Saturday, 7 February 2015

Is there life outside birding?


A Young Birder's view


Birding is my complete passion, especially the thrill of seeing a new bird. What can be better than 10 new birds in day...absolutely nothing!


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig birding at KL Airport
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


What do you think young birders do with their spare time? Spend it on Twitter? Watching TV? 



Not me.... By the time I've been birding, twitching or ringing and then blogging about it, there can't be much time for anything else, right? Wrong.



I value every day of my life and although birding is the most important thing in it, it’s really important to me to do lots of the other things that I am interested in. Doing that, gives me a broad and balanced childhood. 

So this is my average week:


  • Ballet dance lessons 3 hours
  • Modern dance lesson
  • Tap dance lesson
  • Guitar lesson
  • Piano lesson 
  • Poetry lesson
  • Spanish lesson
  • Drama (LAMDA) lesson
  • Library Club
  • Centurion Reading Club
  • Lower School Choir
  • School Drama Club
  • Guides 1 hr 30 mins
  • Scouts 2 hours

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig during Ballet
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



At the moment, I am rehearsing for a performance of The Lion King; I am Narla, Simba's best friend. 



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at Chew Valley School Summer Concert 2014
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Last November, I was the “Slave to the Ring” in our village Aladdin Pantomime. That was a big commitment and on top on Sunday and Thursday night rehearsals, I had extra last minute rehearsals, which made things quite hectic.



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig as "The Slave to the Ring" in Aladdin
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Also, when I have dance exams I have extra rehearsals, for example I have four hours of exam rehearsal for a ballet exam coming up. I had a Modem Exam in November and went to 2 hours of extra lessons a week for two months before the exam, plus exam rehearsals and daily practice at home, which meant I missed the BTO Conference.


I also had a piano exam around the same time which made things even busier.



On top of that, I have 9 hours of travel a week, which I use to read. I am doing a 1 month reading marathon. For that, I have challenged myself to read 42 books including a classic, two modern classics and a poetry book. I'm a bit behind as I spent all my time last week preparing for my WWT talk, but have read 25 books so far. I still want to smash the challenge I have set myself!



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig reading on a Twitch
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



I hope that some of the things I do will help me get experience of adventure sports. For example, on our foreign birding trips, we have done canopy walkways, snorkeling, scuba diving and white water rafting.



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig White Water Rafting in Borneo


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Chris Craig diving in Borneo
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



At scouts and guides I have done camping, hiking, orienteering, kayaking, canoeing, climbing, abseiling and caving amongst other things. I have also had dry slope ski lessons and am going skiing with school at Easter.


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig during climbing with Guides
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


In Antarctica this December, we will be camping on ice, hiking and snow shoeing.




Antarctica
Photograph taken by and copyright Dr Rob Lambert


I hope all of this will give me a broad education, supporting all the birding, conservation, blogging and writing I'm doing and everything I learn on my foreign trips.


Article written by Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig for Birdwatching Magazine


Somehow, I have time for all my school work, which I have to do before anything else. I work really hard on my homework and am doing really well at school. 


It’d also really important to me to see my friends, doing things like going to the cinema or laser quest. For example, this weekend I am going paintballing with friends. Last time I went, I won a prize for strategic planning! I also like vegging out with my friends with a chick flick and popcorn.


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig catching up with friends from Australia
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



Also, I have a "Big Bangla Family" with loads of my rellies living close by in Bristol. That means I have to make time for all the parties we are invited to and time to see my cousins.




Young BIrder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig going to a Mendhi
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with cousins Nabil, Hamza and Talha Khandker
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



I also like going to the cinema or for meals with my parents and have a big family that I have to make time for. My mum and Dad are great taking me to conferences of talks that they think will be interesting for me. Last week I went to see Stephen Moss for a talk organised by Bristol Nature Network and next week we are going to a talk by Tony Juniper. We also record what seems to me to be an endless supply of nature, environmental and travel programmes for watching later together.





So, although you know the biggest and most important part of me, hopefully you can see that there is more to me then meets the eye... 



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig birding at Taman Negara, Malaysia
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








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