2015 started with working in the best pub ever (Bow Bar – again) with the best people ever (again). I went to see Berwick Rangers play Hibs for some reason, and drank some amazingly good beers.
I also got to live in a real house like a real person, and it was the best house ever with a complete bunch of nutters who are also the best people ever. And some furry friends! House Sarah and Frank
Leo, Nootka and Frank’s important business meeting
I continued moth trapping, having finally found a hobby that mystifies everyone else. Getting the first county record for Buff Arches was PRETTY good.
In June I went to Saint Kilda, 40 miles west of the Hebrides. I have always wanted to go, but never even imagined I’d get to visit, let alone work there for a month. After staying a week on Mingulay a few years previously, me and dad committed to getting to Saint Kilda to camp for a few days, but then in May I got 2 weeks notice to head out to take part in the colonial nesting bird survey.
Living and working out there gave me such an amazing appreciation of the place. Incredible, once-in-a-lifetime type stuff. and dad came out to visit too!
When I got back, alas it became clear I wasn’t in any position to keep Whisky cat, as she was showing signs of stress from being moved about so much as she grew older. Sad, but I assume she’s happy and settled now. What an awesome cat to have had the company of for 7 years!
A few months later I was off to the Republic of Georgia, working with Batumi Raptor Count in the south west of the country, to monitor illegal raptor hunting, but generally to have an incredible time with a brilliant bunch of people. And speak Russian, and laugh lots. There might have been some beer too. And like all great times, it ended up with me hospitalised but I was OK really.
thousands of honey buzzard, black kite, red kite, and various eagles circle overhead at Batumi, one of the world’s biggest migration flyways
the team hard at work counting migrating birds-of-prey
A week after getting back, I was offered a job as a nature reserve warden in Cumbria, which is LITERALLY the job I have been aiming for all of these years. I still cannot believe it!
eh, quite a good year, and it finished with birth of my niece Millie Melissa! Very wonderful and I can’t wait to meet her!