And so, in true Oscars style, in reverse order (and for some reason, ladies first, come on girls where are you with the 50+ scores....)
Oldcrow – Newfoundland, Canada – Bird Count 9
Oldcrow begins this report with the prize for the lowest number of species recorded, but being “over the pond”, what a selection of exotics. Evening Grosbeaks, Juncos, Chick a Dees, Blue Jays (I can never get enough of these Jays), Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers and American Gold Finches. And a Grouse. “The grouse was seen out in the middle of the road. I had to go and get him off to the side as they are quite heedless when it comes to cars or even people.”
Thanks for taking part Oldcrow, quality not quantity eh?
View Oldcrow's blog here
Robin - Indiana USA – Bird Count 15
Robin came to this challenge via Shirl's blog, so may get a bit of a surprise reading this. I have posted her comment on Shirl's blog for the summary. Welcome on board Robin, she has some stunning photos on her blog, not just birds.
Hi, Shirl! I keep seeing the same birds over and over. There are house finches, goldfinches, house sparrows, robins, blue jays, dark eyed juncos, doves, Cooper's hawk, great blue heron, Canadian geese, chickadee, starlings, downy woodpecker and American crow. That's 15 for me, actually more than I had thought it would be.
View Robin’s blog here
Snowgoosey – North Dorset – Bird Count 19
Tricia spotted a good score of 23 on New Year’s Day in her garden and at Kew Gardens, what happened to the rest of the challenge Tricia, were you on the G&T's?). Nice garden list included Blackcap, Ring Neck Parakeet and Great Spotted Woodpecker and a fox, the only non bird mentioned.
Notable misses were Merlin, Red-breasted and Common Merganser, and Kingfisher, Highlights were a Mountain Chickadee (very rare visitor to the Coast) and huge numbers of Red-breasted Sapsuckers. Both birds were present here due to extreme winter conditions experienced throughout BC and Canada.
View Chris’s blog here
Starting to rise rapidly now. Warren managed 67 species around his area of Kent (not including the feral Pigeons so that’s 68 in my book if they were in the wild rather than a park). Some nice birds here, such as Marsh Tit and Bullfinch. As he said this was a better tally than in the whole of any other December! (7years). Good stuff Warren.
View Warren’s blog here
Pete – Sheffield Wildlife – Bird Count 77
Mainly in Sheffield and Cheshire. It was good of Pete to say "this has been a lot of fun and made me get up on my days off and get hunting for birds, resisting the temptation for lie-ins and the lure of Guitar Hero 4… It’s also driven me to get two lifers out of it, which can’t be sniffed at"
Personally guitar Hero 4 sounds more alluring given this week’s cold weather. His Highlights - Green-winged Teal, Water Rail (both lifers), Bittern (first decent views), Waxwing (first self-found!). Biggest dips - Redshank, little owl, yellowhammer, linnet, raven, both partridges, peregrine.
View Pete’s blog here
Alastair – Whitby Birding - Bird Score 80
A serious and very credible 80 from the Whitby area. He got some good birds in there, Red Throated Diver, Red Grouse (almost extinct down here), Woodcock, Mediterranean Gull and Crossbill. Close calls were Black-throated Diver (not seen well enough), Merlin (very brief views). Amazed he didn't see one - Song Thrush, Stonechat, Rock Pipit.
View Alastair’s blog here
Andrew @ Quicksilverbirds – Bird Score 90
I’m just glad I lost, would have been truly embarrassing otherwise, and really I started this for the NHU's challenge at work, which I've lost as well. My lowlights were loads of commoner birds missed this year, Dipper, Ring Plover, Peregrine, Merlin, all Owls, most Swans and Geese, Raven, Grey Wagtail, quite a few Waders (not even a Grey Plover!!) and , Kingfisher. Must get out more.
You’re reading my blog, have you nothing better to do?
Dean – Mostly Macro – Bird Score 93
Now we're getting serious, a fantastic score. As Dean said, not bad considering that 83 of them were seen without the aid of transport. So Dean wins for the most environmental birding score. Certainly better than my 3 tanks of petrol !! Loads of good birds there, Iceland Gull, Green Winged Teal and Waxwing.
View Dean’s blog here
#### AND THE WINNER IS ####
Stewart at Boulmer Birder – Bird Count 98
Well done Stewart, you win this years Birding Challenge with a very credible 98. Considering there’s only about 130-140 birds possible in the winter, apart from real rarities, this is a top score. Well done and thank you for helping publicise this via your blog.
His easiest 'misses' were Ringed Plover, Shag, Common Scoter, Guillemot, Razorbill, Tawny Owl, Skylark, Siskin, Crossbill and Snow Bunting. Slav and Red necked Grebes and Brent Geese are also not difficult if a visit to the North of the county could be made
View Stewart's Blog here