Not only are our gulls returning in greater and greater numbers but a few beautiful friends of ours have been bobbing there heads about, displaying to each other. Our first Shelducks were spotted a few days ago near the WWII hospital and when we did our first Shelduck survey of the season yesterday we came across 3 settling in on Coal Beach. They are very shy birds and don’t waste any time taking off when they spot you. As we get into March we should begin to see them more and more often, as they search for suitable vegetation or abandoned Rabbit burrows to nest in. The island is slowly but surely coming back to life again after a long Winter slumber, even the plant life is starting to grow, with Wild Leek, Daffodils and the dreaded Wild Arum cropping up everywhere.
Sewage Works Update
The new sewer line is still being laid with just one small section in the unmanaged side still to be done, the new fancy pumping station at Driftwood is in the ground and operational and the Fog Horn Cottage bathrooms have been connected. Unfortunately the weather has been terribly wet lately and with all the heavy machinery moving around the island is looking in a bit of a state. Do not fret as the final job for the contractors is to work their way back down to West Beach reinstating the pathways just in time for our first 3Hr visitor trip on the 14th March. We are expecting all the work to be finished by next Friday.
Work is still progressing well, all the rooms have received a fresh coat of paint except for the Welcome Room which will get done next week. We still have our new WWII display to put together in the Museum but that won’t take long and we will be taking delivery of some new furniture for the pub next week. Overall the Barracks are looking great, nice and fresh for the new season ahead, we can’t wait to see you there.
This Monday and Tuesday we will be welcoming some potential new volunteers to the island, yes its that time of year again when we interview for new full time volunteers. We have six spaces available for full time Summer volunteers, starting March and helping us out during the Islands busiest period, the visitor season. Volunteers commit to giving us six months of their times, living on the island for periods of up to 3-6 weeks at a time, then having a 4 days to a week off on the mainland. Volunteers are essential members of the Flat Holm Team, helping with the many varying tasks that keep this Nature Reserve running smoothly. This Summer, volunteers will be helpping to carry out wildlife surveys, deliver educational activities, lead guided walks and working parties. They will assist with habitat management work, help our Welsh Black Ewes to deliver lambs and care for the pigs when they are introduced. The revamped shop and pub will also provide retail and customer care experience for the volunteers.
The new hens are laying very well, in fact so well that I collected in excess of 30 eggs this morning, so when you come to visit, don’t forget to buy your Flat Holm Free Range Eggs.
The whole team is very excited about what the Summer holds in store for us, we need to make this a very successful season for the island, with your help by visiting and supporting the island we can make it happen.
We’ll see you soon.