So I came out to survey the western most part of the reserve tonight. I haven’t heard any male corncrakes calling here this year. But I have to keep trying. With hope.

I’m at the end of my transect, just about to get back in the truck and what do I hear? . . .
No, not a corncrake. A spotted crake. He called just twice, and so by the time I’d grabbed my compass he’d gone quiet. Grrr.

So I’m waiting him out. Stood here leaning against the truck, darkness creeping slowly (too slowly), and a bunch of noisy cows behind me.
Munching, and chewing, and farting, and mooing, and trampling. They’re not at all ladylike.
One had clearly found an extra good bit of grass to munch on, and the moment another cow stepped backwards in to her way, she rammed her aggressively. The poor cow (ha!) She nearly fell in to the ditch. I wonder if cows bruise like us…

So, as well as the variety of cow noises, there’s a duck quacking non stop, hidden somewhere in front of me, and a dog barking incessantly somewhere in the distance!
And all I wish to hear is one wee spotted crake.

Whilst stood hear contemplating all the noises of the Nene Washes, a fox nearly stumbles right in to me. There he/she was pottering along a tractor lane, all the way in to … Aghh! A human! It screeched to a holt, about turned, and vanished.

And now a cow is having a noisy dump three metres from me!

Yes! The spotted crake called. Not for long, but long enough to get a compass bearing. And looking at the map of the reserve, I see he is in an RSPB field. Clever little crake.
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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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