For our last day(s) off we took an overnight trip to Byron Bay, known for it’s lazy surf vibe and humpback whale migration! It was a great break before our last two weeks of non-stop data collection! Here are some of the students from the lighthouse watching for whales and dolphins.
In June, we were fortunate enough to host our friend Serena from Papua New Guinea. Serena helped us out in the field, and is pictured here holding everyone’s favorite red/black male, Greg (GRG, so named for his green, royal purple, and green color bands). Read more about the white-shouldered fairywren project, of which Serena is a key player, at the WSFW blog: https://wsfwblog.wordpress.com/
The 2016 fall in Samford Valley was very dry, resulting in much lower water levels and a drier site this year than last year. However, the winter has been really wet (the lake is more full now than it was in the photo below, but not as full as last year).
Our field site is located about 45 minutes from Brisbane, so this last week was the first time that the students have been into Brisbane itself. We took the ferry into the city, visited the Queensland Natural History Museum, and saw Finding Dory (an appropriate movie choice when in Australia?).
We always eat well, but especially so on birthdays! Trey is a big fan of the strawberry champagne tim tams, which were the inspiration for his cake (thanks to Sarah D!). In general though, the new tim tam flavors have not been a big hit.
None of these come close to last years Three Beantim tams (coffee, vanilla, and cocoa beans, not to be confused with three bean mix).
Oftentimes days off here are as busy if not busier than work days. Here are a few more pictures from a recent trip to Lamington National Park (adjacent to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, which has a feeding area for king parrots and crimson rosellas) and Springbrook.
Students for scale.
John and the IRES students at O’Reillys.
Nearby in Springbrook National Park. Maybe we could have fit 6 students?
Hiking at Springbrook.
Things have been busy here in Brisbane following the arrival of the IRES students. We’ve got a full field house with 6 undergraduate IRES students, 3 graduate students, and 3 technicians, plus several visitors over the past few weeks, including a week-long visit from the PIs, seen below taking their turn in the kitchen to make dinner for 16!
The students are all hard at work on their independent projects, and have been busy even on days off with trips to Noosa, Lamington, and Springbrook National Parks.