Ramsey Island 2019 – Week 2

Now at the end of my second week on the Island, I’m now fully settled into the life and routines. It’s still sinking in that I’m here for three months and at this point in my usual stays on the island, I would already have headed home (something I’m trying very hard not to think too much about yet – the thought is already quite painful!).

The change of week brought a change in short-term volunteers, with John, an old hand on the Island, leaving and Sylvia, a first time volunteer at Ramsey, arriving. I spent some time showing her the ropes (not literally) and on her first full day she got straight into action.

This week was the usual mix of boats, bird surveys and practical tasks. We had boats for five of the seven days and we had some lovely weather to make the visitors particularly happy. We spent a couple of days redecorating one of the bedrooms in the Bungalow after it was repaired following a leaky roof over the course of the winter. I quite like painting and it kept us out of the the wind for a few hours each day.

On the wildlife front, I did the first of several breeding bird survey visits to the north-west of the island, and I’ll do some more over coming weeks. I also did a chough transect around the central and southern part of the island, noting all the chough seen feeding or flying.

I also had my first day off the island since I arrived. I normally don’t bother leaving the island when I’m only here for two weeks and usually don’t want to. However, this time, after just under two weeks, I was really looking forward to the day off, to do some shopping and, more importantly, have fish & chips in Portgain and an ice cream in St. David’s.

Time seems to be moving very quickly and I can’t believe that I’m already at the end of my second week. The routine of each day seems to make the time fly and I want to get up earlier to make more of the time here. I want to do more reading but the evenings don’t seem long enough, especially as I’m trying to do more proper cooking and I’m going for runs most days. As for the cooking, I’ve started making my own bread now and made my first batch of rolls, which turned out quite well and I’m trying to be more imaginative with my food – three months of my usual island food would get pretty boring.

My main thought from this week has been that life is so much simpler on the island without many of the normal trappings of modern urban life and being outside much of the time; conversations often focus on the weather, food, wildlife and the scenery, and particularly at present the temperature of the Bungalow at night! Yes, I do have access to the internet and a smart phone, but the day-to-day here is more basic and more in tune with the natural world. This isn’t really related to staying on a nature reserve, it is much more to do with the simpler way of living that we have here.

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