Living World

Episode 1. The Night Island

Radio Times
Review by:
Jane Anderson

Skomer Island is just off the coast of south Pembrokeshire and measures three miles long and two miles across at its widest point. Not very large, for sure, but it is covered in sea birds.

Presenter Chris Sperring makes an early-evening visit to the island to witness the storm petrels whizzing about like bats. They are about the size of a sparrow but are rarely seen except by fishermen going out on boats.

As it gets increasingly dark he leaves the storm petrels in peace and seeks out the beautiful nocturnal Manx shearwater, with a cry so eerie that when invading Vikings heard it they were sure it was the sound of terrifying trolls.

About this programme

New series. Ornithologist Chris Sperring travels by boat to Skomer Island off the coast of southwest Wales, where he is joined by David Boyle, an ecologist researching the habits of two peculiar seabirds, the Manx shearwater and the storm petrel.

Cast and crew


Chris Sperring
David Boyle


Andrew Dawes