So why the Shat Birder?

I got a bit of stick for calling my blog The Shat Birder and contrary to the jibes it is not a description! Shat is actually (believe it or not) the local name for the village in which I have lived all my life, Skelmanthorpe.
Skelmanthorpe is on the outskirts of Huddersfield and in the 1870’s during the construction of the railway line (which is now Kirklees Light Railway), local unskilled labourers were drafted in to chip away at the rock that would later carve out Shelley Tunnel. These local lads were nicknamed stone “Shatterers” by the Irish navvies who had been employed to lay the line. The taunting from these “foreigners” actually ended in a 200 man mass brawl, which saw one of the Irish workers getting part of his ear bitten off! It was this incident that coined the phrase “Shat lug oyl biter” which when translated from broad Yorkshire is basically “Skelmanthorpe Ear Hole Nibbler”. Since then though, nearly 140 years on, Skelmanthorpe is still known as Shat! And all its inhabitants by the abbreviated “Shatters”!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Back to the Patch

With a recent report of a Yellow Browed Warbler on my very road! It was clear I probably wasn't giving the surrounding area my closest attention. That said, a 9 to 5 job makes sure that many slip the net! So a few walks locally have been the weekend's agenda, mainly for Junior, who's autumnal school topic has fortunately prized her away from Tom and Jerry and got her out there, looking, listening and collecting.

The mist was thick but the leaves broke through, with the only noise other than bird song being the miniature steam train, as it passed below a few times. We didn't hit on anything rare, but the resident Little Owl certainly livened things up for Junior! With her response being "it can't be an owl, it's too little"? Too much Harry Potter I think?

King of all he surveys!

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