Wow, where has time gone? We are now into January and close to what would be the end of my traineeship. Thankfully my traineeship has been extended into mid February now which is great and has given me the opportunity to do more exciting things.
My reports for Blenheim Palace and Woodwalton Fen are finished now with just final tweaks being made to the article for The Coleopterist which has been accepted. This is really rewarding and all the feedback I have has been positive. I am speaking about my work at Blenheim Palace at the Coleopterist Day next month which is a great honour.
My day to day tasks have gone back to lots of ID work. I have been looking at beetles collected at Windsor in malaise and interception traps in 1993 (before I was born!). This has been good training for me as I have been sorting the specimens into family groups and identifying the easier ones, referring beetles form the more difficult families to other specialists.
I am continuing my work on bees and wasps too, doing some identification work which will be checked with Stuart Roberts next month. Stuart is an expert on these groups and has had a huge influence on my career so I am grateful that I can use my training budget to go and visit him. Having a reliable reference collection is essential in order to reliably identify these species and was essential to me finding a new wasp for Buckinghamshire this year.
This next month of so will be full of more identification work, a days training workshop for Buglife and other exciting project work.