Yes, we are still alive! We arrived in Sydney about two weeks ago. We are in a shared house temporarily for about a month until we head into the outback. We have been orienting ourselves at our respective universities (me, Sydney; Lucy, UNSW) and trying hard to hit the ground running. Unfortunately we are both operating to quite tight schedules so there hasn’t been much excitement to report just yet.
When we eventually get to the field, Lucy will be continuing her field research on social behaviour in chestnut-crowned babblers (cooperatively-breeding birds). I am not sure exactly where in Australia the bugs I am studying occur, but will be starting my searches in a haphazardly chosen location, at the field station where Lucy works. Happily this isn’t entirely random as I have been told that previous researchers have found the critters there before!
Monday was “the Queen’s birthday”, so naturally all Aussies get the day off (apart from those in WA, who don’t deserve it). This was our first real chance to get out and enjoy Sydney so we walked from the Spit to Manly Wharf, which has fantastic views over Sydney and a ferry trip back through Sydney Harbour. Saw my first kookaburra!