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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

Lofty and Gibble

Lofty and Gibble made an appearance at Goldcliff Lagoons this morning. They are Common Cranes and were bred as part of the Great Crane Project.

The birds were given coloured rings as chicks and as a result you can visit the projects website and discover information such as its name, sex and date of hatching.

Lofty (male) has red blue and white rings and hatched on 21.04/2011. Gibble (female) has red blue and black rings and hatched 22/04/2012.

The Crane projects began in 2010 and its purpose was to reintroduce the Common Crane and led to birds being hand reared at WWT Slimbridge and before being taken to RSPB's West Sedgemoor Nature Reserve in Somerset where they were eventually released into the wild. Theres is a lot more information on the website which I encourage readers to visit.

I was thankful today that one of my birder friends pointed out the fact that the birds were on site. They must have been in the very long grass when I looked ;).

Fantastic birds to see. They hung around in front of Hide 1 in the lagoon and on the island most of the morning before flying off when a farmer turned up on the reserve edge on his quad bike.

They circled back around the reserve and headed off towards Red barn.

Lofty (male ) Common Crane

Gibble (female) on left and Lofty(Male) on right

Lofty and Gibble take to the skies

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