A Flash of birds

Pretty hilly Cheshire. Down a typical Cheshire rural lane. The odd cottage, and farmhouse. The only difference to the norm is the kitted out twitchers, coming and going. Boots open, scopes coming out.

Either side of the road are flashes of water. Amongst the gentle hills, the cows, and the copses. The Sandbach Flashes. Designated as SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) back in 1963. Brackish water, but way in-land. Where land gave in to the salt below. Salt. The origin for Cheshire’s wealth I should think.

Now the salt brings a wealth of bird life. Black-headed gull, Canada goose, Curlew, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Shelduck, Snipe, Starling, Teal, and Widgeon.

The Snipe were just a pair. Hidden, so they thought, behind a tussock. But we were on the right side of the tussock!
And the Curlew. It was so good to see a large group of them, as the European Curlew numbers are declining rapidly. Terrifyingly.
The Lapwing looked so different to the ones I watched all summer on the Nene Washes Reserve. Now in their winter plumage.
The Widgeon looked as cute as ever, with their yellow heads and their ‘wheeeel’ call to each other.
The Teal looked dashing, and the Shelduck bright and jolly.
Ah what a lovely sight.
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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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