Today we say goodbye to Becky, our second long term volunteer. The following are her final thoughts about her time here on the Isle of May.
Although I have not been a prolific blogger while on the island, some of you may have seen me running about after ropes, if you visited in the last ten weeks, or policing naughty tern chicks scuttling around on the path. If you have not had the fortune of visiting the island, you may remember my introductory blog: a picture of a person looking confused and uncomfortable in her very clean and brand new SNH wear. Clean is not an honoured condition on the island but it wasn’t long before I looked the part:
I’m now very fond of the smell of bird poo, not because it smells nice exactly, but it is a constant reminder of where I am. When I get home I think I will struggle to sleep without the gulls and puffins calling outside my window. I will have to get used to tractors and cows and sheep again. And, of course, I won’t be by the sea anymore. On the plus side, I will have all the hot water I want! Although, living on the island has taught me how little water I need and I expect I will find it hard to allow myself to run the tap long enough for a proper ‘mainland’ shower.
I have loved my time here on the May, I have never forgotten how privileged I am to be here, it is impossible to forget how privileged one is to be here. The birds remind you every moment and visitors remind you every day. I won’t forget my experience here, so close to wild birds carrying on with their lives, regardless of what’s going on in mine, and I have been allowed to witness and even help on occasion. It has been beautiful.
So, that’s it. Time to go home. If you are visiting the island in the next couple of weeks, please give my regard to the young tern chick on Top Road, if he is still there, and try not to step on him. He is terribly defiant and will shout at people rather than run away. He is currently the youngest chick in the tern colony and marks the end of my time working with the terns. Here’s hoping he will make it all the way to the Antarctic and back again to breed!