Sunday, 15 August 2010

The 2010 Bardsey Autumn Birding Tournament
Week 2: Competition Review and Results

The four usual competitors all began the week – the three members of observatory staff (all yet to score a point) and Ben Porter with three points on the board – but Richard Brown took the risky decision mid-week to leave the island until the end of the month. Visitors to the observatory again took part in the weekly competition with a team made up of the Normands and the Wests, and Ben Bensley competing on his own, aiming to beat the regular contestants.

No point-scoring birds were found on the first day, but once again it was the visitors who leapt into the lead on the Sunday with the Normands/Wests gaining two points for finding a Curlew Sandpiper. They extended their lead the following day with a sighting of two Balearic Shearwaters scoring a further point (scores being awarded per sighting rather than per individual bird). Seawatching proved productive again later in the day, with another Balearic Shearwater sighting taking Ben Bensley into second place.

Tuesday was another completely blank day for everyone. On Wednesday the Obs staff finally got off the mark – Richard Else opening his account in the competition with a Whinchat on Pen Cristin worth one point. The following day saw a Shearwater-double score Steve Stansfield his first points of the competition; a Balearic in the morning and a Sooty in the afternoon launching him into second place on two points.

The final day of the week was a quiet one, but Else’s persevering seawatching efforts snatched the only point of the day with another Balearic Shearwater passing by early in the morning. It was too little too late though, as the early three point lead for team Normand/West proved just beyond reach of their rivals and won them first place for the week.

The results then, after another rather slow week, were team Normand/West in first place with three points; Else and Stansfield tying for second place on two points apiece; and Bensley coming in third with a single point. Ben Porter, despite a barren week, remains in the lead in the long tournament – his three points from Week 1 still leaving him just one ahead of Else and Stansfield on two.

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