Saturday, 21 August 2010
First seal pup born overnight/today (20th)
Lots of juvenile goldfinches around the farm
Greenshank on North Pond
Little Owl being seen
Manx Shearwater chicks have started to come out of their burrows and exercise wings, some of which will be ready the fledge.
Exciting news to mention to you all this week..........
the overnight accommodation has two working showers!!!!!!!
Breakthrough for us all and it should make a vast improvement to the quality of the stay. There are also low water pressure mixer units on all showers at the farm which have significantly improved the "washing experience". The water pressure is still less than the mainland - but this is an island after-all!
The overnight accommodation has also been awarded three stars by the Wales Tourist Board. All very important advertising to increase the number of overnight visitors in August and September. Feel free to plug the place to friends and family, it only cost £25 per night at this time of year and there are still thousands of Shearwaters about. It also makes bird log a lot more fun having some "outside folk".
And with a bit of tweaking (by request ), the sign becomes a lot more appropriate:
But if this were a true rating scheme it should be 5!
Other activities recently include removing scrap off to the mainland such as 4 cookers and copper piping/lead left over from the renovation project. Thanks to the volunteers for your hard work with this......helping to keep skomer beautiful.
Thanks for reading and keep in touch.
Saturday, 7 August 2010
Skomer Wildlife Highlights July to August 2010
Canada geese regularly seen flying over North Haven and around North Pond
Up to 6 mallard seen around North Pond
A tufted duck on the 14th July
30 common scoter on the 27th July, west past the Garland Stone
Pheasant with young all over the island
Fulmar chicks on the cliffs, starting to lose their down and growing feathers
Manx shearwaters in large rafts at sea in the evening, returning to burrows at night to feed hungry chicks
Storm petrels seen at night by the boat shed
Gannets diving for fish at Garland Stone, Mew Stone and Skomer Head
Young cormorant and shag seen from the boat and at Garland Stone
Buzzard seen regularly at Bull Hole, 1 juvenile
Groups of peregrine at Garland Stone and High Cliff, taking some young kittiwakes from the Wick
Moorhen at Moorey Mere
Oystercatcher present on the island, seen regularly
A black-tailed godwit on the 7th July
Curlew seen occasionally at the back of the Old Farm
A whimbrel on the 26th July
2 redshank on 26th July and one on the 30th
Small groups of common sandpiper at the start of August
2 juvenile Mediterranean gulls at North Haven on the 2nd August
Lesser black-backed gull, herring gull and great black-backed gull chicks fledging but still begging for food
Kittiwake young fledging from the 21st July
Guillemot and razorbill chicks fledged, adults left the island last seen on the 30th July
Occasional puffins seen on the sea around the island, the majority having left
Wood pigeons seen around the island regularly in groups of 2 or 3
Little owl and short eared owl less visible but still present on the island
Small groups of swifts passing over the island
Skylark present around the fields
Young swallows flying around the Old Farm
Meadow and rock pipit seen daily
Juvenile pied wagtails around the Old Farm, seen in the courtyard
Stonechat spotted occasionally
Wheatear still present
Blackbird, wren and dunnock around the Old Farm, South Stream and Moorey Mere
Sedge warbler and whitethroat in elder and brambles
Flocks of up to 12 willow warbler and chiffchaff
A spotted flycatcher on the 27th July
Flocks of up to 10 chough flying round North Haven
Juvenile magpie seen
Up to 35 jackdaw around the island
20 ravens congregating at Bull Hole
2 and 3 starling on 27th and 29th July
A female chaffinch on the track to the farm in mid-July
Small flocks of goldfinch and linnet including juveniles feeding on thistles at the back of the Old Farm
Reed bunting present on the island throughout July
Painted lady, red admiral, small tortoiseshell, small copper, large white, meadow brown, ringlet, grayling and dark green fritillary butterflies seen throughout July
Cinnebar, oak eggar and humming bird hawk moths seen during the day
Grey seals basking on rocks at Garland Stone, North Haven and Pigstone Bay
Small groups of harbour porpoise seen throughout the month.
30 common dolphin on the 2nd August
A sunfish on the 4th August, seen from the Dale Princess
Compass jellyfish around Martin's Haven
What to look out for in August
Number of ducks on ponds starts to increase, particularly teal
More sightings of grey heron
Water rail present by the end of the month
More wader records as return migration gets under way. Likely species to see are golden plover, purple sandpiper, dunlin, whimbrel, green sandpiper and turnstone
Look out for tree pipit and grey wagtail
Warblers start passage, grasshopper, reed and willow warblers, also more numerous chiffchaff
Starling numbers increase throughout the month, with flocks using bushes around North Pond as an evening roost
Lots of butterflies to be seen on sunny days
Grey seal numbers increase in haul out sites on North Haven and Garland Stone. The first seal pups are usually born from mid to late August
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Still plenty to see though with the fulmar chicks sitting fat, fluffy and happy on their ledges waiting to be fed. Kittiwakes almost outgrowing their muddy nesting mounds. Cetaceans are spotted daily by visitors and volunteers. Seals will soon be thinking about pupping. Ravens amassing over Bull Hole are always a gymnastic display.
Hope you have enjoyed all the auks as much as I have this year and I can't wait until next March to see them return. In the meantime - plenty to still enjoy.