After a great night out on Friday (31st) to celebrate getting the Skomer job, Saturday was a day for catching up on odd jobs and then getting my weekly climbing session in with Adrienne Stratford. We've both improved a lot since we became climbing partners in late December. I can now comfortably lead 5c routes and have even managed 2 6a routes too. Not bad considering 1 1/2 months ago I struggled with 4c routes. (Apologies to non-climbers, that probably made no sense!).
Sunday was a beautifully sunny day so Zac, Conor, Hamza and myself went for a lovely birding walk around the Bangor area. This resulted in 74 BirdTrack records, of 42 species and 4 complete lists. Highlights of the day were 4 Goosander at close range, a great tree climb, much birding banter and 20 more UBC records.
Monday was a day trip to John Moores Uni to help Kelvin Jones give a BTO talk to some of the 2nd year biological students, my first external trip as BTO Student Ambassador. I found the talk fascinating, and at least a few of the students seemed quite responsive to the idea of volunteering with the BTO. Hopefully by educating them now, some of them will come back to volunteer with us in the future. It was also good fun seeing what (at least part of) Kelvin's Development Coordinator role involves. There's such a diversity of roles within the BTO, and it was nice to see this side of the organisation, rather than my standard ringing / surveying involvement.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday have all been uni work days. I have managed to sneak in some birding along the way, and have added another 19 records to UBC BirdTrack. Zac and I are keeping the record / species rate high and are hoping to win these two categories this year! Also had another good climbing session and am really making physical and mental progress now...it's a shame I won't be able to climb with Adrienne once I get on Skomer :-(
The weekend (plus Friday) is going to be another busy one, with a blood donation, lectures, driving to Chris' on Friday and then over to mine on Saturday night to take my first load of luggage back home (starting the moving out process). Then I'll drop Chris at his Bardsey interview on Sunday before spending the day with my parents and then back to Bangor! Lets hope the wind and rain don't stop me!