Staying alive

Geltsdale. The Moorlands. Heathers, Sphagnum moss, Meadow pipits, Merlin, Stonechat, Red grouse, Woodcock, Short-eared owl, Buzzard, Hen harrier, fog, and rain, rain, rain, rain, RAIN.

Driving the lanes to the RSPB reserve is like a mini safari. From the dryness and safety of my car I see Red squirrel, Roe deer, Sparrow hawk, Kestrel, and a young Magpie that’s missing all its tail and flight feathers. He/she looks extremely healthy, Presumably being fed by ma and pa. But it’s such a bizarre sight, a flightless, tail-less Magpie.

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It’s then nearly an hour’s walk to my watch point. It’s usually raining and it’s all up hill through muddy, boggy terrain. By rain, dew, mud or sweat, one always reaches the top sodden wet. If the sun does show its face for a short while, the Mipits (Meadow pipits) inquisitively accompany you along the trail.

I reach my destination and change into slightly less wet clothing. The air is saturated, how can anything ever dry out. Sunshine, please.

We’re up here watching over Hen harriers. One of the few pairs in the whole country. We’re hoping to keep them alive. Desperate to keep them alive. If we can keep them safe from harm, and they fledge some healthy chicks, then all the mud, rain and damp will have been very worthwhile.

Sent from my Sony Xperia™ smartphone


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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