We arrived back on our island home on 2nd March this year, a day later than 2022 only delayed by northerly winds on the 1st.
|Crossing over to Skomer on Wave Dancer - thanks Dale Sailing! © Skomer VO|
|A quick biscuit break halfway through moving boxes up the steps © Skomer Warden|
|A fully loaded dumper ready to head up to the Farm © Skomer VO|
Having spent the winter not in the UK, it’s always pleasing to hear that the weather hasn’t been too harsh and our buildings are certainly showing signs of having wintered well. The usual problems with a seized water pump seems to be the worst casualty of the winter so far – far better than arriving back to part of the roof missing at North Haven as in 2022. Internally, the buildings are also drier than usual, although they’re still cold; some things will never change.
|Sunset on our first day back on Skomer © Skomer VO|
Walking around on the first day it was pretty shocking how dry the island is – paths that are usually sodden and slippery were cracked and parched and there was no sign of any standing water on the main track. It looked more like a dry August than your typical March.
On our second day, the water was covered by auks; from afar resembling an oil slick with lines almost as far as you can see. Amongst the rafts in South Haven was, somewhat surprisingly, our first Puffin of the year. This is our earliest ever record beating three previous records on 6th March, most recently in 2019 and seven days earlier than the first of 2022 on the 10th March.
|Our first puffin of the 2023 season, rafting with razorbills in South Haven © Skomer Warden|
Over the last week we’ve been cleaning and on office work – often in front of the fire especially during the latest cold snap. On the nice afternoons we’ve been out re-widening paths, getting ready for the visitor season which is rapidly approaching.
|Ready to tackle the mould... © Skomer Assistant Warden|
|Painting in the Hostel © Skomer Assistant Warden|
|Manxies calling and wing beats in North Haven © Skomer Warden|
In a weeks’ time we’ll be welcoming the first volunteers and work party of the year, so we better sign off and get things sorted for them.
Leighton, Skomer Warden.