Nene Washes FM

Its a noisy place, once you stand still a while and listen. And I’m standing still’ish for three to four hours at a time. Watching marsh harriers. Hoping to work out where they are making their nests and what they are eating.

This morning I’ve been watching a stunning male pottering along real slow, a metre or two above the grasses, totally defying gravity! He chased a few reed buntings for a while. Watching the chase was thrilling, though watching them caught for breakfast may not be so attractive. So far they’ve outwitted him.

Whilst watching him, a toad has been busy croaking away. Yesterday I watched this toad make several advances towards another (toad). He was aggressively rejected each time.

A snipe is flying around drumming. A noise I’ve heard in the past, but never understood what it was. His drumming is part of his aerial display, to catch the ladies! Its not actually a vocal call. The sound comes from air vibrating through his spread outer tail feathers as he flies around. Amazing! And he’s flying around and around up above me.
I can also hear ducks, geese, pheasant, and the amusement arcade-like sounds from the lapwing. Yesterday I watched and heard a bittern booming in full day-light. The cheek of him.

Tonight I went back to the same part of the reserve to listen and learn which nocturnal birds there may be. Hoping to hear some calls of returned (from Africa) corncrakes. I heard a spotted crake whistling, a bittern booming, and a snipe drumming. Backing vocals came from hundreds of ducks, geese and waders. What wonderful music. So much life in one place, its truly incredible.

Alas, no corncrakes crexing just yet.

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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