Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Fieldwork: Never work with animals

I think it's probably even more true for wild animals.

It's not even that the little buggers are not doing what I want them to do, they are simply not doing much at all. During multiple focal watches absolutely nothing happens, the birds just forage and preen themselves.

This means that data collection has been going rather slowly and I started to get a little bit stressed - what if I don't get enough data? I know it's not the end of the world, but I feel committed: I'm investing hours and hours of my time here (including on weekends) and feeling a little bit of pressure that I don't have much to show for it. I'm still learning a lot while I'm here, but something tangible would be nice, especially that this time would have been otherwise spend on results-producing analyses.

I know that I can complete my PhD without these data... Yet, somehow, I know it will feel just a little bit like a failure if I don't get the data. The impostor syndrome is hiding just around the corner, pocking it's ugly head out.

Decision has been made - I'm going to extend my stay by a couple of weeks, till the end of October. Hopefully that will be enough. I shall find out I guess! Now onto flights re-booking and accommodation-searching.

To illustrate how slow and late everything in the field is - some of our males are still not through their moult!

Look at that scruffy face!

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