Being on BBC Radio 4’s Tweet of the Day – Wed 17 May 2017

Being on BBC Radio 4’s Tweet of the Day – Wed 17 May 2017

On Wednesday 17th May 2017 at 5.58 am GMT I was on Radio 4 ‘Tweet of the Day’. Listen to it on IPlayer  on http://bbc.in/2r3ZYNc.

I talked about seeing a Black-browed Albatross in Cornwall when I was only 7 years old.

I went into the BBC Bristol studios to talk about seeing a Nuthatch at school when I was 4 years old, when the producer Maggie Ayre asked me if I had seen any rare birds in Britain. Have I seen any rare birds in Britain? Seriously? Which one should I choose, off the cuff, with no time to think? The story of seeing a Black-Browed Albatross immediately came into my head and I recorded it without any time for rehearsals or thought. Hope you like it?

I talked about seeing a Black-browed Albatross at Porthgwarra, Cornwall in July 2009 when I was only 7 years old. I was one of only 14 people who were there sea watching and saw this astonishing bird. It as not a new bird for the UK for either of my parents, but it was the circumstances that made it unforgettable.

We had gone there because my Dad, Chris Craig, thought that the weather looked good for Cory’s Shearwater which my Mum and I still needed for a UK life lists and we all needed for our year list. In 2009 we were trying to see as many birds as possible in a year and so getting up at 2.30 am for my Dad to drive us to Porthgwarra in Southern Cornwall so that we were there by 6 am seemed wholly sane. By “looked good” Dad meant that the weather was predicted to be terrible but that the wind would be in the right direction, blowing birds inland.

As we walked up the slope to our vantage point, Dad and a couple of the Cornish birders joked, wouldn’t it be fantastic to see a Black-browed Albatross? During the week a fisherman had seen one off the coast of Devon, so it was on everyone’s minds.

As we sat trying to sea-watch, I remembered why it was so horrible. It was pouring with rain and it was hard to see anything through our telescopes, let alone tiny specks of birds that hugged the sea line. Every now and then, someone would shout out a bird name and give directions by the 24-hour clock and we all tried to find it. I was freezing cold and not very happy.

I talk about the experience on my “Tweet of the Day” with everyone getting absolutely stonking views of the huge Black-browed Albatross. As soon as it flew on around the headland, everyone jumped up, and we were all dancing around. There was a momentary discussion about whether it was a Yellow-nosed Albatross (that was what the one that Secret World in Somerset suppressed and released from Brean Down without telling anyone).

Black-browed Albatross in the Drake Passage December 2015
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig

Afterwards, Surfbirds removed my year list from their website without checking it out because someone thought I couldn’t have seen a Black-browed Albatross. It would have been easy to verify and was really upsetting for me. Why would you do that? Hopefully, young birders are no longer treated like that. Only this week, a twelve year old boy sighted a Black-browed Albatross off Bempton Cliffs in Yorkshire. I do wonder if he had been a girl, whether he would have had the same positive response. Probably not.

This is still my best UK birding experience.

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

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Antarctica Voyage Day 1 – 19th December 2015 – Falkland Main Island

Antarctica Voyage Day 1 – 19th December 2015 – Falkland Main Island

Port Stanley from the ship
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

After boarding our ship, The Vavilov, we met Simon Boyd our onboard bird guide. Simon immediately recognised me from the OBC Magazine article about Spoon-billed Sandpiper and my trip to Bangladesh. Our company was One Ocean and the staff seemed to love what they were doing. There were 78 passengers on board out of a maximum of just over 90 passengers.

We dumped our bags and after looking around the boat, we went straight to The Bridge to see what birds we could see as the boat pulled out of Port Stanley Harbour. The commonest birds were Black-browed Albatross.

Black-Browed Albatross

We had a lifeboat drill which was fun but serious, thinking of the boat that Bob Flood WA on that had a ship fire and had to be evacuated in the night. Mum said she would keep our SD cards with our photos in her pocket at night as apart from lives and health, photos were the only things not replaceable! Mum made some passing comment/joke to one of the other passengers about sinking ships, stressing the poor lady completely out, so mum had to keep reassuring her that she was sure our boat would be fine and even if we got evacuated in the night, she was sure there would be lots of other boats around to rescue us…making her feel worse.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig inside a covered lifeboat on Vavilov
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

It was amazing that we were finally on our way to Antarctica, my big dream for so long.

Falklands sunset from ship
Photograph taken by and copyright Young Birder Mya-Rose Craig

Overnight, our ship was steaming around the Falkland Islands, to be at Sealion Island in the morning.

Best birds from the ship:
Black-Browed Albatross
Southern Giant Petrel
Sooty Shearwater
Magellanic Cormorant

About The Author

Hi, I’m Dr. Mya-Rose Craig. I am a 19-year-old prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist, diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 I started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 I became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Buy My Book

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Lyrical, poignant and insightful.’ - Margaret Atwood

This is my story; a journey defined by my love for these extraordinary creatures. Because large or small, brown, patterned or jewelled, there is something about birds that makes us, even for just moments at a time, lift our eyes away from our lives and up to the skies.

Find Out More

To find out more about working with me or to buy my book, please use the links below.

Work With MeBuy Book