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Winter Robin

Time, Business & Mental Health

The only advantage of being unemployed for four months in the year, is that I've got time to develop myself and finally start my own business. My choice to start this business was one made out of self pride, as I could well have signed on and claimed off the government, but I've been there before and during in that low period in my life, I found it extremely damaging to my mental health. Weekly visits to the Job Centre, being sent to interviews that had no relevance to me was really hard. I once attended an interview with only a nights notice from Job Seekers, only to find out during the interviewing process that the position was for a financial manager. I've had no experience in anything financial at the time, I didn't even have my GCSE Maths! Yet Job Seekers sent me on that interview, for the sake of ticking a few boxes on a sheet of paper. Never again. 

Anyway, I just wanted to point out the importance of mental health issues and if you think you're experiencing some of your own, seek help. It's far more important than a few numbers in the bank account as this stays with you your entire life. 

Gavin Vella Naturalist

For now, the business is going to run under 'Gavin Vella Naturalist'. While i'll be selling physical products like Photography and Sound Recording, I'll also be offering my services for all sorts of training, from Wildlife ID, Bird/Song ID, Photography, Sound Recording and general wildlife guide tours. 
I've already started training, my first session being for GWT which was an introductory course into Sound Recording. Getting that first one out of the way has really helped build my confidence and the feedback I got was also really helpful. 

Keep an eye on this space, I'll be making my prices available soon and my one off signed prints will be located HERE once I've sorted the stock.

For now I'll leave you with some Winter wonderland pictures from south sebastopo's stretch of the brecon & mon Canal. 

Road Trip

A hunt for Red Squirrels saw an early start of 3am this morning to get to North Wales for sun rise. The day didn't quite go to plan with a number of challenges, number 1 of which was Dog Walkers. I returned to the same woodland that brought me success last year but this time, on a weekend instead of a week day, which turned out to be a big mistake. Either way, the scenery in North Wales was spectacular and well worth the travel. In our time there we were entertained by the bubbling sounds of Curlew overhead, the whistling echoes of Wigeon and the scratching bark of  Nuthatches frantically stealing all the nuts we brought with us. 

Never a rainy day for a Robin

Is there anything that will stop a Robin from singing? Not even the darkness of night these days is enough to silence Britain's National Bird. 

I'm sure you're familiar with this winter song 

Winter Robin Song

Winter Robin Song

Finally got around to recording the Winter Robin Song! Not ideal recording conditions with all this wind and rain but I just about managed to get some clear isolated recordings while hiding out of the wind beneath some thick bushes. You'll hear plenty of other Robins singing in the background back and forth this guy so I was spoiled with choice a bit. In the last section when the wind picks up, you'll also hear that this Robin has mimicked a couple phrases from either a Blue Tit or Great Tit. 

Winter Robin

Do you like Robin's? Well, the fact that Uk voters chose the Robin as their national bird suggests that people do indeed like Robins, and even though the reasons behind the votes are mainly down to the fact that a Robin is 1. easy to identify, 2. Very common and 3. Very tame, I think there is generally more to it than that. I mean, look closely at these stunning little birds and their lives are truly incredible. The amount of effort that a single Robin has to put into keeping a winter territory is outstanding and they do this while temperatures plummet.. which is more than what others can achieve. I personally love the fact that Robins continue to sing throughout winter in the Uk and to get up close and personal today was a treat. 

Another common species on the bird table is our vibrant Great Tit. Yet another underrated species with really high intelligence and extensive vocalisations.