Part of my wilderness guide studies is knowing your nature stuff. Obviously.

This meant a heap of studying for someone who since high school wasn’t interested in any of this.

But so far everything had gone pretty well:

Mammals 91%
Insects 88%
Fish 92%
Reptiles 100%

I visited the Middle Finland Nature Museum so many times to learn all the different kinds of fish.

But this June I faced my biggest challenge yet – birds. Birds I’ve been learning about since January.

In addition to knowing what they look like, you also need to know their calls and songs.

I no longer think they all look alike but damnit if they don’t sound the same now!

I think I’m just tone deaf.

Anyone who has ever heard me try to identify birdsongs, can confirm this.

The bird test started at Lokalahti bay. All the birds were already in hiding, save for the common teal, which I happened to identify! We could hear all the little birds sing but since they kept hiding, we couldn’t identify any of them.

However, I wrote my name down onto the paper, guessed the type and gave the paper to our teacher.

The test continued in a few more identification spots and I could feel desperation creeping in as we went back into the classroom to look at pictures of birds. Identification was a lot easier by just looking at drawings, as well as listening to their calls via tape.

I anxiously waited for the results to appear into Wilma. And come sundown, they did.

It was an all-time low for me. 69%

If you get 50% right out of two tests, you pass that section but the overall score needs to be above 80%. After the birds, mine dropped to 81% and I’m terrified.

I still have almost half of the test to complete so we’ll see.

Next up is moss, lichen, vascular plants and fungi. So I know what I’ll be doing this summer.

Yay for me!

//Anne

 

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