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Skomer Part 1 - The first voyage

A Manx Shearwater I have recently returned from my annual pilgrimage to the island of Skomer, having enjoyed a fabulous three days of birding along the Pembrokeshire coastline with my "Three Amigo" friends Paul and Nicola. We had been planning for the trip for ages. Leading up to our trip the days, hours and seconds seemed to pass ever so slowly. It's then just typical once you end up going on your trip it seems to be over way too quickly - time certainly flies when you are enjoying yourself and in good company. This year we had  arranged three boat trips through Pembrokeshire Boat Trips Day 1 - Seabird Spectacular Day 2 - Skomer Day 3 - Grassholm I have decided to write three blog posts documenting the trip and this is the first one to kick things off. The First Voyage. The weather forecast was looking rather dodgy for the weekend with high winds and rain predicted. Thankfully the dreaded North winds were not expected so there was a very good chance that most of the boat

Signs of Spring at last

Despite the crazy weather we have been experiencing of late there are signs of spring finally kicking in. From a birds point of years spring signal the time to find mate and kick off starting the next generation in earnest.

I started the week with an evening at Aust Wharf and watched a pair of Kestrels mating as the sun went down. Yesterday I visited Goldcliff Lagoons and despite the muggy weather it was a hive of bird activity.

The Redshank waders were getting very frisky and I caught a pair mating in front of hide 1.
Lots of birds are pairing up. The Canadian Geese and Greylags are all at it and geeting very squabbly and aggressive with other birds, causing lots of commotion.

The Black Tailed Godwits are starting to look very nice, there plumage is now turning a nice breeding colour and they will soon be migrating to Iceland. I will miss taking pictures of their startled flocks.

There has been Cettis Warblers calling on the hedgerows for a while but I have not been able to get a photo of a single bird yet.

When I did think I was going to finally get lucky when I saw movement along the hedge line it turned out to be an early summer migrant - a ChiffChaff.

Soon our woods will be full of these little birds blasting out their familiar call "Chiff Chaf, Chiff Chaff", that will be a sure sign Spring will be in full swing.

Its been a hard very unstable winter I think so spring must surely starting properly soon..but snow is forecast again!..

Lots of raptor activity again at Goldcliff. Watched a Buzzard run about a field near the reserve. It was quite funny to see it trundle along, its got quite long legs. I think it was eating worms.

My highlights today was seeing my first  Chiff Chaff of the year ,mating Redshanks,the flock of  Black Tailed Godwits and the Buzzard - I have a soft spot for them.

Buzzard

Redshanks

Black Tailed Godwits

Chiff Chaff




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