Darragh Hudson: Helping The Next Generation

Late last year a young birder by the name of Darragh Hudson approached me and asked whether or not it was a good idea to set up some form of group chat on twitter for Young Birders. A network if you like for young birder to share their experiences and widen their knowledge; as no such group at the time existed. Fully supporting Darragh 9n his brilliant idea he pursued it.

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Darragh Hudson and I on our way to Flamborough for a weekend of solid birding!

From a group with no more than 10 or so members: Cain Cardiff, William Scott, Ellis Lucas and Brain McCloskey were some of the first to join; the group within the space of just a couple of months exploded and became an instant hit for any young birders on Twitter, so that to date the group has 43 in total and hasn’t lost I single member due to argument.

The group’s members come from all over the shop: Wirral, London, Yorkshire, Gwynedd, Co. Westmeath, Cumbria, Norfolk, Hampshire, Dublin, Manchester, Lancashire, Suffolk, Cheshire, Co. Wexford, Dorset, Leicestershire, Co Galway and Northamptonshire are just a handful of counties were the group’s members are from and by having so many different areas show the popularity of the group.

 So why is the “Young Birders Group” such a success? The reason is because of what we talk about, conversations range greatly in the group from your bog standard wildlife related subjects: self finds, Moth Trapping, tips on equipment, birding lists, patches, twitches, bird/moth/insect ID, Real Deal or Plastic Fantastic along with arranging to meet up on twitches, days out birding and meeting up at birding events such as Birdfair and Mig Fest.

But the group chats can also be about what us youngsters call “Banter” (the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks.), which brings everyone close to together and which is what mainly makes everyone as good friends as they are.

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Darragh sea watching on a rather bleak day at Flamborough

 For many including myself the group which Darragh has set has been a huge amount of support, help and joy. So many friendships have been formed which if it wasn’t for the group would have never of happened.

So a few weeks ago with Darragh having no clue to what was being orchestrated, I contacted the group’s members to join me in thanking Darragh for setting up the group which all 43 young birders from the UK and Ireland are ever so grateful for. So in terms of thanking Darragh we’ve joined to together in dedicating an entire post thanking him for creating group with a few short messages from myself the other members from the group.

Elliot Montieth: @Elliot_Montieth

“Darragh Hudson; I cannot thank you enough for creating the Young Birders group chat on Twitter. I can safely say that without the group which you have created I wouldn’t have been aware nor built friendships with some many likeminded people who have assisted me in widening my knowledge and giving night after night of brilliant rounds of Banter which never fails to put a smile on my face even when I’m feeling down.”

William Scott: @WillboneScott

“I (like everyone else) have loved the chat. Without it I may have never been able to personally share my experiences and passion with other people who understand birds (and wildlife). It has also been great hearing accounts of twitches and such like. It has been useful as we can all help others and be helped over ID and other queries. Plus the banter has been top-notch. So thank you Darragh for setting up a place where we can all talk about an interest where everyone else understands.”

Brain Wood sand

Patrick Lewin: @P_lewin26

“Thanks, I had no idea that so many young birders even existed and since I joined the chat a couple of weeks ago it’s been amazing to talk to and get to know all the young birders out there! Hopefully it will help me to meet more people who share our passion and to actually meet up with some of you face to face whilst watching some great birds!”

Sophie Bagshaw: @bagshawsophie

“The young birders chat has been great for me as I have found a group of people my age that all share a similar interest. I haven’t been a member for very long but it has been both useful and a sort of confidence boost for me as I hadn’t really met anyone of a similar age who shares my hobby until I was added.

I haven’t had chance to talk properly on it yet due to exams, etc. but I hope to speak more on the chat now they’re done. However, I have read over some of the ‘interesting’ conversations and everyone seems to be a great bunch of people so thanks Darragh for bringing us all together!”

Jacob Spinks: @WildlifeBoy1

“Thank you Darragh. Ever since that group chat has been made I have made so many new friends and improved my knowledge vastly, it has been great fun talking too everyone about their twitches and patches. Hope too many more happy nights up talking!”

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Ellis Lucas: @ellisethanfox

“Thanks very much for creating the group Darragh. I have very much enjoyed talking to other young birders about the hobby, it was a truly brilliant idea and I am very pleased you decided to make it. I have met so many new people because of the group. Huge thanks!!!”

Will Catlin: @WillsBirding

“I would like to thank Darragh for creating the Young Birders Chat. Through it I have met so many people and new friends that otherwise I would have never gotten to know. It has also widened my knowledge so far and everybody is always up for helping anyone. We always have so much banter and we all get along. I look forward to going through the years in everybody’s company and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you starting it. Thank you”

Banter

Eleanor Morrison: @EcoBittern

“I haven’t been a member of the Young Birders group for all that long, but in the short time I have been in it has been great time. It is so nice to have an opportunity to talk to other young birders I would of never have got to no otherwise, and I have loved both learning from others and also having a great laugh with them.

Darragh did a wonderful thing by starting this little community and we are all very grateful. Thank you Darragh for bringing such a fun, supportive and open-minded group together and I look forward to much more discussions and nights of pure banter in the future.”

Harry Witt: @_newnaturalist

“A big thank you to Darragh Hudson for creating the Young Birders Twitter group chat. It has truly helped me become a better birder through ID help and general conversations about birds. However, the best thing about the group is the (very) informal atmosphere, it has allowed for some excruciatingly funny moments and I believe it has allowed the majority of the group to become better friends and many of us have arranged to meet up to go birding etc. both at events such as Birdfair and otherwise. This is something I would never have envisaged happening when I first started Twitter! Long live the group chat!”

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Daniel Owen: @danielowen

“The young birders chat has been great for me as I have found a group of people my age that all share a similar interest. I haven’t been a member for very long but it has been both useful and a sort of confidence boost for me as I hadn’t really met anyone of a similar age who shares my hobby until I was added.

I haven’t had chance to talk properly on it yet due to exams, etc. but I hope to speak more on the chat now they’re done. However, I have read over some of the ‘interesting’ conversations and everyone seems to be a great bunch of people so thanks Darragh for bringing us all together!”

Joel Tragen: @ChorltonBirder

“Darragh, I cannot thank you enough for the creating the group chat, it’s been an amazing experience communicating with other young people who share the same passion I do, wildlife. If it wasn’t for the group then I wouldn’t have become aware of so many young birders, I never knew so many existed! So many thanks to Darragh for creating such a brilliant network for young birders, great to see someone helping the next generation”

Toby GC

Luke Nash: @young_birder89

\2Well Darragh, what a milestone! I can’t believe the group was only created late last year, and what a success it has been. You have single-handedly unified a decent proportion of the country’s young birders through the power of social media, and there can be no bounds with regards to the positive effects. You have generated a community stronger than I ever thought was possible. When I discovered this group in May, I felt saved: through all my hard times, the young birders saved me, and I dread to think where I’d be if it weren’t for you pursuing your idea. It will be so great when we finally meet. Darragh Hudson, I salute you.”

Brian McCloskey: @brainmccloskey

“What a brilliant idea it was for Darragh to set up the group. Great to know other people which have the same interest as me. Well done Darragh”

 Darragh is a rising star in the world and everyone in the group wishes him the best luck in the future.

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