17/05/18-18/05/18. Skokholm: Storm Petrels I

Skokholm has beautiful geologic features; the dominant feature being red (raspberry coloured) sandstone.  This sandstone seems quite hard; it doesn’t weather into a smooth surface; instead it forms into shards.  These formations occur in massive scale along the coastline, and then also fracture over time into large, medium and smaller fragments.   Massive or small, ...

15/05/18. Skokholm: Chattering Guillemots on the cliffs of North Gully.

Skokholm is home to about two thousand Guillemots.  With their erect stance and funny waddle on land these lovely birds almost look like penguins from a distance.  They collect themselves in tight groups in precarious positions on the rocks and cliffs.  From a distance it looks as though they have pasted themselves onto the sheer ...

17/05/18. Skokholm. Manx Shearwaters coming and going.

Tiny Skokholm has the densest Manx Shearwater colony on earth. When it becomes dark, and the moon is either absent or obscured, the Manx Shearwaters make their move to leave their burrows, or to return to their burrows from the sea.   The photo above was of shearwaters in rafts at sea in St Brides ...

20/05/18. Skokholm: The Well, the Stream and the Sedge Warblers

The island is well provided with fresh water by a well located halfway between the cottage and the dock.   In this space there is also small pond surrounded by reeds and some small tree cover, and from this pond issues a stream flowing down into South Haven below.   This is one of the ...

16/05/18. South Haven. Skokholm Island

At low tide the seals haul themselves out to the rocks, fidget and make poses.  Some are more vocal than others; and the vocalisations range from sad songs to sneezes and retches. Many seabirds are present – Greater and Lesser Black Backed Gulls, Oyster Catchers, Razorbills, Puffins and more.   Other birds are also quite ...

05/05/18. Sandscale Haws. Evening chorus and more Natterjacks.

I walked along Duddon Sands and listened to the geese and other birds.  The sun was setting; a train went by.   The first 11 minutes of this recording captures a little of this atmosphere.     The latter part of this introduction includes the beautiful sound of warblers in the grasses at the base ...

06/05/18. Sandscale Haws. Searching for Natterjack Toads.

I’ve known about Sandscale Haws for a while; I visited the first time last year, and my arrival was timed precisely for the most amazing rain and windstorm.  The new carpark was not yet complete; there was no-one about, and it was almost dark.  But, I walked into the rain through some short sand-dunes to ...

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