Diary of a Field Assistant - Week 9
By Taylor Wildlife, Jun 19 2017 03:00PM
Looking out across the Inner Hebridean Isle of Islay through the glossy eyes of a skylark, one would see a green undulating landscape, with friendly foxgloves swaying in the salted breeze, while in the distance high rocky outcrops expose silky grey rocks. Looking closer, you might just be able to make out the outlines of curious looking tall, two-legged beings dotted about the place. They can be identified very easily from their distinctive form of locomotion - strong forward strides which are interrupted by a coplex variety of forward plummets. These falls seem to range from discreet trips (often followed by a quick glance over the shoulder), to spectacular body flops combined with explicit vocal outbursts. In wetter, boggier areas these full body flops are much more frequent! Odour is another classic way of identifying these creatures. Combine the scent of sweat, bog water and possibly a squashed banana, and you have an unmistakeable aroma. Have you worked it out yet? It's the Taylor Wildlife Field Team of course! I do hope i'm not going to be abandoned on the hills for writing this... if next week's entry doesn't make an appearance you'll all know the reason why!
With the exception of one day, the team had a productive run of surveying on Islay. Amongst the regular upland sightings, the field assistants' spotted a great northern diver, whitethroats, and golden eagles as well as ringlet and marsh fritillary butterflies. The evenings on Islay brought laughter, biscuits, cake and hot drinks, which were shared and savoured by all over a difficult word puzzle or two.