What is your role in the Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme?
To help Elaine to manage the practical side of the project and take on some of the post-mortem work. I am also looking forward to getting to know the flesh eating beetles…these are used to clean the bone samples taken from the birds.
How did you get involved in the PBMS?
I joined CEH (formerly ITE Merlewood) in 1995, after completing a HND in Environmental Land Management at Newton Rigg College, Penrith.
The first eight years of my time I spent working within the Radioecology Section, carrying out field sampling, sample preparation, experimental set up and radiochemical analysis.
I met Elaine Potter (Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme) around this time as we were working on a joint project within the Soil Ecology Group.
In 2003 I gained a promotion and a new position within the Environmental Change Network, http://www.ecn.ac.uk/ a national project set up in the early 1990’s to monitor a full range of biological and chemical variables, both in the terrestrial and freshwater environment.
In more recent years I have taken on work within the Lake Ecology Group, and as a keen angler myself have been excited to be involved with their long-term fish population studies, this also means plenty of trips out on Windermere and regular sightings of our Cumbrian Ospreys!
Over the last few years the numbers of birds received by the PBMS has steadily increased, this increased workload has meant that there was an opportunity for me to work on the project alongside Elaine.
What is your favourite bird of prey and why?
My favourite bird of prey? A difficult choice, but I am going with Barn Owl, like a silent white ghost… Unless they are screeching outside your bedroom window in the dead of night!