Cement, chicks and castles.

Since my last post I feel like I haven’t had chance to catch my breathe! It’s been a full on week or so, but I have enjoyed every minute! I mean, you only live once, why live in the slow lane??

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After my post last week I arranged an Easter Egg hunt for all of the volunteers which was exciting. Although, I think I was probably more excited than them! It was very hot and so they had to do it super quickly so the treats didn’t melt! That afternoon was spent making anchors for some marine based work coming up. We had to make wheelbarrow loads of concrete to fill tires. It was my first time making concrete, but I was pretty chuffed! No electric mixer, just brute strength and a good mixing technique (I tried to copy my Nana’s chocolate cake batter-mixing technique). I’ll have to show my Grandpa the photos when I get home, as a retired builder and plumber I imagine he will be chuffed!!!

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We had a new arrival in the glorious form of Robyn (but we call her Bob, so as not so confuse her with Robbo). We picked her up from the border after a quick scan of the west coast for stranded turtles. Sleepy house was the most full it has been this season, with a total of 6 volunteers!

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A new experience for me was leading my first bird ringing session as ringer in charge. Unfortunately it was a slow morning, but we caught some house sparrows, cetti’s warbler and a beautiful male blackcap. That evening we had an amazing BBQ. Lamb burgers, beef meatballs, salad and plenty of helumi! It was all washed down with an ice cold Efes!

It was Fran’s last day this week and so us Kuskor lot decided to go to Kantara Castle to do some birding and sightseeing. The views up there were absolutely breath-taking. Probably some of the best I have seen. We could see right out to the Karpaz and all along the mountain ridge stretching across the north. We saw a raven, swifts, blue rock thrush and plenty of great tits.

This weekend was spent on the Karpaz peninsula. On the way there we had to make a pit stop so I could ring a rescued kestrel and release it. It was a gorgeous male, quite calm and in good health. He had been well looked after. We took him to a nearby field to release him and enjoyed watching him speed off into the horizon. Most sights are nice when there is sunshine and blue skies, never mind when there is a gorgeous kestrel too! Anyway…The whole team went up to Karpaz for fisheries work and breeding bird surveys. We got so much done, it was amazing! We saw our first Roller of the year which was probably my highlight so far! We also saw several types of wheatear which was brilliant, I always think they look quite elegant. Me, Tom and Bob went for a meal so Tom could try a meze before he left. We were there for a few hours and chatted lots. I love evenings like that, where the conversation flows and you don’t know how it got so late so quickly! It was nice to have a weekend of adventure, the Karpaz is a gorgeous part of Cyprus. It is speckled with amazing beaches made up of caramel coloured dunes, wild donkeys roaming for food and unique villages full of fishermen.

The weekend was long and exciting, but Monday came and we had to say goodbye to Tom. I can’t quite believe how quick the time has gone, we’ve had such a nice time with him in the team. I said goodbye to him at Sleepy, but me and Bob had a busy day ahead. We had to give our first ever bird guide to a lovely man called Gerard. We took him to see various spots around Lefkosa and Famagusta. He saw 13 new species which was brilliant. I think my highlights for the trip were a spotted redshank in summer plumage and a great spotted cuckoo.

Briefly we were down to 4 in sleepy house, just me, Sav, Rupert and Bob. But… this morning I found a house sparrow chick hanging out of his nest, very cold and in a bad way. I am now a mother to a gorgeous chick, who never stops tweeting and loves a tasty ant or earwig. And now, sleepy house has 5 members again. He is called Freddy Benjamin Attenborough and is a little love. Anyway… on that note, I’ll have to leave this entry so I can go on the hunt for more grubs for my little one. Maybe then I’ll get some peace and quiet eh?!

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