Spurn Bird Observatory

WANTED: Voluntary Assistant Ornithologist

30 June 2017

Voluntary Assistant Ornithologist
Spurn Bird Observatory

We are looking for a keen and eager birder to help out with the long-standing bird monitoring programme here at Spurn Bird Observatory. We are looking for a highly motivated person who is seeking to make a career in the area of ornithology and nature conservation.

This post is ideal for someone who can identify a Black-tailed from a Bar-tailed Godwit, Tree from Meadow Pipit and Arctic from Pomarine Skua, but most crucially of all someone who is keen to learn! In 2016 270 species of bird were recorded in the Spurn area, so if you are confident and capable of your bird identification skills and don’t shy away from identifying birds on call, then we want you.

The role is to support the Warden, Assistant Warden and visiting and resident birders in counting and monitoring birds in the Spurn area. Essentially we need you to help count the amazing number of migrants that pass through the Spurn area!

Duties will principally involve visible migration and grounded migrant counts, assisting the wardens with the daily log, Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) counts, wader counts, common bird counts, guided walks throughout the autumn and interacting with Friends of Spurn members. You will also be expected to help out with assorted tasks, including domestic duties around the Obs, habitat management on Obs land and project work in the field that involves manual labour e.g. mowing paths, painting benches etc. Rare birds are almost guaranteed at Spurn so someone who is keen to share news and help others see these birds would be ideal.

Length of stay is flexible, ideally we would like someone in place from mid-August through to mid-November, but shorter stays will be considered for the right candidates. Preference will be given to those able to commit to a longer term, with the minimum stay being 4 weeks.

The position is voluntary, with self-catering accommodation (in a newly-built log cabin in the Observatory garden) provided. You’ll be sharing with up to 3 others in the cabin, with cooking facilities in the main Observatory building – all pots, pans, utensils etc. provided.

This is a very exciting opportunity to be part of one of Britain’s premier bird observatories at arguably one of the best bird migration hotspots in the UK. During your time at the Obs you will develop and learn skills that will be ideal for those looking for a future in the field of ornithology/conservation. You’ll also find yourself immersed in a friendly birding community with an excellent social scene.

Essential:
• Competent field ornithology skills, with the ability to identify a wide range of species.
• Aged 18 or above
• Familiarity, through proven practice, with a range of birding experiences (seawatching, ‘vis-migging’ etc.)
• The ability to assist with guided walks for birders of a wide range of abilities.
• A reasonable level of competence in using a range of computer applications – word processing, spreadsheets and a willingness to further develop this ability.
• A willingness to work flexibly and responsively to meet changing day-to-day circumstances at the Observatory.
• Self-motivated, comfortable with manual tasks and happy to spend long hours in the field when migration conditions are favourable.

Desirable:
• An interest and capability in at least one other branch of natural history – for example, plants, butterflies and moths, dragonflies etc. – or a willingness to develop such an interest and capability.
• Familiarity with photographing birds in the field.
• Physically fit and in good health.
• Your own vehicle.

If interested please email your CV including two referees (at least one birding related) before 16th July 2017.

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