Monday, 5 September 2016

Update

It's been a long time since I posted. This is mainly because I enjoy adding pictures to my posts, but due to lack of access to laptops, lack of editing software and lack of time, I haven't had a chance to prepare any. I've finally come to the realisation that I'm just not going to get round to it or updating this blog properly, so I thought I'd just go for a text based update instead.

Since my last blog (November 2015) I completed my contract studying cuckoos in Brisbane (January 2016) and then spent 2 weeks travelling with 5 colleagues in Tasmania. This was incredible and I'd highly recommend the island to anyone who enjoys wild spaces. The wildlife and lack of human habitation was awe inspiring. It was also brilliant travelling with such a nature orientated group of friends because between the 6 of us we spotted some pretty amazing species.

After this I spent a week in Melbourne, followed by a week birding around Perth with my ringing trainer Steve Dodd. The two of us then flew up to Broome to join 28 others on the 3 week long NW Australia Wader and Tern expedition. Excellent blog posts about this expedition can be found on Josie Hewitt's blog, with far better pictures than I managed to get:
 After the expedition I returned home, making the most of the leap year by having a 29th February that lasted 32 hours, due to the time difference. March was spent visiting friends and family and readjusting to life in the UK. The contrast between Aus and the UK extends much further than just the climate. It's quite stark to see how densely crowded and man-made the landscape is compared to most of Australia.

On the 9th April I returned to Skomer for another season as a seabird fieldworker for the JNCC/Gloucestershire University. This being my 3rd season, I felt very much at home and it was good to see lots of the study birds back and breeding well. Look out for the Skomer Seabird Report in the new year to see how the season went. I was joined for most of the season by my boyfriend Alastair Wilson, now back from working for the British Antarctic Survey on Bird Island, South Georgia. Overall I had a very enjoyable season and will sincerely miss the island and all the other wonderful staff that work there.

During the season I received my A permit (ringing) specific to Seabirds and Waders, and am now a cannon net trainee.

Straight after Skomer (15th August) I headed to The Wash for a week cannon netting waders on the Lincolnshire coast, working in conjunction with another team on the Norfolk coast, as part of the ongoing data collection and research done by the Wash Wader Ringing Group.

The next few weeks will be split between Ireland for the International Wader Study Group conference, another week at The Wash and visiting friends and family, before flying to New Zealand on 11th October.

Alastair and I have been lucky enough to be offered a job together monitoring Black-fronted Terns on South Island, and then helping with a relocation project of Chatham Island Albatrosses. We should get a month or so to do some travelling too. All being well we will return to the UK in late March 2017.

2 comments:

  1. Working through the envy of your apparent charmed life I also wonder - does Aus not have any ornithological fieldworkers? Most people I know manage to shoehorn themselves into a job down-under. To late for me, I'll just have to hold the fort here and look forward to my Stormie ringing next year. Bob.

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    1. It certainly has a lack of ornithological researchers. My boss on the cuckoo job was the only Australian working on the site out of a crew of 14. Most were American.
      I think it's a growing sector, but it certainly isn't as big out there as it is here.

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