We are looking for experienced ringers to help Skokholm regain its fully accredited Bird Observatory status. If this is of interest to you then read on.
Bird Observatories are located all over the UK and Ireland, on the coast or on islands. Their primary purpose is to conduct long-term monitoring of bird populations and migration, and encourage volunteers, particularly ringers, to aid in this study.
Skokholm off the Welsh coast, was Britain's first accredited Bird Observatory in 1933 but closed down its ringing activities in 1976 when the landlords decreed that no trapping would be allowed. However the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales was able to buy the island in 2007 and in the last couple of years has been busy refurbishing the accommodation and has recently introduced ringing activities again alongside a rigorous recording system with the objective of once again becoming an accredited Bird Observatory.
In the last two seasons a small number of birds has been ringed during work party weeks but this limited activity has already produced a number of controls including the eighth Reed Warbler from Germany, Sedge Warbler from Scotland and Willow Warblers from Ireland, Scotland and southern UK.
In 2013 the island hopes to continue an organised ringing and recording programme (with the aid of Mist nets and new Heligoland traps) and nest recording, as well as instituting some new studies on Puffins and Manx Shearwaters.
Skokholm, like any top migration site, can be a stunning place on the right day and will provide some valuable data for conservation.
Process for applying to ring on Skokholm.
All visiting ringers must be vetted to ensure that ringers are suitably qualified or under the supervision of a qualified ringer and after reading "Information for visiting ringers" your first point of contact will be with the Warden.
Please note in 2013 we are not running specific training course or supervision (because this will be the first year). If you are interested in this please do let us know as this is something we are keen to develop. (contact details in attachment)