Hope you are all having a good week!
On Wednesday, Wicken Fen had a Volunteer's day, where most of the staff and volunteers had a day of talks, group sessions and general discussion. It was good to have everyone together and also for the volunteers to be given a chance to say how they felt about volunteering here at the fen and with the National Trust in general. There were so many faces I didn't recognise though, even after 6 months of being here! Lots of the volunteers in education and in the fen cottage only come in once a month or so, so I never cross over with them. It's good to now be familiar with a few more people. The food was also a highlight of the day, with tasty scones, cake and soup being eaten at various points!
Apart from that, this week has mainly been filled with checks, data entry, data collection and working on my own project for a bit. Yesterday I attempted to do some data collection for Carol's phD on the horses - it took me 2 hours to actually completed half of what she normally manages in an hour! I think it was still useful though, and it helped me with my ongoing IDing of the horses. I'm down to only a few bachelors now that I get muddled with and hopefully over the next few weeks I'll get those sorted in my head too. And then when foaling begins soon, there'll be another potential 13 to learn...
Today the herds were all pretty calm - the picture below shows 2 of the stallions of the main harem in the breeding group of koniks (this was after their rest period). One of the dominancy behaviours of stallions is to create 'dung piles'. Multiple stallions will dung in the same spot, sniffing the dung already there - the last konik to dung is meant to be the dominant one, although this isn't always the case that I've seen. Often though there will be groups of stallions standing around and sniffing/dunging and the whole process can sometimes start a few challenges and fights, so it's interesting to watch!
This picture is a nice one I thought of one of the cows (Rush) during a little rest period.
Thanks for reading!