I 'm 12yrs old and very sporty. I love Gaelic football, soccer, badminton, cycling, playing and listening to music, chewy bonbons, chocolate and walking with my canon camera! I went to Parke N.S and have just started secondary school in St. Gerald's College, Castlebar. I have always had a passion for birds, nature and art. Documentaries from David Attenborough and our very own Colin Stafford-Johnson just fascinate me.
I live in a very scenic and beautiful part of Mayo. Our house is perched on a hilltop with Croagh Patrick and Nephin in the distance and looking down on the River Clydagh that meanders slowly under a three arch stone bridge into L. Cullin and L. Conn. Behind us is vast bogland and wetlands that flood every autumn and winter much to the annoyance of our neighbouring farmers but to the joy of our winter visitors, the Whooper Swans!! Every season brings its own beauty and temptation to explore and be part of nature.
For the past few years I have been taking photographs of nature and have built up a collection of photographs and sketches of birds and wildlife. My favourite bird to spot is the Kestrel because they are birds of prey, have earthly coloured plumage and are very intelligent. I also love the male bullfinch with its vibrant orange front and contrasting jet black crown. My favourite place to spot birds is the garden at the bird feeder and most especially when in go for walks in the open countryside because you never know what's going to cross your path, so make sure you bring your camera and binocular's!
Some of you may already be keen Birders and know of an owl's nest, or may have seen the rare ring ouzel and corncrake, or go on birding trips with your local birdwatching group, or spotted the rare Hen Harrier on her daily flight path, or have crossed paths with a pine marten on your walks. Perhaps some of you may already have loads of photographs and sketches. Most garden's already have bird feeders attracting finches and other birds. Would'nt it be fun and exciting to share this through photographs, sketches and poems?
The aim of this website is to create a platform for 9 - 16yr old's through our primary and secondary schools where your photographs and sketches of Irish Birds and Wildlife can be showcased and shared for everybody to enjoy. There's also a section for budding poet's to compose nature-inspired poems. You don't have to be an expert birder or a Da Vinchy artist or even be related to WB Yeats. All you need is the desire to become involved and share your work and skills.
This youth website is first of its kind and promises to be vibrant and creative. It has special features like Click of the Month and a revolving Photo and Sketch Gallery that randomly selects and showcases people's work on the homepage. Nobody is left out. This website is linked directly to and supported by BirdWatchIreland and also by the Mayo Education Centre.
The first ever Irish Amateur Bird & Wildlife Photographer Competition & Exhibition will be held in Mayo in April 2015. This is a National Competition and the best photographs and sketches will be selected. There are superb prizes in store for both Primary and Secondary schools but more on that later! Look at the Birder Skills Section and the Photo Tips Section if you want to get that WOW factor about your work.
I know you all have great talents and skills. Every sketch, photograph, nature- inspired poem is unique to your experiences and your environment.
I am looking forward to seeing your work from all around Ireland. I will be thrilled if there is great variety and you never know, your work might be on exhibition at the annual Awards & Exhibition Ceremony or you might even be the overall winner!!!!!
Please do not use personal details when registering i.e. do not use your full name and do not use your personal e-mail address. Use nicknames e.g. JoeSporty or MaryMusic, BrianFeather, AnnGuitar etc and use your school e-mail address. Any individual that attempts to upload inappropriate information or images will be prohibited from registering and the school informed.