April 4, 2017

Lundy field course 2016

An early start on a Monday, - 3am. That was painful, but most people slept on the bus. Arriving on the heliport, the weather was brilliant, - blue skies and the views of Lundy on the horizon inviting. 

24 students and Julia spend five sunny days on Lundy island, learning the ropes of ornithological fieldwork including mark-recapture, mist netting, watching sparrows (and other birds), reading color rings and spotting individuals, observing dominance behaviour, analysing parental care and trying to estimate sparrow population size. Prizes were won for "Lundy eagle eyes" - for the most correctly resighted individuals, for "Stamina and endurance" for collecting most behavioural data, for the "Top Twitcher", "ticking" most bird species, and of course, the "Field Biologist Award".

Days were spend catching and ringing birds from before sunrise, to behavioural observations and data analysis in front of the fire place. On the last evening, students gave presentations on their findings. These talks were open to the public and they went very well. 

We had a great week, and it was a bit sad to fly back on on Friday with the helicopter, to a mainland under grey clouds. Looking forward to the next trip!

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