Thursday, 23 January 2014

Reunion time hurry hurry

Reunion time 16th February 2014

There are only  a few places left for this year’s Reunion!!! 
Book with Carol Collins:

We have an exciting programme for you and some lovely food
Lots of friends to see and lots of memories to share.
Could some of you bring some cakes to eat. Preferably cut up in small pieces ready to hold.
Also reminder about those colouful blankets that Skomer folk so badly want .
We all look forward to seeing you all on the 16th of February at the Tythe Barn. Lots to talk about lots to see.

The Tithe Barn; Cheltenham Road Bishop's Cleeve at GL52 8L

16th February 2014

Morning session chair: Holly Kirk
10 30               Arrive: tea/coffee and cake
11.00am          Welcome, admin, announcements: Renate Thome
                        Update from the Trust  Sarah Kessell CEO
                        The Skomer Year: Skomer Wardens
                        Skokholm Year: Birds and Wildlife.  Skokholm Wardens
                        Skomer Puffin research: Annette Fayet
12. 35pm                     LUNCH                                                                                           
                        Annual General Meeting
Afternoon session chair: Renate Thome
                        Matt Wood, Gloucester University
                        Lucy Griffiths, Author  
                        Update on work done:             Steve Sutcliffe
                        Update on Archive Project:    Carol Collins
                       Shearwater research: Holly Kirk
                        Summing up: Tim Healing
                        Tea/coffee and cakes 

Friday, 17 January 2014

Skokholm is an accredited Bird Observatory again.

Many of you will have seen the posting by Richard and Giselle on the Skokholm blog but in case you have missed it here is an extract :-

At the 44th Annual General Meeting of the Bird Observatories Council at Portland last weekend  Skokholm was officially reaccredited as a Bird Observatory. This recognises the huge amounts of work done on Skokholm during the restoration period, the reestablishment of intensive bird monitoring on the Island and our desire for this to continue into the future. Skokholm thus becomes the 19th Bird Observatory recognised by the Bird Observatories Council and part of a network extending across Britain, Ireland and the Isle of Man. These 19 migration hotspots offer some of the best birding going with 85% of the birds on the British and Irish list having been recorded at just these sites. But being a Bird Observatory is much more than this.
The thing which links all 19 sites is the standard and consistency of their ornithological record keeping, each Observatory amassing long-term datasets which reveal trends in the numbers of birds passing through each site. The majority of Observatories have either completed, or are well on the way to completing, the digitisation of these datasets which are a very powerful tool showing the state of our birdlife. The Bird Observatories Council coordinates and promotes the work of each Bird Observatory at a National level (

Skokholm was home to Britain and Ireland’s first Bird Observatory, established in 1933 by the pioneering ornithologist R. M. Lockley. The Observatory was the focus of huge amounts of scientific research, so much so that there were several published references to the Island being one of the most intensively studied in the world. These studies continued until 1976 when a change in land ownership saw the cessation of ringing and the loss of Bird Observatory status. Happily a Warden remained on the Island to continue the daily census work. There is to this day a phenomenal record of migrating and breeding birds dating back to 1933, the only break being due to the war. One of the most important jobs we will undertake in the next few years is to digitise all of this data.
The plaque on the Cottage wall is once again highly relevant.