Wednesday 3 December 2014

Nearly all over!

With just a short time to the end of the 2014 competition, things are looking fairly certain for another Steve Blain win.  Darren Oakley-Martin clearly deserves to win as most of his ticks he walked to.  Andy Grimsey really has got the hang of this birding thing and is a strong third place at this time.  John Lynch has achieved his total by virtually hammering one site - Grovebury.  Myself...well, hopeless.  Missing some easy birds in the spring really has put me out of the race, despite finding a few scarce species.  Martin too has found some significant birds and would surely add to his tally if he birded the brick pits as much as Andy has or as much as Steve covers Broom.  Roger and Matt, largely specializing in Broom birds only have fine totals for such a small area.


  1. Well done to all for another great year of finding stuff! D, would a point system be manageable for next year's competition? And would the IT people (Steve) be able to implement it? Or would it cause more arguments than the punk birder rules..........
    R, think you're being a bit hard on yourself there. The LTD alone makes it a bloody good year if you ask me. A much closer comp this time, which has added to the interest.
    Here's to more of the same in '15.

  2. My worst self-finding year since being back from Ecuador. I blame Emily...

    D - if you can create a points system, I can implement it.

  3. Certainly more of the same in 2015. Be great to get others involved as we say each December.

    As for points, I feel we're fine as we are personally. I mean, its about the chances you make for yourself. Points awarded depending on the rarity seems at odds with the challenge. As an example, I might go to Biggleswade common (as I did on Thursday) to look for a Great Grey Shrike - if I saw one, I'd get 5 points. If, doing the same thing, I found a Lesser grey, I'd get 10. I think both are worth 1 as it is the same effort required to find your own birds. The rarity "value" of the bird is luck.

  4. Once you get past about 120/125 then the higher the species count goes, the higher (on a very broad average) the "relative scarcity" of every new find has to be to be new on the the SFYL so a bigger list is necessarily going to need to include better birds in a county context. As RIB says as long as you're out there, the finding of a real biggy is a much luck as anything and more looking leads to more opportunity for luck. (Not belittling of course a part perseverance and skill in for example separating a rare from a very similar common species which also comes with more time in the field.) I think we should remain as is,with the spirit of the challenge which is there to encourage us all to get out more into different places at different times and find more birds all together, rather than trying to make more competitive rules and produce more points of potential armchair dispute

  5. Your football quips are lost on me. I'm not complaining, just stating a fact. I'm surprised to be at the top this year to be honest as I've probably done half as much birding as usual. When you look at everyone else we have all done brilliantly. John has got his whole list in south Beds, and Darren has done (virtually) all his birding on foot - a tremendous effort!