It's always been a dream of mine to go to Skomer Island just off the West Wales coast so the wife and myself finally took the plunge and booked up some digs in St. Davids (the smallest city in Wales) and went.
We arrived at a place called Martins Haven (where the boats depart for the Island) at around 7.30 in the morning, the ticket office was a small hut called Lockley Lodge it didn't open until 8.30am so we thought we would be there in plenty of time to get our tickets for the boat ride over to Skomer, luckily we did go early as there was already a large queue forming.
|queuing for our tickets|
hundred yards before landing there are sea birds everywhere.
The first birds you see are the Puffins Guillemots and Razorbills
The Guillemots were nesting in huge colonies along the cliff edge
The Sea birds are being constantly harassed by the gulls especially the huge Great Black Backed Gulls. They are constantly on the look out for unguarded nests and also try to steal the catch of the returning nesting birds
|great black backed gull|
Also along the sea cliffs I saw my first ever Chough, these are a member of the crow family and are a very rare sight now. A cracking bird with their bright red feet and bill.
The Oystercatchers were showing well.
You might also spot the odd Peregrine
We also had some fly over Curlew,
Inland there are a few passarine species I spotted Linnet, Stonechat, Wren, Meadow pipit, Whitethroat, Sedge warbler, Blackbird, Robin, Pied wagtail and Wheatear.
Here's a selection.
|heavily cropped sedge warbler|
They say that the short eared owls on the Island show really well but I only saw one distant bird so no picture, but we were compensated somewhat when this Little owl appeared out of a pile of rocks.
There are also Porpoises and Seals around the Island but although I'd loved to we never saw any of the latter and I spotted one Seal out at sea and one basking on a rock when we were on the boat trip back after I'd packed my camera away ARRRRHHH!!!!
I must admit that after nearly five hours on the Island we were both knackered but what a place and a brilliant day out. The stars of the show are undoubtedly the Puffins but there is so much more in this beautiful place.