Saturday, 7 March 2015

Bangladesh Trip 18th Feb 2015, The Spoon-billed Sandpiper - Day 5, Part 1




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


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


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

Today, we were travelling by boat to Sonadia Island, off Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh in search of the rare and beautiful Spoon-billed Sandpiper.



On the way to Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on the way to Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph taken by Rupoj Sheikh and copyright Helena Craig



We were meeting Mohammed Foysal from the Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project, Sakib Ahmed an intern with IUCN and our film crew at 6.00 am in the lobby of our hotel The Long Beach Hotel, Cox’s Bazar. The plan was that we would get to the jetty for 6.10 am and, with the boat leaving at 6.15 am for Sonadia. Just before, Mum got a text from Foysal to say that the boatman wanted to leave at 6.30 am now, so we should meet at 6.15pm. 


Cameraman Abu Sayed Sumon in Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

We had 2 large suitcases of second hand boys clothes with us to distribute on Sonadia Island, which Foysal had been happy about us taking, as the people on the island are poor and would appreciate the project arranging for clothes to be distributed. The suitcases were fortunately carried by the camera crew, but with the best will in the world, there was no way we were going to get baby taxis to the jetty, the camera crew carry their equipment and two huge cases over a chain of about 10 unstable boats and us get going, all in 15 minutes!  There were two life jackets belonging to the project, which Mum and I got. 



On the way to Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

On the way to Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig



On the way to Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on the way to Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph taken by Rupoj Sheikh and copyright Helena Craig


Mohammed Foysal, Sakib Ahmed and Director Amlan Bishwas on the way to Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig



Foysal and Sakib were both wearing ghamsa's around their necks, which are like small Lungi's (like the "Lungi Dance" - find it on U-Tube). If none of that means anything, they are checked cotton that are really absorbent and used as towels (my Nanu uses them to dry her hair and put it up in a twisted turban).  Anyway, Foysal said that they were great as they were multi purpose - you could use them to give your head shade, keep your throat warm, as a towel, to hide behind when you needed to get changed and lots of other things. It sounded like a good idea to Mum and me. Foysal said that he had been getting birders from all around the world hooked on using ghamsa's!


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on the way to Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph taken by Rupoj Sheikh and copyright Helena Craig


Foysal explained that as it was a spring tide, we would only have an hour to wade through the water to shore, walk through mud up to our calves, survey the birds and get back again. The tides were better next week, but fortunately they fixed their date based on me only being able to visit this week. 


Director Amlan Bishwas, Assistant Rupoj Sheikh and Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig  on the way to Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Foysal had not brought the Swarovski scope, presumably because it was all too much to carry with the Spring tides and he was probably worried about Mum and I having to carry it whilst wading though wader and mud. I could understand that, as is was difficult to walk in the mud and not fall over, without harring a big tripod and scope as well! Even so, it meant that we had one telescope between four of us and so I couldn’t really help much with the survey. 


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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