Five years on and the Friendship Agreement between the bird observatories at Cape May, Falsterbo, Long Point and Spurn is still going strong. To showcase both this and the great autumn migration and birding at each location, we thought it would be good fun if we held a bird race between the four observatories. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions on international travel, our young professional exchange visits for 2020 have had to be postponed, so this is also a nice way of staying in touch with our friends overseas. We hope that some of you will be tempted to take part.
Date: The “Inter- Peninsula” bird race will take place on Saturday 12th September 2020 **
The Rules & Guidance are very simple:
Teams: Each observatory can have one or more teams of 3-5 birders in each team.
Duration: **Teams can start as early as 17:00 Friday on 11th Sept, but must end by 17:00 on Saturday 12th in the Obs' garden. The maximum duration is therefore 24 hours, but teams can elect to start any time after 17:00 on Friday, so making time in the field as stretching or as leisurely as your team wishes. No doubt most will probably start on Saturday morning.
Area: The Spurn Bird Obs' recording area.
Transport: On foot or by bicycle only. No motorized assistance during the bird race (not including the, now Spurn-synonymous electric bicycle).
Team composition: Can be a mix of any age and we would encourage as much diversity as possible.
Scoring: All team members must have seen or heard 95% of their full species list. A full checklist will be supplied prior to the race.
Spurn Captain: Kieran Lawrence has been chosen as the Spurn Bird Observatory captain.
Kieran will collate each team’s score at the Obs' garden starting at 17:00 on Saturday 12th September.
A Spurn winning team will be announced on Saturday evening.
Kieran will then compile a Spurn Bird Obs composite list to reflect a combined Spurn score which will be used to compare against the other observatories for the title of overall winner.
Inter-Peninsula winner: An overall winner of the “Inter-Peninsula” will be declared on the Sunday 13th September, to allow for the time lag between Europe and North America. Full species lists for all four observatories will be published, an interesting comparison in itself.
Registration: To register to take part, please have one member of your team contact Kieran with the team member’s details and a team name. If you want to take part and don’t have a team, just let Kieran know and he will try to team you up with others in a similar situation.
Kieran can be contacted at: e-mail [email protected], or on mobile 07944148228
Sponsorship: Teams can chose to raise sponsorship money for their species scores. This is purely voluntary. Any such money raised and donated to the observatory will be used to help fund future young professional exchange visits from Spurn to Cape May, Falsterbo and Long Point. You can easily donate here https://www.gofundme.com/f/spurn-bird-obs-interpeninsular-bird-race?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1
COVID-19 Social Distancing: Teams and individual members will be expected to comply with covid-19 safety measures in place whilst the bird race is taking place at Spurn.
Go for it Spurn!!! Let’s ensure Spurn gives a great account of itself in the Inter-Peninsula. If the event proves a success, we could look to run it again next year. We’ll learn along the way this year and there may be some form of handicap or weighting system in future if one obs' comes out too much of a clear winner. Let’s hope we can produce a photo finish.
Posted: 20 August 2020
Thanks to all the many photographers who allow us to use their images on this site, in particular Dave McAleavey, Martin Standley, Mike Watson, Richard Willison.