Skip to main content


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

A golden evening at Goldcliff

Just why is Goldcliff called Goldcliff? Is it because of the magnificent golden sunsets you can see?
But where are the cliffs? this is something I often think to myself when I am on the reserve.

Well according to Wikipedia Goldcliff gets its name because of the siliceous limestone rock on the coast at Hill Farm (near the sea wall) that catches the light and has a glittering appearance. Additionally an ancient scholar Gilraldis Cambrensis visited Wales in 1188 an is said to have described the area as "Gouldclyffe". Transcribed in Latin meaning -"glittering with a wonderful brightness".

 So you learn something every day don't you ;)

Thursday evenings visit at high tide turned out to be quite eventful. It was very windy and the sky's were quite stormy with the occasional shower of rain and then the sun would break through and some lovely rainbows appeared.

Lagoon 1 had quite a "herd" of Curlews. I counted over 20. The individual with the broken leg remained alive and well and was feeding on the island.

There had been a gradual influx of Teal Ducks. They appear to have been growing in number over the last week or so.

A flock of Common Ringed Plovers with some Dunlins mixed in shot across the lagoons when they got startled and hurtled back and forth for a while across Lagoon 1. They spent most of their time feeding on the far mud bank.

The Lapwings seem to have had a resurgence in numbers again and there was a nice flock of them roosting opposite the Redshank platform.

I headed around the reserve and set up in the sea wall hide to watch the wildlife at lagoon 3.

The mud bank closest to the hide was covered in Common Ringed Plovers and Dunlins. I also noticed a Sanderling running about with my scope. The birds seemed quite settled and were mostly roosting.

As the evening progressed a Sparrowhawk ( I think Male but not 100%) landed on the fence and scared the living hell out of the Plovers and Dunlins. They took to the wing and didn't even swirl around that much , they moved off rather sharpish.

The Sparrowhawk looked fantastic and sat there eyeing up the flock of Black Headed Gulls and Black Tailed Gowdits instead. Eventually it took to the air flying close to the ground in the direction of the gulls. They had clocked the hawk and all of them launched skyward causing a lot of noise and commotion. It did the trick as the Sparrowhawk made off nonchalantly.

Sunset approached so I headed back around and decided to wait for the sunset. To be honest it was not looking that good weather wise. I had dodged a few rain showers but it remained quite cloudy.

I got lucky and just before sunset the sky's cleared and I got treated to magnificent vista. I think the sunset looks good against the industrial landscape. Wow, what a beautiful place it is.

Sunset seen through the Redshank Platform


Common Ringed Plovers and Dunlins

Herd of Curlews
Rainbows near Hillfarm
Lapwings at sunset
Sunset at Goldlciff Lagoons.

Popular Posts