Friday, 6 March 2015

Bangladesh Trip 17th Feb 2015 - Day 4


Tuesday 17th February 2015 was now a free day, as Mohammed Foysal from Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project had been delayed in Dhaka. We still hoped to do some birding as Foysal was arriving at about 3.00pm and he was going to take us to the Shoibal Hotel gardens which had some common birds in it’s grounds.


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at the Long Beach Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig




I had stayed up late reading for my reading challenge and I felt unwell the next day. I stayed in bed most of the day but after being pumped full of drugs and getting outside into the sunshine, I felt much better. We were waiting for Foysal to meet us, which in the end wasn't until 5 pm due to their flight time.  When he arrived, he was with Sakib Ahmed, a recent graduate who was doing an internship with IUCN and had come along for extra experience.  Foysal had brought us Masked Finfoot pin badges and a Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project wader calender, which was lovely with beautiful wader drawings, which was really kind of him.  We felt really bad, as we had left everything we had brought with us in Dhaka.  We then headed to the Soibal Hotel gardens for some birding and filming.



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig birding at The Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig birding at The Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar with camera crew
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig birding at The Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig birding at The Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig birding at The Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar with camera crew
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig birding at The Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig birding at The Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Asian Pied Starling
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


The camera crew had been waiting to film me birding all day and by the time we got to the Soibal Hotel, the sun was dropping. They desperately tried to get some footage in the fading light whilst Foysal and Sakib Ahmed (who came with Foysal as an intern) went off to find some birds for us. 


House Crows, The Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


House Crow, with nesting material, The Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder  Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Indian Pond Heron, Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Indian Pond Heron, Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Common Myna, The Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


The Soibal Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Half an hour later, we managed 10 minutes of birding with Foysal pointing out to us the few things still around. It’s a good job Dad wasn’t with us, as he would have been very frustrated! On top of that the hotel manager was not happy that there was a camera crew in the hotel and had to be placated by Rupoj, our “enabler”.

Sayam U Chowdhury is still in charge of the project as well being at Cambridge doing a Masters. Sayam had asked us to take a lovely new Swarovski telescope and tripod for the project. Mum agreed with him that we would take it over in our hand luggage, but as this would stop us from being able to take our own top of the range Leica scope, Sayam agreed that we could use their Swarovski telescope the for our trip before handing it over for the project. For looking at waders, it's essential to have a good quality scope to yourselves, as they are usually some distance away and it takes a while to get good views and be able to digiscope. We were planning to be taking part in the survey of the Spoon-billed Sandpipers, which we could only do with a scope to ourselves. 

Back at the hotel, Foysal said that spring tides the next day would rise quickly and he was concerned about the camera crew with their equipment. Mum said that they were they would be fine and said that we would bring the scope the next day. However, Foysal suggested that Mum give him the telescope and tripod and promised to bring it for us the next day, saving us from having to carry it.

The tide the following week was a neap tide and much better for doing the survey but Foysal had brought the survey forward a week for us and a Daily Star journalist who was being taken over to Sonadia Island the day after us. Having a spring tide was going to be fun!


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at The Long Beaches Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



Mum then went back to the parlour, to try and get the manicure she paid for, but instead got ripped off again! Rupoj stayed with her, which was good as the baby taxi driver tried to take them to a remote area and was on the phone to someone, presumably an accomplice. When things like that happen, you realize how vulnerable you are here.


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at the Long Beach Hotel, Cox's Bazar
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


I stayed in the hotel room with a door wedge under the door and strict instructions not to let anyone in. Rupoj was worried about leaving me in the hotel, but mum explained that I was a seasoned traveler and would be OK.


After Mum got back, we had the same veggie dinner at the hotel restaurant and what was meant to be an early night turned into another late one. I was really excited about taking part in the Spoon-billed Sandpiper survey the next day and couldn't sleep.



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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