The Trip to Skomer Island That Never Was

Photo: Mike Alexander

Photo: Mike Alexander

Last week I was supposed to be visiting Skomer Island for the day with a number of colleagues and friends to discuss management issues.  Skomer (Welsh: Ynys Sgomer) is an island off the coast of Pembrokeshire in southwestern Wales and you get to it by boat at the end of the road that passes our house.

Photo: Mike Alexander

Photo: Mike Alexander

It is well known for its wildlife: a third of the world population of Manx Shearwaters nest on the island, and the Atlantic Puffin colony is the largest in southern Britain.  These birds spend the autumn and winter months at sea in the South Atlantic and return to Skomer each year to breed in dis-used rabbit burrows (rabbits were introduced to the island as a food source in the 14th century).  There are numerous archaeological remains on the island, from stone circles, standing stones and prehistoric houses.

Puffins on Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire       Photo: Mike Alexander

Puffins on Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire Photo: Mike Alexander

Unfortunately on the day of departure we were being battered by storm force south-westerly winds, and as a result the boat, the “Dale Princess”, was unable to make the crossing safely, so we couldn’t go.

Photo: Mike Alexander

Photo: Mike Alexander

Photo: Mike Alexander

Photo: Mike Alexander

Fortunately my friend Mike Alexander, who gives me all these wonderful photographs to show to you, was the warden on the island from 1976 to 1986, and so he has given me more photos of Skomer to share.  I think you’ll agree it is a pretty lovely looking place.  I’ll wait for better weather and sea conditions and get over there later in the year.

Photo: Mike Alexander

Photo: Mike Alexander

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About Mike Howe

I am an ecologist and a composer of guitar based instrumental melodies signed to the Real Music label in California. I like to write about my work, music and nature conservation and how it all comes together. I try not to write about things I don't know much about.
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13 Responses to The Trip to Skomer Island That Never Was

  1. I look forward to reading/seeing more of your posts. Thanks for stopping by…lots more information to explore on my site, so please visit again. Diane

  2. Tina Schell says:

    Wow, beautiful. Must admit I’ve never heard of it! Lovely photos

  3. montucky says:

    What a gorgeous place that is! Mike’s photos are outstanding!

    • Mike Howe says:

      Thanks, yes I’m extremely lucky to be able to share Mikes photos and use them to illustrate how I feel about places other than through my music. I’ll pass on your kind compliment to him, thanks 🙂

  4. What a beautiful place. I’ll bet time there stimulates beautiful music, too.

  5. lolarugula says:

    Your friend takes great photos – can’t wait for the post when you make it to the island!

  6. You are very blessed to have such a gorgeous and tranquil place on your doorstep, photos are stunning 🙂

    • Mike Howe says:

      Hi Nadine! Thanks for visiting my blog, and yes you’re right, I am very lucky to have such fabulous places on my doorstep, it’s what made us want to live here. I’m still using your gorgeous soaps by the way, I’m recommending them to everyone x

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