We had a brilliant half term week, with fine and sunny weather and over 80 visitors on many days. It was great to meet so many enthusiastic and friendly people; we filled two guided walks and manned a seabird watch point on our 100 metre high cliffs, allowing visitors to get close up views of breeding Guillemots and Razorbills through a telescope. Our excellent volunteers were on hand to give information and helped people get the most out of their visit.
These birds were just beginning to hatch their single eggs at the end of last week and are now busy ferrying back and for form the island with silver sandeels for their small but hungry chicks. Several puffin sightings again last week, all very close to the island’s west coast. Boat skippers from many of the local wildlife boat trip operators are regularly reporting their sighting by text and VHF radio and we are very grateful to them for their help. The skipper of the island boat, Gower Ranger, was so keen that we have provided him with his very own ‘Wildlife Sightings’ notebook that he keeps in the cabin in order to record his sightings during the day.
Chough are still feeding chicks in their nests, with some broods niosy enough to hear them from the cliff tops. First fledgling birds seen out and about this week, with young wheatears, stonechats, skylarks and blackbirds all in evidence. Our first Red deer fawn of 2010 was also born last week. It’s mother is keeping it well hidden in the centre of the island, where she has access to fresh water, but patient visitors, sitting at the top of Carn Llundain were rewarded with views of the little newborn, down below them.
Our orphaned lambs are now all at 50 days of age or more and have all been weaned off the bottle. It is quite a shock for them as the best way to encourage them to graze is to drop from 1.5litres of milk one day to zero the next. So it’s pretty sudden, but it really is the best way to maintain there growth rate. They are now happy in a large field of lash grass with our rams and will hopefully de-humanise over the next couple of weeks, perhaps they will soon remember that they are sheep and not human after all. Shearing is the next big job as far as the sheep flock are concerned, due in the next week or so