9 June 2022
Bayleigh describes the field trips enjoyed by Animal Behaviour students in their first year.
Throughout the first year of studying animal behaviour, it included a variety of different field trips that were all free of charge. Most trips were either morning or afternoon trips and every field trip was on a Tuesday. Each trip included different animals and ecology. Some trips were just for fun and to gain knowledge and experience, but some did contribute to our assignments.
The first trip I went on was to Banham Zoo which was part of the Animal Behaviour and Physiology module. The workers at Banham Zoo gave us a private talk where we were able to hear about a variety of different career paths and what we would need to do to get there. We also had the opportunity to ask any questions that we had in relation to zoology, zoo management or any zoo related career. We also participated in up close activities with small animals. I was able to see so many animals up close and learn from a Banham Zoo worker all about them, I even held a giant centipede. Then we also had a lot of free time to roam around the zoo and spend some time looking at all the other animals and enjoy watching the shows Banham Zoo put on like the Birds of Prey and Sea Lion show.
Another trip we went on was to Horsey beach. The beach is home to many, many seals. This was part of the Ecology and Conservation module. We were observing the seals on the beach and in the water and counting how many males, females, and baby seals there were and their distribution between four areas. I also learnt how to distinguish between a male and a female seal. The best part was, just that morning about ten baby seals had been born.
The Museum of Zoology is located about a 5-minute walk from the university and is free of charge for students. I loved seeing all the different types of animals up close, especially the ones that are now sadly extinct. I also enjoyed learning more about their anatomies and the evolution of them. This was part of the Principles of Biology module.
The Botanic Gardens is also free on entry to students and is only about a 15-minute walk to the university. I love the atmosphere here, it’s so peaceful. This was also part of the Principles of Biology module. There are also a wide variety of different trees which I learnt a lot about; their origin from different countries as well as why some trees have different features and textures. My favourite place in the gardens is either the water fountain or the green house because it’s like you’re in a man-made jungle!
Paxton Pits is a nature reserve where we were required to analyse the distribution of Wildfowl from two groups either being close to the shore or further away from the shore. There was around eight different types of ducks! This trip was based on an assignment we had about the feeding ecology and distribution of Wildfowl for the Ecology and Conservation module. Going on this field trip really helped me for my assignment because I had the experience and results to help me.
The final trip I went on in my first year studying Animal Behaviour was to Devils Dyke. This was also for another assignment in the Ecology and Conservation module. I gained the skills of using equipment to form results for GIS Ecology and identified different plants using a pin frame and slope measurements. These results were needed for our assignment.
Bayleigh is studying Animal Behaviour at ARU in Cambridge. To find out more about our degree courses and student life at ARU, book your place at an Open Day.