Saturday, 25 May 2019

Best Birding Apps 2019 - BirdWatchingBuzz



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 to 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



 Young environmentalist and birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig 


Mya-Rose Craig is a 17-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes posts about birding, conservation and environmental issues from around the world. 

She has been involved in the UK organisation of the Youth Strikes encouraging young people from around the world to not go to school once a month and protest instead demanding immediate action to prevent climate breakdown. This is an interview in New Statesman.

She 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 four nature is helping to run four more in 2019. She also organised a conference, Race Equality in Nature, in June 2016 aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature and plans two more in 2019. She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of Visible Minority Ethnic people and is President. 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. 

She has given over 50 talks, speaking at conferences such as being on a panel with George Monbiot and Caroline Lucas on Sustainability and the Future of Cities. She is a Minister in Chris Packham's Manifesto for Nature in 2018 and spoke in front of 10,000 people at the Walk for Nature. She has also appeared on TV and radio and is particularly proud of being in Silent Roars, a short film which was part of Listen to Britain 2017 https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-the-silent-roars-2017-online

She has been awarded the Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award 2017 for Bristol for her Black2Nature work EYA 2017. She was also listed as one of Bristol's BME top 100 powerlist.

She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent. She became the youngest person to see 5000 birds in 2019 age 16 and is looking forward to visiting Brazil birding in 2019 and hopes to see half the birds in the world there. Please also like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter. If you would like to contact Mya-Rose about her work, please e-mail helenabcraig@hotmail.co.uk.




Become an expert packer for birding trips



This is an article that I contributed to for Mighty Goods website in the USA with 4 birders writing about how we prepare and pack for birding trips


One of them is Bill Thompson III who has sadly since died. The other two contributers are Jeff Reiter and Eva Matthews Lark.

This is an extract from my contributions:


Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl with Author Jonathan Franzen
Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig
Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl with Author Jonathan Franzen magazine cover
Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig



What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all bird watchers bring?



My top three recommended items that I always take on birding trips with me are the following:

Duck Tape – https://www.duckbrand.com (can be different from Duct Tape) – can be used to repair anything. We have used it for keeping my walking boots together for a month (they got thrown in the garbage bin at Heathrow Airport on our return), sealing a hole in my rubber boot, sticking a tripod back together when two screws fells out, taping up a damaged bag but best of all my Mom taping a handle-less bathroom door shut in Borneo (to keep the rats out of our bedroom) which my Dad didn’t know about until he tried to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night) and many more things;

Spare binoculars – this is definitely worth the effort of packing. If you are travelling in a group, you need a spare pair for at least every five birders. Talk to each other and agree on who is going to bring what. The spare pair of binoculars need to be the best quality spare pair that you have or can borrow, that ideally are not too big or heavy. When we went to South America for six months, we made the mistake of taking a $350 pair of old binoculars with us as a spare pair, which had been my older sister’s binoculars that I had used age 6-9. Two weeks before the end of our trip, I was walking in the Peruvian Andes when I tripped, fell over onto rock and was devastated to find my binoculars had broken cleanly into two pieces. I found it really hard to use the spare pair especially as they were impossible for trying to see skulking species like Tapaculos, that in the end I used my Mom’s Leica binoculars and she had to manage using the spares. We have never made that mistake again and make sure we always have decent binoculars with us (even if quite old) so that if there is a problem with one of our binoculars, the trip is not ruined by it;


Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl with her Leica binoculars
Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


Essential Food:
-Large bags of Galaxy Chocolate Minstrels Pouch 118g – I have a large bag of Minstrels for each week I am away. I have to make each packet last a week and eat one for energy on a tough trek, as a reward and simply to keep me going on a full-on birding trip. Minstrels are large chocolate buttons with a hard glazed shell so do not melt in your hands, on your optics or in your bags. You can buy these in Canada. If you don’t like chocolates or are vegan, try large pouches of Nestle Rowntree’s Jelly Tots Sweets Bag 150g (candy);


Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl
Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig



-Large bag of Starburst Original Pouch 210g – I have a large bag of these chewy individually wrapped candies for every two flights between three of us, to manage ear pressure and ache. It can also be a problem changing between altitudes in the mountains, so helpful to have with you. I am sure you will have a USA version;

I take a breakfast bar for each day of our trip. These are really versatile for early morning breakfast, much needed when you are up at 4.00am and out birding by 4.30am. I also save them up and have them as snacks, especially where I don’t like a meal or there is a big gap between meals. I choose Kelloggs Frosties bars which are full of sugar, for an energy boost. Ones with nuts and grain will keep you going for longer;


Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl 
Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig


-Palm oil free dehydrated instant noodle snack in a pot, for easy meal replacements when you are too tired to stay up for dinner or there is nowhere suitable to eat dinner. There are always times on big birding trips when you don’t feel like dinner or just too tired to be bothered.


Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl 
Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig



Mya-Rose Craig AKA Birdgirl 
Copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig




How do you bring things with you?



My Mom veers from being a chronic over-packer to chronic under-packer with lots of things missing from our bags. One time she brought a whole load of big bottles of toiletries: Two shampoos, two conditioners, factor 50 suncream, factor 15 suncream, two body lotion, aftersun lotion, hand cream, foot cream, hair sun spray, etc. You get the picture…What I take is Lush solid shampoo (for washing hair and body), Lush conditioner decanted into a tiny bottle, a small factor 50 sun protector and a small amount of cream for all purposes.








About the Author


 Young environmentalist and birder Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig
Copyright Mya-Rose Birdgirl Craig 



Mya-Rose Craig is a 17-year-old young British Bangladeshi birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, activist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes posts about birding, conservation and environmental issues from around the world. 

She has been involved in the UK organisation of the Youth Strikes encouraging young people from around the world to not go to school once a month and protest instead demanding immediate action to prevent climate breakdown. This is an interview in New Statesman.

She 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 four nature is helping to run four more in 2019. She also organised a conference, Race Equality in Nature, in June 2016 aiming to increase the ethnic diversity in nature and plans two more in 2019. She has also set up Black2Nature with the aim of working with organisations to increase the access to nature of Visible Minority Ethnic people and is President. 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. 

She has given over 50 talks, speaking at conferences such as being on a panel with George Monbiot and Caroline Lucas on Sustainability and the Future of Cities. She is a Minister in Chris Packham's Manifesto for Nature in 2018 and spoke in front of 10,000 people at the Walk for Nature. She has also appeared on TV and radio and is particularly proud of being in Silent Roars, a short film which was part of Listen to Britain 2017 https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-the-silent-roars-2017-online

She has been awarded the Bath and West Show Environmental Youth Award 2017 for Bristol for her Black2Nature work EYA 2017. She was also listed as one of Bristol's BME top 100 powerlist.

She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and Penguins in Antarctica over Christmas 2015, her 7th continent. She became the youngest person to see 5000 birds in 2019 age 16 and is looking forward to visiting Brazil birding in 2019 and hopes to see half the birds in the world there. Please also like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter. If you would like to contact Mya-Rose about her work, please e-mail helenabcraig@hotmail.co.uk.