Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The end of Phase 104.....and how it poured!!!

We have now sadly reached the end of phase 104. It has been a very productive phase with many new species sighted, especially the Mangrove Cuckoo and the Keeled Mangrove Snake (rare in Costa Rica). We have had a huge variety of weather from 2 constant weeks of blistering sun to four solid days of rain which flooded base and halted surveys.
We were joined for the second phase by two new arrivals, Erik and Reto, and a new staff member, Emily. The five interns, I, Simon H, Dave, Alana and Zahra, are leaving tomorrow to travel to San Jose and on to Estelí in Nicaragua to have Spanish lessons for 2 weeks. We will then go to our placements for the last 10 weeks of our internship.
GVI Costa Rica will be bidding a very reluctant and sad farewell to a much loved and revered member of staff at the end of this phase. Jon “Bird man and all round amphibian and reptile enthusiast” Groom is leaving us. He has been a huge influence to the project starting as a 6 month intern and being placed back at base for his second 10 weeks. Jon both inspires and enthuses volunteers and staff alike. As the sun sets he is always found with binoculars primes and by rainy night he can be found out the back of the coconut field knee deep in water gazing at frogs and toads. Jon’s passion has brought the phase alive for many people and made bird geeks of people who before the project had not even looked at a bird twice. He will be missed for his hard line bird ID-ing, scrabble skills, cow herding skills (especially the one with the tattoo), amazing hair, propensity towards 12 hour incidentals and 7 hour nest check (with added birding thrown in), uncanny knack of having a handy pair of latex gloves to ID frogs and protecting the entire base from predatory snakes. He was crowned volunteer hero of phase 104!
By Melissa Errington (soon to be returning to base for more blog updates in 2011!)



Anonymous said...

Melissa. You are too nice. Thank you for your kind comments and be careful of that cow, once he realises I'm gone he might start getting 'funny' again!
'Bird-man' Jon