Posts made in March, 2013

Rolling along

Posted by on Mar 22, 2013 in Methods, News | 0 comments

Well, the Rollers are heading north and it’s now less then 4 weeks until I fly out to France (my colleague Phil goes to Cyprus is less than a fortnight!). The pressure is on to get together all the necessary equipment and plan exactly how I’m going to spend my 3 months in France. The main cause of frustration, anxiety and disappointment are the RFID readers, which we’re planning to use to monitor chick provisioning rates. We’re using a system designed by a guy in the States, built by some guys down in the ENV electronics workshop (aka the dungeon) and ‘project...

Read More

Heading north

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in News | 0 comments

Checking up on the Spanish satellite-tagged Rollers is usually near the top of my daily to-do list (note: unfortunately this cracking research has nothing to do with my project). Last week, 2 of the birds started heading north, from Namibia across the border into Angola. When I opened up the map this morning, I found that one of these early birds had rocketed north over the equatorial forest, and is now in the Congo! I fly out to France in about 5 weeks. There’s still lots of preparation to do (not least, we need to build & test 40 RFID readers…) and it feels a bit like a...

Read More

Playing with Geolocators

Posted by on Mar 6, 2013 in Fieldwork, Methods, News | 0 comments

One of the major difficulties when it comes to studying the ecology of long distance migrants is our poor understanding of what they get up to in the non-breeding season – where they overwinter, how they get there, what habitats they use, etc. In the case of Afro-Palearctic migrants, political instability makes ground work tricky – plus, Africa is a massive! Traditionally we relied on people coming across dead birds which had previously been ringed in Europe – however, recovery rates are extremely low & biased towards inhabited areas, and the fact that we’re...

Read More