Thursday, 22 March 2012

A muddy bath

This week has been so nice being outside in the sunshine, and I think the animals are appreciating the slightly warmer weather too. Yesterday I was out doing the monthly condition checks on the koniks, when they then decided to have a roll around in the water out on bakers!

As you can see by these pictures, the water is pretty grim for a roll in, but the koniks seemed to enjoy it and it cooled them off nicely.

Apart from the monthly checks on the koniks, the cattle checks were completed too. The final parts of preparation for Saturday's 'Careers with Animals' day was completed too, so we are almost all set for that. On our stall, we'll have general information about conservation grazing, Wicken Fen and the National Trust. We are also meant to take an 'entertaining activity' according to the CAW, so we are taking some poo analysis equipment. I'll collect some dung tomorrow from one of the koniks, and then we'll take all that we need to make a solution and look at some under the microscope for a worm count. I don't think 'entertaining' is the first word that comes into mind, but hopefully people will find it interesting!

Around the fen at the moment, there are definite signs of spring - everything seems to be coming to life a bit more, and the place seems to be filling up with birdsong and spring wildlife. I was out on Monday afternoon and this afternoon collecting some data for my project on the bulls, and although there was hardly any aggressive behaviour to record, it really makes a difference when you're standing for an hour in the sunshine rather than the cold! Over on Harrisons, there seems to be a couple of barn owls that are settling in one of the willows - I'm not sure if they will nest, but hopefully they'll stay around. If you walk down Harrisons drove towards Wicken Lode, you might catch sight of them - they're towards the reed beds (in compartments called Rothschild&Lapwing), about half way into the bulls' fields. Over in guinea hall, there are lots of skylarks busy singing away in the fields, and many will nest in the fields as it's ideal habitat for them out there.

Next week, I won't actually be working out on the fen. I have a week's work experience at a veterinary surgery in my home village, which I'm really looking forward to! I'm potentially thinking of veterinary nursing after my placement here, so next week will (I hope) help me decide whether I definitely do want to do this or not. So until I get back next time, thanks for reading!

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