Would you like to live on a remote but inhabited jewel in the ocean 25 miles south of Shetland and 25 miles north of Orkney?
Can you tell a Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler (a.k.a. Rusty Rumped Warbler) from a Sparrow and run bird observing projects?
Can you be polite to the migratory visitors - the humans - who bring the money, because otherwise it's back to kebabbing puffins and knitting woolies?
The Fair Isle Bird Observatory Trust is looking for a pair wardens to run the projects and look after the visitors. They have a spanking new observatory in a wild and insanely beautiful spot, conducting world-class research in to bird migration patterns. The work of the Trust at the observatory costs money and that must come from offering an experience which is unique. No other island is quite like Fair Isle; not even the nearby islands are chosen by the birds for their stop-over, so ornithologists have been drawn there since the significance of the Island was realized from analysis in the 1920s.
Remarkably, they pay you to live there, and give you a vehicle, but you have to be able to combine ornithological research skills with academic support services and be a hotellier. The human visitors are often using their precious holidays to see the birds and need friendly guides and services to help them get the best out of their stay.
Traditionally the wardens have been a couple but all suitably qualified applicants are welcomed. The closing date for applications is 5 July, interview will be in August and the job starts next season.
For more details and an application form, contact:
Roger Riddington tel. (01950) 460080
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For an idea of how the life is lived, the current warden, Deryk Shaw, blogs at Fibo Warden's Diary.
Photo: JM Garm for Wikipedia.