Monday, 2 January 2017

Pine Bunting in Shropshire

Today was a fantastic start to the birding year. I saw a Pine Bunting from Eastern Europe near Shrewsbury, Shropshire. It was freezing cold and I had to wait 3 hours before I eventually saw the bird well but only for a few minutes. We waited another hour in the hope of a digiscoped photo with no luck and then gave up before hypothermia set in. It was a lovely bird which looks like a washed out female Yellowhammer which was clearly giving some twitchers difficulty with it's ID and both Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings were bing called out. Dad was great as he let a few birders look down his telescope to get onto the bird, giving up the opportunity for us to take some digiscoped photos. We waited another hour but didn't manage to get a photo. Hopefully they appreciated it!

Pine Bunting was a new bird for my British list and my world list, which is always a bonus.

Whilst we were there, Mum chatted to a local birder who was wardening and told him that it would be a new bird for her daughter. Then he said "oh, is she the girl who did the year list?" which was funny because I did that in 2009 when I was 7 years old, half my age now!

On the 1st day of the year, birders start a new list of birds they have seen in that year. Mine tends to start slowly in the garden. Yesterday morning, my Dad went out birding in our village in the pouring rain. Its a small village where most people know him as he's Vice Chair of the Parish Council. Late morning the Parish Council Clerk sent an e-mail to everyone in the village headed "Suspicious Stranger seen in village" and also notified the police. You can guess who had been seen acting suspiciously with binoculars. Made me laugh...

About the Author

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig in Antarctica
Photograph copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Mya-Rose Craig is a 14 year old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, 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 loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent.

Mya-Rose was a Bristol European Green Capital Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol Ambassadors. She has also 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
She organised a conference in June 2016 aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature. Please connect with her on LinkedIn (Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig) so that she can invite you to join the Race Equality in Nature LinkedIn Group and be part of the change. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter

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