So why leave such a fantastic place in the last week of September? Well there would have to be a pretty good reason. And there was. The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales were looking to appoint a new Warden for Skokholm. We are very pleased to announce that they have appointed two. From the start of January we will be the Skokholm Island Wardens! Skokholm is home to approximately 20% of Europe’s breeding Storm Petrels and 15% of the world population of Manx Shearwaters. The seabird assemblage is of international importance. Throw in a few Nationally Scarce species of Lepidoptera and plants, a spectacular landscape of old red sandstone, Skokholm’s reputation as a migration hotspot and it is no surprise how excited we are. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. Skokholm was also Britain’s first Bird Observatory, started by Ronald Lockley in 1933. It is a real honour to be able to follow in the footsteps of such a pioneering naturalist. We would like to extend a massive thank you to everyone who has helped and supported us on Bardsey, and to all the guests who have become good friends over the years. We will of course be hoping to see you all on Skokholm in the future.
We are very excited about having a final autumn on Bardsey and hope to go out with a bang (well a nice selection of rares anyway).
The Barred Warbler which greeted us back on Bardsey. There seems to be a moult contrast in the greater coverts of both wings. This, coupled with the limited barring to the underparts and the broad pale edges to the tertials and secondaries, suggest a bird of the year. (c) Richard Brown
Although our trip to Pembrokeshire this week was on business, there was a bit of time to go birding. The Wryneck on Skomer is a long-stayer and is frequenting the same bushes where I saw many a Wryneck during my time as Assistant there. The Glossy Ibis is right outside the Marloes Mere YHA where we were staying. This bird has been back and forth to Ireland a couple of times during its stay. It has also visited Skokholm (we can only hope that it continues to do so next year)! But these movements are tiny compared to what it's capable of - recently observations of a ringed bird revealed a movement of 600km in a single day. (c) Richard Brown