On Sunday 13th June I visited Skomer Island.
We went on a boat to get there. When we got on the boat there was a sign saying to check your luggage to make sure there weren’t any rats or mice hiding in there! That’s because they don’t live there at the moment and if they got onto the island they might hurt the seabirds. On some other islands with lots of seabirds, introduced predators like rats have caused big problems for seabirds and made numbers go down.
When I was on the boat I felt happy and excited. Quite soon after we left, we started seeing lots of puffins swimming and flying off to catch fish for their young.
Skomer is looked after by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. When we arrived there, there was a lady who talked to us and the other people from our boat. She told us about the wildlife there and she told us that it was really important to stay on the paths because the ground is quite delicate because of all the puffin and Manx shearwater burrows and it might break the burrows if you stand on them.
We went for a walk round the island. We saw lots of puffins! The puffins were coming and going from their burrows. We even saw some going in and out of their burrows and some were walking on the paths! Some puffins were digging. We saw a puffin go into a burrow and lots of mud and soil started to whoosh out! I loved the puffins! I thought they were cute and funny, especially their beaks. My favourite thing was watching them going into their burrows.
We also saw black and brown rabbits. Rabbits are good for the wildlife on Skomer because puffins and Manx shearwaters can use their old burrows and they keep the grass and bushes down so wild flowers can grow and they provide more food for the predators to eat so they might eat them instead of the seabirds. I was excited to see black rabbits!
Other birds we saw were guillemots and razorbills flying around by the sea and nesting on the cliffs. A long way out to sea there were gannets diving for food. Under where the gannets were diving there were dolphins! Mummy and Daddy definitely saw them and I think I saw one too. We also saw lots of seals on the rocks near the sea.
Skomer is extremely important for Manx shearwaters but we didn’t see any because they’re nocturnal. When we were walking around the island we saw some things that looked like cages. I asked the lady about them at the end and she said it is to do with some research being done by Oxford University to learn about how Manx shearwaters use the earth’s magnetic field to find their way around. Scientific research to learn about seabirds is important because it helps us find more and better ways to help them.
Visiting Skomer made me feel even more like I want to help seabirds and sea animals. Puffins are on the Red List for UK birds and they are listed as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List. Puffins are doing well on Skomer but numbers overall are going down really fast. I think that’s sad because puffins are so nice! Overfishing is a big problem for puffins because it means there isn’t enough food for them. You can help by using the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) Good Fish Guide to make sure you only eat sustainable fish and by only buying fish that has a Marine Stewardship Council logo. I don’t eat any fish because I want them to be able to stay in the wild.
Climate change and pollution are also big problems for puffins and other sealife. The day after visiting Skomer my brothers and I did a beach clean at Marloes Sands to try and help sealife. You can help not dropping litter and by litter picking too. You can also help by using less plastic and trying to reuse and recycle as much as you can.
I think Skomer is a lovely and exciting place and I really want to go there again. I want to do everything I can to help seabirds and other sealife.
Please help sealife too. Thank you!