There are some choice wildlife highlights for this summer’s visitors. The puffins should be on show at Skomer until the end of July, but the island is well worth visiting after that for other sea life (the Manx shearwaters are truly spectacular for anyone prepared to spend a night there). And there are usually seals and even porpoises on view on the boat trip over from St Martin’s Haven, while the sea will be full of bobbing razorbills, little auks and puffins. Don’t forget to check the surrounding cliffs for rare choughs while waiting for the ferry.
Closer to home, Bob the badger plays nightly visits to Glebe’s garden – encourage him to snuffle in front of the games room window by putting out bits of toast spread with peanut butter. The barn owls which nest in the abandoned buildings across the road are surprisingly difficult to spot for a large white bird. They are ‘crepuscular’, most active and easiest to see around dawn and dusk as they hunt voles and mice in the rough tussocky grass of the wildflower meadow or neighbouring fields. While watching for these, keep your eyes peeled for the rare greater horseshoe bats which have a nursery roost nearby. These are significantly bigger than the much more common pippistrelles and their large ears are often visible as they fly by. Peregrines, buzzards and a variety of gulls drift overhead throughout the day, while the scrub around the abandoned farmhouse behind the property rings with the sound of migrant songbirds every morning.