Sunday, 17 May 2015

My first paid magazine article - Bird Watching Magazine

50 Family Birding Idea's - A special edition of Bird Watching Magazine

Last September, Bird Watching Magazine published an Autumn edition on children and birding.

I had been talking to them since the spring and agreed to write a piece. I wrote about how I got into birding, my early experiences and how to get children into birding.

I also wrote my top ten tips for getting children into birding. These were based on my own experiences and whet worked for me.

The piece was a bit long, but I wasn't sure what to cut out so I sent it in to the editor, Matt Merritt to look at, expecting him to hack it to bits. Matt said he liked it as it was and said he would and try and get extra advertising to cover the extra words. I also sent in a variety of photos not really knowing what Matt would want to use.

Over the summer, we were in Borneo birdwatching. We were at our last evening at the remote Borneo Rainforest Lodge at Danum Rainforest, when I went to my usual position standing outside the dining area to access the one internet hotspot. Up popped an e-mail from Bird Watching Magazine as asking for 5 top birds something to do with children, that I could define. My mind buzzed, picking 5 birds was going to be hard.

There was no time to do anything now as we were about to meet our guide for a night drive, but starting early at 7pm. My mind was immediately back on the birding at hand.

Night birding was often quiet, but tonight started with a blue banded pitta sitting in a bush just by a boardwalk that one of the other guides had happened upon. The rest of the night was spent looking for Frogmouth with no luck. Hence another late night to bed at 11 pm.

The next morning was another 5 am breakfast, birding all morning before leaving for Danum Valley Field Centre. It was fine, as they have WIFI there, so I would be able to e-mail Bird Watching Magazine from there.

Instead of sleeping, I used the journey to think of the best birds to show children and get them hooked. When we got to the Field Centre, we were straight out birding after lunch. So trying to find Internet would have to wait for the next day.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose's top 5 birders to show children to get them hooked

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose's top 5 birders to show children to get them hooked

After a 5 am breakfast, we were out birding in the forest until 1 pm, when we came back for lunch.

Red Leaf Monkey, Danum Valley Field Centre
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Danum Valley Field Centre
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

After lunch, Mum and I missed our afternoon siesta (for me my usual reading siesta) to find the office. When we got there, they let me use one of the computers. I had enough internet to get into my e-mails but although I was there two hours, there was not Internet again. Eventually, I text my sister Ayesha back home asking her to search the Internet and find Bird Watching Magazine's office number and then call them to get a mobile number. Api (big sister in Bangla) often ends up being my assistant back home. Soon enough I had a number and could text them my "5 best birds". What a hassle! The joys of being a writer and world birder at the same time.

This was to be my first paid article and as a writer I hope it is the first of many. It was three times as much as my annual pocket money allowance, so brilliant to receive as I'm saving up for a good video camera.

Birdgirl's article in Bird Watching Magazine

Birdgirl Mya-Rose with her Swarovski binoculars

Emm, advert for Swarovski binoculars!

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's top ten tips to get children into birding

About the writer

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig

Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol, UK and blogs about birding and conservation from around the world. Wader conservation is important to her and she is Ambassador to the global wader initiative World Shorebird Day. She is looking forward to Mountain Gorilla trekking this summer in East Africa and to watching penguins in Antarctica in December, which will be her 7th continent. She has recently been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter.

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