The Seals are Back

batchelors beach
After being largely absent during the stormy spell the grey seal haul out was on the up today.

99 North Atlantic grey seals were counted on Porth Lleuog beach, Ramsey Island.

By Greg Morgan, RSPB warden.

School projects – living by the sea

jess lbtsDuring the Christmas holiday Jess took part in a school project called living by the sea, the project was exhibited in the torch theater until February the 1st.
After that the project began its journey as a touring exhibition showing at a number of venues around the county.

or it can be viewed in an on-line gallery here:http://www.livingbythesea.org.uk/

Ramsey Island – surviving the storms

worbler

RSPB Warden Lisa Morgan provides an update from Ramsey Island following the recent extreme weather. 

For two months now we have been battered by a run of powerful Atlantic storms. Ramsey and the St Davids peninsula have scant protection from this onslaught from the west and it has been a tough time for the island’s residents, wildlife, livestock and the human inhabitants alike!

But it has been a great time to catch up with all the paperwork that accumulates each year and looking back on the wildlife highlights of 2013 has brightened even the darkest days.

The Welsh islands are very productive places when it comes to rare or unusual birds and during spring and autumn, when large numbers of birds are on migration, anything can turn up. It just takes a rainstorm or fog to ‘ground birds’ that would normally pass on overhead or a deep low pressure to bring birds in from across the Atlantic. The islands are often the first land that these birds reach and they drop down to ride out the weather and feed.

This year saw a few new birds for the Ramsey list; a stunning hawfinch was under the garden bird feeder in April, cracking open sunflower seeds with ease with her powerful bill. A more difficult ID challenge was a Montague’s harrier, cruising the heath-land in May having spent the previous week on neighbouring Skomer. And then the autumn turned up two new warblers for Ramsey; a booted warbler hiding in the gorse was only a fifth recorded for Wales and a Western Bonelli’s warbler spotted feeding in the ivy is actually a species of continental Europe not Britain.

Life on Ramsey Island

greggreeg 2
Life on Ramsey Island. See what our RSPB wardens Greg and Lisa have been doing on the island this week.

Small numbers of chough were present around the coast with 20+ lapwing in the central fields. Just off the harbour a large flock of gulls sat on the water close in. This is a common site in winter as they wait for the flood tide to start and then feed in the upwellings around the Bitches reef. Black headed gulls usually dominate and today was no exception with 255 present. In addition were 2 Mediterranean gulls and an impressive 4 Little Gulls.

Press link below to go to their blog:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/placestovisit/ramseyisland/b/ramseyisland-blog/archive/2014/01/12/making-the-most-of-a-nice-day.aspx

Storm at St Justinians Lifeboation Station

stormstorm 2
St Justinians Lifeboat Station gave us a ring this morning to see what the storm had done. This was 1 1/2 hours after high water. We lost the doors and some of the roof from the boat store, the RNLI had the bottom of their doors ripped off the Inshore Lifeboat Station.

The Party Boat

party boat
Have you ever thought of having your party or special event on a boat? Lisa did, here are her amazing photo’s.

A day on Ramsey Island

lyndon

Ramsey Island had to be the best place in the world to be today. Blue skies, blue seas – wonderful. The Western Bonelli’s warbler was the highlight of the day but the ‘supporting cast’ was superb as well, Seals and pups, Chough, Raven, Buzzard, Peregrine falcon, Curlew, Whimbrel, Wllow warbler, Chiff chaff, Spotted flycatcher, Blackcap, Swallows, House martin, Gannets, Fulmar etc etc.

All rounded off with a lovely cup of tea – I was a very good boy today and did not have a flapjack!! Lyndon

Kayak Ramsey

kayakerkayak ramseySwift boat ride over to Ramsey for a great day kayaking.

Mammal Matters

deerbat
Our birds may be keeping a low profile in the bitter northerly wind but our mammals are out in force. 170 Grey seals were hauled-out on the islands’ beaches today, the majority are mature males finishing their annual moult. Those on the pebble beach at Porth Lleuog can be seen clearly from the visitor trail, giving people a great chance to sit and watch some interesting seal behaviour. Thanks to all our visitors who have been counting them for me! Our red deer stags are yet to cast their antlers and are still showing off their impressive headgear. The males will drop their antlers naturally in April as their testosterone levels drop. They then re-grow them at astonishing speed over the coming months; shedding the velvet and hardening them up ready for the rut in October. As our local mammal expert Annie said today ‘ Bats are under physiological stress at this time of year, as they come out of hibernation feeling rather hungry, and this year in particular there isn’t anything for them to eat yet.’ How true. It’s not really the weather for insects or bats.

The arrival of St. Davids new lifeboat

 

lifeboats

15th April 2013
St. Davids new lifeboat arrived on station today. Our Tyne class lifeboat ‘RNLB Garside’ was launched to escort the new St Davids lifeboat ‘RNLB Norah Wortley’ into Ramsey Sound. Both lifeboats will be stationed at St. Justinians while the new lifeboat station is completed. RNLB Norah Wortley was a bequest to St Davids by Diane Mary Symon from Devon. The photographs were taken by our wildlife guide and local photographer Lyndon Lomax.