Sunday, 26 April 2009

At last the Easter results

At last my laptop is working well and I can get the half a dozen Easter birding challenge results up and running. Apologies again, all to do with an update from Adobe, which threw a spanner in the works, literally.

It's been a pretty busy weekend so far, as yesterday I went to Grand Designs Live at the ExCel Centre in London's East End, a fabulous, if a very long day, but made all the more better by seeing 2 Red Kites near Oxford. And if you are into Grand Designs here's you man Kevin spouting forth. Though we agreed George Clark's talk was very inspirational.

Then this afternoon and evening I've been at that well known birder Stephen Moss's 49th birthday birdwatch followed by beer and chilli at his gaff on the Levels. Thankfully the weather stayed dry even though all around it looked like rain. A great afternoon birding at Shapwick Heath on the Somerset Levels with about 30 assorted friends, family small children etc. Highlights 16 Hobby's (one below), Gadwall, Ruff, Black Tail Godwits in cinnamon plumage, and hundreds of Swifts.

Also this week out of the blue, Diana Moore came across one of my images of Jackdaws on a chimney and asked me if I'd allow the image to be used by her for a poem she'd written about Jackdaws. Which is great stuff and so I agreed. If you'd like to see the poem and the image, it can be found here.


Thanks for all of you who took part. Not as many as at Christmas but that doesn't matter, it's all about a bit of fun, as I appreciate Easter is a very busy time for most people. And so as in all things, in reverse order.

First off the block,

Alan at Tales of the Wild with 21

Very credible Alan. His highlights included Greater-spotted woodpecker and Garden warbler However Alan added his own rule. He actually had to see the birds. As he said in hindsight it's been such a great weekend for birdsong that was probably a mistake and I could have probably added at least another half-dozen to my score, but rules are rules!

Goosey at Snowgoosey blog with 22

Highlights here included Yellowhammer, Spotted Flycatcher and Oystercatcher

Good to see you take part Goosey, have you hit your 100 birds this year yet?

Then comes me with 48

Mainly from the north east and my Easter trip. My list is here.

Joe at Joe's wildlife Garden with a very respectable 54,

Highlights were,Gadwall, Red Kite, Mediterranean Gull, Swallow, plus a Fulvous Whistling Duck (a rare non-resident seen at the Titchfield Haven).

His commoner misses were Coal Tit, Pheasant and Kestrel.

Great to see young entries. Thanks for taking part Joe, your Easter Eggs looked great too.

Warren Baker at Pittsood Birds upped the anti with 61

All of which came from his local patch, which always makes Warrens blog worth a read and shows the value of knowing your local area very well.

ST up in Northumberland a very good 62

Good stuff ST, as you noted your low was still waiting for Wheatear (hope you have that now), but highlights were Garganey, Swallow, Yellow wagtail and my last bird was a first for the year, Sand Martin.

And finally the Easter Winner is.......... !!!!!

Pete at Sheffield Birds had the winner with 69

Some nice birds in there Blackcap, Treecreeper, Willow Warbler, Dipper, Stock Dove and Gadwall And a few he missed Great Spotted Woodpecker, Little Ringed Plover, Sand Martin, Stonechat and Sparrowhawk.

Well done Pete and thank you again to all of you for taking part, even those of you who maybe did but didn't submit results. It's just good to get out there.


  1. I won? Yay! (cracks open champagne!)

    Great challenge as last time, a shame there weren't too many competitors (or, on reflection, probably a blessing!).

    Re the first entry - spotted flycatcher in early April...?! A record surely...

  2. That's a good point Pete, I'd not twigged given it's now nearly May re the Spotted Flycatcher. Usually get first one's through end April, this year one reported on 21st in Dorset. I'll check with Goosey. But strange things are happening down here weather wise in the SW, so anything is possible, Swifts here on April 23rd?

    Congrats on the winning podium position.

  3. Oh dear, I'll have to up my game won't I! I'm up to 70 now, although I cheated with the Cuckoo because I only heard it.

  4. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for organising and mentioning me on this post. It was great to take part and I look forward to more in the future. I was vety happy with my list.

  5. yep that was a good score Joe and great to have you take part. spread the word for the next one.

  6. Goosey, most people only hear Cuckoo, so don't worry, same with Water Rail and Cetti's Warblers, can hear them miles away, but try and see one is like finding hens teeth. Keep going !!

  7. The flycatcher was at Ringstead and 2 of us got quite a good look at it, with the ID book in hand we checked it and really think it was a flycatcher. We stand corrected if we were wrong!

  8. Hi Goosey, No I think we'll accept your record, it is early, but not exceptionally so.... and a brilliant find, I live Spotty Flycatchers, they may be little brown jobs but a delight to watch