The morning came sooner than hoped or expected. As the groggyness clouds the fast aproaching reality that it is in fact pre-six a.m, my eyes try to grow accustomed to their surroundings. Once I realise that this is not my bed and the hard ground below me and the canvas tent above me is not my room - it all floods in at once. Today is the day I return to Skomer Island.
Having camped at a local farm, myself and fellow filmmaker Isaac Rice headed out at the crack of dawn to do the most British thing ever - queue for two hours to get tickets onto the Island. Skomer has fast become a global favourite for wildlife lovers and conservationists, and every year the hour in which to get a guaranteed seat on the first boat of the day has dropped considerably. 6.15am. We approach a small flurry of early birds but a quick head count proves we've been sensible. Still, it is a small price to pay for the experience to follow.
"Be down at the jetty for ten to ten and your boat back will be at three o'clock." With these words ringing in our ears we headed back to the camp in excitement (for the coffee we about to consume of course - puffin excitement would come after the caffeinated wake up call).
After a relaxed breakfast and kit check, and then a panicked run down to the jetty after realising the time, we were packed onto the Dale Princess so tightly that we were restricted from any movement other than a quick crick of the neck as the first puffin torpedoed past. We were finally there - in Puffin Paradise.
Puffins have a serrated beak to allow them to hold such a large number of their main food source - sand eels. Unfortunately, studies have shown that due to climate change and humans over-fishing, sand eel populations are declining. As the sea temperature rises, plankton numbers decrease which has an adverse effect on the number of sand eels, who prey upon these tiny organisms. As the ripple effect continues along the food chain, Puffins are finding smaller and overall less sand eels to feed to their young in order to successfully raise our future, much loved 'clowns of the sea'.
Feel free to browse below for more images from Skomer Island and the surrounding area.