Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A bit more Skokholm stuff

Last nights slightly rushed blog didn't quite contain all the highlights from the recent trip to Skokholm. The island is particularly famous for its sea bird populations. This time of year most of them have gone off back out to sea but a few species linger well into the autumn. This was good news for us as we had the chance to ring a few of these.

And also process (it was already ringed) one of these!

If I had a list of cutest chicks this would have certainly gone on it. It’s a Storm Petrel which as I type might well be thinking about leaving the island to embark on a pretty epic life travelling the seas! The first bird pictured is a Manx Shearwater which has an equally amazing life. In a few months it will be feeding in the South Atlantic somewhere off South America. There is something like 45,000 pairs of Manx on Skokholm, the offspring of which are now making their journeys off the island into the sea to start their travels.

Also saw some pretty good birds either side of our week on the island. Whilst waiting for the boat, Fred and I went for a wander and bumped into this smart male Ring Ouzel.

Steve and Tina who were watching the luggage at the ‘jetty’ also had another two fly through after our original male, so likely to have been three around.

On arriving back at Martin’s Haven we stumbled into a twitch. It was for a great bird, an Isabelline Wheatear! We had to wait around for it to show, and the draw of a full English breakfast after eating rubbish all week nearly caused us to miss the bird. but we stuck with it and I got these very poor shots then left very quickly for our breakfast. It was bloody nice!

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