Lifestyle

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Calling all Rockabillies twitching for a dream job

Star tern: The endangered roseate tern which breeds each year on Rockabill Island in the Irish Sea off the coast of Skerries.
Star tern: The endangered roseate tern which breeds each year on Rockabill Island in the Irish Sea off the coast of Skerries.
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There have been applications from all over the world for the jobs of wardens on Rockabill Island.

YOU might call them real-life Rockabillies – although it is a quiet life that awaits the two people who land summer jobs monitoring seabirds on a remote rocky outcrop off the east coast.

Birdwatch Ireland has advertised for two wardens to study and protect the stunning roseate tern on Rockabill Island, seven kilometres off the north Dublin coast.

The adventurous island castaways will get a salary of €400 a week and free accommodation. The jobs have attracted several dozen applicants from all over the world – but they're not for the faint-hearted and sleepwalkers need not apply.

The wardens – who don't need to be enthusiastic birdwatchers or 'twitcher' – will literally be perched for three months atop a high rocky outcrop of two tiny islands holding just a working lighthouse, accommodation and "just enough room to stretch the legs".

They can forget the pub, the shops and most home comforts and prepare to enjoy the company of thousands of seabirds swooping and swirling outside their front door.

The work entails the monitoring and protection of the migrant roseate, common and Arctic terns during the May to August breeding season.

Birdwatch Ireland development officer Niall Hatch admits the work isn't for everyone but says it's a "feather in the cap" for anyone wishing to advance their careers in environmental or similar sciences.

The closing date for applications is noon today, with interviews later this month. Applications can be sent to mkavanagh@birdwatchireland.ie

Irish Independent

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