After terrible weather on the Saturday, it was a relief tofind a much better day on March 4th when the 7 teams toured the mainlandcounting species along the way.
Some rarer birds were seen - American wigeon, Tree Sparrow,Hawfinch, Mistle Thrush and Snow Goose (I was privileged to see the wigeon,snow goose and hawfinch - the latter thanks to the good sportsmanship of arival team who allowed competitors to have a telescopic view of this beautifulbird).
After bird-spotting for eight and a half hours, the winningteam once more emerged as Alistair Forsyth, Julian Branscombe, Barry &Linda Hamill who amassed a total of 91 species.The runner-up teamwith 88 points - Malcolm Russell, Thelma Irvine, Willie and Pauline Wilson; third wasSteve Sankey with his wife and young son - they did well with only 3 members.
A total of 107 species was seen on the day - it is thought this is a record.
After the race some of the participants enjoyed a meal at the Lynnfield Hotel.
Many thanks to Malcolm Russell for supplying these facts andfigures - Malcolm says this is one of the best bird races ever and I can onlyagree with him. A photo of the winning team is below:
Winning Team: Alistair Forsyth, Julian Branscombe, Linda Hamill, Barry Hamill. Photo Pauline Wilson.
Ian Cunningham has been busy with his camera again and sentme 3 great pictures:
(1) A rare American Wigeon that has been atToab for a few weeks now. In fact I was lucky to see this on the bird race.
(2) A colourful Teal taken at Graemeshall in Holm.
(3) Coming back from Kirkwall on March 8th, Ian spotted this Merlin near BossackQuarry and rushed home for his camera. Incredibly, the birdwas still in the same spot and he was able to get this super photo. Ian tells me that this bird was still in the exact spot today when he took the other two photos. As he says "Who says lightening doesn't strike twice!"
Teal at Graemeshall in Holm.
Merlin in Tankerness
Rare American Wigeon in Toab.