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Three Foxes (A Camera Trap Post)

So here is a post based on what the blog is named after, a camera trap in Cornwall. I had a lot of chicken pieces left over from dinner and...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Off On My Travels

Im off travelling again this week. Im going back to Dorset for 2 days, then on to Guildford for 3 days then on to the Forest of Dean in Wales for 5 days. So no posts until then sorry. I will do my best to get some amazing photos, as I always do :). Wales is my home country, North Wales admittedly (Forest of Dean is the South) and I haven't been back in over 4 years. Lets see if I understand any of the old dying language of the Welsh. 
Anyway hope you will all cope without any posts from me but never fear I will be back next month with more adventure and will try and get more camera trapping done. 

Anyway as a gift here is the background of my blog which I created, feel free to use it as a desktop wallpaper. 

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Dorset, Durrell and Deer

This weekend I went to Poole in Dorset to pay my aunty and uncle a visit. The weather stayed sunny with a small shower just before we left. With the good weather we got to visit the New Forest. We saw the ponies that roam here and a herd of deer led by a large stag. I managed to snap him calling too before some walkers startled the herd and they fled into the trees.

A little foal

A calling red deer

At this time of year farmers let there pigs into the forest to forage for acorns which are just starting to fall from the oaks. We saw a small family consisting of a mother sow and 4 piglets standing in the road as if they owned it. 

The piglets in the road
Piglet in the road.
Horses where everywhere in the forest.

We had been told by my aunty that lots of urban foxes live in the area and she gives them the scraps. They supposedly come right up to the car. I was hoping to get some photos. However they stayed a good distance away and I was unable too. On the plus side 2 badgers turned up. I will try again next time I go.
Fungi on a stump

One of my favourite authors, Gerald Durrell, grew up in Bournemouth after his time in Corfu. I wanted to find the house he grew up in and wrote a few of his books. We found the house and saw the garden in which he once kept a deer in before leaving to become a zoo keeper (Durrell left to become a keeper not the deer). The windows at the top re the room in which he did a lot of his writing.


Durrell's old house



Thursday, 22 September 2011

Full Portugal Diary

Ok so its done and dusted, photos as well, my Portugal diary. Its a fun, interesting, strange and hilarious (I hope) account of the adventures and lazy days working on the project. It's an account of each day so as you can imagine some are dull and boring while others are so over the top they don't seem real, but let me tell you all that is in here is the truth with no exaggerations. It is 65 days long so I decided to do it as a page rather than a post. You can find the whole thing here (link)

Can't remember what bird species this is. An owl of some sort? Lots of them lived in barns.  Shed owl or something? Anyone know?

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

An Adventure in Troia

Here is my diary entry for one of the strangest days that we had in Portugal and probably the strangest day in my life. Hope you enjoy and see the funny side like I do.


Day 48 - 13/8/11 - An Adventure in Troia


We went to Setubal as we knew that there was a festival there. We took a look around and found no sign of a festival so asked in the tourist information who told us it was on the peninsula across the bay. This required a ferry and a short walk so off we went. 
As we got off the ferry we asked at what looked like an outdoor living room the way to go. They told us it was about an hours walk and that the other ferry was much closer to the place. So we set off walking.
The ferry had dropped us at Troia, a town/complex with only one road in and out. The whole place looked fake, very clean, modern and white, almost like a film set. It felt like being in the Sims or the Truman show. It was odd but more peculiar things where waiting. 
We walked in the heat, resting in any shade we found and drinking plenty of water. We reached a gate and a guards hut, the entrance to the area and halfway into our walk, exhausted. It didn’t help that we had walked a few km in just flip-flops. The guard said a bus came and went from the other ferry and that we could get a free lift which pleased us. 
We arrived and saw a drinks tent, so, very thirsty we stopped here. A very drunk man, but nice, started talking to us to practice his English. Most of it made no sense probably due to the beer. He looked like he had been drinking for a long time, his eyes where bloodshot, he had foam at the corners of his mouth and was a bit crazy. He also had spittle flying when he talked. Because of this I suggested to Sam he may have rabies and she too as she was now covered in his saliva. 

The festival grounds
We eventually got away from Rabies man and took a look around. There where 3 stalls, the drinks tent, a sweet shop ad a trouser stall. That was all and many boats. People camp here then go out on boats at night. It was very odd and seemed like a refugee camp with happy people who all know each other. Walking here we met Rabies man again for another English lesson.

The main boats
We wanted to go from this odd peninsula. It seemed we were trapped on a strange island. We went back for the bus but it had gone so we had to wait 1/2 hour for the next one to arrive. We decided to get a drink which was when Rabies man came back for yet another conversation. This time it was “confirmed” that he had rabies as he refused water saying he couldn’t drink it. So he had rabies it seems (or just very drunk, one or the other). I kept looking for the bus and could see that Sam was doing the same thing, especially as the man was making even less sense.
To our relief the bus eventually came but rabies guy wanted us to stay. So we said we would just go and ask when the bus was going and he said “O.K” or something about petrol and the earths blood. We just got on the bus and waited for it to leave. I’ve never felt as out of place as I did here.  

The drunk fishermen

Where the bus stopped still left us a 5 minute walk to the ferry. We got here tired and found we had to buy tickets from by where the bus dropped us off. Since by now Sam had a blister I went back for the tickets. They were even further away than we had been told. The ticket place had no information or signs only that I asked a guard where to go was I able to find it. So after a 10 minute extra walk (and a jog as the ferry was now docked) we sailed back to setubal and the real world. 
After docking we were extremely hungry as all we had eaten was candy floss. We didn’t want to eat on the main road as the traffic was heavy and right next to the tables so we walked into the centre. Here we found a nice little restaurant and I had the biggest steak I have ever seen. It was the size of the plate, came with rice and chips and a salad at a cost of only €10. It tasted really good. 

Me and my big steak (notice the chunk already eaten)

After this we had  planned on watching the boats leave the festival at about 9:30pm but our waitress informed us that they didn’t leave until after midnight at the earliest. We decided not to wait. On the way back to the car I took some nighttime street photos then we had tea and cake before coming home for a well earned rest. 

A Setubal street
One of the many dolphin statues





Sunday, 18 September 2011

A Camera Trap Post at Last

As promised here is a camera trap post. I set up the camera last week on what I suspected to be a trail used by one of the local foxes. So this morning in a break in the rain I rushed out to collect my camera and see what was lurking in the trees. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I was expecting One-eye or maybe Rommel but no after all the time it was out I got 3 videos, all of mice. 2 videos only had a small flash of a mouse and one got a decent view. Here is that 1 video. Hopefully the weather will clear so the river will drop in level and I can try trapping there again.


video

Incase you missed it it was in the bottom left corner . Nothing special I admit but at least its something. Until next time...

Friday, 16 September 2011

Update and 3D Images Without the Glasses

I realise there has not been any camera trap updates for a while. Rest assured the camera is in a brand new location, an area I suspect one of our foxes may live. I will collect the camera tomorrow weather permitting. I aimed to put it next to the river but due to all the rain I cannot cross it and don't fancy leaving it near the water especially as more rain is forecast. In the meantime to entertain you here are some images that I found really amazing. They are 3D without the glasses and work pretty well except they may give you a headache after a while. These came from another site with many more (link). Theses are my favourites. 

T-rex



Mussels and rocks, I like this one



A country lane.  I think this one works best




Thursday, 15 September 2011

Funny Science

Here are a few funny science images that I found on the website science humor (Link). Below are a few of my favourite ones. Enjoy :)

Caption in Image "Mother, never let me hear you tell the children that these humans are decedents of ours"





Favourite one: "Evolution, why wont it stop?"







Friday, 9 September 2011

Portugal Diary


I am currently writing up my account on Portugal day by day. Its taking awhile and as such I will upload on here instalments in fortnight chunks.  More will follow as i type it up. Hope you enjoy.


Day 1 - 27/6/11 - Arrival

Today I set off for my adventure in Portugal. The flight from Bristol was delayed by 20 minutes so I met up with Sam and we went for a quick drink. The flight was over quite quick but nether the less by the time we set down at Lisbon it was already dark (22:15).
Waiting at the gate for us was Inês and Ana, who we will be working with the next 2 months. As they drove us to the farm we had a quick overview of the project and our roles.
The cottage is nice inside but too dark to tell from the outside. I have my own room with an en-suite and air conditioning which is handy to have as it’s reading 25oC on my thermometer and its 00:55hrs! There are a lot of spiders in here and I don't know if they are harmful or not, lets hope not.

Day 2 - 28/6/11 - Introduction

After a hot night, which I slept like a log, I unpacked and ate the “emergency ration breakfast” provided to us by Inês and Ana. At 10:30 Ana arrived at the cottage and introduced us to radio tracking which seems straight forward at the moment. We will see if this is the case when it is applied in the field.
We were then driven out to a nest box which had tagged owls in to give us a live demonstration of the tracking equipment in action. The area is very flat and looks a bit like Hopefield in South Africa. There are lots of nice bright butterflies in the fields here.
After this we drove to Porto Alto for lunch which was nice as well as cheap. Next stop was Freeport, the big outlet village, then to the supermarket. We stocked up and I found fanta grape (uva) and Ceres mango juice. Driving around we saw a lot of storks.
We spent the rest of the evening at the cottage listening to Portuguese learning C.D’s, reading and talking. I did a bit of birding seeing a booted eagle and a shrike.

Day 3 - 29/6/11 - Part 1:Baby Owls

After a breakfast with mango juice from Ceres, Inês took us to the military base. A soldier of a high rank (don’t know which) drove us around in a little 4X4 toyota. the area is a big dusty empty area much like the Western Cape of South Africa (but not as nice).
We stopped at a tower which Inês and Sam climbed up to collect 3 young barn owls who where almost ready to fledge. They where really cute! Inês ringed them, weighed and measured and took feathers for D.N.A. I helped Inês return them to the tower and collect a small dead owl.
We moved to another building and did the same again with 3 owls a few days younger (the first 3 were about 50 days old). One had a tutu of baby feathers. I measured the wing of one owl. The next nest we visited had newly hatched owls so we didn't take any data. As we took photos the mother appeared and we promptly left. We are doing night tracking later.

Day 3 - 29/6/11 - Part 2: Radio Tracking

After returning to the cottage , showering and eating we waited for Ana and Inês to arrive. We saw a few hare close to the cottage. The sky at sunset was the lilac purple “desert sky” colour and nice to see again.
So we drove out at dusk to the fields that the barn owls live in. First thing we noticed was how many mossies (mosquitoes) where about. The torch beam was filled with them. While Inês and Ana sorted out the G.P.S Sam and I tested the trackers and seen if we remembered how. We did. I am sure I heard a nightjar and Inês said they are around.
To decide who had the car was a difficult task. In the end it came down to rock, paper, scissors. Me and Inês stayed on foot. We did some simultaneous fixes on the owls locations until almost 02:00hrs. Most owls stayed in the barn as they are still young. However owl 31 was flying for a while. I’m tired now.

Day 4 - 30/6/11 - Hot!

Got a lie in today as we were supposed to collect the car from Lisbon but plans changed and Lisbon is now set for tomorrow with radio tracking again tonight. As we had the whole day free but unable to travel we cleaned the kitchen which was in a terrible mess.
Later we went for a walk and it was very hot but I had learned in the pass to wear my hat. We saw lots of rabbits and some baby ones too. The road we walked was long, straight and dusty with no shade. At the end was a small wooded area which we will hopefully return to when we have the car. After the walk we came back hot and tired, showered and had a rest.
We went out tracking again at dusk with me and Sam having full control of everything in an observed practice run. The owls where mainly on the nest so it was perfect for a test as we knew where they where.  I took my night-vision scope tonight and saw only horses. We did get a big spider, a hairy one with huge fangs, on the flask. We saw a few owls flying around on the way home and finished at 02:30. Car tomorrow.

Day 5 - 1/7/11 - Lisbon Car

Today after another lie in until 11:00 we headed to Lisbon and the SPEA office to sign our agreement forms and sort out our allowance. Lisbon is a big busy place and the part of Lisbon we went to had the odd old building scattered here and there.
SPEA’s office was an old tall building with many flights of stairs leaving you tired out at the top. We met the team and signed our forms before getting some cake.
The next stop was the airport, not to go home but to collect the car. The car was a brand new VW polo with only 1000 km on the clock. I cant drive as the insurance is too expensive for under 25’s so it is Sam’s job to drive.
At night we did the tracking. On the way Sam missed the turn so we entered the site a different way seeing frogs, mice, owls and cows. We saw lot’s of owls who now are just starting to gather in the area.
At about 01:30 all the owls had stopped flying. We decided to do 1 last check on the 4 tagged owls. This all went fine and we where about to leave when we lost the last one. We drove everywhere with the antenna out the window. We gave up on this as it yielded no results and went up to the highest point in the city of Villa-Franca. This allows a large range to be scanned to try and locate the owls. We didn't find the owl so called it a night at 04:00.

Day 6 - 2/7/11 - Bert

Since we had such a late night I didn't get up until midday. The coffee maker which we have been using as a kettle for cups of tea started to leak so we had to resort to using a pan on the hob to boil the water.
We needed to check on the owls just to see if owl 32 had left the nest or not. On the floodplain we saw hundreds (not exaggerating) white storks. We will return with the camera. Number 32 had returned so has not completely left. Next we went to the supermarket to stock up and I bought more fanta grape.
After eating tea a little budgie appeared on the car. He kept looking at his reflection and pecking at it. We asked the house next door in our limited Portuguese if it belonged to them but it didn't. Its odd as there are no more houses for about 13km. He was a very tame bird letting you get very close. We decided to name him Bert. As its dry we cut a fanta bottles base off and made a small bath for him. He stayed with us all evening.
After dark we got the night scope out and saw some bats even though everyone we asked denied them being in the area. We also saw a nightjar. We then sat around talking and tried to do some star photography but it became too cloudy.

Day 7 - 3/7/11 - Boar Trackers

Another free day in which we decided to explore, on a mini safari, the Companhia das Lezirias. We found a map of the place in a cupboard and headed to a dam which is supposed to be a site for boars and otters (although on the key they look like dinosaurs.
We got to the dam which was low in water and walked along the “beach”. In the sand we found lots of tracks which we later identified as boars, otters, mongoose and genet. We turned back as the road got to sandy to drive and looked for a hide. We found the road blocked by a barbed wire fence. We decided to look for flamingoes by the rice fields. We saw none. We did however see lots of storks and purple heron. One we even saw catch a crayfish. On the way back we saw some big bulls used for bullfighting. We then returned to the house for a relaxing evening and tea.

Day 8 - 4/7/11 - Coruche

This morning we met Ana and went to Coruche, where Ana and Inês live. The town, as we would call it but they call a village, is on the river and very traditional. While we sorted the plan we drank by the river and saw an osprey attempt to catch a fish and fail. We left Inês in town to do computer stuff and we went to a farm out of town.
Here we hoped to tag a nest of owls. To get to the barn we had to climb a fence into a horse paddock whose occupants looked at us somewhat confused. The owl was unfortunately too young so we left him after taking a few photos. He was a big white fur-ball. We found some beautiful adult feathers which I kept. We then drove to Ana’s house and saw a bee-eater. Ana’s house was very nice both inside and out and she has a big soft dog named Sebastien. We then went to a viewpoint and had a quick tour of the town. On the way back a mongoose ran across the road in front of us.
Tonight Sam and I tracked alone. At one point the guards came and neither spoke each others language so we said “Boa Noite” and went on with our work. The owls stayed put in the nest all night. One untagged owl flew at me screeching. Towards the end of the night owl 30 disappeared so we drove around to look for him. We eventually found him later.

Day 9 - 5/7/11 - Villa Franca

Today we went back to the city of Villa Franca which we had been warned wasn’t very nice. We got to the centre and found cheap parking. The place was a pleasant surprise with little side streets with cobbled roads and patterned tile walled buildings. For lunch we tried a little restaurant in a courtyard with a canvas roof. I tried sardines which still had the heads on but tasted great non-the-less. We then visited the tourist information center and found a few places to visit.
In the streets a series of wooden gates cross junctions of the main street. This is for when the bulls run in the streets. This happened last week but we may be able to see it elsewhere. We paid another visit to the supermarket and got my kettle. We then had a rest before heading out alone to track again.
It was very cold and windy with the owls staying mostly on the nest. One disappeared, owl 31, so we set off in order to track her down. We never found her but did see some other owls. One was “dancing” by bobbing up and down and then stretching its wings and legs. We also saw 2 owls mate. Before leaving a fox crossed the road and reminded me of One-eye, the wild fox I know in Cornwall.

Day 10 - 6/7/11 - Great Complications

After a lie in Ana and Inês arrived with some money, a bird guide, gate card, and watchie talkies (walkie talkie watches). They had been to check on some owl boxes and found a kestrel had taken up home in one with some babies.
The walkie talkie watches had a test run which was a disappointment and struggled at just 500m although they were supposed to have a range of 7km. We put this down to the trees in the area and decided that we wold get better results in the flat open study area. How wrong we were.
Sam and I had another night of tracking alone as Inês had a doctors appointment at night, which seemed an odd time to have one, and Ana’s son was not well. Before heading out we met the vet, Helena, who is also staying here at the cottage temporarily but due to our odd hours we had yet to meet. She was friendly and will maybe show us around.
We needed fuel which presented us with the first problem.We couldn’t use the pump so asked the attendant, who didn’t speak English, for assistance. We eventually sorted it and got the fuel. When we got to the field we took one reading, went our set distances apart and the watchie talkies didn’t work. We then tried the normal ones. They died of low battery. W decided to return to the garage once again. We found the same man still on duty. We tried to ask him if he had batteries but failed so showed him a battery. He just shook his head.
We gave Inês a call and she decided that since nowhere around here would be open at 23:00 to call it a night. In a way we where happy as we got to rest before tomorrows first dusk till dawn shift.
The other day we saw a car parked on the edge of the cops and wondered what they where doing. It turns out that the fields have giant watering systems that move around the field watering the crops and also spraying the roads. They where washing the car. We had wanted to try and tonight as we pulled in it was back in a position for us to try. It did a really good job. Just at the end of the drive we nearly ran a barn owl over. He was just sitting in the road looking at us, no doubt having watched us wash the car.

Day 11 - 7/7/11 - Alochete

Today we awoke earlier than previous days but found it grey, windy and cold, so much so  that today was the first day that I have had to eat my breakfast indoors. Because of the weather we decided to go to Europe's largest retail park at Freeport. I bought here a metal BBQ for €3, not bad as a disposable one was €2.50.
After here we got hungry so decided to find some food in the nearby town of Alochete. We wondered around looking for a place to eat and saw lots of nice little traditional tilled houses. We went along the river front (which the tide was out) and got good views of Lisbon. We finally settled on a really good steak to eat.
After this we came back and rested ready for the night. After a sleep we found plans had changed and we only had a short night until around 02:00. We got there and it was the worst mosquito night ever In the fading light of the sunset we saw great clouds like smoke hanging over the waterways. I got bitten more times tonight that the whole time I have been here combined. On the way back we counted only 7 owls, a low number as we usually see at least between 10-15.

Day 12 - 8/7/11 - Night Watch

Not much happened today as we were going to do a night shift, and this time we did. We spent the whole day resting. We got to the field, this time with Ana accompanying us, at dusk around 21:00.
Not much happened other than the tracking. We had a 1hr break and looked for some food but nowhere was open. Next time we will spend the break sleeping. There where so many mossies out that I am bit over, especially my right knee which looks as if I have chicken pox.
We stayed until dawns early light washed the sky an apple green at 05:20. We drove back and hit the hay. We are off to Coruche for the weekend to see Inês play in a band. I got to bed at 06:05 with the day light breaking and the birds singing in the new day.

Day 13 - 9/7/11 - Coruche at Night

After the night shift we woke at 2pm and headed off to Coruche to watch Inês band. Ana had been kind enough to ask us to stay over at hers so on arrival  we dropped off our bedding and clothes and headed out.
The first port of call was Ana’s husbands parents weekend house. On the way up we saw her husband, Rodolfo, and the first sight of him we had was him at full speed drifting a quad bike down the road. We found from Ana that this is normal for him. We met the family and Lawrenco, Ana’s son. He was shy at first but after a sardine lunch I got in the pool and he wanted to play. The house here is a traditional Portuguese farm which grows all its own fruit, veg and herbs.
Later that evening we went to the town square which sits on the river. We had a lunch of snails which where surprisingly good. Rodolfo kept getting me different drinks to try and I eventually red wine and 7up, of which he kept getting me all night.
We went to see Inês play after lunch and met her son Za. Za is about a year older than Lawrenco who himself is about 2 years old but they get on well. After the concert Sam, Rodolfo and I went into Coruche for drinks while Ana took Lawrenco home. There are only 2 places to drink in Coruche, the best of which had darts which I kept beating Rodolfo at. After here we went to a disco which was closed. We eventually got in after a good night at 5.30am.

Day 14 - 10/7/11 - BBQ

We all woke at midday feeling ill except for Ana. I went o the toilet and heard Lawrenco shouting me. He was waiting by the door wanting to show me his toys. After seeing the toys and breakfast we returned to the weekend house for lunch. Rodolfos whole family including his grandparents turned up as well as Anas dad.
We had a meat stew which was good then went in the 4X4 along some dirt roads to a place that translates as “Rose Mud”. We had a coffee (i had a cola) and went back to Ana’s for a siesta. We got into the house where Lawrenco grabbed my hand and led me to the sofa to put the film “Cars” on, only it was dubbed into Portuguese. After that “Star Wars” came on (this time in English) and I fell asleep (as did everyone else).
After our sleep Ana and Sam prepared tea while Rodolfo set up the BBQ. I looked after Lawrenco in the garden who is very funny and full of energy. Before the food was ready Inês, her husband Normando, and son Za who had been invited arrived. I was then looking after both Lawrenco and Za. Za is very well behaved and understands the concept of sharing but Lawrenco doesn't, always wanting what Za has.
The food was really good, mostly pork, and an egg tomato thing, also good. Pudding was a sort of Portuguese version of bread and butter pudding which Normando had prepared. Again very good food.



More to come soon.








Thursday, 8 September 2011

Two-eyes

Last night the weather was bad but I put the camera out anyway. We had only Barney from the regulars but we did have a new guest. This little fox with 2 eyes so he has been christened, very imaginatively, Two-eyes. He was a very shy fox and didn't stay around long. My batteries are low and need recharging  so we didnt get many films Anyway that is all for now.

video

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

A Penguin in Cornwall?

Last weekend while going to see my brother (http://westbelieving.blogspot.com/) compete in the red bull surf event I heard something funny. The beach was a national trust beach and as such it had a sightings board outside a small national trust building (a shed really). I was reading the sightings out aloud to my aunty. Following is the dialogue that occurred:

"Here is what the board says has been seen" I told my aunty
"Gannet, razorbill, grey seal, peregrine..." At this point we were interrupted by a lady in the hut.
"Did you say you had just spotted a penguin?" She asked very seriously.

My aunty and I both looked at each other and held back the laughter. Some people just don't have a clue.


Just incase anyone else is wondering here is a peregrine and a penguin. They may sound the same but a penguin is most definitely not found in Cornwall.

A Peregrine Falcon

A Penguin (well a few Penguin)

Monday, 5 September 2011

Portugal Report

Ok so here as promised is the first of the Portugal posts. They are reports as I am now back from the project. I was sent to Portugal by a U.K based european environmental funded programme called ecotrain. The programme sends fully funded successful applicants to environmental projects in Europe. this provides the project with assistants and also provides applicants with valuable skills.

I was lucky enough to gain a place in Portugal on the Tyto Tagus project which studies the barn owl population in the Tagus valley. The project is run by Ines Roque who looked after us very well even including us in some of her life outside the project. Helping Ines is Ana Marques who looked after us mostly as Ines had a lot of other work she was included in. Ana too included us in her family life and took us on many weekend trips to her house, her parent in laws summer house, her parents beach escape and a festival. 
A barn owl at night

On the project was me and one other successful applicant. Ecotrain offers many projects but will send usually only 2 people. With me was Sam Haddock. We both got along well which was lucky as we were spending 2 months in each others company. We had a research house that was kindly provided by Companhia das Lezirias. The house was ok much better than some places but it was infested with flies which where a constant annoyance especially when cooking and eating.

Our role was mainly to radio track at night. We assisted in other parts of the project which i will go into more detail on in a minute. For the first few nights Ines and Ana came to the field with us and introduced us on the method of radio tracking. This was to pinpoint the locations of owls which had been previously tagged with a small backpack that emits a radio signal. After a few days just Ana accompanied us and by the end of the week Sam and I where left alone as professional radio trackers. We were glad Ines and Ana trusted us as the data collected is to be used in a scientific paper.

Me radio tracking at night
In the field there where so many mosquitoes it was almost unbearable. Some dawns, as we did full nights at times, the mosquitoes looked like smoke rising from the trees.

We also assisted in owl pellet dissection, counting owls at night once a week with a spot light and car, cleaned out nest boxes, ringed an owl, counted dead owls on the main road, and translated any information sheets, papers and websites that the project required.

Me with Churchill the barn owl I ringed
We got to visit many places on our weekends such as Lisbon and other less know places. I met some very nice people who I hope to keep in contact with. I would like to thank Ecotrain for this opportunity, Ines for allowing us to come on the project and her husband Normando and son Za who also looked after us, Ana her husband Rodolfo, her 2 year old son Lhe-Lhe and there family for being so kind to us and all the fun we had and Sam for putting up with me for 2 months in the fly house and mossie field.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Oneeye's Return

I'm back, the camera is back, and One-eye is back. Last night we had a lot of food left over after dinner so it was put out for nature and to see who has remained after the summer. We had Barney but this was expected as she has taken up residence in the garden. Bit of a pain as I am allergic to cats. The only other visitor last night was One-eye and she is in very good condition. She has a nice thick clean coat and now instead of a scrawny stick of a tail it is a full bush.

video
Oneye looking healthy


I am still writing up my account of Portugal so it may be a while before it is up here.