Forty four people on twenty one teams took part this May in the 60th annual OAS Birdathon event, well below the normal participation level. Returning teams reported in with about ten species less than normal, while most of the leaders were 20 points off their stride. The weather was windy and rainy most of the day, with little sun, contributing to the low counts. Also, this year migration was mostly complete by the date of the event. As a whole, the group netted 176 species, 33 off the previous record.
The Uncommon Mergs (Matt Voelker & Dennis Anderson) had the best results for the day, with 128 species. Archaeopteryx (Mickey Scilingo, Chris Spagnoli) took second place with 119, while the group from Baltimore Woods – I Wish They All Could Be California Gulls (Jonathan Kresge, Melissa Kirby, Tom Meier) took third with 113. Also showing were Lookin’4Hooters (Dr. Stephen Schwab, Chris Stanger & Frank Brosch) at 108, and Hill Hellions (Anna Stunkel, Kevin McGann) at 106.
The award for Best Bird was claimed by Bill Purcell for his Lesser Scaup. For low-carbon lists, Dave Nash continued to dominate Most Birds / Least Miles with 89 birds, while Daniel Leete (A Burdensome Hand) won Best Yard List with 63 species on his property. This new category is for birders who restrict their list to private property of up to 160 acres that includes their residence of some description. Finally, the Baltimore Woods group took the ignoble award for Best Team Name, that being I Wish They All Could Be California Gulls.
Singles and Doubles
There were nineteen species found by only one team, and 15 found by just two teams. For Region-five-only teams, there were 18 and 10 respectively.
Don’t forget to save the date for next year! – May 18th.