This week we get to see two of Mark's beautiful photos of the area on a cold February day.
Salcott Channel is a fantastic spot to view waders and wildfowl.
It is also an excellent place to observe life on the river and to see the local fishermen still utilising the waterways.
Bleak but beautiful, Tollesbury during a wader survey
March was an incredibly busy month. I went up to the RSPB’s reserve at Strumpshaw Fen to attend an interview for the Eastern Region Conservation Internship scheme. The interview was split into three sections, firstly I had to answer some gruelling interview questions posed by a panel of RSPB wardens and assistant wardens. I then had to make a presentation to the wardens on a recent conservation project I had been involved in and finally I had to undergo a really challenging wildlife identification test with Annie “Mrs Motivator” Sadler (Volunteering Development Officer, Eastern Region).
Once that was over, I could relax and I was taken on a brief tour of the reserve. During which I was totally elated to see four otters in the wild for the first time ever. They were only metres away playing with and devouring an eel right opposite the visitor centre. I couldn’t believe my luck, it was absolutely marvellous. Alas though, there aren’t any pictures as my faithful point and shoot camera isn’t ideal for wildlife photography.
A week later I was delighted when I was informed that I had been accepted on the Conservation Internship Scheme. I would be continuing at Old Hall Marshes for another six months full time as of April. The scheme is a dual residential voluntary initiative, whereby after finishing up at Old Hall I would then transfer over to Minsmere, Suffolk for a further six months in October. Although I am still a volunteer, my lodgings and utilities are paid for. The RSPB provide accommodation in a shared volunteers’ cottage just outside the reserve at Old Hall Lane and in Minsmere there is a weather boarded volunteers’ shared bungalow located on the reserve itself.
In the Eastern region Titchwell Marsh and Strumpshaw Fen in Norfolk are the other reserves participating on the Conservation Internship scheme. In total there are four places available on this programme and I was delighted to be one of those privileged four people.
The Conservation Internship is primarily focused on helping the RSPB staff with their weekly programmes of work on each reserve. This includes habitat management and maintenance work around the reserve, along with the collection and collation of avian and non-avian survey data, participation in stock management and monthly hydrology surveys. I would also be responsible for organising and representing the RSPB at local and regional events.
More to follow next week......
You may remember that over the week Monday 7 to Sunday 13 February 2011, I asked you to recycle your old mobile phones in an attempt to help us beat a world record, and raise money for our conservation work.
Well, as always, you rose to the challenge and I’m delighted to tell you that we smashed the world record, beating our own target in the process. The week saw a whopping 6,130 mobiles donated, many more than the old record of 3,883.
Doug Christie, Licensing Manager, said "This was a tough challenge and we are delighted with the magnificent response. Not only have we managed to set a new World Record, but we have raised £5,214 to help fund our conservation work. This is a wonderful effort by all who took part and we are extremely grateful."
While the World Record Challenge is now over, the Recycling Appeal continues and donations of mobile phones, inkjet cartridges, digital cameras, sat navs, iPods and game consoles are accepted. For more information visit the website www.recyclingappeal.com/rspb or phone 08451 30 20 10.
Perhaps next year we'll try to break our own record!