The 2019 Michael Clegg Memorial Birdrace took place across Yorkshire last Sunday, 6th January. Four teams from the York area took part. Here are summaries that were posted on Yorkbirding email and Twitter. Well done to the York Upstarts (Tim, Jack and Adam) who again broke the 100 barrier and topped the league.
From Tim: “Our second best total 101, highlights Arctic Redpoll, Red-necked Grebe, Great White Egret, stunning Male Merlin, Otter on York Uni campus! And a Siberian Chiffchaff at Hes East!”
Never Mind the Woodcocks
From Emanuela: “Sadly without their captain Jono this year — included Richard, Paul B, Paul W and myself. We scored 90.
We started before dawn with three owl species near Thornton — little, tawny and barn owl. We then headed to Allerthorpe Common where the highlights were crossbill, willow tit and marsh tit. We then toured the LDV, where the highlights were black-tailed godwit, white-fronted geese and pink-footed geese. Next step was Castle Howard Lake, where we saw the red-necked grebe.
We finished off at Wheldrake Ings with a nice woodcock. We missed a few species we had seen on previous years such as stonechat, brambling, green woodpecker, jay and nuthatch.
See Paul’s blog for an account: https://dippyman.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/the-wacky-bird-race-3-revenge-of-the-nuthatch/
York Chairman’s Pick
From Duncan: “The Ex-Chairman’s Pick team for the bird race comprised Peter, Neil as well as myself & later in the morning we were joined by Rob & Jane.
We started at Allerthorpe Common about 6.30, then on to Field Lane, Thornton and Church Bridge and then East Cottingwith, Ellerton, North Duffield Carrs, Escrick, Heslington West & East & finally Bank Island.
Our total was 89 which was the same as last year though we still missed some that we might have hoped for like Meadow Pipit, Stock Dove & Sparrowhawk!
Highlights were the Willow Tit at Allerthorpe and East Cottingwith, Black-tailed Godwit at East Cottingwith, Peregrine & Stonechat at North Duffield Carrs & watching 2 Barn Owls hunting last thing at Bank Island where the White-fronted & Pink-footed Geese were present.
York Bird Club SE53
From Paul D: “Our team (myself, Alan and Jonathan) concentrated on the SE53 10 km square in the southwest of the club area. We scored a modest 71, well down from last year’s bumper 83 and largely explained by the lack of flooding which meant that nine species of wildfowl we saw last year weren’t around today.
Our best birds were Jack Snipe, some stunning Red Kites and several Brambling (usually hard work around here).
Unexpected misses were Common Gull and Greenfinch. The former may seem surprising but last year we didn’t see one until well into the afternoon, so we tried from the outset today, but still didn’t see any.