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”!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Ingbirchworth Reservoir

A quick evening stop off at Ingbirchworth Reservoir provided a lucky opportunity to get some cracking views of a basking Little Owl. The little fella kept his eye on me though! A wooden post provided an ample vantage point to survey the neighbouring fields. As nice as this encounter was, unfortunately there was some disappointment. During recent works at the reservoir it appears that the tree I photographed last year with the Great Spotted Woodpecker nest has 'disappeared'? Shame, as I spent many a happy hour sat watching them come and go?

Puffing up in a 'what you looking at' manner! Obviously you can't see from the pictures but their constant shuffling and head bobbing make them very charismatic birds to watch.

Some of the smaller wildlife

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