A week in the life of a Corncrake Assistant – Thursday

8.30am. I eagerly listen to Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2. The mystery guest may be someone from the RSPB this morning. It all depends on whether or not they could find a ladybird expert with an interesting job title!
8.45am. I give up and go to collect the truck. Corncrake food aboard.
9am. Feed and water the corncrake chicks. There’s lots of tweeting in the aviaries this morning. Invisible tweets. Back to base to do huge amounts of washing up.

11.30am. I pop to Whittlesey town centre and purchase a few more large plastic square tubs. For the waxmoth caterpillars and their honey and oat mix.

1pm. A quick trip to the High Wash, to check on the decoy males. They are fine. I even got a blurred glimpse of Green Beans as he shot away from his aviary door at the speed of light.

1.30pm. To the barn to staple roof felting to our freshly repaired aviary tables. This makes the tables waterproof, so the food beneath doesn’t get soggy from the rain. And I also have the tables from the aviaries of the released corncrakes. They were covered in corncrake poo. A good scrub with disinfectant did the job.

3pm. I go to the northern aviaries (I haven’t used these yet, all the corncrake chicks have been in the southern aviaries so far) and place a table in each of five aviaries.

4pm. Its time to feed the chicks in the southern aviaries.
The seven chicks that arrived on Monday are eating very little from their dishes. It may be that they are too shy or nervous to approach the area near the door. So I keep throwing plenty of mealworms around their aviaries. I know they are there as I hear them tweeting. Where else could they be if not? Well if there was the slightest hole that I didn’t see on my reckie of the aviaries, a stoat could get in and take little time demolishing the chicks. While the chicks are tiny wee fuzzy dots, even a rat could too.

4.45pm I put the truck to bed. Its too rainy wet to survey tonight.

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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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