Who I am and how I became involved with the Cameron Bespolka Trust
I am currently studying zoology at the University of Exeter. My relationship with birds and other wildlife has been life-long, however it really flourished when my parents decided to move the family from the outskirts of Melton Mowbray to a marvellous house in the middle of the Rutland countryside. Just outside my back door are fields with plenty of exciting wildlife to discover; my most treasured find was that of an active barn owl nest in a nearby meadow, which is still home to a brood of fluffy chicks every spring- last year three fledged successfully after the intensive hunting efforts of an apparently single female with an instantly recognisable dodgy eye.
The joy which I find in observing wildlife motivated me to sign up to the British Trust for Ornithology’s Young Birders Camp last May, which is possibly one of the best decisions I have made so far in my life. Not only did I learn a lot about how bird populations are documented by the BTO, but I also met many other young birders with huge knowledge on a wide array of species of bird. I was in complete awe of these people whilst we were out and about either bird watching or doing one of the other activities; their skill in bird identification was just out of this world. About two or three weeks after this camp, I received a phone call to say that I had been chosen to attend the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Young Birder event in June. Over-whelming excitement and equal nervousness were the emotions I was feeling- America is so far away and full of so many different birds! This trip was funded by the Cameron Bespolka Trust, and I was very well looked after by them. Corinne Cruickshank from the Trust phoned me a few weeks before the trip to ensure that I was fully prepared, and has kept contact with me up until today.
I am forever grateful to the Trust for allowing me to have the incredible opportunity to visit the States and the truly awesome Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca NY, and for also allowing me to stay involved with the Trust. I am very excited to be writing the regular blog for the Trust, which will be about all things in the world of wildlife to keep the Trust’s followers up to date with news and other interesting stories from our natural world. I have no doubt that great things will come from the Cameron Bespolka Trust in years to come; young people need wildlife and are its future, and together we can achieve great things!