herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Twitchers keep eyes peeled for new post looking for new work

TWO birdwatchers, who spent the summer on a tiny remote island off the east coast of Ireland charting roseate tern, are keeping their eyes peeled for more work.

Brian Burke and Donnacha Woods stayed on the uninhabited Rockabill Island, 7km off the north Dublin coast, from May to August this year.

They have been back on the mainland for almost a month now and readjusting to normal life.

The two wildlife conservationists/zoologists have just finished compiling their final report for the National Parks and Wildlife Service, which funded the work.

Mr Burke, who is from Roscommon, told the Herald they were now looking out for more work.

"We haven't got anything yet, we're keeping out eyes peeled for more conservation work," he said.

Rest

"We're young enough and we are at the start of our careers, it may be the early side of next year (before they secure new work)," he explained.

He said that the spring and summer were the best times of the year to get work, as this was breeding season for birds.

Speaking about returning to land, he said that the pair had to get used to less noise - and even the sight of cars and crows.

"We allowed ourselves a week's rest to try to reintegrate ourselves into society - meeting people, seeing stuff like cars and crows for the first time in months," he quipped.

Asked if he would return to the island, he said: "Definitely. If you asked me a week or two after, I'd say 'let me think about it,' but it was an interesting three months."

Mr Burke said that he can't swim so had to be careful while working on the island.

hnews@herald.ie

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