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Reisverslag Bird workshop and start internship
2 april 2014
Bird workshop and start internship
It seems that most people are very curious about my parrot dissecting party, but first I'll tell you what I did last Friday.
Mostly, I did what I planned to do. First I read some literature on animal personality measuring and cognitive bias (whether you're optimistic or pessimistic - yes you can test animals also on that). After lunch fortunately the sky cleared a bit and I decided that my day had been boring enough. The library in Chatswood is quite big and has lots of places to read and study, of which plenty of people make use. You can borrow the books/CDs etc by scanning them yourself, pretty funny. Afterwards I decided to go to the Westfield shopping mall, which is gigantic. I want to go do zumba here, but of course I didn't bring my sports pants, so I bought a pair here. The shops close at 17.30, but around 17.20 I almost got pushed out of the store. Seems that they are pretty tight with schedules here ;)
So Saturday I went to Daphne's house (Dutch lady, who moved to Australia 25 years ago and is the director of the housing organisation through which I found my host family) to a workshop from WIRES: wildlife rescue. They take care of any weak or hurt wild animal and try to habilitate them back in the wild. The day was just about birds and first they taught us what kind of birds they usually get and how you can figure out which species it is, since the little ones all look alike. Then we moved on to the care for them, what cage, how to feed them etc. We could practice by feeding a tiny King Fisher with meat paste, which was a nice experience. Afterwards we cleaned some aviaries from Daphne and then came the dead birds. Initially, we would dissect some to try to see the cause of death, but due to lack of time we just looked at them en felt how chubby a healthy bird is and how skinny a sick one. So don't worry: all birds are still in one piece! Afterwards I had a lovely dinner with some people at Daphne's place.
Sunday was how Sundays are supposed to be: lazy. The weather was quite good and I just spend my day around the house. Reading, doing laundry and watching some of Alex's work (son of Prue). He makes 3D graphic images for ads and games with very complicated computed programmes. Very impressive!
And then the reason why I came here: my internship! After a nice trip by train and bus (about one hour total travel time), I arrived at the zoo. What a beautiful entrance building! Of course, my application got messed up, so Vicky (my supervisor) and me took about an hour to arrange everything. As we walked to our bungalow office in the middle of the zoo, I saw the view that the zoo is famous for. Wow! We talked for a while about her view on my project, which she is really passionate about, and afterwards I went to see the cockatoos in their exhibits. I rushed to see the free flight show in which the red-tailed black cockatoos participate and afterwards went to the traditional aviary in which they are kept. Really nice to see them in real life :) Vicky told me that they also keep them in a walk-through aviary, but after half an hour looking, I gave up. After an informative email from the administration, we learned that there are no red-tailed black cockatoos there.. Well, that explains why I couldn't find them! Of course I also looked to some other animals and I never realised that platypus are that small!
The next morning I arrived around 9.00 at the zoo, only to realise that the office where I should make my badge opens at 9.30. Fortunately, the weather was good, so I just relaxed in the sun for a while. I spend most of my day trying to figure out a way to keep the cockatoos apart and drawing maps of the enclosures. During lunch I went to watch the sealion show, which is a bit more impressive than the bird show, and I saw the little penguin, very cute :) During one of my staring-at-cockatoos-moments, a girl passed saying: "How sad, the kookaburra and cockatoos are locked up..They should be free!". Which triggered a thought in me: "So why are you visiting a zoo?!". At night we had pizza at the neighbours, which was good fun with her two small sons and their incredibly patient guinea pigs.
Today we had some meetings with the 'bird bosses' and fortunately they all seem to cooperate. I spend the rest of my day staring at cockatoos, typing my proposal and reading literature. At lunch I went to the kids trail, which includes farm animals, wombats and kangaroos. I also passed at the reptile house, just to see what kind of snakes I could run into in the garden ;)
Well, that's it for now. Tomorrow I'm planning on doing my first zumba lesson here, just to meet some non-animal people. No plans yet for the weekend, but I will think of something in the next days :)
Foto's bij verslag (5)
2 april 2014 12:04 | Door: Willemien
Mooi verslag! En een schitterende onderzoeksbungalow! Ik verheug me er al op in juli daar alles te zien!
(In Veldhoven hebben we ook al zeker een jaar zelfscans bij de uitleen en inname van de bibliotheek: wist jij niet hè.)
Dikke knuffel uit Veldhoven!
2 april 2014 12:40 | Door: Marit
Leuk om het een en ander te lezen over wat je aan het doen bent daar aan de andere kant van de wereld! Grappig dat je daar ook zumba gaat doen. Dan leer je idd weer eens wat andere mensen kennen. Dat komt wel goed zo te horen! Veel plezier!
2 april 2014 13:29 | Door: Bjel
Wat schrijf jij leuk zeg! Je bent goed bezig (had niet anders verwacht) en ik kijk al uit naar het volgende verhaal! Zumba-shake ze ;)!
Succes met alles en geniet!
2 april 2014 18:22 | Door: Willem
Aan je verslagen te zien, gaat het goed daar down under! Het klinkt in ieder geval allemaal super!
Leuk dat je foto's uploadt; dat maakt het beeld helemaal compleet. Die dierentuin ziet er echt schitterend uit. En wat een geweldig uitzicht heb je daar op Sidney, zeg! Dat had ik niet verwacht. En ik zou willen dat mijn werkplek er zo idyllisch bij lag! :D
Heel erg veel succes met je onderzoek, maar goed om te horen dat je ook tijd over hebt om nog andere dingen te kunnen doen daar!