We are just starting to see the first of the seal pups being born on Ramsey though it is still quite early for pups. The bachelor pad is also pretty busy now. This is where all the non breeders get to hang out. Here are a couple of youngsters checking out our passengers.
Sorry for the current obsession with collective nouns for our wildlife but it is keeping Ffion entertained! This is definitely a good one, an improbability of shearwaters, Pembrokeshire is home to over half the world’s populations of Manx shearwaters and our best shearwater fact is:
The oldest recorded manx shearwater was ringed in 1957, still alive and 51 years old in 2008 and ornithologist Chris Mead calculated it had covered 5 million miles in its lifetime. We are still running our evening shearwater trips if you would like to see one of Pembrokeshire’s most amazing wildlife spectacle and learn more about these amazing birds.
Of all of our seabirds gannets definitely win the competition for the most amazing diving technique.
They can drop from the sky like a feathered dart from heights of up to 30m, hitting the water at speeds of up to 60 miles an hour. The deepest dive recorded from a Grassholm gannet was 25m. To have worked out the refraction of the water’s surface and still be on target for their fish over that sort of distance is truly amazing. They have a number of adaptations to help them achieve this, folding their wings back against their bodies a split second before entering the water, inflating air sacs in their head and body to cushion the impact with the water as well as having a secondary eyelid to protect their eyes and internal nostrils with baffles to prevent water ingress.
We are lucky to have the 4th largest gannetry in the world here in Pembrokeshire on Grassholm Island. If you want to come and sea this amazing spectacle get in touch. #natureisamazing
Thanks to Lyndon Lomax for the photos
‘Raven grew up with the sound of the wind and the call of the birds and the song of the seals. Sea below and sky above, he was wild. And he grew up with the islands legend deep in his mind, the legend of the king who sleeps under the hill and waits for the return of the White Raven, the magical one.’ This week on one of our bespoke trips we were joined by Jackie Morris for some story telling. Jackie is an award winning author and illustrator of Robert Macfarlane’s The Lost Words. This is an extract from her unpublished story Hrafen’s Ey about a Ramsey Raven. We listened to her spellbinding story to a background of seals and Ravens.
The Pembrokeshire islands are steeped in legend and myth, if you would like to join us for a unique trip of magical storytelling at sea with Jackie please get in touch. If you have a group you can book the boat exclusively for a storytelling trip.
The seals are very good at keeping us entertained, here is one determined to stay on his rock till the last possible moment.
Thanks to crew Pete Hellon for the great series of pics. #seals #ramseyisland #rudeawakening
The collective noun for shags is a ‘hangout of shags’ this is definitely an appropriate one if you’ve ever seen the crèche system they operate whereby one or two adults can end up ‘babysitting as many as 10 or 12 youngsters at this time of year. They are very entertaining to watch. #hangoutofshags
We have been having fantastic sightings of our harbour porpoise this week.
Interesting facts about porpoise – according to a recent paper, they will forage nearly continuously day and night and attempt to catch up to 550 small fish every hour, with a 90% success rate. This has led to them being referred to as ‘aquatic shrews’. #porpoise #Ramsey sound
There are many collective nouns for seals, including a colony, a rookery, a herd, a harem but perhaps our favourite is a bob of seals. We are just starting to see some of the adults returning to the island ahead of the breeding season.#seals
Gorgeous weather and some lovely common dolphin sightings over the last 2 days. One was on a bespoke cetacean trip for Coastal Cottages guests. Lovely to be doing some bespoke trips, so if you fancy something a bit different get in touch!
#coastalcottages #findyourepic #visitwales #visitpembrokeshire
Over half the world’s population of Manx shearwaters breed on the Pembrokeshire Islands, that is around 360,000 breeding pairs and the UK is home to 90% of the entire world population of Manxies. Watching them fly back to their burrows in their thousands of an evening is nothing short of magical. Whilst clumsy on land the shearwater is is the epitome of grace in the air. They use what is know as the ground effect, riding the updrafts off the waves which results in a very low energy flight. To find out more about these fascinating birds join us for an evening shearwater trip. The perfect end to the perfect day in Pembrokeshire. #manxshearwater #visitwales #visitpembrokeshire #findyourepic