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”!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Isle of Skye

Our home for a week on the Isle of Skye. It was a week of peace and quiet, or as much peace and quiet you can get with two kids! We just used the cottage as a base to explore the Isle and luckily we got the weather!

Junior loved the jetty, and had her breakfast on it most mornings. More so because the small trout would swim up to her feet.

I opened the curtains one morning to a stunning summer plumaged Red Throated Diver and the tree next the cottage had a Cuckoo that called all day and ALL night! Both though were very hard to approach in regards a decent photo. It wasn't for lack of trying though.

The cottage was just north of Portree under the back drop of the Old Man of Storr, a prominent pinnacle and rock formation in the area.

Jumior on the Sunset Walk. A nature walk run by locals from a small community centre. Ironically it was about 11:30pm till the sun actually set.

The Last Month Or So?

A Curlew on Broomhead Moor, set against some menacing clouds.

Shag - This bird was perched on a marker just off Flamborough Head.

A Great Skua that has made the East Coast its home for the summer, much to the resident's disgust.

Gannet returning to Bempton Cliffs with nesting material.

Common Guillemot's

Atlantic Puffin

A Rock Pipit returning to feed chicks at Dunvegan's coral beaches on the Isle of Skye.

Young Moorhen at Old Moor RSPB