Our assistant warden, Denise, has been busy over the past few weeks counting our auk colony. I thought you would be pleased to know the outcome! Including the lighthouse island (which is not technically part of the reserve) we have had a 23% increase in Guillemot numbers, a whopping 8014! The Razorbills have also increased 27% to an incredible 1147 individuals. These records are fabulous and there are plenty of chicks around at the moment to continue this trend into the future.
Our current residential volunteer, Sally, counted a fantastic 21 Puffins out and about on Sunday night. Please let us know how many you've seen...
Our Chough families are doing well, we have plenty of fledglings out and about. The Mousetrap pair (that were on the webcam) only have one fledgling with them, although this may be a bit misleading and we have reason to believe that at least one of their offspring was adopted by one of our other Chough families! I'm still hopeful that all three of the missing chicks are being cared for in this way.
Please chip in with anything exciting you see around the reserve...
Ever since I moved to the area I have been on the lookout for a badger. I have gone on evening walks, been taken to known badger setts and have peered out into the night on car journeys. Last week i was delighted and surprised when one of our visitors came in weilding her camera and showed us amazing photographs of young badgers taken on the range part of the reserve in broad daylight! Needless to say, I was chomping at the bit to finish work for the day to go and see them for myself. Eager to catch a glimpse of a such a wonderful and elusive animal I went for an early evening stroll with Ken (loal bird expert and now RSPB volunteer) and Mark (another People Enagagement Assistant on the reserve). We tentatively tip-toed beside the hedgerows until, as we turned a corner, we saw a glorious, fluffy, badger bottom! I needn't tell you how ecstatic I was. As we turned yet another corner we were greeted by two more fluffy behinds, a total of three gorgeous baby badgers! By this point I was completely in a 'badgery' world of my own. I sat amongst the colourful grasses and flowers of the meadow in awe of my waddling, munching companions (the badgers, not Ken and Mark!). Within about five minutes one of the youngsters had wandered just two metres away from where I was sat, looked me square in the eye and then carried on munching! I could barely breathe.
I don't think I'll ever beat that badger experience - I'm in love!
You may, or may not know that BirdLife International is a bird conservation organisation that works all around the world with partners such as the RSPB. On Friday, I was invited to join BirdLife and Anglesey Aluminium for a day of birding aimed at the children in our community.
BirdLife work with Rio Tinto, the owners of Anglesey Aluminium, to encourage them on a corporate and personal level to be more interested in the environment around us, particularly focussing on birds. Although it was a really wet affair, it was a really good day. The children, from local schools, were in awe of the wildlife and were happy to be outdoors and learning about birds. An event such as this could not have taken place without a keen environmentalist among the ranks. Luckily, Anglesey Aluminium have Steve on hand to arrange the events, twice a year. I was lucky enough to travel around with Steve for the day, along with Mia from BirdLife International, Aled from the local AONB, and Ken a local birding expert.
The day turned into a bit of a bird-race for us adults, as we travelled around the island we ticked off 77 species which we were pretty happy with considering the weather. The youngsters at Cemlyn were thrilled to reunite a lost Ringed Plover chick with it's parents and the kids at Penrhos Country Park spotted loads of birds and were eager to learn from us which was brilliant.
You can find out more about BirdLife International on their website http://www.birdlife.org/ or about our partnership with them on our website http://www.rspb.org.uk/international/birdlife.aspx.
Ta ta for now x