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”!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Happy New Year

Well, after limping to 178 species with the addition of Desert Wheatear at Bempton just before the new year, my annual goal of 200 fell somewhat short. Boss Man's birth in February came with the dreaded news that the poor little mite would have to spend his first month or so in the Special Care Unit and unfortunately he's been back since, but nearly a year on he's looking as good as ever thanks to his doting Mother and Big Sister. So when I say limped to 178, it's tongue in cheek (as this blog always is), as some things are so much more important....I'm going to get to 200 this year though, you may just have to bare with me!

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