Puffarazi on Skomer
I’m so excited to tell you about my amazing weekend! We jumped into the car after work with a packed dinner and headed as west as we could go. Over the Severn Bridge and into Wales.
We arrived at midnight, collapsed into our bed. Waking to the smell of breakfast being cooked downstairs. With our fingers crossed we headed down to breakfast hoping our B&B had managed to get us ferry tickets to Skomer island. People come from all around the country to try and get on the 4 boats that leave daily during the summer (weather permitted) to the island. Queuing starts at 6am for boats that depart at 10am! Told you before... I'm a twitcher!
The 'bird gods' must have been on our side! We managed to get two tickets for the 10:30 boat. YAY! So to make sure we didn't miss our slot we left straight after devouring our lovely welsh breakfast and a few cups of strong coffee.
The island is magical! After a strict briefing from the warden about staying on the paths, explaining the ground is full of burrows and the ground could collapse onto a Puffling (how cute is that name for a baby Puffin?!) or Manx Shearwater chick if we were not super careful. We set off on our adventure being very careful of where we put our feet.
These guys are so full of character. They get their bright coloured beaks and facial markings during the breeding season. Beautiful! They only about the size of a pint.
After our designated 5 hours on the island, we had to head back to the boat. I really didn't want to leave but there is nothing but wildlife on the island, and I needed a cup of tea! So with a full heart, it was time to leave my Puffin paradise. Plus, our adventures weren't over yet!
Up with the first bird calls the next morning we jumped back into the car and drove to St David's. The smallest city in the UK. They have a stunning little cathedral that was built in a dip to hide it away from the Vikings.
Anyway, back to our boat adventure! We jetted off into the Celtic sea, grateful for the big jackets we were provided as it was cold and windy but the bird watching was worth it.
The 2nd biggest gannet colony (Northern Gannet) in the world. 30,000 breeding pairs. The noise is overwhelming as they all jostle for a spot on the rocks, feeding their loud and hungry chicks.
We arrived back, cold but happy. Especially after seeing Manx Shearwaters on the water as we didn't see them on Skomer as they only return after sunset to avoid being eaten by the greater black-backed gulls! Evil guys!
We did see a gannet with some fishing net around his foot. The net can get caught on a rock and if they are not able to free themselves they will have a slow death. We need to start taking responsibility for how our existence effects wildlife. Beach cleans up are a great solution. You can google to find out which ones you can join. I like the sound of these guys, Surfers against sewage. Anyone keen to do one with me?
Love Cara xx