St. Agnes

I’ve been spending a few days on St. Agnes, sorting out a couple of MSc students, Anna and Lucy who arrived on Monday. After the storm on Saturday which managed to ground the undergraduates, I have to confess I was a little nervous about the impression the Isles of Scilly might make on them.

As it happened, it looked like this:

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Well, that’s the Scillies for you!

After getting them set up on the campsite, the real work began. Lucy and Anna are carrying out very similar work to my study last year, but around St Agnes. This allows us to fill in some areas on our maps of rafting behaviour that I couldn’t observe from St Mary’s, but knew rafts formed. So on Monday afternoon we began to work out patrols around the perimeter of the island and decide on appropriate observation points on those patrol routes.

Then we had a barbecue. It’s tough in the field sometimes!

I stayed with my friend Bob, who I first met staying in the Woolpack in my first year of fieldwork, working on land-bird surveys. I believe he was supposed to stay for 6 months, but the Isles do have a habit of grabbing people.

The next day was once again stupidly sunny, but we couldn’t stop to enjoy it. There was more island to be walked and methodology to be learned. And I spotted our first rafts of the season, which Anna and Lucy proceeded to practice observing.

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With some help..

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Guys! Guys! Hey guys! Whaddya looking at?

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Oooo, birds.

I returned to St Mary’s today and tomorrow must continue my own fieldwork. Though there was a brief reality check this morning, with some standard Scillies wind and drizzle, the sun came out again this afternoon. If this continues, I’m going to need a stronger sunscreen!

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