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Old Sunday 20th November 2005, 18:35   #1
The Barn Owl
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Young Birder

I'm only 13 but I already have a passion for birds and wildlife in general (in the Summer hols I went to Aviemore and found Ospreys, Hen Harriers and Sparrowhawks flying over the cottage). Just wondering if anyone has any tips for someone my age to travel to new places to see new birds, apart from holidays. I live in Coventry so I have reasonable access to most of England and Wales. I'm always keen to see new birds (my lifetime ambition is to beat the record set by Phoebe Snetsinger, but my lifelist (all in Britain) only consists of 158 species). Any help greatly appreciated!!!
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Old Sunday 20th November 2005, 18:49   #2
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Hi,

I too am a young birder, i'm 15, and the passion is just the same!!! As for seeing new parts of the country it depends what level of birding you feel your at, I spent ages just knocking about the countryside etc when I was younger and from that i've picked up loads. I also got two or three 'big trips' out every year, the main destinations either being Norfolk, N Wales, the Wirral or East Yorkshire. I suggest you ask your Dad if he'll take you out to such places for the day once in a while, and you'll find both your experience, knowledge, understanding and list increase at a dramatic rate. After that, you can go where you want, i'm currently getting lifts with some of the local twitchers, who take me to the rares around the country, which is absolutely great!!

How long have you been birding for now?

The best thing to do is just get out and about as much as possible, and express your enthusiasm for birds as much as you can, that way you have a great chance of meeting new people. Here is a great place to start as well.

Oops I nearly forgot to say - welcome to BF!!!

Cheers,



Ps - You'll have to make several million rather quickly if you are to get anywhere near Phoebe's list, to acheive that costs an un-imaginable quantity of money!!!!
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Old Sunday 20th November 2005, 20:26   #3
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thanx for the help - have you tried the local RSPB group? Mine is all adults except me (everyone there knows what they're talking about) and I go several times a year to places like Titchwell, Minsmere, Leighton Moss, Bempton Cliffs etc.
Unfortunately Mum and Dad are a bit over-protective to let me go with other people on twitches. :( A few months ago there was a Great Reed Warbler at my local patch. It eluded us three times along with everyone else there, but it was occassionaly heard - but I saw a Cuckoo instead! Some people there offered to take us to see a Hoopoe, but Mum didn't think much of travelling for an hour to see 1 bird!
I've been birding for about 2 and a half years with my Mum (Dad and my brother couldn't care less!)
Two questions:
How long have you been birding and how many species have you seen?
Speak to yeh soon,

PS. I wouldn't making a few million. And that's not unimaginable! I'm aiming around the billion make personally! lol
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Old Sunday 20th November 2005, 20:54   #4
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Hey,

Yer my Dads a member of the RSPB and I use his pass etc - I can't afford!!! An idea for you is something I haven't done myself, but have heard a lot about and apparently it's quite good. Don't know if you've ever heard about it but it's something called RSPB Phoenix. Basically what happens is it's a get together for young birders, and it's about 20 to join. For this you get to go on their 'course'.

This involves:

- A trip to Scotland for 5 days
- A trip to Norfolk for a weekend
- A trip to Lancashire for a weekend

Sounds OK to me, and should be plenty to learn as well as meeting new people out age!!!

I actually went for that GRW - I assume you mean the Brandon Marsh bird, I was there on the Saturday, and spent 7hrs looking for the bird, until I had no choice but to give up!! Saw one a week later in Bedfordshire however - cracking call they've got, at least you heard it, that's unique on its own!!!

I've been birding for about 6 years now (since I was 9), and it's been developing and developing, and now I feel i'm at a sufficient level to be twitching, as my knowledge is pretty sound (I think!!) My full UK list is 289 BOU, and that's a strict BOU, a pretty feeble list I realise, especially when my year list's nearly caught it up!!! Anyway at the moment i'm seeing new birds at the rate of about 1 a week, which is superb, and going birding with people with far more experience than me is a brilliant learning curve.

Just to sicken you a bit - went for the Grey Cheeked Thrush yesterday with a bloke off here called Reader (i'd PM him were I you, he's a great guy, and very local to you) and we set off from Coventry!!! Anyway not to worry about that, there'll be plenty more.....on Scillies!!

If you've got MSN, PM me your addy and we can talk more about stuff,

Cheers mate
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Old Sunday 20th November 2005, 20:56   #5
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Hi,

Another young birder reporting. I'm also 13. I have 357 birds on my life list, and I've been birding for 7 years. As for getting rides to rare birds, I suggest getting to know a few birders who can drive and have your parents meet them... it has worked for me. I know a bunch of other young birders in my state, and go birding with them a lot.

Cheers,
Neil
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Old Sunday 20th November 2005, 21:25   #6
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Hi,welcome to all you young birders.It is great to hear you guys all chatting away about birds.Do enjoy BF,and do ask re anything you are unsure of.This is a great Forum,everyone is very friendly and helpful.It is really good to have some youngsters among'st us.
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Old Monday 21st November 2005, 18:33   #7
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Hi Neil
I'd love to do some birding in America but I'm afraid to say that the rest of my family aren't into birding. There are just so many different species in America than there are in England. Even if there wasn't the huge size difference it would be the same.
Anyway, good luck with your birding, and may your lifelist grow and grow - I wish mine would get a move on!!!
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Old Monday 21st November 2005, 18:36   #8
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Christine - how lucky you are to live in Cumbria. I love it when we go on holiday there, about once every two years. First holiday there I found my first ever Peregrine (the best bird around in my opinion). Two adults (male and female) with a juvenile. All flying together overhead. I'll never forget that. Or the way that they just seem to radiate power.
Out of interest, I wonder if you ever go twitching and where your lifelist currently stands.
Cheers,
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Old Monday 21st November 2005, 18:39   #9
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RR, the time will come to travel. When you know the birds of your own area, it helps a lot when you finally get to travel.* And your list is pretty good already. I had some trouble getting over that number. And I'm old, just relatively new to birding. It must be some 3-4 years by now, but we old people lose track of time.

*Especially in the same, northern hemisphere. A lot of similarities as well as differences.
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Old Monday 21st November 2005, 20:13   #10
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Welcome to birdforum Raptors Rule... as with dwayne950, I'm also 15 and live in South Lincs. Good to see there are more keen lads out there. Keep it up.

Josh
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Old Monday 21st November 2005, 20:32   #11
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Hi Josh,
Few questions:
How long have you been birding for?
Have you ever been twitching?
What's your favourite bird?
What's the rarest bird you've ever seen?
Cheers!
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Old Monday 21st November 2005, 20:36   #12
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Hey man, great to have another young birder on here, too many oldies

I'm 16 btw, from east herts. If you want to chat, please feel free to email me and add me to msn or pm me.

Cheers, Mark

P.S Dan (dwayne), dont act like a smartass, you know i was the one who told you about that course, AND went on it!! And anyway, i heard something about them stopping it.
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Old Monday 21st November 2005, 21:28   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mini-colster

P.S Dan (dwayne), dont act like a smartass, you know i was the one who told you about that course, AND went on it!! And anyway, i heard something about them stopping it.
Lol, of course i'm entitled to ask like a smartass, you told me the info and i now know it, should be a good scheme for someone of your age Sam.

As for Wrexile1, he's a filthy twitcher , i'll let him tell you his best species/his Brit list etc, if you thought mine was half decent, his puts mine to shame!!!

Btw Josh, nice avatar

Cheers,

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Old Tuesday 22nd November 2005, 06:03   #14
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dan - how can you call him a filthy twitcher?
From what I've heard you go twitching most weeks.
And you all go twitching more than me - I've only been to one, at my local patch, for a Great Reed Warbler and I dipped anyway.
Cheers!
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Old Tuesday 22nd November 2005, 06:06   #15
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I'll add you to my msn asap.
I'm gonna look into that course as well - don't suppose you could tell me how good it was and all that sort of stuff? PLEASE!
Cheers!
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Old Tuesday 22nd November 2005, 16:34   #16
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sure i'll email u with the info
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Old Tuesday 22nd November 2005, 20:33   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raptors Rule
Christine - how lucky you are to live in Cumbria. I love it when we go on holiday there, about once every two years. First holiday there I found my first ever Peregrine (the best bird around in my opinion). Two adults (male and female) with a juvenile. All flying together overhead. I'll never forget that. Or the way that they just seem to radiate power.
Out of interest, I wonder if you ever go twitching and where your lifelist currently stands.
Cheers,
RR,I live in the south of the county,on the coast.Hodbarrow is my local reserve,approx 1/2 a mile away.We are lucky here,we have all the wading birds,the heathland birds,Stonechats,Linnets etc,the Raptors come across from the hills and forests.Almost every day a Kestrel/Sparrowhawk can be seen perching on the old lighthouse looking down into the lagoon to see what they can catch.There is a Short Eared Owl,who is a regular visitor across the sandunes in the late evening.Also we have a resident Kingfisher in our small harbour.We also have a large Tern colony,Sandwich,Common,and Little,who come to breed for their season in the late Spring.
I am rather ashamed to say,I do not have a life list.I do know every bird I have seen,but I have never bothered to make a list.Might just do that one wet winters day!!!.Oh I forgot the migrant ducks etc,and Geese.
I have never "Twitched " as such,I do not know exactly what that word means,albeit there have been many threads on the subject.I prefer to just watch the birds and follow their behaviour patterns eg watching an adult Gull,keep it's offspring at wings length,whil's it cracked open a Mussel shell.
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Old Wednesday 23rd November 2005, 15:33   #18
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Christine - Lucky you!
As a landlocked midlander I see very few coastal birds (I've only seen Sandwich and Little Terns once, at Titchwell).
Also, on the rare occasions that I manage to get to heathland, chats and Short-eared Owl have a very frustrating habit of managing never to be around when I'm there!
I'd definitely recommend a lifelist - I look at mine loads and it's always great to see a new bird. It would definitely be a wet winter day well spent!
Twitching is the art of hearing about a particularly rare bird and then driving half-way across the country in order to see this one particular bird. However, I think that the gull behaviour you described is fascinating as well, but I don't know how it compares to twitching - I have never been fortunate enough to go on a twitch.
Cheers!
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Old Wednesday 23rd November 2005, 16:05   #19
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Hi RR! Don't know if you have been given the official welcome yet but if not, a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum
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Old Wednesday 23rd November 2005, 16:16   #20
The Barn Owl
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Thanx KC
'If you can't be a good example then you'll just have to be a horrible warning'
I know more than one person who that applies to, including my brother LOL
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Old Wednesday 23rd November 2005, 16:41   #21
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HI RR,
Good to read of your enthusiasm and your superbly apt coments re your average 12 - 15 yo,although must not use too wide a brush to tar them all with.
Having spent the last 20+ years teaching in primary school I have tried to develop a life long interest in natural history with children in my class. (Mini Colster was in my class although not too much birding etc done then.) I now run a school bird club, with monthly trips and weekly indoor meetings for powerpoint presentations on observation tips and spotting skills.
Regards myself, in 1960's I was member of the YOC (junior branch of RSPB) and each year went on organised holidays , staying at youth hostels and having guides to show you the local birds. My first, (still clear in my memory ) was er, now I'm sure I can remember, was Northumberland. Visited Farne Islands, Holy Island, Cheviots and local beaches. coming from city centre of Liverpool just about everything I saw was new (peregrine, puffin, purple sandpiper just to name the p's.
Don't know if these type of holiday/courses are now stioll available. I was 11 when I went ot Northumberland. Whole trip was just such a growing up experience for me before secondary school. I had to get train from Liverpool to Newcastle, changing at Leeds, Doncaster and York before getting a bus to Alnwick.
I appreciate in today's climate much more difficult for youngsters to travel alone but through this site, should meet some local birders who would be willing to help but beware of the obvious.
I wish you well and if you ever find a cheap way to get to Stansted airport by bus on a Saturday our local bird club visits areas around South East. Always welcome to join in.
Check out: www.fly.to/bsbg
I wish you well,
Jono
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Old Wednesday 23rd November 2005, 19:05   #22
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Jono - You obviously did a good job on mini-colster! I keep talking to him on msn and he really knows his stuff!
Dan (dwayne950) said about an RSPB Phoenix trip to Scotland, Norfolk and Lancs, which sounds great! I'm gonna look into that more, but dan said he would send me some info - it hasn't arrived yet! lol
I'd love to visit the Farne Islands, and to go to Holy Island again - the one time I've been there I did very little birding but I still managed to see several Roseate Terns. :)
I've had a look at the website you mentioned and it looks fantastic to me, especially the last trip you did, which, had I gone, would have provided me with six lifers! I'll ask Mum about it but, Mum being Mum, there are certainly no guarantees. I'm still trying to persuade her to take me to Draycote Water soon!
Cheers!
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Old Wednesday 23rd November 2005, 19:26   #23
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RR,

Just PMed you.

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Old Wednesday 23rd November 2005, 19:56   #24
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Thanx wrexile1
I've read it and I've PMed you back
Cheers!
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Old Friday 2nd June 2006, 11:27   #25
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Hi all,
I can't believe it, I didn't know that that many young birders even existed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My British List is 165, my yearlist is 142, and my lifelist is 270 (I've been to India). I keep a local patch list which is 75, latest goodies being Firecrest, Barn Owl and Grasshopper Warbler.
Hope to chat to you all soon.
Cheers, Jyothi
p.s. I'm 12 and have been birding for 5 years



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