Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 - What A Year!

How can I sum up my 2011?  It's been an amazing year, so much has happened that it's hard to think of it as only a single year! From starting the year off working for The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in South Wales to ending it back in Scotland, studying for an Ecology degree. To summarise my year here are a 'few' photos...!

Peanuts the Water Rail. It took me a long long time to convince this fella to  investigate the potter trap.
Spring saw me cannon netting on a rubbish dump (an interesting experience), where I met Chris & Zac for the first time. I also started nest recording for the BTO, finding my first Whitethroat nest.

Whitethroat nest

Great Black-backed Gull from the day I met Chris & Zac on a rubbish dump!

Great Tit pulli

Summer was a hectic time, making two trips to help ring the seabird colonies on Puffin Island where I met Kane, helping out at my first CES, attending the Abbotsbury and Llangorse round-ups, being introduced to a whole new world of ringing and of course starting this blog!

My first ever Coot

Abbotsbury Mute Swan round-up

My first experience of ringing adult Black-headed gulls

A very colourful highlight of the summer

Getting down n' dirty for the Llangorse Canada goose round-up

My first Puffin, Puffin Island

Reed Warbler nest

The UK's first controlled Portuguese Sand Martin

Knot from The Wash which was both my 1,000 ringed bird and 60th species.

Autumn was a time for change as I left Wales, volunteered at Slimbridge and then moved back to Scotland to start my university degree course.

A great homecoming to Scotland was catching both a male & female Sparrowhawk  together.

I also took up a new hobby of ring reading

In winter I went to my first ringer's conference up in Aviemore, shortly followed by my second at Swanwick, the Coot project was extended into Scotland, I was taught the fine art of gull catching and ringed my favourite bird to date - a stunning male Goosander.

The first Scottish recruit

The day we ringed 50 Cangos

One weekend we decided to visit Ciaran on The Farnes.

My beloved Goosander.
 I loved every minute of 2011, met some fantastic people, helped out on a few ringing projects and advanced so much in my ringing. I wouldn't have enjoyed 2011 if it weren't for some amazing people: Heather Coats, Chris Bridge, Steve Dodd, Geoff Sheppard, Jean Southall and Kane Brides - I thank you all so much.

Plans for 2012.....more nest recording, start my own ringing project and have some more adventures!

Happy New Year!!!

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