Monday, 25 May 2015

Scotland's Big Nature Festival - 24 May 2015

Young Birder and speaker Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Scottish Bird Fair
Photograph taken by Chris Craig

A few months ago, I was asked to speak at the Scottish Bird Fair.  It is a small event compared to it's Rutland big sister, but is in Scotland and very much focuses on children and families.

It was the perfect event to talk about my birding, conservation and getting children interested in nature.

As the day approached, a problem came up.  My cousin decided to get married on the same day.  I left it to Mum to tell her, but she she bottled it.  So we agreed that Mum would stay behind and go to the wedding and then she would meet us a few days later in Suffolk.  I was on a promise from the Springwatch Producer that we could be in the audience one of the days they were showing that week and had my fingers crossed that we could go.

My talk was at 11.30 am on the Sunday morning, but there was a drinks reception for all the speakers the afternoon.  I was desperate to go and maybe get to speak to Bill Oddie.  I had heard that he wasn't very friendly but I don't blame him for that, so really wanted to meet him.

Friday evening, my cousin had her mendhi party, like a hen do with all the family.  By the time we had packed, it was late and so we were really late arriving at the party.  

Photograph taken by Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

It was now too late to start our travel north.  We agreed that we would leave early the next morning, but it was after 7 am before we left.

It was the start of the Bank Holiday weekend and school half term holiday all over the country.  We arrived at my Gran's caravan in the Lake District at 3 pm, are being stuck on gridlocked roads.  My Gran was coming with us and luckily it only took us two hours to arrive at my Great Uncle David's house in central Edinburgh.  It was now 6 pm and far too late to do anything at the Bird Fair.  Next year, if I am invited back, it would be nice to go for a drink with some other people involved.

The next day, we arrived at the Bird Fair early, in time to have a look around.  Bill Oddie was speaking at 12.30 pm but there was a massive queue for the same tent for the 11.30 am talk.

Young Birder and speaker Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Scottish Bird Fair
Photograph taken by Chris Craig

My talk was in the bio diversity tent and my talk had been promoted as being one suitable for families.  I made sure that I included a few jokes aimed at under 10's like one about Perry the Platypus that no adult ever understood (he's a bright turquoise platypus and crime fighting spy from Phineas and Ferb which they showed on Nickelodean).

The tent was pretty full with families and I thought the talk went really well.  People seemed to laugh anyway and Perry got a big laugh.  Hopefully, I inspired lots of children to get into birds and nature and to get across to them how cool it is.  My gran and great uncle David came to watch and both said they enjoyed it, but they obviously biased.

Young Birder and speaker Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Scottish Bird Fair
Photograph taken by Chris Craig

Young Birder and speaker Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Scottish Bird Fair
Photograph taken by Chris Craig

After my talk we had a quick chat with Euan Buchan, who writes the blog "The Edinburgh Birdwatcher", before heading off to queue up to try and get in to see Bill Oddie speak. Virtually everyone who went into the earlier talk stayed in and so not many people could get in at 12.30 pm, which was disappointing for me.

I did see Bill Oddie later, wandering around, so that was the next best thing.

After a quick pizza lunch, we spent the rest of our time looking at the bird tour stands, chatting to people and collecting brochures for the hundreds of places we would like to go birding.  For me and Dad, it is definitely like being in a sweet shop, very exciting and very tempting.  It's a shame I have to go to school really!

Next was the optics stands.  It's always the perfect opportunity to try out new binoculars and telescopes.

We had a really enjoyable day and it would be great to come back next year, but for the who weekend and with Mum.

After dropping off David, we headed back to the caravan for a couple of nights.  We were then off to meet Mum in Cambridge on Tuesday, before going to Minsmere for 4 pm on Tuesday.  As well as watching the live Springwatch programme, I have been invited to be interviewed on the BBC Red Button programme, Springwatch Extra with Lindsey Chapman at 4.30 pm on Tuesday 26th May 2015.

About the writer

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

Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol, UK and blogs about birding and conservation from around the world. Wader conservation is important to her and she is Ambassador to the global wader initiative World Shorebird Day. She is looking forward to Mountain Gorilla trekking this summer in East Africa and to watching penguins in Antarctica in December, which will be her 7th continent. 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.


  1. Great to see other young birders out there who are passionate and involved birders! Fun blog!


    1. Hi Chiccadee, thanks for your lovely comments. Where do you live? Mya-Rose


Thank you for posting a comment. Please can you make sure that it is positive and is about me or my blog and not about promoting you or your business. Thanks. Mya-Rose Craig