Sunday, 19 June 2016

Finally got a boat to Skomer

My last three attempts to get over to Skomer Island have failed miserably so with news that the boat hadn't sailed all week due to the persistent northerly winds I checked the weather reports to see that the wind was due to drop a little over night then switch to a more westerly on Saturday morning so I set off in hope that the boat could sail.

Puffin on Skomer Island
On arrival at 6.30am I paid the £5 car park fee and walked to the booking office where I found 250 people had beaten me and had already formed a very British queue. The captain arrived at 7.30am and advised that an extra boat had been put on and he would be able to land 300 people today over six launches but by now there were closer to 400 people waiting. The booking office opened at 8am and started sorting the queue. Some left disappointed and some booked a round the island cruise whilst the lucky 300 managed to get their hands on landing tickets with my "yellow" one getting me on the 11.30 launch after I'd parted company with another £10. Once booked I killed some time by walking the deer park where I was entertained by a pair of Wheatear with their three fledged chicks.Whilst sitting on the cliff edge watching the Wheatears a pair of Chough flew in and sat a few yards from me feeding on the grass bank before a being flushed by other visitors walking the footpath. Raven, Fulmars, Gannets, Shags, Auks and Gulls added to the list along with the expected Linnet, Stonechat, Mipits and Whitethroats.

Puffins on Skomer Island Pembrokeshire
I boarded the 11.30am boat, paid the captain his £11 and the ten minute crossing was made without drama. On arrival I had to listen to the usual talk from the warden (which is great if you've never heard it before) and then the rope was removed from the footpath and I was at last free to explore the Island. I made my way to the Wick and enjoyed plenty of Puffin action before heading off to explore the rest of the Island. I also saw my first ever Skomer Vole but it was far too quick for the camera.

Really delighted to have made the trip especially as I actually managed to get on the boat and when questioning the sanity of the extreme day trip I just need to look at the images below to justify it.

Year list now at 250

Sleeping beauty
If you haven't been then it's time to consider a visit to Skomer but hurry as the Puffins start to leave next month.

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