Skomer and Skokholme

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birding locations | Birding sites Wales | Pembrokeshire |  Skomer and Skokholme

The beautiful island of Skomer
Skokholm and Skomer

Skokholm and Skomer

Skomer, Skokholm and Middleholm are three islands lying off the extreme south-west tip of Pembrokeshire in south-west Wales. They are bounded by cliffs that reach 70 m on Skomer. The plateau vegetation is much affected by salt spray, rabbit grazing and nutrient enrichment from seabirds. The islands have mixed grassland and maritime heath vegetation in varying proportions, and on Skomer especially there are now large stands of Bracken Pteridium aquilinum. The coastal habitats of the SPA support an important resident population of Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax. These birds nest at high density in traditional locations within the cliffs and depend on the diverse mix of coastal habitats present and their low-intensity agricultural management. The islands also support a large number of breeding seabirds, especially petrels, gulls and auks. Especially notable is the high proportion (over half) of the world population of Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus that nest here.
Skokholm is leased to and run by The Wildlife Trust West Wales.
Manx Shearwater by CF Tunnicliffe (see bird artists in books section) from the book 'The Island ' RM Lockley See regional Avifauna (Wales) Britain's first established Bird Observatory

rarities including A total of 153 species was recorded (152 in
2005). Migrant numbers were generally low in both spring and autumn. Bean Goose was recorded for the
second time, Velvet Scoter, Grey Partridge and michaellis Yellow-legged Gull for the third, Little Bunting for
the fourth, Little Egret for the fifth and sixth, and Mediterranean Gull and Melodious Warbler for the tenth.
Also recorded were Garganey, a record count of Balearic Shearwaters, a (unidentified) Montagu’s or Pallid
Harrier, Osprey, Spotted Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Long-eared Owl, six Wrynecks, Richard’s Pipit, Wood
Warbler, Firecrest, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Red-backed Shrike, a flock of at least three Golden Oriole, and
two Common Rosefinch (including a red male).

Breeding Birds

Breeding Birds

During the breeding season;
Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, 4 pairs representing at least 1.2% of the breeding population in Great Britain
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus, 6 pairs representing at least 0.6% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count as at 1998)
Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus, 3,500 pairs representing at least 4.1% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count as at 1995)
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus, 20,300 pairs representing at least 16.4% of the breeding Western Europe/Mediterranean/Western Africa population (Mean 1993 to 1997)
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus, 150,968 pairs representing at least 56.9% of the breeding population (Count, as at late 1990s)
Puffin Fratercula arctica, 9,500 pairs representing at least 1.1% of the breeding population (Count, as at mid-1980s)
During the breeding season, the area regularly supports 67,278 individual seabirds (Count period ongoing) including: Razorbill Alca torda, Guillemot Uria aalge, Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, Puffin Fratercula arctica, Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus, Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus, Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus.
Further reading 'Flight of the Storm Petrel' Here


Puffins, Manx Shearwaters, Storm Petrels, Choughs, Peregrines, glowing cliffs of Old Red Sandstone, carpets of wild flowers and a way of life totally divorced from the frenetic pace of the mainland. These are just a few of the factors which make Skokholm so important to its band of devotees and have caused them to share Lockley's view of the place.
Skokholm is a small island nature reserve off the south west coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales. Along with the neighbouring islands of Skomer and Grassholm, it forms one of the most important seabird breeding sites in Europe. The flat top of the island is home to 35,000 pairs of Manx Shearwaters, Storm Petrels, large gull colonies, Wheatears, Oystercatchers, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks, while the 150 ft cliffs hold Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Peregrines and Ravens. Britain's most charismatic crow, the Chough, is usually present and occasionally breeds. Grey seals inhabit the rocky coasts, and porpoises and dolphins are regularly seen passing the island. At migration times almost anything can turn up.
In many ways, the way of life on Skokholm has changed little in the past 50 years, and it is this as much as the spectacular scenery and wildlife which draws many visitors to return again and again.
More details click here

Bird photographs Skpmer & Skokholme
Bird video from Skomer & Skokholme
Skomer & Skokholme on Twitter
Skomer & Skokholme blogs and links
Skomer Local services
Birdwatching walks Skomer & Skokholme

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birding locations | Birding sites Wales | Pembrokeshire |  Skomer and Skokholme

Support Our Free Resource
Unlike other sites our birding resource including the constantly updated world site guide is free to use.This takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce so any support would be most welcome. You can set a monthly rate below and cancel at any time. Thank you.

paypal subscribe

birding expeditions
add this
Project Godwit


Today' Best Deals



Compact Mini Rubber 8 x 21 Kids Binoculars



Rare & Collectible Books at

Information Pages

Valid CSS!