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Here we Go!

February 26, 2013

Greetings from all of us, the new Skills for the Future trainees for 2013.

Keen as mustard! From left to right: Kerrie, Megan, Amy, Tom, Sally, Emma, Charlie and Claire

Keen as mustard! From left to right: Kerrie, Megan, Amy, Tom, Sally, Emma, Charlie and Claire

You’ll be seeing us cropping up all over the county, from Portland to Poole, Kingcombe to Kimmeridge and all sites inbetween. If you want to get involved or just find out more about what we’re getting up to, follow our blog and we’ll keep you informed and entertained.

Our first enlightening insight comes from the magical Brownsea Island..  Read on for all the news!

On Thursday 21st February 2013 we arrived on Brownsea Island armed with sleeping bags, pizza and Steve (our brave and fearless leader!) ready for some serious bird watching…. or so we were told!

Trust us, there are 8 trainees here. Can you find us all?

Trust us, there are 8 trainees here. Can you find us all?

With a brisk walk to the Villa we dumped our stuff and headed out to see the Bat cave with our licensed batman, Steve, who took a first look to check we wouldn’t disturb anything. There were no bats at home so we could go in and see some lovely creepy crawlies!

Cave Spider - despite its dark home this resident is surprisingly colourful

Cave Spider – despite its dark home this resident is surprisingly colourful

After a lovely sunset but numb faces and toes we headed back to the Villa for a well deserved pizza feast!

Who needs tables when you have logs - this is what we call fine dining!

Who needs tables when you have logs – this is what we call fine dining!

After a good nights sleep in the Villa’s cosy accommodation, we had breakfast with Brownsea’s star residents….. the red squirrels!

Now that is what I call a balanced diet!

Now that is what I call a balanced diet!

We then set off on our main mission of the day: “bird watching” in the Macdonald Hide overlooking the famous Brownsea Lagoon. We were supremely confident, particularly as we had the guidance of not just Steve, but also the legendary Chris (Reserve Manager).

Unfortunately conditions weren’t favourable! With half the lagoon being frozen it wasn’t surprising that not many of the birds hung around for long. It was hard work finding birds, but Chris regaled us with stories of what should have been there and tested us all in our counting skills on a flock of Avocet huddled on the far bank. Results were varied, and it’s probably best to leave it there as it’s still early days and we haven’t done bird counting in our training yet! 🙂  Despite the cold wind, and the lack of many birds we maintained our enthusiasm:

Hide and seek. 1,2,3,4,5,6.....

Hide and seek. 1,2,3,4,5,6…..

Although initially we didn’t have much luck, we eventually saw avocet, grey plover, turnstone, teal, wigeon, shelduck, shoveler duck and redshank.

We would love to hear if you’ve had better luck than we did bird spotting on the lagoon or for that matter anywhere else in Dorset. You can get in touch with us via our Facebook and Twitter accounts or feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading, we will be back again soon 🙂

The Trainees

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 27, 2013 8:20 am

    Good luck to all of you. I love that photo of the squirrel and the tit on the feeder.

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