Not much to say really! Bank Holiday Monday dawned with a gale blowing in from the south, rattling the farmhouse windows. Accompanied by torrential rain it has been pretty painful just getting around today and needless to say all boats were cancelled.
It could hardly be more different to yesterday which was sunny and warm. We weaned all of this year's lambs from their mothers, giving the ewes a well earned break. They will now spend a few weeks on Carn Ysgubor where they can graze in peace and their lambs will stay near the farm where we can keep an eye on them. 50 day visitors landed on the island and had a great afternoon watching seal pups on the island's beaches. There are already 36 pups on our nine study beaches, all less than 15 days old, almost identical numbers to the same date last year.
Greg has been out every night ringing Manx Shearwater fledglings. Many young birds are ready to leave the island, making their first epic flight down across the Atlantic and the equator to spend our winter off the coast of South America. Many will now be sporting a BTO ring, engraved with birds' own unique number. We hope that we will retrieve some of these birds in coming years when they return to the island to breed for themselves.
Fingers crossed for a better day tomorrow.
There have been some very odd sightings on Ramsey Island over the last week. Reports have been flooding in from boat skippers of what appears to be a flamingo around the coast of the island. Said flamingo somehow moves over night and reappears in a different location each day. Yesterday it even appeared on the roof of the Gower Ranger. A bit of friendly competition has built up amongst skippers trying to be the first boat to spot this strange creature. So far team Gower Ranger are in the lead with two points, while the Ocean Ranger and Ffi from Voyages of Discovery both have one point
Late August is the time to see Ramsey's heathland at it's best. It is a SSSI feature of the reserve and as such we have responsibility to monitor and maintain it. It's not always an easy battle with the ubiquitous bracken but plenty of hard work by our volunteers and the ATV pulled 'bracken bruiser' help. Our grazing ponies also help by trampling areas of bracken and grazing the grasses that grow amongst the heather which helps to keep it open and allow young heather to thrive. We occasionally carry out winter burns too on areas that are in the 'decay' stage. This clears the old and dying plants and allows new seedlings the space they need to germinate and grow.
Our first grey seal pups of the season are being born - photos to follow I'm sure!
Last night was a first for us on Ramsey - a takeaway curry! Derek and his family picked it up from St Davids and came straight over in his boat. Within 40 mins of buying it we were tucking into it on Ramsey! Still warm!
Common heather (Calluna vulgaris) with Carn Llundain (left ) and Carn Ysgubor in the background
Bell heather (Erica cinerea) looking across to Carn Llydi on the mainland