So the beginning of this week has been a little frustrating for several reasons.
Firstly, after several nights of broken sleep, I am struggling to knuckle down to university work. I am still meeting deadlines and, so far, have not got below 80% for submitted work, but finding the motivation to research molecular techniques and how to conduct post-hoc tests on general linear models is proving difficult. I find myself relating almost everything I read to the birding world these days, and wondering how I could use it to improve the current ornithological world. These sort of ponderings do help confirm my passion for birding, and that I'm following the right career path, but unfortunately that's not going to help me get my 1st class degree in the short term.
Secondly, I have been out lamping with Chris and Hamza twice this week, but we've had no success. We went out at 2am on Tuesday morning to try for some lapwing and golden plover. We went to a site where we had seen 600+ birds regularly, at high tide, over the last few weeks, but astonishingly there was not a single bird in the fields! Although somewhat frustrating, I found this fascinating as an animal behaviourist. The birds were plainly far more reluctant to roost on these fields in the dark than they were in the day. Whether this is because they can't detect predators as easily, or because they prefer a different form of night time roosting habitat, I don't know. I couldn't help constructing several studies in my head to answer the questions though. We also went to a site near Llandudno on Tuesday night (23:30 - 05:30) to try and catch Woodcock, but despite seeing 3 birds, we couldn't catch any.
Finally, Zac, Chris and I went for the Richard's Pipit at the Spinnies today but dipped.
All in all, I'm starting to think the world is conspiring against me to discourage me from birding, and force me to knuckle down to my degree.
Ok world, lesson learnt...Time to hit the books, finish my degree and then pursue a career where I get paid to do the fun stuff!