Sunday, 9 February 2014

Welcome Back

If you are reading this then the likelihood is that you are one of my few followers that have stuck in there and noticed that I've returned, so welcome back and I hope you like the new banner. The dragonfly species is an emperor that I photographed at Beacon Hill country park many years back

This year is going to be an interesting one and I've decided to resurrect the blog to try and document what happens. At the end of March I'm getting made redundant from my IT manager job at Barclays and after 28 years in the industry this is the best chance I'm going to get in my life to make the career change I've been longing for, so here goes. I’m going to try and get a career in ecology! So at the moment I’m dusting off and totally re-writing the CV and preparing cover letters and having to re learn all those interview skills that I last used 28 years ago, to be honest it feels like I’ve left college again.

At the moment I'm having great difficulty getting my last contracted date with my current employer finalised but I expect to be leaving them on March 31st and then I’m ready for the spring big time and too be honest I cannot wait.
So far this year I haven't been out that much but here is what has been happening in my world.

I’m going to sneak back into 2012 a little bit because I was lead guide on one of the ORCA I-SPY trips in September where we had Chris Packham as a guest, who by the way I consider to be a top guy. The trip was just awesome where the 80 or so guests on the Brittany Ferries Pont Aven, where treated to an amazing wildlife spectacle. Just take a look at the sightings map we kept during the trip.

On this trip I managed to see a new species of cetacean for me in the amazing shape of northern bottlenose whale and I also got another personal first for the Bay of Biscay when we picked up killer whales close to the ferry, the whole trip was just wild with mind blowing observations.

Then still in September of last year I managed to get to Grain for a visit and saw my very first water shrew, unfortunately a dead one.

So why a water shrew? Well it has black fur without any change of colouration or demarcation on the belly like common shrew, it also has white fur around the ears and the underside of the tail is furred.

So into this year, 2014.

Well I've managed to do a winter bird survey, to help me build my ecology survey experience and also attended a Kent Mammal Group riparian survey training event. led by Richard Andrews, which will also come in useful later in the year when the surveys kick off.

Have I been out anywhere? Well given my change of header, I visited Beacon Woods at Bean, in the mud and rain.

This is a flooded viewing platform that normally overlooks the main pond!

I did manage to find these lovely fungi which I’ve yet to put a name too. Looks like someone's spilled some paint on them.


Marianne said...

Good luck with your career change! I think the fungus may be Piptoporus betulinus.

flukeprint said...

Thanks Marianne and yes that looks like the fungus.

Tony Morris said...

Good to see you back John. I agree with you about Chris Packham, I did some filming with him in about 1994 at Camley St NP and he was good fun.

Lou Mary said...

I followed you a while back because I saw you were based in Kent, so it is nice to read a post from you. A friend of mine was also a guide on the ORCA trips I think. I look forward to more posts from you!

Greenie said...

John ,
Knew you were still around from your KOS postings , but look forward to your future blogs .
Best wishes with your ecology quest .
Agree with the Birch Polypore ID too .