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


















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