I am not the most active member of NGB, but it’s safe to say I owe an awful lot the organisation. Upon the discovery of NGB I realised that I was quite a lazy birder and should probably get my act together, so it served as great motivation for my personal birding. Not only that but through NGB I landed the most fantastic summer job I could possibly imagine…
Picture the scene, the summer of 2014. Having just finished my first year at university I now have the daunting prospect of a long summer with nothing much planned except patching Soil Hill, the world’s worst patch imaginable. Watching the world cup one evening I spotted that Tim Jones, Spurns then resident NGB, had post on the Facebook group asking for someone to stand in as the Little Tern Warden at Beacon Ponds due to an unfortunate injury to the head warden. Not going to lie, I was very nervous about messaging Tim and applying, a guy I had never met, through an organisation that I had mainly spectated. However, I decided to give it a buzz and was overjoyed to hear that I had got the position and was now lined up to cover.
2 months down the line it all seemed a little surreal in hindsight, but it was without doubt the greatest job I could ever have imagined, whilst being at a fantastic location just doing what I love: birding. I could easily go on about it for hours! Through my time there I learned so much about birds, and saw some incredible things. And I was not the only one to benefit, as the Little Terns had a record year of 52 fledged chicks. That was pretty awesome to be a part of, especially when you have invested so much time, day and night into them.
While the job itself was amazing, its legacy for me were the people I got to meet, either in the local birding community or with NGB’s from further afield, as it was during my time there I got to meet my first other NGBs, who were all great guys and it was refreshing to be able to go birding around people my own age. I have met up with a few NGB’s since then, either to go twitching, whilst twitching or meet ups at Spurn, and on each occasion I have had a fantastic time and seen some pretty awesome birds.
So when asked, what has NGB done for me? The answer is an awful lot of stuff! Without it I would not be the birder I am now, I would lack the motivation to go to Soil Hill, the world’s worst patch, and see nothing and I would not have got the job at Spurn. NGB is a fantastic organisation for bringing young people with a common interest and passion together, and that should not be forgotten.