Not quite the nursery rhyme, there are no bells, no rows of pretty maids, and this is for terns not the garden.
Following on from Adam's blog on Saturday, once again we are on the tern islands, getting them ready for the return of the common terns. We have finished weeding the islands and now are repairing the winter damage, and adding improvements that should make it much easier to observe the birds from Saltholme pools hide, as well as making it a very attractive nesting place. On the western side that gets the winter storm damage we have reinforced the defences with timber and rubble. That means collecting stones and bricks from the reserve, taking them to Satholme pool and then getting them to the island in the boat. That is a lot of lifting into and out of the boat, and pulling on ropes to get the boat to the island - hard work for the volunteers, but made better by the wonderful weather and just a little world record hot cross bun.
To improve the islands for human visitors (so that you can see what's going on on there) we are raising the centre with old pallets, covering these with landscape fabric, then with lots, and I mean lots, of cockle shells - all carried in our trusty boat. As the side facing the hide gets less storm damage we have lowered the wooden barrier to give an even better view of the birds.
At the end of the day we take all the tools and the boat back to the workshop which is what Dan, our new residential volunteer, is doing in the photo. Of course we did take the other workers off the island before I towed the boat away - but we will all be back soon to finish the job on this and the other islands.
A wonderful sunny day, the snow on the Cleveland Hills in the background, and lots of work done.