Back into the swing of things

Well, it’s now my third whole day back on Ramsey Island and the time seems to be going very fast (as usual). Steve (the other short term volunteer on at the same time as me) and I were brought across the Sound by jet boat on Saturday as it was too rough for the normal passenger boat (Gower Ranger). After catching up with the wardens (Greg and Lisa) and the long term intern (Sarah), we unpacked and settled back into island life.

We were immediately put to work and each did a chough watch. Essentially, this entailed me lying in the sun for an hour at the top of the cliffs (it’s a tough life here!) looking across towards a chough nest and recording what activity I saw.  The choughs will most likely have chicks in the nests now and it seemed to be the case where I was watching with the parents going in and out several times over the hour. I then went for a wander and reacquainted myself with the island – not that it takes a lot of reacquaintance as this is my seventh stay in six years.

On the first full day, the Gower Ranger was running again and we had the usual 10am and 12pm arrivals with 21 visitors in total. After helping them get onto the island and serving in the little shop until the visitors went on their ways around the island, most of us went down to the south. We spent the afternoon clearing the paths up the little, but steep, hill of Foel Fawr.  We then had to be back at the shop for the 45 minutes before the Gower Ranger picked up the visitors at 4pm.  In the evening, I had a wander around the north of the island and went to the sea watching hide but being an idiot I forgot my binoculars so couldn’t really see much.

Unlike the first day when the weather was lovely, yesterday was pretty awful and it hasn’t got much better today. Yesterday was quiet with no visitors but we spent some time in the workshop making Manx Shearwater nest boxes. It’s unusual for me to actually make something – I seem to spend much of my volunteering either sitting down watching things or chopping stuff down and setting fire to it! Well, after some initial guidance, I made ten boxes altogether and none have fallen apart yet!

Yesterday evening was the annual Wardens Dinner; the now traditional highlight of the island’s social calendar when Steve cooks the wardens (and other hangers on) a great feast, all accompanied by his usual great choice of wines. The evening also turned into an awards night as Steve was presented with his 15 year long service award for volunteering – I’ve got some catching up to do! This morning is a little fuzzy.

I’ve written this sitting in the shelter of the Bunglow as it’s pretty awful outside and there are no visitors. Hopefully, the weather will improve and we’ll be out and about this afternoon.

Unfortunately my laptop has stopped working but I can still blog using my phone, so hopefully there will be a few more posts over the next two weeks.

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