Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Fleur: Puppies, People and More Orcas Arrive
So it has fallen to me again to do this week’s blog. This is a good thing as plenty has been going on this week! We have had several new arrivals in the form of staff and puppies. Other events this week include more Orca sightings, a Sunday Boat Trip, Goose ringing and, yes, you guessed it, potato and tree weeding!!
But first to our new additions at the Obs - Catriona is back with us again (which I am very thankful for!) and helping out in the kitchen and keeping everything ship shape. She is doing an excellent job and has produced some amazing home-made and hand decorated biscuits – much to the delight of the boys, who, if anything, seem to have an increased appetite at the moment. Especially for anything sweet! Also new to the team is Beth, Rick’s sister. Beth is joining us for a month as a volunteer and has already been drafted into the exciting world of potato weeding. She has also been sharing various anecdotes and stories about her older brother – much to his delight! Our other new member is Alex - Kevin’s (exceptionally tall) nephew. He has been with us for only a few days and already has made himself indispensible.
And finally, our other new additions! Rhianey the Obs dog has had puppies!! 7 beautiful Collie cross Springer Spaniels. Sadly we have lost two of them but the other five are bouncing beautiful pups – not unlike they boys here, they also seem to have an insatiable appetites. Poor Rhianey can’t go very far without the pups squealing for her. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that 4 out of 5 of the pups are boys!!
We have had another two sightings of the Orcas this week. Sunday saw them in Nouster Bay and then moving around to the Links. We also sighted them on Friday in the distance just off the west side of the island. I’m still getting used to the fact that we can see killer whales from the kitchen window!
The big event for me this week was the Sunday boat trip. This was my first experience of ‘day trippers’ coming over to the island and I am pleased to say that I think it went without a hitch. Alison was away from the island so Catriona and I tackled the cooking side of things, while the wonderful Louis, Beth, Gavin and Heather dealt with the running around and serving the customers. It also saw the start of our Sunday day trip Wildlife Tours. This is a free tour of the area surrounding the Obs with one of the assistant wardens looking at the indigenous species of flowers, insects, animals and of course, birds! We also include ringing demonstrations in the tour. This week saw Mark take the tour and by all accounts it was enjoyed by all. Guests staying at the Ob’s can also arrange to join the boys when they go ringing – even if it’s not a Sunday!
The boys have also been putting the crow trap to good use this week with many gulls and starlings being caught and ringed. They have also been out trying to catch and ring Geese at Hooking, with about 30 being ringed.
And of course it wouldn’t be a very good blog if I didn’t mention the potatoes. I am not sure what has happened but some members of staff seemed to have developed a slight obsession with weeding the potatoes and trees. Even poor Beth has been dragged into it and I have a feeling it won’t be long before Alex is recruited. But, for all of you that are concerned, both trees and potatoes are doing fine!