The island is famed for its Manx Shearwaters and Storm Petrels and also supports strong colonies of Puffin, as well as Razorbills and Guillemots. There is a large colony of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls are also present. The island is a breeding site for Oystercatchers and Chough as well as Skylark and Wheatear, and is well known for its migrant birds including Chiffchaff, Willow Warblers, Whitethroat, Spotted and Pied Flycatchers and Redstart. Rare birds have included Spoonbill, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Bluethroat, Glossy Ibis, Purple Heron, Golden Oriole and Lapland Bunting.
The plateau of this island slopes gently from 50 metres to around 20 metres above the cliff tops in the east. The farm buildings forming the current accommodation were probably built early in the 18th century. By the beginning of the 20th century, the island had lain derelict for some time. Ronald Lockley then took a lease in 1927, repaired the buildings and gradually built up the Bird Observatory, which operated until 1976 apart from periods during the war years. In 1916 the lighthouse was built, which is now automatic.
The island is south west of the Marloes Peninsula, next to Skomer Island. Access is restricted to residential visitors and occasional Trust-organised day visits during the summer. Contact the Trust at Cilgerran for more details. The boat will leave Martin's Haven (two miles from Marloes) at 9am and return at approximately 4.30pm. There is a National Trust car park at Martin's Haven for which there is a small charge. If you are a member of the National Trust you will not have to pay but will have to display some sign of membership.
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