I am Ellie Kent and it’s my first season here as the Osprey Watch Assistant at Kielder. I’ll be the first to admit I have a great job and everything has kicked off to a cracking start! Even the weather and the midges have been on their best behaviour (don’t worry- I have been warned this won’t last).
Not only do I get to spend all day outside in the sunshine (most days) watching oyster catchers, chaffinches and swallows skipping around Kielder Waterside, but I get to meet people from all over the country and the world as well.
I get to work with a fantastic group of volunteers who have given me an encyclopaedia of osprey knowledge and facts, handy Osprey Watch tips (such as how not to break the cupboard locks…) and the odd biscuit and coffee to keep my tummy and hands warm – even though I swear it has been sunny.
And not to mention the 4 entertaining osprey pairs (soon to be parents), which I can watch all day in the cosy cabin, newly furnished with fancy bench cushions.
Of course, being the ‘newbie’ something ridiculous had to happen. It turned out that ‘handy Osprey Watch tips’ from the volunteers didn’t necessarily nestle in my brain and a cupboard lock was accidentally broken, meaning we lost access to the necessary equipment.
There is no problem that a litter picker and a little motivation (biscuits) can’t solve. I don’t want to say I saved the day, but if that bag hadn’t been there to hold up the lid I could have easily lost an arm…
All in all I have had a great introduction to my new job and a wonderful start to the 2018 season of Osprey Watch. The visitors are happy, the ospreys are laying eggs, the volunteers are spreading wisdom and I’m in a cupboard eating biscuits.
We have visitors who journey over land and sea to see us, visitors who have stumbled across us after a lunch at the pub, real wildlife wise-guys and eager nature novices. We welcome all at Osprey Watch and we’d love you to come visit this season.