Friday, 11 May 2012

Saturday 5th May : SKOMER ISLAND

I'm up early and pick up the boys before 6am in Pembroke. A 75p toll and 15 miles of country lanes and we're in the car park at Martins Haven before 6.30am. We have the Deer Park to ourselves and whilst putting on my coat I pick up 18 Chough feeding on the steps to the park (217) The boys scope up quick and enjoy good views.  We head off down the farm track so as not to disturb the Chough and start counting Wheatear. (They are everywhere and the day count gets boring once past 100) Whitethroat and Linnet entertain along the hedge line. More Shag on the sea once we get to the gate which the boys are pleased with. A pair of noisy Raven "bark" across the headland and settle at Woolpack point where by now there are 22 Chough feeding. Lot's of Auks passing by and a single Manx Shearwater crosses towards the island. (lost or late it shouldn't be out on the sea but it was) (218)
Stonechat, Mipit, Gannet, Fulmar, H.gull, LBB gull and GBB gull all show on the trip across the park.
We check on the boat and are told it'll be a late call if it goes or not with the expected winds but they do decide to try and at 10am we've paid our £20 each (£10 boat and £10 landing fee) and we're making the 15 minute boat trip to SKOMER Island. On arrival we go through the usual list of do's and don't with the warden and then it's off to the farm to check for SEO etc. At this time of the year the owls are on eggs so not very active and we make a quick call to move on. There's a few warblers about as he head down the valley but nothing too exciting. We reach the far side and find several Seals on the rocks and Buzzard soaring out at sea. Together with Puffin (219) Razorbill and Guillemot all rafting and Gannets diving. (Good views out to to Gannetry that is Grassholm) We head towards the Wick and the place is alive with Fulmar, Kittiwake and Auks all taking their place up the cliff edge with Puffins entertaining on the ground at our feet and at times walking right between our legs. Great birds that you just can't get enough off.


Whilst at the Wick I see two LBB Gull fighting. One gets the other turned and pinned and shows a superior strength that looks like it could end badly for the other gull as it holds it down by the beak for over ten minutes with the colony all gathering and calling but I'm pleased to say it did eventually let go and they parted. Just surprised me that two birds that appeared to be the same size could vary so much in terms of strength.
The Dale Princess
Satisfied we head back to the boat ramp and board. The "old man" takes a tumble as a wave hits the boat and that's before we've even set off. Proper choppy ride back though and we all got a good soaking but you can't complain after five weeks of rain we get on Skomer with a Blue sky day..that's a blessing.

A quick stop at Martin Sands reserve for Glossy Ibis and a good days birding is done.


  1. That was a good day trip Bri. We even got good weather. Which made it even more enjoyable. Boat trip back was a bit scary though.

  2. Yeah Proper choppy!....The old man never did crack out the Mars bars tho?