2017 catch up

Well, since it's been almost 9 months since my last blog post, I figured it was about time I got round to writing an update... 2017 has so far seen me complete my A Levels via distance learning...an 'interesting' experience, and begin studying BSc Ecology at the University of East Anglia.

In the last few months I have also been trying to broaden my natural history knowledge away from just birds, so I have been doing a lot of moth trapping, started trying to ID hover flies and have also begun delving into the botanical world too... it's slow progress but at least it's a start! Getting much more involved in Pan-species Listing has really helped drive my curiosity and interest in the lesser-known taxa, as every species is equal when it comes to PSL. I would really urge any aspiring naturalist to sign up and start delving into taxa outside of your comfort zone... the sheer variety of wildlife on your doorstep will no doubt amaze you!

Over August and September I was fortunate enough to spend five weeks volunteering with the Bardsey Island Bird Observatory. Throughout my five weeks there I assisted with a wide variety of tasks, from the organised chaos of changeover days, to helping check Manx Shearwater productivity burrows, and co-leading the annual Next Generation Birders week. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and was brilliant to get an insight into the huge array of daily tasks that enable the Bird Observatory's high standards to be maintained. My thanks must go to Steve Stansfield (Warden), Emma Stansfield (Steve's wife), Ephraim Perfect (Assistant Warden), Liam Curson (Assistant Warden) and many others for having me, and for making my time on the Island so memorable.

As part of my Ecology course I am required to keep an Electronic Journal, with a weekly post about a new species I have encountered on campus. This means that there should be many more posts here over the coming weeks and months; I hope to get that off to a start in the next few days, once I've had a chance to spend some more time wandering around the greener areas of the UEA Campus.

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