Monday 13 December 2010

2010 Christmas Birdwatching Event - any takes?

Every year in the NHU we have a NHU Christmas Birding Cup and it is great fun and a good excuse to get out of the house. 6 different categories from supreme champion (usually 100+ species seen) to most birds seen by a complete beginner. In 2008/9 I ran something similar, an informal birdwatching blog competition which was well received, I think.

So in 2010 I wonder if any of you bloggers out there fancy an informal, not for profit, just for the fun of taking part, birdwatching competition over the festive period? I could collate the entries and publish in January. I'd prefer this not to be an out and out competition so there will be no winners or losers, just a list of those taking part (should you decide to take part).

I'm keen that those new to birdwatching feel they have reason to take part, so even someone seeing 3 species in their garden will get an honourable mention. So I thought to make it simple, just 2 categories;

1) Highest garden list (that is, perched in, flying over or seen from a garden or urban park if you don't have a garden)

2) Total number of bird species seen over the Christmas period anywhere

Rules are simple too:

Count the number of different wild bird species you see or hear, between 00.00 on 25th December (i.e. midnight on Christmas Eve) and 24.00 on 1st January (i.e midnight at the end of New Year's Day). Escapes, cagebirds, birds in a zoo, the Christmas turkey, do not count – everything else does, so that would include for example free living pheasants or mandarin ducks.

If you'd like to take part, just leave a comment on this posting to say you'll have a go, then in early January send me numbers etc and I'll compile a list. Above all this is just a bit of fun so I'm sure we'll be interested in any anecdotes to freshen the list.


  1. Sounds good fun - would love to take part.

  2. Will look forward to your findings Cindy and Robin, lets hope more join in

  3. I will join in. Too bad these dates don't correlate to the Christmas Bird Counts that I am participating in. Ha... that would be a little unfair I would think. I will (should) be home long enough to see what is about the garden during this time period. I will look forward to seeing any and all of the stories people will tell about their sightings. No birds will be eaten during our Christmas dinner. tee hee..

  4. Hi Lisa, good to have you on board. Spread the word to anyone else who is keen to give it a go. I find it's all a good excuse to get out and about in between eating too much.

  5. Hello, will probably be a busy over Christmas with family but would like to keep a count. :-) Thanks for visiting my blog,

  6. Ohh yes I'll have a go - this will encourage me to look in the bird book to learn some names rather than just describing a bird as a "small brown wader" ;-)

  7. Hi Chris and sian, looking forward to your input. Have a great Christmas

  8. This sounds fun ... count me in.

    Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas. Cheers Frank.

  9. Here's me list:-
    Gulls (perhaps Black Headed Gulls) on Christmas Day .... I've never seen Gulls in my garden before, they seem to like Garlic Bread!
    Wood Pigeons
    Collared Doves
    Carrion Crows
    Blue Tits
    Great Tits
    Coal Tits
    Long Tailed Tits