After a winter spent to-ing and fro-ing to the island, Nia and myself (and Dewi the sheepdog, now in his 14th year!) settled back permanently for the season on 3rd March. This followed hot on the heels of a very entertaining 1st Aid course with friends and colleagues from our neigbouring islands of Skomer and Skokholm. It's not often you get all the staff from all three islands under one roof, even if we did spend most of the time bandaging each other up and playing dead!
After a relatively benign winter which saw the driest January on record, February roared though with three named storms in a week. We didn't get to cross at all in the final half of the month so we wondered what damage might await us. We were therefore pleasantly surprised to find nothing more than a few slates off the farmhouse roof, the odd battered gate and a small hole in one of the barn roofs. Considering we had experienced 93mph gusts at St Anne's Head it could have been worse and goes to show how well sited our old buildings are.
So here we are all ready for a new season. Most of March is taken up with preparing the buildings and visitor facilities for the new season and watching out for the first migrant arrivals. A couple of goldcrests is all we have had so far - wheatears should be here any day followed by sand martins and chiffchaffs. The seabirds are starting to come to land on calmer days and chough are here in good numbers with a regular feeding flock and evening roost of between 25-35 birds. Mid March will see them starting to nest build.
As ever we will keep you updated as the season progresses and we hope to see some of you out here this year - below are a selection of photos so far....
Storm Eunice battering the lifeboat station in February
GM, Derek and Nia crossing back to Ramsey for the 2022 season
Despite a dry January the rain that accompanied the February storms topped up the water table
Up to 35 chough have been on the island since our return
Along with over 200 grey seals on some days
March sunsets are cold but worth it!
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