An interns farewell
My six-month South African adventure has come to an end. I travelled to Plettenberg Bay to learn how to survey and monitor shorebirds but I never expected to also experience such a variety of other conservation research. From bird ringing to seine netting I have come away with many fond and unexpected memories. If I had to pick a favourite project, it would be the pelagic trips monitoring the fish and predator populations in the area. I not only got to see amazing wildlife, including the Yellow nosed albatross, a great white shark and the blows from several Bryde’s whales, but I also found escaping from land very peaceful.
The majority of the fieldwork I took part in was on the White fronted Plover project. As well as the surveying and monitoring techniques I learnt, watching the birds for hours at a time allowed me to recognise their behaviours and learn their individual characteristics and I came to feel very attached to these birds.
The last three weeks of my trip were spent in environmental education. I very much enjoyed working with the EE team and learnt a lot in such a short space of time. I especially enjoyed planning and facilitating our own lesson on pollution during biodiversity week.
As with any experience its only as good as the people you spend it with, and during my time in Plettenberg Bay I worked and socialised with some people who I’m sure will be life long friends.