So for the last few days I have been settling into the routine here in Lincolnshire. It has been rather daunting adjusting to the long days and independent nature of a research masters. My research is looking into the effects of disturbance on female breeding behaviour. After a disastrous first day full of equipment acting up and a slightly impractical protocol, it’s fair to say that I needed a quick change of plan. Following a quick mental breakdown wise AB helped me come up with a new protocol which adjusted for the problems I had encountered in the field on day one. After a few days implementing this new protocol, it seems to be working out well, much to the delight of my stress levels!
As it’s my first real fieldwork experience I have come to realise three vital things over the last few days;
- Fieldwork never goes to plan
- You can never wear too many layers
- Chocolate is the answer to everything
In other news, I got to see my first seal birth yesterday which was brilliant, and slightly disgusting at the same time. This event was improved further by a small child next to me asking their mother “mummy, how does the baby seal get inside the mummy seal?”. The awkward conversation that followed was absolutely fantastic! The following day was not as jubilant. I saw my first dead pup which was subsequently eaten by gulls, although the gruesome sight seemed to worryingly prove a big hit for the public. I do worry about people sometimes!
With the weather set to be grim for the next few days, I have a feeling I shall be putting the waterproofs to the test and playing the ‘how quickly can I pack my stuff and run to the hide’ game. So far I’m quite slow but I think the cold, pouring rain may change this!
Stay tuned for more updates from the Lincolnshire camp soon!