Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Northern Exposure....

Is there anything more exciting than an unasnwered question?

The potential locked in that inquiry. The thought and investigation that it's solution will require.
Research in written material, observation and analysis. Fascinating.

The study of shorebird migration has many unanswered questions and I have had several opportunities to contribute to research in this field.

Most recently in Portugal during February. Some of the Sanderling that I helped to colour ring have been spotted on their northerly migration. They are still going, some have flown past me already. The sightings reported have been added to the growing database for the Sanderling project the better to determine their lines of travel, timings etc.

The journey south that I took to take part in this project was nothing short of spectacular. In aiding the study of this species I saw some amazing things.

Black-winged Stilts swaying around mirrored pools as I recorded colour ringed Black-tailed Godwits are the stand out from my trip south.

However, there are more questions to be answered. The answers lie North. Just that word fills me with excitement and expectation. North. Breeding birds, tundra, almost total daylight for 24 hours.

On Monday next I head to the Arctic to help on another project, this time looking for and colour ringing Red Knots as they migrate to Greenland and Canada.

I can't wait for the cold of northern Norway and my rendez-vous with birds I last saw a couple of months ago on the muddy banks of the Dee. What adventures lie in the exposed , treesless tundra of Porsanger?

So, as I pack the winter coats, it seems that there IS something more exciting than an unanswered question. The pursuit of it's resolution.

I am arctic....

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