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Seasonal Bird Aware rangers - April 2020

It only seems like yesterday when we welcomed Mark, Emily and David to our team as 19 / 20 seasonal Rangers. And now, alongside our other winter favourites like brent geese and dunlin, these guys have migrated too, just not as far as Siberia! Read their stories here.

Emily (far right in pic) tells us, ‘Following my Bird Aware season, I have gone onto the position of Assistant Warden at RSPB Pulborough Brooks. I was thrilled to get this job as it allows me to bring the experience I have gained to make a real difference.

I have been in my new post for almost two months and in that time I have fallen in love with the reserve. Pulborough Brooks has a variety of habitats, which all year round, support a diverse range of wildlife including birds, invertebrates and reptiles. The lowland wet grassland has been managed to provide feeding areas for overwintering waders, ducks and geese and nesting areas for waders such as Lapwing and Redshank. So I still get to see some of the Bird Aware Solent star species!

The reserve is currently teaming with life. As I walk around it I’m surrounded by butterflies and bumblebees and I’m serenaded by a host of warblers including blackcaps, whitethroats and chiffchaffs. Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to hear my first nightingale of the year!

In these challenging times nature, whether a garden or local walking spot, is providing many of us with an escape. Now is a great opportunity to learn a bit more about the amazing wildlife around us, so why not try identifying the bumblebees, butterflies or birds filling our skies this spring?’

Coming from an electrical engineering background, Mark (2nd left in pic) decided to change career direction because of his passion for birds and bird-watching. Mark adds, ‘I can honestly say that the last 7 months at Bird Aware have been the most rewarding of my career. I have enjoyed engaging with the public, attending events, making educational videos and writing blogs.’

Mark had secured a job this summer working for the RSPB as a Tern Warden on the Roseate Tern Life Recovery project, but unfortunately due to the Coronavirus situation this position didn’t materialise. However, he has been inspired to write a daily nature blog during this lockdown period, aimed at trying to bring nature to people of all backgrounds. We think these are awesome, why not take a look here – in a new window)

David (2nd right in pic) tells us, ‘After an amazing season with Bird Aware Solent, it’s time for me to move on to my next adventure, as a Warden for the RSPB in Eastern Solent. This time of year sees a big change in birdlife around the south coast, and just like our over-wintering birds, many of the summer visitors are susceptible to disturbance too, particularly terns as they nest on stony beaches near the shoreline.

We are lucky here in the Solent as five different species of tern (common, arctic, little, sandwich and roseate) choose this wonderful area to raise their young. As a Warden, my role will involve monitoring tern nests in order to reduce disturbance and this will be done through installing anti-predator fencing, moving nests if in danger from high tide events and engaging with members of the public to raise awareness.

While I was a Ranger with Bird Aware, one of my favourite parts of the job was chatting to people around the Solent coastline and showing them the fantastic array of wildlife that it has to offer and I’m fortunate that I can carry this aspect of the job into my next role.’

The Bird Aware Solent team would like to say a big thank you to the seasonal Rangers for all their hard work this winter in the rain, storms and even the odd patch of sun! We wish you well in your future endeavours and hope to bump into you along the Solent in future.