Posted on behalf of Kila - WDCS Canine Researcher
The bags are packed (my bed included I hope!) and I’ve been informed that it’s time for us to hit the road and say goodbye to our seaside retreat (although that does make it sound a bit “holiday’esque”, which it most certainly is not!) until next year when we’ll be back for some more Joint Warrior (and sheep) observations!
This field season has most definitely been a bit of a blustery one and I have at times feared I may have been whipped off my feet and ended up in an adjoining field – which wouldn’t have been too bad a thing as all the fields around here seem to be full of sheep. Actually, everywhere round here seems to be full of sheep; the roads, the beach, every walk I encounter another one – I’m thinking I may change my dissertation topic to sheep photo-ID, I could have a catalogue of hundreds by the end of it … although I hear they have a very short life expectancy as they pretty quickly become lamb chops … so perhaps I’ll end up eating them anyway with much less energy expended!!
We’ve seen lots this time round; otters, minke whales, seals, harbour porpoises, basking sharks, ducks (loads of ducks yet I’m still waiting for mine!), migrating swans and geese, warships, submarines, huge flying birds of the Helicopteri and Fighter-jeti species and of course those attention hogging orca – so it’s been a great success even if the weather has been against us!
A quick word on those seals though – how come all they seem to do is “bask”? Every time we’ve seen them they’ve just been hanging in the water, snout to the sky, bobbing about in the swell – must be nice to be a basking seal … are they related to those basking sharks then? And some more trivia on cetacean behaviour for you – did you know that porpoises don’t actually ‘porpoise’ but dolphins do? What’s that all about then? Who thought it would be a good idea to confuse the heck out of everyone by describing a behaviour that isn’t actually a behaviour at all? I’m sticking to sheep, much easier!
Anyway, enough of my idle chit-chat, and time for me to get my hairy behind in the car and head for southern shores!! Thanks for keeping us company during our time up here and I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing in our exploits – see you all in 2010!!
P.S. – I’d like to put a personal shout-out to my friend the local butcher (thanks for all the bones) and the lovely manageress at the Old Inn who keeps me in carrots, bacon fries and mini cheddars when my humans go to the “office”.
Slainte … !!
P.P.S – I hope you enjoy the wee montage I’ve put together below of some of the shots you didn’t get to see.