Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Long time no post!

Well it's been a pretty long time hasn't it? Apologies for the total lack of blogging for however many months...I have been away for much of the summer, where either a lack of internet, time or laptops has resulted in a distinct absence of blog posts here for quite some time.

Although I will get around to writing some full accounts of the places I've been and things I've seen, for now I'll just try to sum up my summer in a few sentences...back in early June, after returning to Bardsey for a week or so prior to university exams, I headed off on a family holiday to Scotland. We decided to set up camp on the delightful isles of Coll and Tiree, where we were surrounded by singing Corncrakes, quartering Hen Harriers, buzzing Snipe and piping Lapwings for a couple of weeks. I was then off to eastern Europe for the rest of the summer, working on an expedition by Operation Wallacea in the heart of Romania's stunning Transylvanian landscape. Here I would spend seven weeks running one of many different biodiversity surveys that is encompassed within the expedition: bird ringing. I took groups of students out every day to trap and ring a diverse range of bird species - showing and explaining how and why we use this technique to study bird populations, whilst at the same time trying to gain a better understanding of any changes going on within the area. I was able to join on other surveys whilst out there, from butterfly transects in lush meadows to looking for bats roosting in Saxon churches. The abundance of wildlife in a landscape so heavily maintained by traditional farming practices was breathtaking - lots more to come!

For now, a few images...

A typical Romanian scene - the village Malancrav in the Tarnavu Mare

A highlight of the trip: Brown Bear and cubs!


Romanian meadow

Yellow-bellied Toad

Cuckoo chick being fed by Marsh Warbler

Cows on their way out to pasture

White Storks in nest

Wild boar skull

Me with Hawfinch, and a highlight from the ringing side of things: Bee-eater!

Daia church spire at night

Aesculapian Snake

Convolvulus Hawkmoth