Michael Clegg Memorial Birdrace 2022

The Michael Clegg Memorial Birdrace will take place over SUNDAY 2nd JANUARY 2022, but since the following day is also a public holiday and some have expressed a problem with the Sunday then MONDAY 3rd JANUARY is also okay to take part too.

This 'compromise' also gives teams the chance to not only pick their favoured day but also to choose which might be best weather wise too. 

The forthcoming event will follow the changes that were introduced last time, mainly that it will be NON-MOTORISED again. So it's either push bikes or walking to get around your chosen site during the day. Vehicles can be used to get to your chosen site and meet your team mates but must then be parked up and not used again until your birding day is finished.

The 2022 Birdrace is raising funds for the NORTH YORKSHIRE TURTLE DOVE PROJECT which is one of the few places that still has a viable population of this rapidly declining species and is the place that many birders now go to see them.

If you or your team are interested in taking part, email spurnbirdobs.jonnie 'at' to get more details (you will be forwarded an email from my account) including info NYTDP, a species checklist and how to join the birdrace WhatsApp group, and most importantly, how to donate any sponsor money raised. 

Over the last couple of years the Birdrace has raised some fantastic amounts to help conservation projects in Yorkshire and the project this year certainly deserves all the help we can give. The more teams taking part the more money to help Turtle Doves! 

Graham Speight
Michael Clegg Memorial Birdrace 2022 organiser & SBOT Committee member

The North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project 

The North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project (NYTDP) is a volunteer-led initiative that works to help address the dramatic declines in our Turtle Dove population through:

- Volunteer-based survey work/citizen science

- Working with land managers to create/improve suitable habitat and improve land management practices.

- Engage local communities and schools to raise awareness and increase participation in practical conservation

- Build links and share best practice with national and international partners.

We are very lucky to still have Turtle Doves in North Yorkshire, our work surveying these birds since 2016 has produced an estimate of between 50 and 100 pairs, the majority nest within the North York Moors National Park with smaller numbers in the Howardian Hills AONB. In addition to helping Turtle Doves, the land management improvements, awareness raising initiatives and surveys has also improved the fortunes of other ‘at risk’ bird species within the project area such as Song Thrush and Yellowhammer.

How Yorkshire Birders Can Help Us

In 2022 we have big plans to continue our work with Turtle Dove friendly farmers within our North Yorkshire Project area. We would like to provide more water by not only restoring more ponds but also by creating small drinking pools close to where Turtle Doves are still nesting. Turtle Doves need a reliable source of water because they feed their small chicks in the nest on milk created in their crop. Without water breeding their success declines
We need you to form a team, get sponsored and enter the annual Yorkshire Bird Race on the 2nd January to help us raise money for these drinking pools/small ponds. It’s very simple the more money we raise the more landowners and farmers we can work with providing better habitat for Turtle Doves and other birds in our county. All the money raised from this bird race will be spent on these habitat conservation measures.
To donate your funds after the bird race please use the Friends of Dalby PayPal charity account and make sure you write ‘fund raising for Turtle Doves’ in the donation information
To read about our work follow us on twitter @north_dove. Or visit our National Park web site page.

Richard Baines
Volunteer North York Turtle Dove Project

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Posted: 16 November 2021

Michael Clegg Memorial Birdrace 2022