Another Season

Puffin Landing Frontal
Well I am once again back on the mainland after a beautiful four and a bit months out on Skomer Island. This year I was the Field Assistant of the island, so instead of looking after people and hostels I spent many, many hours on cliff tops watching some seabirds and monitoring their performance this season. I worked on five main species and got involved with several others too:

Raven

Raven

Guillemots took up most of my time, trying to work out how many chicks successfully made it off. Razorbills were second on my list and were very similar, just less awkward to observe. Kittiwakes were next on the list, again looking at their productivity this year. Then there were Fulmar, plotting their nests within study plots and returning later in the season to spot chicks just before they fledged. And then there were the Great Black Backed Gulls, mapping every nest on the island, following them to see how many chicks fledged and after they left looking at their nests to see what they had been feeding on (mostly manxies and rabbits…).

if only this shot was razor sharp...

Razorbill

And in my free time I helped to ring Manx Shearwaters, young Puffins and Storm Petrels. I helped the Oxford researchers to deploy a variety of tracking devices to the Shearwaters and Puffins and even spent some time monitoring Storm Petrel colonies to try and work out how many of these elusive birds were breeding this year. Whilst doing this I also recorded some calls to see if it was possible to identify individuals by sound (a work still in progress). And I can’t miss out finding the first Pallid Harrier for Wales!
pallid harrier2

So all in all an amazing year. But unfortunately I think it will be my last on the islands- I hope to be able to visit again but my mainland life has caught up with me and I think a few years of enjoying fresh food and reliable water supplies may be in order! I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a few pictures from my island life, and I’ll try to keep my mainland posts just as interesting…

Skokholm Sunset

Skokholm Sunset

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2 Comments

  1. Renate

     /  August 23, 2013

    nice post Lewis the pictures are great I have some on my wall
    love
    Renate

    Reply
  2. Fantastic pics and fantastic blog! I’ll be checking your blog for more pics. Best, Nataly

    Reply

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