Great bird reserves: Skokholm

Published on 06 July 2020 in Main articles

David Saunders and Stephen Sutcliffe

Abstract The Pembrokeshire island of Skokholm is where the remarkable Ronald (R. M.) Lockley, the tenant from 1927, carried out pioneering studies on the Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus and, in 1933, opened the first bird observatory in Britain. His scientific papers, popular articles and books encouraged naturalists to visit the island. Skokholm’s seabird colonies are of national and international importance and the numbers of breeding birds and their trends are discussed. The island is also renowned for migrants and vagrants, and has several ‘firsts’ for Britain and for Wales to its credit. The island is part of the Skomer and Skokholm Special Protection Area and, after the purchase of the island by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales in 2006, has been designated as a National Nature Reserve.

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Skokholm Bird Observatory and Heligoland traps, September 2012. Richard Brown and Giselle Eagle