Top 5 birding hotspots for Wonderlust

Top 5 birding hotspots for Wonderlust

Being asked to write a piece for Wonderlist – The Original Travel Magazine – was really exciting!

My article was about my top 5 birding hotspots – the fantastic places where you can see lots of different bird species. It was hard to choose 5, but here it is:

https://bit.ly/2ZNdhPV

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig, USA

Copyright Mya-Rose Craig

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

 

Top of Surfbirds

Top of Surfbirds

In February 2019 I saw my 5000th bird in the world, using the IOC world bird list. My 5000th bird was a Rock Bunting which I saw in Aragon, Spain. It was a really special moment, as for me it represents 5,000 beautiful birds, 5,000 birding experiences and 5,000 amazing places. The number just represents all of that in one word.

I am the youngest person in the world to see that many birds and this is the list of young birders on a listing page on a website called Surfbirds. It was quite a fantastic feeling to finally reach the top of it.

Surfbirds Young Birders World List

 

Surfbirds Young Birders World List

 

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

 

 

Best Birding Apps 2019 – BirdWatchingBuzz

Best Birding Apps 2019 – BirdWatchingBuzz

One of the things I like to keep up to date with is other bird-related websites and blogs.

On the USA BirdWatchingBuzz website, there is a really comprehensive review of Apps for birding in the USA where they seem to be miles ahead https://birdwatchingbuzz.com/birding-apps/

Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl with her Leica Bins

Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

 

As I do a lot of world birding, sometimes it’s hard to know what the best Apps are that are available and good to use abroad.

I really liked the review for Larkwire, which helps you learn bird calls, as it can be overwhelming learning lots of bird song and calls in a new country. The review gives all the information you need about this and 4 other Apps.

Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl with Author Jonathan Franzen

Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

 

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

 

Interview on ITV West News – age 11 year old

Interview on ITV West News – age 11 year old

When I was 11 years old, I saw my 3000th bird species in the world. It was a stunning Regent Bowerbird which I saw on my second day in Queensland, Australia at Lamington National Park in July 2013.

I had spent 6 months in South America in 2012 on during the last few days in Peru, our guide Gunnar desperately tried to find me the last few bird species to get me to 3000, but it just wasnt to be.

In January 2014, a blog appeared about the birds I had seen. This led to some articles locally and in the national press.

 

http://www.bathmercury.com/chew-valley-school-pupil-hits-3000-twitches/

That, in turn, led to an invite on ITV local news, to be interviewed about my birding. At the time, I felt really calm and not nervous at all. Looking back now, it is incredible how calm I appear. We had arrived really late,  just mum as usual. She has thought it was a recorded interview for the following evening and told me that if I went wrong, I should just say could I do that again. Apparently, as soon as we were ushered into the studio, mum realised it was a live interview but did not have the opportunity to tell me. That might have been the reason why I was so relaxed on live TV!

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

An art project that directly greenifies the planet by artist Margarita Mitrovic

An art project that directly greenifies the planet by artist Margarita Mitrovic

Make 100 Trees is the latest project by London-based designer-artist Margarita Mitrovic. The concept of the project is to make 100 artworks of trees, which will directly fund the planting of 100 real trees. By depicting each tree in a different style and technique, the artist aims to demonstrate their uniqueness, individuality and most importantly their value to our lives and planet. The artist explains: “There is superfluous to say that each tree is unique. In my eyes trees are live magic creatures which have their hands – branches, legs – roots, skin – bark and hair – leaves, but they also have a soul. In my career I have mainly focused on human portraits as a means to represent individual personalities through simple brushstrokes, colour and medium. In this project, I am creating “portraits” of trees through which I want to demonstrate their uniqueness and remind people how beautiful those enormous giants are! I use pens, pencils and markers to show the shape of branches and the incredible surface and texture of tree bark. On the other hand I use paint, ink and brushes to represent their density and volume when they are blooming and blossoming.”

The project joins two of Margarita’s greatest passions – Art and Nature, as her favourite activities include creating artworks in her London studio and going for long walks and hikes around the UK and beyond. “Trees are super important for our health and well-being and are vital for the environment and wildlife, but as our planet becomes more urbanised, we are losing forests and trees every day. This is a global issue and I want to use art as a tool to make a positive impact on nature.” – explains Margarita.

Each artwork will be unique and original, created by the artist in a different style and technique on a standard format of 15×15 cm. A hundred works of art (made using pencils, pens, markers, ink, paint, charcoal, fabrics, thread, cardboard, photography, laser cutters, 3D printers and much more) all showing a tree, but all of them individual, just like each tree is. Margarita is launching this project through Kickstarter – a crowdfunding platform, which allows people to gather funds for their creative work. The crowdfunding will run for a limited period of 35 days (Jan 31st – March 8th), during which people can order an original artwork for £25, an artwork print for £10 or even book an art masterclass with Margarita in her studio. Once the project is complete, an art exhibition of the 100 artworks will be organised in a London gallery, showcasing them to the public before they are sent off to their new owners. Part of the sales profits will be used to plant 100 real trees, thanks to a collaboration with Trees for Cities, a UK charity that is on a mission to plant 1 million trees in UK cities by 2020.

You can see the project and support it via this kickstarter link:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/764720081/100-artworks-of-trees-100-planted-trees?ref=user_menu

About the artist

Margarita Mitrovic is a multi-award-winning London-based designer and visual artist. She applies her creative skills in a wide variety of projects, including interior design, branding, graphics and illustration. She began her career path after graduating in Interior & Spatial Design at the University of Hertfordshire branch in Moscow, Russia, and since then her experience spans from working in small interior design studios to large architecture practices in Moscow and London, as well as independent and client work in illustration, graphics and art.

High resolution images available here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ry09w6axr0h9nlm/AAAqct4WqSirRZpyxuV0Dzs4a?dl=0

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

Ringing a Wood Pigeon – my first adult ringed

Ringing a Wood Pigeon – my first adult ringed

Last Saturday, 10th February 2018, I was busy revising for my GCSE exams. The weather was pretty bad and so Dad and I had not gone to the ringing station.

Dad had put some foods out in a trap, as usual, to see if he could catch something. I hadn’t been hopeful.

At 11 am, Dad ran into the house and straight up the stairs to my room. He was really excited and told me that he had caught a Wood Pigeon.

I had ringed a young bird in the nest before at Chew Valley Lake but never ringed an adult.

Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig ringing a Wood Pigeon on 10 February 2018
Photograph copyright Mya-Rose Craig

Once I had it in a tight grip, it was really calm and so a lovely bird to ring. It was also actually really beautiful.

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

Arctic Warbler twitch – Kilnsea 14 October 2017

Arctic Warbler twitch – Kilnsea 14 October 2017

Having got back from an after school twitch to see a Rock Thrush the day before at 9 pm, I was straight to bed.  The next day was a Saturday and I had another bird to see!

Arctic Warbler is a non-rarity in the UK but is one of only 3 non-rarity birds that I have not seen. They all tend to occur on the east coast of England, which is across the country to where I live, as we are based on the South West coast.
We were up very early (meaning the middle of the night!) again on Saturday 14th October 2017, the first day of my half-term holiday.    There was an Artic Warbler at Kilnsea in East Yorkshire which is next to Spurn a huge birding hotspot.  I slept whilst Dad drove us to the bird and we arrived at about 8.30am. The Artic Warbler was being seen in the pub car park and so we joined about another 30 birders to look for it. 

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at Arctic Warbler twitch, Kilnsea, East Yorkshire 14 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

It wasn’t long before we saw the Arctic Warbler, showing high in the trees about the car park, getting really great views. We watched it off for another couple of hours before we headed off. It was really flighty so, despite my best efforts, I didn’t get a photograph of it. It was really amazing to see this bird. It wasn’t the rarest but it was special. Now only two non-rarities to see in the UK, Little Auk and Icterine Warbler which are both also east coast birds. It was also a new world for me, number 4725, not that I’m counting.

We then drove down the road to Easington, to see a Rose-coloured Starling which was in someone’s front garden and actually managed to get some photographs of it.

Rose-coloured Starling, Easington, East Yorkshire 14 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Rose-coloured Starling, Easington, East Yorkshire 14 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

I had revision to do on the way home and Dad drove me home as quick as he could, as I had a party and sleepover with friends at 3 pm. As usual, I didn’t mention what I had been doing…all my friends had been sleeping in all morning in preparation for the party.

It was my 3rd new bird of the season and I was hopeful that there would be more to come.

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

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush twitch 13 October 2017

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush twitch 13 October 2017

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush 30 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

There are some days that stand out in terms of how lucky I am to have the parents I do – obsessed with birds as much as me but still prepared to put their passion alongside rather than ahead of mine.

There had been news of a Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush found in the Brecon Beacons on a Thursday, whilst I was at school. I headed to school the next day which was Friday 13th October 2017 with no sitting of the bird before I left home, so I assumed that like many others, it was a one day bird. It was my last day of term before the autumn half term holiday, so I was hoping that the holidays was going to be good for birds. This year I am in Year 11 and taking my GCSE exams in June. I have my mock exams in November so really need to do lots of revision during the holiday too.

Mum was in London and expected back that evening so that Friday was just an average day for me. We are not allowed to look at our phones at school and so I didn’t pick up the texts from my dad.

I boarded my school bus home at 3.25 pm as usual, when I saw my dad making his way from one bus to another. He knocked on our bus window and asked if I was on board? I knew I had to get off the bus, so told my mates that I probably had a dentist appointment. As I got off the bus, he whispered (so as not to embarrass me) that the Rock Thrush was still there and that we had just about enough time to get there.  What a legend my dad is. He had already seen a Rock Thrush before and all this effort was just so that Mum and I could see it.

We drove straight towards Bristol and met up in a car park with Mum and her friend Lorna, who was staying with us. It was to be Lorna’s first twitch! They had been in London for a couple of nights and Mum had rushed back early to meet us.

Dad drove pretty fast to get to the beautiful Brecon Beacons in Mid Wales, getting us there at 5.30pm.  As we rushed along the path to where the bird was being seen, we bumped into our long time birding friend and big British twitcher Julian Thomas. He told us that the Rock Thrush was still there but was being seen a little way away from the path. It had been raining and was very cloudy, so the light was fading fast.

Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig digiscoping Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Brecon Beacons 13 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig digiscoping Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Brecon Beacons 13 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig  at Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush twitch, Brecon Beacons 13 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig  at Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush twitch, Brecon Beacons 13 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

When we got to the bird, it was perched in view, but some way away.  Once we had seen it, although not fantastically, it was a big relief.  We then watched and waited and eventually were rewarded with slightly better views just as it started to rain. It was my second new bird of the autumn and great to see this European Rock Thrush.

Record shot of Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Brecon Beacons 13 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Record shot of Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Brecon Beacons 13 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Needless to say, Lorna was not overly impressed with her first (and probably last) twitch!
After some chips in Abergavenny, we made it home by 9 pm. On the way home, I posted my very terrible “record shots” on twitter, much to the hilarity of my birding followers. The Rock Thrush was also a new bird in the world for me (4724), which was fantastic.

Postscript

The Rock Thrush stayed around for a while, which was lucky, as we were able to return on Monday 30th October 2017, which was an inset day before I went back the next day.

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush 23 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush 23 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush 23 October 2017
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

This time the weather was clear and sunny and the bird really confiding. We got some brilliant views and had another lovely birding day out with my parents.

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

Cedar Waxwing twitch – St Agnes, Isles of Scilly 7 October 2017

Cedar Waxwing twitch – St Agnes, Isles of Scilly 7 October 2017

Cedar Waxwing twitch, Isles of Scilly 7 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

During the week, we heard the news that a Cedar Waxwing had been found on St Agnes on the Isles of Scilly. This is part of a small island chain off the southwest tip of Cornwall, Southern England and my favourite place in the world, so I was really excited that I might be visiting again.

This was a bird that many twitchers had seen in early 1996, but dad missed it as he was busy in his new relationship with mum and then the day he did finally go up to Nottinghamshire, he missed the bird. It was one of those birds that Mum and Dad really wanted to catch up with and so I was really appreciative that they waited for the weekend to take me with them.

We were up in the middle of the night to drive down to Penzance, to get the boat to St Mary’s on the Isle of Scilly. We had a phone call from our great friend Rob Lambert who was staying on St Mary’s as usual to say that his wife was on the train, which had run into trouble on the way to Penzance. She was therefore in a taxi speeding to the quayside and could we look out for her and help her with her suitcase. Dad is great at that kind of thing and made sure Lucy [McRobert] got onto the boat. Mum and I were already asleep on the bottom deck of the boat, trying to avoid seasickness.

As soon as we arrived in Hugh Town on St Mary’s, a whole load of us rushed off the Scillonian to jump on the small boat to St Agnes, which was waiting for us. The boat was packed with people and it was later to be the source of online discussion about how most of the people on the boat were older white men. Some really were pretty old, which I thought was pretty amazing. I hope I’m still twitching when I’m 90 years old!

Cedar Waxwing twitch, Isles of Scilly 7 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

Once we arrived in St Agnes, we had quite a walk to where the bird had been seen, on the path down from Coastguards’ Cafe. Once there, we managed to get to the front of the crowd, when we got the news that the bird had been seen but on the other side of a huge hedge. We waited for quite a while whilst others saw the bird, then eventually we cracked and ran around a big wall with Lucy to get to the bird. Somehow we managed to get to the front of the crowd again and see the Cedar Waxwing, as it pops up in the hedge. It was tricky to get onto and get others onto but eventually, I managed to set up my telescope at the front of the crowd, allowing other birders to take turns to see the waxwing.

Cedar Waxwing twitch, Isles of Scilly 7 October 2017
Photograph copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

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

Cedar Waxwing is the American version of our waxwing and it was fantastic to see. It was also a new bird in the world for me, which is always a bonus and was 4,723 which feels like I’m on the downward roll to 5,000. I want to try and see 5,400 bird species in the world by the time I’m 18 years old, which would be half the world’s birds.

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

Indonesia Trip 2017 days 1 & 2 – 22 to 23 July 2017

Indonesia Trip 2017 days 1 & 2 – 22 to 23 July 2017

Indonesia Trip Day 1 & 2

Saturday 22 July 2017 to Sunday 23 July 2017

My new binoculars and telescope arrived, on loan from Leica, just in time for our trip which was amazing.

I finished school early at 12.15 pm on Friday 31st July 2017 and went to Chew Valley Lake picnic site to have fish and chips (or just chips for me) at Salt and Malt with my mates. We then walked to a friends’ house in Bishop Sutton before Mum picked us up and took us to do the car parking for Miles Leonard’s Fifty Fest. Miles is the Chief Exec of Parlaphone Records and Warner Bros Records and owns our local pub, The Ring O’ Bells. I did it with a group of friends as a favour as I still hadn’t packed. It was 11 pm before I got home when I chucked my laptop, IPad, Kindle and phone into a bag with chargers and one novel, The Handmaiden’s Tale which I’d borrowed from school and 2 revision guides, one for Biology and one for Latin. Let’s just hope Mum has packed enough clothes for me! I’ve decided to go make-up and product free for our entire 6-week trip.

Ayesha arrived at Midnight, just as I was heading to bed. We were up again at 3 am, so that Ayesha could drive us to Bristol for our 4.30 am coach to London.

After checking in, breakfast and boarding our flight, we were almost in the Indonesia zone. After watching two films, I was flat out lying over two seats thanks to my Mum. Our plane sat on the runway for an hour and a half at Heathrow, making it unlikely that we would make our connecting flight at Kuala Lumpa (KL).

When we arrived in KL, we had an hour until our next flight, so there wasn’t much chance of getting onto that, and no chance of our bags getting on, we thought. But we were in luck, as we got off the flight, our next flight was literally boarding at the gate next door and a lovely man told us that our bags were already on board.

It was a 3-4 hour flight from KL to Denpasar, Bali in Indonesia. Then we had a day of waiting for our next flight. The seats in the airport were uncomfortable, so Mum and I slept on the floor, with no shame, whilst we waited.

Mum went to buy water, but would only let me buy one bottle between all of us which she thought had cost £5.00. I told her that surely she had the decimal place in the wrong place because I doubted that Pringles could cost £16.00. But no, Mum is always right. Back talking to Dad, it turned out that the bottle had cost 50p not £5.00, but there was no time now to get any more drinks.

Our next flight was to Makassar, Sulawesi on the southern tip of the Island.

We were met by a local guide and driver at 7.00 pm and taken to our rather plush hotel which was next to the airport. After dumping our bags, we headed for dinner. Mike Nelson our Bird Tour Asia Guide came to greet us and catch up.

Bird Tour Asia are the top bird tour company in Asia and have the most amazing owner guides, Rob Hutchinson and James Eaton. In 2014 we had birded Sabah in Borneo and a bit of Malaysia. Rob had been touring Borneo a week ahead of us and had been really generous with his up to date birding gen.

Me and Mum had met Mike in Frasers’ Hill briefly during that trip. Dad had been in West Papua and so Mum and I had gone to Frasers’ Hill on the Malaysian Peninsular. We bumped into Mike with Richard Schofield and his partner Di. We had met Richard in Colombia (a well known Tour Leader with Birdquest before retiring). It was funny because Di had immediately recognised me from the BBC4 programme “Twitchers: A Very British Obsession”. We had been having a nightmare with a hopeless local guide and so Mike gave us some birding gen and tips.

Mike said that when he had agreed to guide us for the whole summer back in Jan 2015, he had remembered meeting me and Mum the previous summer.

There were 3 people joining us for the first part of our trip, which was Sulawesi and Halmahera. They were Nick and Claire and Tony. We had met them on the Isles of Scilly and also Dad had met them at the Amur Falcon twitch in Cornwall last week. Their flight was arriving at 11 pm and so they were going to be exhausted when we meet at 4 am tomorrow morning, Monday 24 July 2017, for the start of our birding tour.

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