Just another day in the office
Sunrise at Housel Bay during a dawn watch
As a wildlife ranger I’ve got to spend half my time monitoring 'George' and 'Nora', the local pair of Cornish Choughs. At
Two of this year’s chicks getting their coloured rings so they can be tracked in the future
Jackdaw and Crow neighbours, but after a while I was soon picking out their calls and getting used to their favourite spots. It was great sharing their antics with the other nest watch volunteers and visitors. There's other great stuff to watch too, I’ll never forget seeing my very first basking shark. It was a dawn watch when I saw these two fins get closer and closer until finally I could see its massive silhouette under the water’s surface. Naturally some shifts weren’t quite as glorious as this and instead I’d have to battle a fierce easterly winds and monsoon-like rain. But getting to tag along with the BTO bird ringer and see this year’s brood of five chicks (Yoko, Willow, Whoopi, Yeats, and Bill) made it completely worthwhile!
|Through the scope at the watchpoint – you could have picked a bigger rock mate!|
I’ve spent the other half of my time down at the wildlife watchpoint at Lizard Point. 'The Point' alwaysseems to attract something different whether it’s a grey seal trying to haul out on a rock that its way too big for, having gannets dive just metres away for fish, or dolphins leaping across the horizon; you’re constantly seeing something new. I was pretty daunted by the challenge of ID-ing all the marine species and seabirds I’d never seen before in the Midlands (do Herring Gulls count?). But after a few shifts with the other volunteers I was soon learning how to spot the regular species and where to look for them. With the help of the Cornwall Seal Group I‘m now able to recognise some of the seals by their fur patterns. It’s really rewarding getting to put your skills into practice and help visitors spot species they haven’t seen before, as well as trading tips and anecdotes of the wildlife around the Lizard.
|Lankidden Cove is well worth the scramble down|
Working on the Lizard has been a truly unforgettable experience that’s given me so many new skills for the future. It's been privilege to work alongside such a friendly and dedicated team of rangers and volunteers who soon made the Lizard feel like home. Though I'm gutted the season is drawing to an end, I’m psyched to see what the future will bring and I know I’ll be back to visit in no time!
A garden visitor to the volunteer house at Poltesco
To learn more about what's it like being a Volunteer Wildlife Ranger on the Lizard,watch this video: