking out and returning to their burrows. As an ocean lover, I was incredibly excited to see harbour porpoise at the Garland Stone, surrounded by diving gannets.

So far I have spent my evenings watching the short-eared owl swooping along North Valley just behind the farm and trying to catch a glimpse of the common dolphins occasionally seen in the surrounding waters. For the chiller evenings, I have bought along my stash of wool and have set myself the task of knitting a hat, scarf and jumper, hopefully before the start of next winter… 


A personal highlight of mine so far has been actually seeing Manx shearwater appearing from their burrows at night, as I have only ever heard them before, and of course driving the gator! I have also enjoyed meeting and working with other volunteers, and hearing about everyone’s backgrounds and stories about Skomer.

Buff-tailed bumblebee on willow flower by Green Pond.

I am keen to get started on my personal project that will look at the different species of bees found on the island and compare this to previous records going back to the 1930s. By completing bee transects I will also look at flower preferences and see if this changes throughout the season with different flowering plant species dominating the landscape.

Looking forward to writing again soon

- Kelda

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