We were all ready for breakfast at 7:00 this morning, like little solider ants, waiting for the cereal, fruits, and toast (with Marmite for Janine… gross!). We all had a great night’s sleep last night now that the winds settled down a bit, the temperature was however quite uncalled for: a brisk -3 degrees Celsius! Sarah, who had taken a shower the night before, had black ice on her bathroom floor!! It sure made for a brisk walk to the Amakhala Conservation Centre for our 8:00 lecture.
Today’s lecture was by Professor Adrian Craig, an ornithologist that just recently retired from over 35 years of teaching at Rhodes University, but who still took the time to come share his passion and knowledge with us. His lecture was followed by a “hands-on lab” during which we helped him put up bird mist-netting and clap traps to catch different types of birds. Once caught, a little ID ring was put on them, and data such as sex, age, and wing length were all taken. In a short amount of time we managed to catch and record data on a familiar chat, 2 greater double-collard sunbirds, a malachite sunbird, and a bar-throated apalis! Since research is, most often then not, a continual waiting game we filled our time with a friendly 4-VS-4 improvised soccer game that really got us working up a sweat!
At 1:00 we stopped for lunch and had an amaaazing butternut squash soup with the usual homemade bread that no one can get enough of! One pot of soup, 1 ½ loafs of bread, and 1 cup of butter later we were all quite satisfied and ready to charge head on with our next learning experience! After lunch we were all separated into little groups: Maddie, Lenka, David, and myself went for a drive with Jason and Dan to get some data for our projects; Jessica, Ashley, and Janine went on their own drive with Simone to collect some behavioural data for Jessica’s project (and they got to see giraffes and lions! So jealous!) . In the mean time, Megan and Sarah stayed at the camp to keep analysing some of the faecal samples (yayy poop!) from Warthog and Elephant. This brought us all the way to 5:30, just in time to take a quick shower and relax a bit before supper: we are lucky enough to have a South-African braai (a BBQ) on the fire pit, which is quite exciting for us!
Overall another great day in South Africa, and can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!
**Pictures don’t want to load right now…..stay tuned.