Thursday, 23 January 2014

Busy Busy Busy

Well both Christmas and New year have passed and I haven't posted in well over a month! I do hope all my regular (and not so regular) readers are well and that 2014 is treating you well so far!!

Due to my absence of late I still have photos from the Christmas period to show you so here are some of them...

Christmas Task with the Monday Volunteer Group!


Wet chalky nose

Lovely goldy munching birch catkins


Hurtling around with his deflated football

My Cousins chasing Bracky - such fun!

Flooded marsh

Bye bye football - Brack was too much of a wus to go and get it. The water was quite deep though!

Looking unimpressed with his Christmas neckerchief on!

Out walking along the Test Way - From Romsey to Mottisfont


LTTs on our friends feeders!

They are lucky enough to have 2 nuthatches visit!

...and cute little coal tits!

Frosty moss

Frosty grass

View out onto the lane

Box Hill

Box Hill

Setting sun from Box Hill


Plane trails and the sun

My Auntie Ruth and Cousin Tom came to stay the first weekend of January and it absolutely poured with rain the whole time. A huge shame because a nice long dog walk would have been perfect. Instead we went into Canterbury and had lunch with my Godmother and then went to Canterbury Cathedral. I hadn't been in since I was quite young, so it was lovely to go into this magnificent cathedral and appreciate it's beauty. So we still had a lovely time :)  
I have now begun my new venture as Volunteer Trainee Water for Wildlife at Kent Wildlife Trust working on the 'Vole Reversal' project. As many people know, our cute little Water Voles are in trouble. With a loss of habitat over the years and additional predation by the invasive, non-native species, the American Mink, some intervention is vital to protect the remaining populations of water voles.

I started my post last Monday and volunteer 3 days a week. I have been planning my training programme, getting to know the other staff and have been out on many site visits. I have already been made to feel like part of the team and it has been interesting to see how funding from various companies is allocated to different projects and how it is managed.

I haven't taken my camera out with me much but when the weather is nicer I will post some relevant photos to the project. I wish I had it last Tuesday though... after we had attended a meeting where Sam talked to local important people about the project, we went down to the marsh and had a fantastic view of a Kingfisher! We also found some water vole droppings which is encouraging. After the tidal surge at Oare Marshes it was uncertain how the water voles had coped, so finding fresh droppings was a very positive sign :)

I love that I am able to spend a considerable amount of time outdoors on the marshes - the best office around in my opinion! 

I'm not really sure how much information I am allowed to disclose about all aspects of the project so won't go into much detail at the moment. Once I have asked what I can and can't say I shall put another post together. I also have some photos from Sevenoaks NR from the weekend so keep an eye out for another post soon!


I'm sure I always apologise for lack of reading others blogs so I will carry on that tradition! When I get some spare time I will try and catch up with you all!

28 comments:

  1. Lets hope the water voles faired well with the deluge though judging from the image of the flooded marsh I have to wonder.. I loved the images from Box Hill and the low down shots of the frosty grass and moss.
    Where's the image at the top of the blog from?

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    1. It is thought that perhaps the wv's were able to sense the deluge and possibly got to higher ground. Surveys in the spring will tell us more. The header is looking across Yellowstone Lake from my trip last May.

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  2. Very pleased to see the coal tits as ours have all skedaddled. Lovely pics of Bracken. I once put a hot pink feather boa on Ted as a collar embellishment- it lasted all of ten minutes and was later discovered shredded behind the sofa. :-)

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    1. They are such cuties! Was a real treat to see them :) We never put any other kind of awful garment on him - just a Christmas treat for the pup! Not sure how it lasted so long really!

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  3. Some great photos there - I particularly love the ones of Bracken and the frosty images :)

    I'm so glad you're enjoying your new job - I can't imagine many things more enjoyable or worthwhile than working on a project to help water voles :) Good to hear too that you found some field signs after all the flooding. I really look forward to hearing more about how you are getting on :)

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    1. Thanks RR :) I really am loving it! Improving career prospects and spending lots of time outdoors walking the marshes! What isn't to love!

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  4. Great catch-up post Lou! Bracken certainly did not look that impressed with his neckerchief on! haha. Loved the frosty shots of the moss and the long tails are incredible! My favourite garden visitor next to the sparrowhawk.
    Glad the job is going well - am looking forward to hearing more about it!
    Tom x

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    1. Thanks Tom :) At least Bracken won't have to wear it for another year. Long tails are so endearing aren't they! x

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  5. Nice to hear for you! Not surprised Bracken looked pissed off about the neckerchief though. Some lovely shots....always happy with frost pics.

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    1. Haha! Yes I felt bad after a while and took it off. There still hasn't been a really thick frost - starting to wonder if one will ever arrive!!

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  6. What a great name for a project 'Vole Reversal'! I hope that it goes well and that you make some great strides for this lovely species.

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    1. A very cleverly name project indeed! Catchy! I hope we make a good impact too :)

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  7. Love the moss pics, it is tricky keeping up with everyone else's blogs! :-)

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    1. Thank you Alan, it is, but I am trying to catch up!

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  8. Some lovely atmospheric photos, Lou. I love pics of Bracken, he really doesn't look impressed with his neckerchief at all! I really hope the water voles have coped OK with the floods.

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    1. Thank you Wendy, I hope they have too - only time will tell.

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  9. A great collection of images-It will be lovely if you can talk more about the water vole project on your blog. Love the frosts and the setting sun. Good to hear you are settling in well.

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    1. Thanks Suzie :) I will hopefully get around to another post soon where I may be able to elaborate a little.

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  10. great photo's Lou and I know how you feel - I've just posted on mine for the first time in 6 weeks. Weather has been awful, not much doing yet down here.. Regards, Simon

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    1. Thank you Simon. Life takes over sometimes doesn't it! I will take a look at your blog in a minute :)

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  11. An interesting post that I enjoyed reading.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  12. Well yes, the weather has been much the same here whilst some people have been sunning themselves in the Canaries. I do hope your project goes well and that your team can reverse the fortunes of water voles. It is going to be so rewarding for you Lou Mary and will I'm sure lead on to many more exciting jobs.

    I look forward to seeing lots of your new but not top secret pictures.

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    1. Thank you Phil! I shall try and get another post done this week!

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  13. Lovely post Lou with great pics, I hope you are well and are continuing to enjoy your volunteer work :-)

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    1. Thanks David. I am well! Hope you are too :)

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    2. It's time to drag out that Camera,great post,hope you had a great Christmas,have a fantastic 2014.
      Love the Dog.
      John.

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    3. Thanks John! I'm just about to post a bit more about the water vole project with a few photos :) I hope 2014 is a fantastic year for you too!

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