Work experience with RSPB 2014 – final thoughts

After four fantastic weeks, my work experience with Wez (Site Manager for Langstone & Chichester Harbours) has come to an end. Well… It’s not quite ended, I’ve still got plenty of footage from the camera traps to go through!

I didn’t really know what to expect when I asked about doing work experience back in October 2013, but it’s proven to be a very interesting insight into a side of conservation I’d not really thought much about when considering a career in it. Having done my work experience now however, I would definitely consider a job (or more volunteering!) linked to protecting and monitoring a species – like Little Terns. 

The Little Terns have done well this year, with over 20 fledglings counted on Friday! Hopefully this will be the first of many good years and allow the colony to recover.

I’m looking forward to my next lot of work experience in about a months time. It’ll be with the Hampshire County Council’s Countryside Service and will be much more land management based so will be an interesting comparison.

I joined Wez again today, this time for the Wetland Bird Survey. WeBS counts are something I’ve been meaning to get involved with, so when I was invited to come along I decided this was too good an opportunity to miss.

We did the count(s) as close as possible to high tide, going around each island in turn and counting the species of birds – mainly focusing on wading birds – and numbers of individuals of each species on each island. We also tried to count the number of fledglings so that productivity can be calculated – the number of pairs for each species is already known. I have to admit counting birds (or cows or indeed any animal) isn’t easy especially when you’re faced with large numbers, and trying to count large (at times) numbers of birds from a boat is even harder as it’s not stationary! Still, a good experience and something I’ll get used to the more I do it.  

 

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