Friday, 6 June 2014

Quick visit to Skokholm

One of the wardens and a researcher needed to get over to Skokholm for some bird ringing/banding training, so I volunteered to take them over in the zodiac.

It wasn’t really feasible to leave the zodiac anchored off or moored, so I just did a quick drop off in the morning. I took one of the guillemot researchers, Julie, with me so that on the way back I wouldn’t be alone in the boat. There are some pretty exciting tidal currents around the islands, but it was all fine, even with a tired old boat with a keel that deflates itself in a matter of minutes. Fortunately the rest of it manages to stay inflated!

The jetty on Skokholm at high water.

At high water with a little bit of swell sloshing around it was a case of nose in to the rocks and scramble out of the bow, trying not to slip over and back into the sea! Delivery complete and it was a slow trip back to Skomer taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the cliffs on the way.


In the afternoon it was time to pick up the guys, I had to take someone with me again, so Elspeth (a guillemot PhD student), and Catherine, the conservation long term volunteer came for the ride. Being low water I was able to tie up the zodiac safely (aided by slippery rock scrambler Elspeth), and we went for a look around.

The cottage.

The cottage is really lovely, with a cosy lounge area that includes a multi-fuel stove.


Stained glass window in the toilet!

The toilet includes this stunning stained glass window. It’s a pretty amazing work of art and probably means people spend longer in there than they really need to! There is also a rare bird wall with some paintings of rare birds that have been seen on the island.

Sign on the cottage.

The Skokholm jetty at low water.

Walking down to the landing from the buildings

Looking back up towards the farm.

There was such a different feel to the island, a much quieter, more relaxed atmosphere compared to the busy hustle of Skomer. I guess that is mostly the coming and going of overnight guests, and day trippers. Hopefully I might get a chance to go over again later in the summer when Guillemot monitoring and counts are out of the way.

Better post this now, it’s been in the pipeline for a few weeks, and interrupted by counting thousands of Guillemots every other day.

1 comment:

  1. Your Grandfather was taught to ring birds by a certain R.Lockley on Skokholm, many years ago.
    Let's hope you get the chance of a longer visit at some point!
    Great photos on your blog as usual - thank you for sharing.