Sunday, 15 October 2017

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush twitch 13 October 2017

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush 23 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

There are some days that stand out in terms of how lucky I am to have the parents I do - obsessed with birds as much as me but still prepared to put their passion alongside rather than ahead of mine.

There had been news of a Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush found in the Brecon Beacons on a Thursday, whilst I was at school. I headed to school the next day which was Friday 13th October 2017 with no siting of the bird before I left home, so I assumed that like many others, it was a one day bird. It was my last day of term before the autumn half term holiday, so I was hoping that the holidays was going to be good for birds. This year I am in Year 11 and taking my GCSE exams in June. I have my mock exams in November so really need to do lots of revision during the holiday too.

Mum was in London and expected back that evening, so that Friday was just an average day for me. We are not allowed to look at our phones at school and so I didn’t pick up the texts from my dad.

I boarded my school bus home at 3.25pm as usual, when I saw my dad making his way from one bus to another. He knocked on our bus window and asked if I was on board? I knew I had to get off the bus, so told my mates that I probably had a dentist appointment. As I got off the bus, he whispered (so as not to embarrass me) that the Rock Thrush was still there and that we had just about enough time to get there.  What a legend my dad is. He had already seen a Rock Thrush before and all this effort was just so that Mum and I could see it.

We drove straight towards Bristol and met up in a car park with Mum and her friend Lorna, who was staying with us. It was to be Lorna’s first twitch! They had been in London for a couple of nights and Mum had rushed back early to meet us.

Dad drove pretty fast to get to the beautiful Brecon Beacons in Mid Wales, getting us there at 5.30pm.  As we rushed along the path to where the bird was being seen, we bumped into our long time birding friend and big British twitcher Julian Thomas. He told us that the Rock Thrush was still there but was being seen a little way away from the path. It had been raining and was very cloudy, so the light was fading fast. 


Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig digiscoping Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Brecon Beacons 13 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig



Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig digiscoping Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Brecon Beacons 13 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig  at Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush twitch, Brecon Beacons 13 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig  at Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush twitch, Brecon Beacons 13 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


When we got to the bird, it was perched in view, but some way away.  Once we had seen it, although not fantastically, it was a big relief.  We then watched and waited and eventually were rewarded with slightly better views just as it started to rain. It was my second new bird of the autumn and great to see this European Rock Thrush.



Record shot of Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Brecon Beacons 13 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig



Record shot of Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Brecon Beacons 13 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Needless to say, Lorna was not overly impressed with her first (and probably last) twitch!

After some chips in Abergavenny, we made it home by 9pm. On the way home, I posted my very terrible "record shots" on twitter, much to the hilarity of my birding followers. The Rock Thrush was also a new bird in the world for me (4723), which was fantastic.

Postscript

The Rock Thrush stayed around for a while, which was lucky, as we were able to return on Monday 23rd October 2017, which was inset day before I went back the next day.


Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush 23 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush 23 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig



Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush 23 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


This time the weather was clear and sunny and the bird really confiding. We got some brilliant views and had another lovely birding day out with my parents.

About the Author

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in Antarctica
Photograph copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig



Mya-Rose Craig is a 15-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, 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 loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent. She is looking forward to visiting Guatamala, Tanzania, Kenya and Madagasca birding in 2018 and hopes to see her 5000th bird species in the world.

Mya-Rose was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol Ambassadors. She has also 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
She is an Ambassador for World Shorebirds Day, See It Her Way and a Charter Champion for The Charter for Woods, Trees and People. She has given over 50 talks, speaking at conferences such as being on a panel with George Monbiot and Caroline Lucas on Sustainability and the Future of Cities. She has also appeared on TV an dis particularly proud of being in Silent Roars, a short film whihc was part of Listen to Britain 2017 https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-the-silent-roars-2017-onlineShe organised a conference, Race Equality in Nature, in June 2016 aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature and plans to run her fifth Camp Avalon camp in 2018. She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of Black Asian Minority Ethnic people. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change. She has been awarded the Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award 2017 for Bristol for her Black2Nature work EYA 2017Please also like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter.








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