From a rock to a soft place

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Well this is the end of my last working day at the Reserve Manager of the Isle of May NNR. I am leaving to go back to working at Flanders Moss NNR, a large peatland in the Forth valley.  I have been lucky enough to spend 4 years as the reserve manager and also a season as the assistant and it has been one of the best experiences of my life . It has been a pleasure to work with the great bunch of people that are connected to the island, from a number of different organisations and businesses, and also volunteers. They all work very hard together as a team regardless of who they work for but always for the benefit of the island.

And what a place to live and work, surrounded by the North Sea and a densely packed landscape of wildlife. I have had many memorable experiences and seen fantastic things such as, goggled a pack of sperm whales, lived with an island full of puffins, saw common dolphins under the boat, watched guillemot chicks jumping off ledges, listened to the first airing of a Karine Polwart song about the island, counted a multitude of tern chicks, found pufflings in the kitchen, swum with razorbills, laid down a backing track in the South Horn, held a little auk, heard a manx shearwater, photographed a bridled tern, talked on live TV and joked with Bill Murray.  There have also been a few dramas and stresses but nothing that spoiled a whole day. Not bad really.

So I move onto bigger (in area) and wetter things, being further up the Forth I will still be connected to the island by water, just upstream a bit. I am passing the job on to good hands, a seabird islander of considerable experience who will introduce himself as soon as he gets his feet under the desk. And of course Bex will be there for another year as well.

So many thanks for reading the blog over the years and I hope you will continue to enjoy the island both physically by visiting it and virtually if you can’t get out there. Here is a taster from the last four years.
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