This is a great opportunity for someone.
How would you like to spend 5 months of 2013 living on Ramsey Island RSPB Nature Reserve ?
We are looking for a long-term volunteer to become part of our small and friendly team on Ramsey island. Greg and I need someone with a confident and approachable manner to help us ensure that visitors to the island have an enjoyable and informative experience. Often this means simply having a cup of tea and an informal chat when people return from their walk. At other times it will involve leading guided walks and boat trips. Of course, when you live and work on an island no day is ever the same and you will definitely get roped in to helping with all sorts of other weird and wonderful tasks along the way from sheep work to seabird research.
You will also work closely with our short-term volunteers, who stay on the island for 1 or 2 weeks at a time.
We can offer ATV and First Aid training and provide a RSPB induction course. This 5 month role has helped all our previous ‘long-termers’ find full time paid employment in the environmental sector.
So if you are just setting out on your conservation career or are looking at a change of career this might be the role for you. If you need a challenge, have a good sense of humour and enjoy a good cuppa and lots of cake, please get in touch.
For full details of why we need you and what we can offer in return, please see the RSPB volunteering page .
If your interested or just want some more information you can contact Kate Tycer by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact the island directly by email at email@example.com
Report from Ramsey Island RSPB Wardens Greg and Lisa.
Yesterday Dewi and I gathered all the ewe lambs off the hill (Carn Ysgubor) for a health check and winter worming. These are the ewe lambs born in 2012. They won’t be ready to breed until their 2nd year so are kept away from the rams at this time of year. Getting them off the hill is a challenge but one made a lot easier as the years go by and the dog gets better (meaning I have to do less work!)
We gathered them into the field north of the bungalow (Parc -y- hwrddod (which is Welsh for ram)) and left them overnight. Today we returned with hurdles to form a make shift race. Once Dewi had penned them for us Lisa and I jumped in with them, And then it started raining!…..
Two muddy hours later we were done and enjoying a cup of tea (and some of the lovely Christmas cake my mum had made for us!)
Four chough called loudly around us as we worked. I hope they appreciate the efforts we go to keep their habitat in good condition!
With cold weather forecast for the weekend it was perhaps no surprise to see an arrival of winter migrants today. Nevertheless the sight of 70 redwings, 3 fieldfares and a woodcock hammered home that ‘summer’ is well and truly behind us and winter is on the way. A lone northern wheatear still winging it’s way south reminded us of warmer days. Blackbird numbers increased to 30 today, no doubt aided by the arrival of continental neighbours. 15 song thrush were the highest we have seen for a while. The seal pups are making a come back after the battering they received during recent storms. There have been a good number of newborns these last few days during what has been a calm spell for this time of year.
This little one was born in Ramsey harbour this afternoon. In fact two grey seal pups have been born on the little beach under the boat shed in the last 12 hours. Our visitors today got super close views of all the blood and guts as the pup was born and it’s first attempts to feed.
This cow is perfectly happy in the harbour despite people and boats coming and going three times each day, she has been here for several days waiting to give birth and this afternoon she was busy trying to feed her new pup, oblivious to the Gower Ranger picking up her passengers.
Not all females are so obliging and the vast majority choose to pup on Ramsey’s wild west coast, where it is quieter and there is little risk of such close contact with humans. However, these favourite pupping beaches are still easily viewable from the island’s coast path and the sight of 60 or more pups spread out along the beach below is one we enjoy through September and October.
Come and have a look for yourself!
Read more articles like this by Lisa, Greg and Nia on Ramsey Island by clicking on this link: http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/placestovisit/ramseyisland/b/ramseyisland-blog/default.aspx
Highlights were a great-spotted woodpecker (21/7), four little egrets (20/7/ and a single on 26/8, seven redpolls through July, four sooty shearwaters (30/8) and a flock of 55 barnacle geese on 31/8.
Also of note were: July – common redstart, green sandpiper , house sparrow , dunlin, and redshank. In August – Arctic skua, common sandpiper, bonxie, sandwich tern, purple sandpiper and yellow wagtail.
Common migrants were thin on the ground with just 12 willow warbler logged in July and 64 in August. Whimbrel trickled through and the fist goldcrest of the autumn was logged on 31/8. Just 3 spotted flycatchers and 2 pied flycatchers were logged in August plus a single chiffchaff.
A quail on Grassholm on 24/7 was an interesting record and probably a first for the island.
Sunfish have been seen in good numbers this year around the island as have common dolphins.
Seabirds – Manx shearwaters go from strength to strength 12 years on from rat eradication. The first full survey for 5 years saw their numbers increase to around 3,800 pairs (final number to come). Up from 2,387 in 2007 and 849 in 1999. Guillemot numbers broke the 4k barrier for the first time while razorbills were stable at 1400 individuals. Kittiwakes had their worst year on record, down to 175 AON and very few chicks will fledge. Fulmars were down slightly from their record year in 2011 but still above average at 282 AOS. Puffins continue to flirt with Ramsey but none confirmed as touching land this year. Storm petrel survey to follow in July. Big thanks to Sarah Money (Conwy Warden) and Amy Vanstone (Conservation Officer) for their help and good company during the seabird work.
Other species – Chough were hit by the weather. 7 breeding attempts produced 14 young in total (the lowest for a few years) but weather had an impact with 2 sites being lost at incubation stage. Of the 5 that fledged numbers were good (4 sites fledged 3 young and the other 2). Our 3 pairs of lapwing managed to get 1 chick away between them. It didn’t help when one of our peregrines (from a pair that fledged 3 young) was seen to take an adult lapwing in early June! Wheatears continue to do well with 109 pairs recorded this year. Stonechats are bouncing back and are back up to 19 pairs (down to 6 pairs two years ago following hard winters). 2 pairs of short eared owls held territory early on, only one confirmed as breeding. This pair currently has young ‘hissing’ out in the heather
Highlights were a great white egret (15/5), hooded crow (27/5), mute swan in Ramsey Sound (16/5), turtle dove (14/5), 4 whinchats and 2 reed warblers in early May, black tailed godwit (3/6) and a stunning summer plumage black guillemot in Ramsey Sound for a week in mid June. Red kites were plentiful with 31 logged in May (max 16 on 18/5)
Common migrants passed through in good numbers in May with a record 54 blackcaps on 2/5. Records continued to be broken with 32 collared doves on 20/5, followed by 15 a week later. In addition to good numbers of willow warblers other migrants included common redstart (1/5), single cuckoo and grasshopper warbler on 2 dates in May and a good haul of spotted flycatchers this year (29 in total in May, max 10 on 14/5). An arrival of 500+ wheatears on 1/5 was spectacular (most of them were Greenland race birds)
Before you knew it birds were on their way back and after a quiet 2 weeks in June we saw a steady trickle towards the end of the month including curlew, black headed gull, chiffchaff, common scoter, dunlin, goldfinch, grey heron, house martin and swift heading south and the first whimbrel of the ‘autumn’.
Other wildlife of note included an otter on 3/5 and 12 common dolphins in the Sound on 20/6
On Tuesday night we gathered in St Davids to celebrate the anniversary of RSPB Cymru purchasing Ramsey Island. Back in 1992 we recognised that not only was Ramsey a rugged and beautiful island that people should be able to visit and enjoy, but that it was a hugely important site for Chough, seals and seabirds. After successful negotiations we finally bought the island outright. Ramsey was later designated a National Nature Reserve in 1996 and now has a rapidly increasing Manx shearwater population following a major rat eradication project in 2000.
The star of the evening was artist Rhian field. Rhian was asked by the RSPB to produced 12 original oil paintings depicting the island’s iconic wildlife and landscape. This is one of her paintings. Click this link to see full write-up on the Celebrations and Rhians Exhibition: http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/placestovisit/ramseyisland/b/ramseyisland-blog/archive/2012/07/16/20th-anniversary-celebrations-and-exhibition.aspx