Day 7 in a Sicilian nature reserve

Rain. Torrential rain. Very wet rain. All morning. So we gave up and went for an Italian breakfast. My second breakfast. Cappuccino and brioche alla crema.

When we eventually got to the reserve, when it was raining slightly less, we discovered that the quantity of water fallen on the mountains had created a huge gushing waterfall and river below, heading down to the sea. Where the water passed over the road it was at least a foot deep, and where the water entered the sea it was a brown-beige colour instead of blue.

Today I did something that I don’t think is ever done in Italy. I grabbed myself a refuse sack and walked along collecting rubbish. Plastic, glass, metal, polystyrene. Whole bottles, electric wiring, gun cartridges, hair bobbles, and cigarette butts. All potentially harmful to the environment and wildlife. Whether by way of ingesting or injuring. Birds eat cigarette butts. Any mammal could tread on broken glass. Plastic bags end up in the sea and are eaten by turtles, dolphins and whales. Even a biodegradable bag or balloon takes months to biodegrade. Imagine that filling your tummy for months..

I just watched a kestrel mobbing a Bonelli’s eagle. The kestrel was minuscule in comparison.

The Bonelli has been hanging stationery in the sky for hours. Like somebody stuck him to the ceiling.

Walking around the reserve today I have found much seaweed. Lifted from beach or sea in a storm? Then deposited over the olive groves?

Bird list:
Alpine swift 
Barn swallow
Bonelli’s eagle
Booted eagle
Crag martin
Great tit
House martin
Rock dove
Sardinian warbler
Wood pigeon
Yellow-legged gull Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


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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