This was the third weekend trip that we’ve run on Skomer in partnership with the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales, following a similar 2-day trip in September 2014 and a 3-day trip in April this year.
Alan, Lyn, Bob, Bill, Gill, Brian, Richard, & Rachael had the overnight ‘hostel’ accommodation to themselves, which was nice but goes to show the untapped potential of Skomer outside of the main ‘Puffin Season’. The accommodation was clean and suited their needs, the kitchen facilities exceeded expectations, and the communal dining / lounge area was a great place to meet up for food and a social (it wasn’t even cold enough to fire up the log burner!). We also enjoyed the nightly ‘bird log’ here, a chance to contribute our sightings to the scientific work of the island through Citizen Science.
The main aims of the trip were to improve everyone’s confidence in identifying autumn migrants, including the tricky ‘little brown (or olive) jobs’, to know where and when to look, and to hopefully see some good birds on the way – but we were at the weather’s mercy on this one! By the end of our 2-and-a-bit days (we had to come off early due to a poor weather forecast) we had seen no less than 55 species, and got to grips with tricky species pairs including Meadow & Rock Pipits, and Chiffchaff & Willow Warbler.
The birds everyone enjoyed most were probably the Manx Shearwaters, a Firecrest and one of the resident Little Owls – always a delight. Skomer scarcities included a Collard Dove & Blue Tits. Everyone enjoyed the whole experience, which included Common Dolphins off the Garland Stone, Slow Worms & Common Lizards at the farm, and Toads & Frogs everywhere at night…watch where you step!
Already looking forward to coming back to Skomer in April & September 2016.
The list of bird species (55) seen during the trip can be found here: 2015-09 Skomer Autumn Special Bird List
A gallery from the trip can be found here: Skomer Autumn Migration Photo Gallery