Our annual bird race took place on Sunday, a rather mad affair in as much as, although it is always planned as a dawn to dusk event, there are those who seem to register dawn as being a lot earlier than it is in reality.
I received this email from Gordon Hay: "3.08 a.m. its raining just as I am about to go owling!!!"
Are you completely mad, Gordon? Well, perhaps not, as he managed to locate a hooting Tawny Owl, the first one heard at Holmethorpe this year. Oh, and by the way, I didn’t read that email until the evening!
Steve Gale and Gordon Hay just after day-break.
The list of birds logged throughout the day was pretty good:
Great Crested Grebe
Marsh Harrier (female – Gordon Hay)
Common Buzzard (10)
Little Ringed Plover
Greenshank (Thomas Blumire)
Whimbrel (Des Ball)
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Common Tern (4)
Tawny Owl (Gordon Hay)
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Grasshopper Warbler (Neil Randon)
A total of 88 species (the record is 91 species).
Notable omissions from this year’s list were Little Egret, Green Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Common Snipe and Meadow Pipit, which were all expected although Kingfishers have become very scarce locally since the freeze-up earlier in the year.
Although I do not have all the competitors lists in yet, it would appear that Gordon Hay is this year’s winner with a provisional total of 83 species (yet to be confirmed by him).
Steve Gale was close behind with 77 species.
I crept into third place with 73 species.
Thomas and Jerry notched up a respectable 65 species for fourth place.
My thanks to all who took part.