The Beach

I’m busy working on my tern project and also producing a mini film at the moment so haven’t had my camera in photo mode for a while.  But I was on the beach for an amazing sunrise recently and it reminded me of this shot I took a couple of years ago.  The sand has changed shape slightly under the tides but otherwise the scene was almost identical and pretty stunning.

beach

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

My Work on Skomer

So the wardens wanted me to tell the world what I did for my job recently and I just posted to give a brief description on the Skomer Blog. Its sort of what I was writing about on here but maybe put slightly better this time and with more pictures :) Go have a read if you’re interested!

Skomer Blog

If I remember there will be a follow up post about my work on Fulmar and Kittiwake in a week or so…

Skomer Bound

The taxi to SkomerSo another year and another season on the islands!  If only the last month had been as simple as that…

(more…)

End of Season

Well it snuck up on me and literally came sooner than it should have but Skokholm island is shut for the winter so I have been evicted from Dream Island and slung back on the mainland.  Here’s a teeny tiny summary of my year and some of my better pictures! (more…)

Indian Summer…?

I’ve had a lot of bad weather out on Skomer but the past few weeks have been lovely!  Nice calm weather, warm winds and minimal rain…  but looking at the forecast makes me think this week is going to be wet and windy so thought I’d post these pictures before it hit! The nice weather has also been helping birds on passage.  Below are a few Common Scoter making their way past Skomer the other evening and on land the bushes are intermittently being filled with Willow Warblers and the like.  Won’t be long before something a bit rarer comes along (hopefully!).

Cheating

I’m sorry I’ve cheated on you… I blogged on another site:

http://skomerisland.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/calm-between-storms.html

A few of my pics and a few random words as the work blog had gone a bit quiet and I think its good to keep up the regular posting- something I struggle with here at times…

And if anyone can tell me how to get rid of the white highlighting on the third paragraph then please share- the blogger platform confuses me and there is no apparent reason for that to be like that!  Anyway, enjoy the blog and if you’re interested in Skomer or just general conservation then its a good one to follow (plus my photos feature from time to time which is nice!).

A rare picture of myself…

You might have to persevere a bit but there is a picture of me hiding in Rich’s latest post (clue for those who don’t know me well, I’m wearing the woolly hat and shiny new trainers):

http://theguillemot.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/kittiwakes-and-growing-chicks.html

Another post about general island life and recounting our forays into kittiwake ringing.  It was good fun and I got a new tick on the list of birds that I have ringed- even if I did get sh*t on about five times…

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More plagiarism

Well there it goes, the first half of the year gone and with it the summer solstice.  Now the nights are drawing in once more and it’ll soon be christmas… but it is still summer for a while (hopefully!).

And to catch the best of the views it’s always best to be out at dawn, something I fail to do quite a lot- especially when dawn is before 5am.  Luckily Rich is slightly crazy so here is his summer solstice blog with accompanying pictures showing the stunning dawn!

http://theguillemot.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/dawn-on-skomer.html