Day 4 in a Sicilian nature reserve

I’ve just done a bit of rock pooling. The rocks are grey and very porous, full of holes, nooks, and crannies. I would expect quite a bit of life in all these holes. However, I already had my suspicions, as I’d seen no bird life on the rocks. Where there’s life and water, there’s usually birds.
I found one very small fish, who disappeared into a hole. A goby? I also saw two micro larval critters. And one hole (only) had green stuff in it. No limpets. No crabs. Maybe its this rock type.

The wind has been aggressive all day. Coming from all directions, whipping up a frenzy and us off our feet. Three times the wind took me by surprise and nearly threw me in the sea. Its so strong that it lifts water off the sea and carries it along. Just like sand in the desert. But its not sand its water. Its quite a spectacle.

I went for a stroll with macro lens at the ready. Photographed the usual – flowers, bugs, and poo. I came across many busy ants digging new nests. So naturally I had to get down on my knees each time to watch a while. In each colony there were a variety of different shape and size of ant. The ones with enormous heads and jaws looked a little scary. They seemed to be supervising, whilst other smaller ants carried outside the soil.
I came across a nest building/digging where a spider was moving in. The ants just carried on around the spider. Business as usual.
I came across the aftermath of an ant war. There were bits of ant all over the place. Ants carrying live ants. The live ants clearly not wanting to be carried off, grasping at earth and rock to cling to at every opportunity. Just as a human would. I wondered whether the prisoners are destined to be slaves or supper.

Bird list:
Alpine swift
Bonelli’s eagle
Booted eagle
Chiff chaff
Collared dove
European robin
Great tit
Hooded crow
Rock dove
Sardinian warbler
Spanish sparrow
Spotless starling
Wood pigeon
Yellow-legged gull

And the day ended with some excitement. Giovanni spotted two blokes in blue t-shirts halfway up one of the mountains in the reserve. It is forbidden/illegal – to protect breeding birds. There are signs saying so all over the reserve. So he ran all the way, and up the slope, to ask them to come down. We followed the whole drama through the scope. They were Swiss tourists, who claim to have not seen any signs. Aah, it seems they all blew down in this wonderful wind that we’ve had today! Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange
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About Olivia N Masi

From art college drop-out, to office space-planner, to back-packer, to air stewardess, to brolly babe, to model agent, to wildlife conservationist. How? I've always believed in jumping at every opportunity that comes my way. This has taken me along some bizarre career paths. None of which I regret. I have been to amazing places and met fascinating people. And having worked in the motor sport industry I've sadly experienced too many beloved friends take one adrenalin step too many. I think of them always. I've hung out with pop-stars, sports personalities, and millionaires. I reached a point when nothing but VIP would do. And then something happened. My pops passed away and I felt the need to reconnect with my Italian side. Whilst in Italy, I learnt to be resourceful, to recycle everything, to listen to the valley, to grow my own veg, to catch and tame feral cats, and to follow my heart. My heart led me to a desire to save this beautiful Earth, and all the wonderful life upon it. And so I read, and then I studied with the Open University. I suddenly found myself accepted on a BSc in Wildlife Conservation, having left school with pitiful qualifications. So here I am. A qualified Wildlife Conservationist. A scientist I suppose. I love nothing more than to listen to birdsong, and watch, learn and photograph wildlife. So here is to me getting the perfect job where I can contribute to saving one of Earth's beautiful species. Do I miss the glamour of the old life? The VIP lifestyle? The petrol-head adrenalin? The buzz of being a successful business owner? Only occasionally. Though it seems more like the distant dreams of a previous life.
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