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Home » Headline, News

Great Job For A Birdwatcher

Submitted by on January 5, 2010 – 10:03 pm3 Comments
Puffin on Skomer Island by SteveB!

Puffin on Skomer Island by SteveB!

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales is looking for a new warden and assistant warden for Skomer Island. A love of birds is required!

Skomer Island is located off the Pembrokeshire coast of south Wales. The new warden will be living in a clifftop bungalow near the island’s main Puffin colony.

The island is only about 759 acres, measuring two miles east to west and one and a half north to south. The island essentially has two sections. The larger part is connected to a smaller portion by a narrow isthmus just 12 yards wide.

Bluebell fields on Skomer Island by Paul Forsdick

Bluebell fields on Skomer Island by Paul Forsdick

With no protection, the island is exposed to the full force of the Atlantic gales. It has a mild climate with one of the lowest rainfall rates in the region. Like the rest of southwestern Wales, it’s sunny with about 1,700 hours of sunshine a year. Throughout the Spring, the island is carpeted with beautiful bluebells.

Departing warden Jo Milborrow:

“There’s no pub or cinema but you’ve got 13,000 puffins on your doorstep and porpoises swimming by.”

In addition to the thousands of Puffins, Skomer is home to hundreds of thousands of Manx Shearwaters making it one of the world’s most important breeding sites for these birds.

Manx Shearwater Chick by PeregrinesBirdBlog

Manx Shearwater Chick by PeregrinesBirdBlog

Only the warden and a very few overnight visitors get to see the nightly arrival of these rare seabirds that live underground.

In a flap by SteveB!

Short-eared Owl on Skomer Island by SteveB!

Other birds found on the island include Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Fulmars, Jackdaws, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Storm-petrels and Short-eared Owls.

Warden Jo Milborrow and her husband Dave from Metro UK

Warden Jo Milborrow and her husband Dave from Metro UK

Jo Milborrow has been the warden on Skomer Island for the past six years with her husband Dave as the assistant warden. They both feel it’s time to move on in search of a new challenge.

Jo Milborrow:

“I feel incredibly lucky to have lived in such an amazing place. Gaining an intimate knowledge of one place, its wildlife and seasonal rhythms are things I value greatly. This in-depth relationship with our surroundings is hard to establish in modern life.”

“To have shared my home with puffins, peregrine falcons, shearwaters and storm petrels and to be able to help protect these birds and inspire other people about them has been a high point of my life. I wish the new warden as many memorable times as we have been lucky enough to share.”

Their decision to leave has opened up a huge opportunity for two lucky bird lovers!

Would you do it?


  • wade2

    this sounds so nice, what a great job! i genuinely love birds and nature. the fact that i like to keep to myself this is perfect. the only downside is that i have no formal training. this would be such a great job for someone.

  • wade2

    this sounds so nice, what a great job! i genuinely love birds and nature. the fact that i like to keep to myself this is perfect. the only downside is that i have no formal training. this would be such a great job for someone.

  • Marianne

    In a minute. Where do I apply???