Saturday, 26 March 2011

What No Puffins? 26-03-2011

I arrived at Martin's Haven just too late to paddle out with Chris and Amanda from Pencarnan and a group of local paddlers who I often bump into on my travels. They were all heading out along the North coast of Skomer.

I paddled Southward through Jack Sound against the North flowing flood tide to get the most  benefit from the tide around the rest of the island.

Paddling along the South of Skomer I make a slight detour to look at the cave that pierces the Neck but it looked a bit rough to venture in.

I paddled into South Haven in search of Puffins but there were only a few small rafts all of which were very nervous and dived underwater when I got too close so no decent close up photos.

After stalking the Puffins for a while I gave up and carried on toward the Mew Stone, where I could paddle through the small gap between the large pillar of rock and the island.

I thought I might see more birds at The Wick but it was very quiet looks like I am a little early for the nesting birds.
Rounding Skomer Head and along the West cliffs of Skomer I encountered a little adverse tide but at least the sea was calm.

At the Bull Hole the cliffs are again deserted, this is another popular nesting site, knowing my luck the birds will all arrive next week!

Approaching the Garland Stone the tide was slack allowing me time to photo 3 male Shags posing in their pulling attire.

I paddle along the North coast and into North Haven but again it was all quiet with not a Puffin to be seen.

Paddling out of North Haven and along the Neck there are small rafts of Puffins but again they are very nervous. It is calmer this side of the cave in the Neck but now there are rocks blocking the way through.

As I cross Little Sound to Midland Isle I do spot some migratory birds, a couple of Canada Geese.
I cross Jack Sound and paddle Southward paddling into a large cave which could be classed as an arch.
Paddling through the West facing smaller entrance I turn right and paddle out of a much larger South facing opening out into Renny Slip.

Whilst I was in this neck of the woods I paddled on a bit further to Rainy Rock to check on the lone boulder perched on top of the cliff. I wonder if in any time in the near future the rock will lose it's battle against the elements and slide into the sea below.

Paddling back Northward the ebbing tide is starting to flow but staying close to the cliffs it's not too much of an effort as I enter Jack Sound.

I paddle into 1 of the numerous caves along the Jack Sound mainland which opens into a large chamber with 2 other holes at the back but no way through as the tide is too low.

It is only a short paddle back to Martin's Haven but it is a bit of a slog as the wind has picked up again.

A paddle of just under 10 nautical miles but alas only a few Puffins, I guess I will have to come back soon (it's a hard life!) Sorry to Chris and Amanda that I didn't catch up with you, will see you at Easter.


Taran Tyla said...

Fab trip, I went there Saturday with Stuart & a local tour company that we tagged along with (well jammy). Still not many Puffins, saw a few rafts but not loads. I'll have to go back too I guess :)

Stuart said...

Seems you got there just as the Puffins started to arrive according to the Skomer blog. There were a few when we got there but very timid, although not surprising with 15 boats in tow. Lucky with the weather to get down the west side, would have been suicide last weekend.