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”!
The Shat Birder Blogspot is a culmination of a life long interest in wildlife, particularly birds, and the interest my family and friends have shown in the places I've visited and the wildlife I have seen. I am no David Attenborough nor am I ever going to win Wildlife Photographer of the Year, I have however had a great deal of enjoyment watching wildlife both locally and further a field. This blog is a great way to share that enjoyment and enthusiasm with anyone who has a similar interest. Not only have I had the fortune of growing up in a village surrounded by fields, I have had the added bonus of use of a family cottage in Filey. A quick look at the photos in the Country Park Café shows just how good Filey is for bird watching and as a weekend getaway goes, for someone with my interests it doesn’t come much better. Skelmanthorpe has its fair share of wildlife though too. My garden looks out over fields, which form part of the valley out towards Emley Moor Television Mast, a prominent landmark in the area. It is this view, which I have decided to use for the header to my blog.