Sunday, 29 March 2015

Another talk at Avalon Marshes and in search of booming Bittern


Saturday 28th February 2015 started early with a morning of ringing.  I had been away for half-term and so this was the first time I had been ringing at Chew Valley Ringing Station for three weeks. Although we were at the ringing station until 1 pm, the morning was quiet and I only ringed a Dunnock, Blue Tit and Great Tit.



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Photograph taken by and copyright Oliver Edwards Photography


A Young Birders Talk


The next afternoon, I was giving a talk, “born to bird”, about birding and conservation projects around the world including my recent trip to Bangladesh to see Spoon-billed Sandpiper.  The talk was being organised by Natural England and was being held at the Avalon Marshes Centre, on the Somerset Levels.  




Details of my talk at Avalon Marshes
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig



Details of my talk at Avalon Marshes
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig giving a talk at Avalon Marshes
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


The talk went really well and was to a packed room including children from the local primary school, which was fantastic.  You can tell if a talk has gone well, by whether you get lots of questions.  After about 15 minutes of questions, Simon from Natural England ended the session, which was good because I wanted to do some birding whilst we were down on the Levels.



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig giving a talk at Avalon Marshes
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig giving a talk at Avalon Marshes
Photograph  taken by and copyright Helena Craig


A Young Birder looking for booming Bittern


Bittern are secretive birds that live in the reed beds.  The whole of the area on the Somerset Levels has been planted out with reeds, to try and bring back breeding Bittern.  The project has been really successful with lots of pairs breeding there now.   We had a chat with Simon to find out where the Bittern had been heard, as we knew the males had started making their strange calls already.  We decided to go across to the other end of the footpath, to try from the Shapwick Heath end.  



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at the Somerset Levels
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at the Somerset Levels
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at the Somerset Levels
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at the Somerset Levels
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



We had parked the car and had just started walking from the car park in the direction of Noah’s Lake when we heard a male Bittern booming, the name given to their low, deep “booming” call, which can be heard for almost a mile.  It was a beautiful afternoon and the sound of the Bittern’s call from the reeds could be heard clearly over the silence and crispness of the day.

We carried on with our walk without hearing any more bittern but we did hear several Cetti’s Warbler, singing from the reeds.  



Somerset Levels
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig and Chris Craig at the Somerset Levels
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


A Young Birder watching Starling Mumurations


The light had started to turn, so we headed to Ham Wall, where the Starling murmurations had been seen the evening before.  The Starlings had started to disperse and so the numbers were much lower than in January, but there were enough to still make it an amazing spectacle.  The Starling gathered together flying in swirls and whirls, making us gasp with excitement.   The whole thing lasted 15 minutes, before the Starlings were heading back to their night time roost. It had been another lovely weekend full of birds.



Chris Craig at the Somerset Levels
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Somerset Levels
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


About the writer



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


Mya-Rose Craig is a 12 year old young birder, conservationist, writer and speaker.    She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world.  She was the youngest person to see 3,000 birds in 2013 and she hopes to see her 4,000th bird in Antarctica, her 7th continent, in 2015.  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


















Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Interview on BBC Asian Network on 8 March 2015




Sunday 8th Mach 2015 was another special day.



As a young female Bangladeshi birder, I was due to appear on the 8 pm Nadia Ali show on BBC Asian Network radio. It was International Woman's Day and it was exciting to be asked to speak as a young Bangladeshi woman.

Dad drove us to London and we had decided to visit the Natural History Museum. As it was a Sunday, we managed to find free parking on the road. I had never been to the museum, except did the Oriental Bird Club AGM, when there was no time to look around.

It was amazing to see the the dinosaurs and the animals. Unfortunately there was work going on so only a few birds on display. It was sad to see the stuffed Dodo and Great Auk. There was a cabinet with hummingbirds including a Sword-billed Hummingbird and tiny Bee Hummingbird. 




Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at the Natural History Museum, London
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig





Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at the Natural History Museum, London
In front of Darwin's statue
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig





Engraving on Darwin's statue, Natural History Museum, London 
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig




Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at the Natural History Museum, London
In front of Wallace's painting
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig




We walked around the Blue Whale and elephants, being one of the last to leave.

Then we had the short drive across central London to Broadcasting House.  Again we found free parking, found the entrance to the building before going to Pizza Express for dinner.

I had a quick think about what I wanted to say, which was to tell people about Spoon-billed Sandpiper.  Mum practiced a bit of Sylheti as well!



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in front of BBC Building, London
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig




Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in Pizza Express near BBC Building, London
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



A Young birder at BBC Broadcasting House




Then we were off to BBC Broadcasting House. The BBC News was on the ground floor, so we took a few photos.



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with BBC visitor badge, BBC Building
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig




Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in BBC Asian Network Studio, BBC Building
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in BBC Asian Network Studio, BBC Building
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig



Once upstairs, the interview went really quickly.  I talked about what I wanted, which was great.  I want to use any opportunity I have to talk about rare birds, so people want to save them.  I also spoke out to inspire other young Asian girls to realise that they could achieve anything they set their minds to, no matter what people told them.





Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Nadia Ali and guest in BBC Asian Network Studio, BBC Building
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Nadia Ali in BBC Asian Network Studio, BBC Building
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

The Radio One Studio was next door, so I got to take some photos there.


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig outside Radio One Studio, BBC Building
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig




I had the most amazing time being interviewed by Nadia from BBC Asian Network for Bangladeshi listeners. I managed to talk about Spoon-billed Sandpiper in Bangladesh. This was the link on BBC Iplayer, 40 minutes in http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b054fp45

We were celebrating International Women's Hour at BBC Headquarters. Got to see the BBC News Room and BBC Radio One Studios.

Dad drove us home, which was great as it meant I could sleep in the car. 

This was a really memorable day that I'm not going to forget in a hurry. 




Young BIrder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig and Chris Craig, BBC Building lobby
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig






Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig and Chris Craig, BBC Building lobby
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig






About the writer


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


Mya-Rose Craig is a 12 year old young birder, conservationist, writer and speaker.    She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world.  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











Monday, 23 March 2015

My article in the Bangladeshi Youth Magazine Kishor Alo


My week in Bangladesh had been fantastic with a trip to Sonadia Island, to see the amazing and rare Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Then a talk in Dhaka with the aim of the trip to highlight the Spoon-billed Sandpiper to as many Bangladeshi's as possible both in Bangladesh and in the UK. 

As well as appearing in the national newspapers, an article about me also appeared in a monthly teen magazine, The Kishor Alo, published by the biggest selling daily Bangladeshi newspaper Prothom Alo.

The article came out on 6th March 2015, a couple of weeks after we were back home and the link to the magazine is kishoralo.com







Article in Kishor Alo Magazine

Translation


The translation is similar to the article in Prothom Alo 


Mya-Rose: A love of birds



Mya-Rose is a twelve year old young, enthusiastic bird watcher and twitcher. Those who watch the movement of migratory birds and of birds generally are known as twitchers. Mya-Rose has already seen more than 3,000 different types of birds in a number of countries. Mya-Rose is known in the UK and around the world as the youngest world bird watcher to see this many birds.



Mya-Rose’s mother, Helena Ahmed, is Sylheti and her father, Chris Craig, is a British. They live in Somerset in the UK.


This February, Mya-Rose made a trip to Bangladesh to survey the rare Spoon-billed Sandpiper. There are only 200 of this species of birds left in the world. Mya-Rose said in an interview about Bangladeshi birds, "The Island delta is a place with an enviable variety of water birds. It is an amazing and interesting experience for me to watch almost extinct birds like the Spoon-billed Sandpiper here in Bangladesh".



Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph copyright Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project



She started bird watching when she was four years old and since then, Mya-Rose has travelled to all the continents except Antarctica to see birds and is going there in December. Mya-Rose's mother, Helena Ahmed, said, "When she was a baby, her third word was 'birdie'. We always support her work and ambitions".



About the writer






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




Mya-Rose Craig is a 12 year old young birder, conservationist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She was the youngest person to see 3,000 birds in 2013 and she hopes to see her 4,000th bird in Antarctica, her 7th continent, in 2015. 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














Sunday, 22 March 2015

My interview with Sunamganji papers, Bangladesh


My week in Bangladesh had been great as we had managed to go on a day trip to Sonadia Island, to see the amazing and rare Spoon-billed Sandpipers.  Doing a talk in Dhaka was brilliant.  My aim from the trip was to highlight the Spoon-billed Sandpiper to as many Bangladeshi's as possible both in Bangladesh and in the UK.  


Sunamganj Times Interview



The article came out on 24th February 2015 just after we left Bangladesh.

The link for the article is http://thesunamganjtimes.com/?p=20501


কৈশোরে কীর্তিমান : পাখির জন্য মায়া
ফেব্রুয়ারী ২৩, ২০১৫





টাইমস প্রতিবেদক :



মায়া রোজের বয়স মাত্র ১২। নেশায় বার্ড ¯পটার টুইচার। যারা বিভিন্ন পরিযায়ী পাখির চলাফেরার খোঁজ রাখে, গতিবিধি নজর রাখে তাদের বার্ড ¯পটার টুইচার বলে। টুইচাররা পাখির পেছনে ঘুরে ঘুরে পাখি কোথায় যায়, কী করে, তা দুরবিন দিয়ে পর্যবেক্ষণ করে, ছবি তুলে রাখে। এরই মধ্যে পৃথিবী ঘুরে তিন হাজারের বেশি পাখির চলাচল মুখস্থ তার। শুধু যুক্তরাজ্যেরই নয়, বলা হয় সারা বিশ্বের কনিষ্ঠ বার্ড ¯পটার হচ্ছে মায়া।


বাংলাদেশি বংশোদ্ভূত মায়া রোজের মা হেলেনা আহমেদ সুনামগঞ্জের দক্ষিণসুনামগঞ্জ উপজেলার পশ্চিমবীরগাও ইউনিয়নের বসিয়াকাউরি গ্রামের মেয়ে। আর বাবা ক্রিস ক্রেইগ ব্রিটিশ। যুক্তরাজ্যের সমারসেটে বসবাস তাদের।

এই ফেব্রুয়ারিতে চামচঠুঁটো বাটান পাখির জরিপে বাংলাদেশে এসেছে মায়া। পৃথিবীতে মাত্র শ দুয়েক এই জাতের পাখি আছে। ঢাকায় এক সাক্ষাৎকারে মায়া জানায়, ‘ব-দ্বীপের দেশ বাংলাদেশ। এখানে পাখির বৈচির্ত্য ঈর্ষণীয়।

বিলুপ্তপ্রায় পাখি চামচঠুঁটো বাটান খুঁজতে এখানে আসতে পেরে আমি ভীষণ আনন্দিত। তা ছাড়া মায়ের দেশ বলে কথা!’

মা-বাবার ধরে চার বছর বয়স থেকেই পাখি দেখা শুরু তার। এরই মধ্যে অ্যান্টার্কটিকা বাদে সব মহাদেশেই পাখি গোনার কাজ করেছে মায়া। মায়ার মা হেলেনা আহমেদ জানান, ‘মায়ার জন্মের পরে শেখা তৃতীয় শব্দটি ছিল বার্ডি। আমরা ওর ভালো লাগার কাজে সব সময় উৎসাহ দিয়ে থাকি।’


Article on Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in The Sunamganj Times 24 February 2015

English Translation


The content is OK but is not in the right order.  Thank you to Sonia Hussain Ahmed for preparing the translation into English


Birdgirl – A love of birds



Mya-Rose is only twelve years of age. She is a very passionate and inspiring bird watcher. Keeping track of the movements of migratory birds and bird-spotting is called being a “twitcher”. Twitchers observe where the birds are nesting with binoculars, sometimes taking photographs, while the world carries on around the flock of a thousand birds. 


Mya-Rose bird watches not just in the United Kingdom, but she is the world's youngest bird spotter. Mya-Rose’s mother, Helena Ahmed, is of Bangladeshi ancestry, originating from Sunamganj District, Paschim Biragao union, Basia Kauri village. Mya-Rose’s father, Chris Craig, is British and they all live in Somerset, England. 

This February, Mya-Rose came to Bangladesh to survey the Spoon -billed Sandpiper. There are only a few hundred of this species of bird in the world. In an interview in Dhaka, Mya-Rose said Bangladesh is a delta, with an enviable variety of birds. "I am very happy to be here to find these rare birds, Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Bangladesh wouldn’t be the same country without them!” 


Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph taken by and copyright Baz Scampion 



With her mother and father, she started bird watching from the age of four years old. Apart from Antarctica, Mya-Rose has been bird watching in every continent in the world. Mya-Rose’s mother, Helena Ahmed, says after Mya-Rose was born, her very third word was “birdy”. We have always encouraged her to enjoy bird watching.



The Daily Sunamkantha Times Interview

The article came out on 25th February 2015 just after we left Bangladesh, with a similar translation.





Article on Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in The Daily Sunamkantha 25 February 2015

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with local children on Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


About the writer


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



About the writer



Mya-Rose Craig is a 12 year old young birder, conservationist, writer and speaker.    She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world.  She was the youngest person to see 3,000 birds in 2013 and she hopes to see her 4,000th bird in Antarctica, her 7th continent, in 2015.  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











Friday, 20 March 2015

My interview on Jamuna TV, Bangladesh



Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig being filmed at Jamuna TV
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


21st February 2015 was our last full day in Dhaka and had been booked up but with a few cancellations was quite free. There had been someone calling Mum all morning, wanting to interview me for Prothom Alo, Bangladeshi's biggest selling daily newspaper. They finally had a brief chat with me and asked me to come over for an interview in the evening but said that they would call back in an hour.



We on our way to visit an elderly Nani, when Mum had the call back. The interview was actually with Jamuna TV a Bangladeshi TV station and we had to get to them at 7 pm http://www.jamunatv.net/#.

The journalist, Zahid Hossain Khan, also represented Prothom Alo Newspaper, which was where the confusion had come from. Anyway, I wasn't dressed for a TV interview but there was no time to go back and change now.

Whilst visiting relatives near Dhanmondi, from about 5.30 pm I was suggesting to Mum that we leave for the TV Station. Mum kept saying we were fine for time, until she suddenly realised it was gone 6.30 pm. It was only then that we rushed on our way and Mum phoned from the car to at least check that it wasn't a live interview, which at it wasn’t.


Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig being filmed at Jamuna TV
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

By the time we got to Jamuna TV, it was 7.30 pm and we were half an hour late. The team was running around and obviously stressed. The offices were modern with plenty of space to film interviews in rooms with desks. Once they started filming, they took footage of me walking in and out of rooms and looking serious. Then they interviewed me and I tried to talk as much as possible about the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, why it’s such an amazing bird and why we need to save it.


Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig being filmed at Jamuna TV
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig being filmed at Jamuna TV
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Then they made Mum do an interview in Sylheti about how I got into birding, which she hated and said was really embarrassing as her Sylheti is pretty basic. I'm determined to learn some now before I come back here.




Helena Craig being filmed at Jamuna TV
Photograph taken by and copyright Mya-Rose Craig

After the interviews, we had the look at the editing suites, studios and then went to upstairs to meet their MD, Simon Dring, who is a British media man now living in Australia but coming and working in Dhaka for months at a time. It was all really interesting and they definitely made me feel special.




Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig and Zahid Hossein Khan at Jamuna TV
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

By 9 pm we were on our way back to Gulshan to meet friends having had a really interesting time. My interview was shown a week later on 1 March 2014 but unfortunately they had cut my comments about the Spoon-billed Sandpipers, which was a real shame.  The link for the programme is http://bit.ly/1BmYqYh and I am at 10:27 minutes.

About the writer


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


Mya-Rose Craig is a 12 year old young birder, conservationist, writer and speaker.    She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world.  She was the youngest person to see 3,000 birds in 2013 and she hopes to see her 4,000th bird in Antarctica, her 7th continent, in 2015.  Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter