The guys at Frampton have kept me very busy of late - so busy that I haven't written a blog in ages! I've been given a broad spectrum of jobs to keep me occupied and I've also been given my independence; when Graham the Warden was away for a week.
In the last few weeks I've cleared our wet grassland trail of evil-looking (and feeling!) thorns with hedge clippers. I've laid out an electric fence (without being shocked!) to keep cows grazing on teh right parts of the reserve. I've planted a tree, fixed a fence, repaired a damaged road sign and oiled the sliding shutters to the Visitor Centre!
I've been really surprised by the broad spectrum of skills that an RSPB Warden needs to have in his or her arsenal, and the wonderful variety of daily tasks has made me even more determined to hopefully one day turn my volunteering into a career with the RSPB.
Freiton Shore by Andy Hay
I've also spent a fair bit of time at our sister reserve of RSPB Freiston Shore. When helping Graham segregate seed-planting areas, I was very surprised by the sheer acreage of RSPB land at Freiston, - there really is much more to the reserve than meets the eye!
I also got to see Freiston's brilliant 'Living Classroom', complete with dipping trays full of mini beasts & fantastic children's paintings.
Over the past few weeks I've also got into the habit of spending an hour or two on the reserve before I start work. I tend to arrive at about 6.30am, and Frampton really is a magical place at this time of the morning.
This week was the first time that I'd seen a marsh harrier at Frampton. Just as I got out of the car, coffee and breakfast in hand, a young male soared effortlessly over my head. Little moments like that make me feel really privileged to be able to spend time in such a beautiful natural environment.
Marsh Harrier by Neil Smith
I've had one other special moment at Frampton this month, and even though Graham said I shouldn't tell anyone (as it's a wee bit cheesy), I'm going to anyway: I was wearing my RSPB sweatshirt and driving our trusty RSPB liveried truck around the reserve when a young family waved at me, and I waved back.
At that point I thought: "I'm the RSPB man!" I suddenly realised that a boyhood dream had been fulfilled, that the 10 year old me had dreamt of doing this one day and here I was, doing it.
If you've ever thought that you might like to be the 'RSPB man' (or lady, of course!) I thoroughly recommend volunteering at your nearest reserve, it really is a great way to spend your time.
See you in the hide