Wednesday, 14 September 2016

No Puffin

This summer I got to once again be utterly captivated by being transported off for a week's residential volunteering on the most spectacular place I have ever been... Skomer Island.

I swam in the sea with Puffins, they are really inquisitive and come quite close, as they can only see your head when you are in the water. When they look under the water and realise how big you really are they are off pretty quickly. We also had some excellent flybys with beaks full of sand eels, whilst we were swimming off the landing.

On one day a very inquisitive seal who we christened Neil, also checked us out very closely, whilst we were swimming.

I set a target of getting 50 birds in a week, whilst my fellow vols had done 50 in two weeks.

I managed to get 49 species falling frustratingly one short for the week.

However, I did finally manage to see the Little owl, on at least three occasions on the gorse bushes near the trig point. So I commemorated the sighting with a little Crudely Drawn Birds Sketch.

My heart was once again stolen by Doris the Fulmar though, easily my fave seabird, so pretty on the wing beautiful little faces.

One of the highlights of the week for me was weighing the Shearwater chicks with the Oxford researchers. I think this picture shows how happy I was.

I also had awesome views of the Short-eared Owl hunting at dusk, which is amazing.

However, I think my fave experience this year was doing a Sea watch in the evening on a particularly stormy day, where the sea was really churning up and the Shearwaters all came in closer to the island, doing what they do best shearing the water in their thousands, an unbelievable spectacle and one I will never forget. I also managing to see two Sandwich Terns passing the island another first for me, thanks to the ever keen eyed Jason.

Doing a Greater Black Backed Gull nest site pellet transect in the pouring rain was also memorable for all the wrong reasons shorts and wellies Rookie mistake!

Once again the Annual Volunteer Kubb tournament was another highlight and I once again "Had my eye in" whilst enjoying a Rev James from my bestie Joe.

Another great week with a truly fabulous team whom I think all benefited in some way from each others company.

Left again heavy-hearted to be going home and leaving my fave island, but with my personal well-being fully restored from an awesome week.

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