Friday, 28 June 2013

Koala Cuddles and Houses for Rent

So, I finally got my 6 month contract with the Devil Program. I got my new contract to sign 4 days before my current contract expires - quite considerate of them to get it to me so quickly, isn't it. It isn't like I need certainty or consistency in my life or anything. I feel like I've been so uncertain now for quite a while waiting to hear about my contract and waiting to hear what my housemate is doing. That's now finally sorted out as well. Alanna is leaving the devil program to go to a really good opportunity in New Zealand. I'm going to miss having her around, but its good to know for certain what she's doing so I can start planning what I'm going to do. With a six month contract at work and no housemate, my course of action seems pretty clear - find a new place that's cheaper and get a 6 month lease, work for 6 months and then go to Africa.

So, that was the plan. But, as always, life doesn't go according to plan. I've been looking for a nice little unit to be my new home for the next 6 months, but I have been having a bit of trouble. All the ones I've looked at have either been too horrible for consideration, or too small to fit all my stuff in it. The other day, I thought I'd found the one, but the real estate agent had already closed applications. Stupid real estate agents.

Speaking of applications, that's the other thing that's complicating my life. I've somehow managed to trick the people at the Phillip Island Koala Conservation Centre into giving me an interview for a Ranger position on Tuesday. I'm very pleased to get an interview, but it does rather complicate my life. Now I have to prep for an interview, have a very stressy day off (because I can't help, but get stressed out when I have an interview) and then wait until I've been told if I've got the job or not before I can sign any leases or get settled down here again. Either way, I'll be moving, but there is quite a difference moving a suburb away to moving to another state. 

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Queechy Pond

 This morning was the third BirdLife northern group excursion that Alanna and I have organised. This time we went down to Queechy Pond (only 10mins away from our place) to see if we could find the Nankeen Night Herons that reportedly breed in the area. Nankeen Night Herons are very uncommon in Tassie and are very cryptic, so everyone was keen to get a look at one. We were told that they roost in the willows in the middle of the pond so we set to scouring the willow branches. After a few minutes, we spotted our first and then our second and then our third. In the end we saw 7 adult Night Herons and one juvenile. We were all pretty stoked.

 If you enlarge this photo and look carefully there are 5 Night Herons in this photo. Can you spot them all?

Once we had finished oooh-ing and aww-ing at the Night Herons, we were heading back to the car when we realised that the 3 Spoonbills that we had seen earlier weren't just the normal Spoonbills, but Royal Spoonbills which are extremely rare in Tassie.

 Great Cormorant, Pied Cormorant, and 3 Royal Spoonbills

We had a brilliant birdwatching morning :)

Saturday, 15 June 2013


So, my trip to Africa isn't for another 7 months - yes, I will still make it to chicken camp :) - and I've got some other things to focus on right now. I have 2 weeks left on my current contract, but I'm expecting to be offered another 6 months sometime this week. Just to complicate things, though, I'm going to have to move house in the next few weeks. My current housemate/workmate won't be signing on for another contract (at least there's a 95% chance that she won't) and my place isn't very affordable for me to live here without sharing with someone. Signing on for another 6 months at work would mean that I'm also able to sign on for a 6 month lease at a new place, so I'm currently looking for a little one-bedroom to call home for a while. It will be nice to live by myself again after sharing for so long, but the process of moving is never fun so I can't say I'm actually looking forward to the process. I have an open house lined up for Monday and I'm trying to organise a second one at another place. Hopefully, I'll like on of them and I won't have to do too much more looking. Moving within the same city, I should be able to move in a less organised manner, taking most of my stuff car load by car load which might make it a bit easier (and require less boxes).

I've also applied for another job in Victoria, though, so there is a possibility (although, I'd say its unlikely) that I'll get that and mess up my plans.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Project Namibia

I had a phone call from London tonight from a volunteer coordinator about my application to volunteer with the Carnivore Conservation Programme in Namibia. After myconversation with the nice pom lady, the basic outcome is that I've been accepted. I was interviewed for about 40min to make sure that I understood the project that I was applying for and the potential difficulties with working in a developing country and that I was a suitable person for the project. Once I explained what I do for a living, she was pretty happy and skipped a few questions. They will send me my official letter of offer soon and then I can start properly planning my adventure.

Its pretty exciting to see that its actually happening. Its no longer just a daydream of something that I want to do, its now starting to become a reality.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


So, there's a slight change of plans. I'm now thinking Namibia rather than Swaziland. Namibia is also a politically stable country so I would feel relatively safe there and the volunteering opportunity at the wildlife sanctuary there seems really cool. They run a research program collaring and tracking Cheetahs which I would love to be a part of. So thats the plan at this stage. Until I change my mind again.