Yay, field day!!! Fourteen kids from the summer school came with us on an awesome trip to the forest to learn more about the mountain chicken project. The weather was at its best behaviour and the sunshine was pouring down at us as we all walked off into Spring ghaut. By the bounce in their steps I’m convinced there were some future forest experts in the group.

Once in the forest the kids divided into two groups. The first group learned about the radio tracking procedure from Scriber and the other group got some hands on swabbing experience together with Sarah and the local cane toads. Then they switched and did the other round. Of course, Ninon was with us to catch us all on film!

A future biologist at work? © J Liman

Quest number one: Catch a cane toad! At first the boys were a bit hesitant, but when they heard the girls had done it just like that, they really had no choice than to scamper off after the slightly suspicious toads. And so the toads got caught and swabbed and examined out of every angle possible.

It was a total energy and happiness infusion to watch the kids with expressions of great concentration on their faces file up behind the radio tracking antenna, almost walking in pace like an army in the jungle. No frogs were detected, but nothing else passed unnoticed. Birds, bugs, moths, termites and hermit crabs all got their moment of fame and admiration. The hours passed at the speed of seconds and even though we tried to stretch how few minutes we would need in the end to get back to the road and waiting bus, we finally had to pack up and head out. I didn’t think it was possible, but the level of sqeels and excitement was actually even higher on the way back! I’m pretty sure there were some animated dinner conversations on Montserrat that night.

The whole gang! ©J Liman

-Jenny Liman


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