<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society Newsletter
Newsletter of the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society
Local Birding
Spring 2005
Local Sightings
LDBWS Website
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A few hardy birders continued to contribute to the Birding League, to boldly go where less dedicated souls bothered to go, to brave the elements which were pretty dire at times and to drive, cycle or walk that extra mile to see even a humble Tree Pipit for the honour and glory of topping the prestigious Lancaster Birding League.

This year that honour goes to John Reddish who not only broke his own previous record of species seen (200 in 2003) but also smashed the record of total species seen ever (202 in 2000). The previous record holder, Pete Marsh, could only limp home in 3rd place.

This year's booby prize goes to Howard Elliot who took his eye off the birds and went fishing instead. His highlights included a Short-eared Owl on a post (credible sighting), a Kingfisher sat on the end of his rod (incredible sighting) and a trout that was "this big" (totally unacceptable sighting).

Jim Shepherd has certainly made his mark this year, but Best Newcomer has to go to Jeff Butcher who arrived in August and then had to have time off to undergo an operation but still managed to notch up an impressive 138 species. Obviously one to watch in 2005.

Best Runner Up goes to Mark Prestwood who unfortunately had to go birding abroad causing him to miss quite a few species and then commendably stayed at work instead of racing off to Leighton Moss to see the high scoring Penduline Tit.

Jon Carter deserves a mention for the quality of his birding on a low quantity of sites, usually only Morecambe Stone Jetty and his beloved Aldcliffe. However, despite a plausible description being given over the phone just after it flew off, his great but lone find of Temminckís Stint relies on the flimsy evidence of muddy footprints round the wildfowler's pools and the jury is still out on this one.

Best Student Birder goes to Mark Breaks, mainly because he is the only student on the list, but also because he has fitted in studying 174 species in the local area, studying them through a camera lens and studying ringing a good many of them at the same time.

The Birding League is already up and running in 2005 and I do hope that everyone will continue to take part and that a few more will make the effort to count up the species theyíve seen, work out their scores and send them in!

Technical difficulties relating to the incompatibility of software
meant that the Birding League scoresheet, supposedly downloadable from the website, was not as useful as anticipated, so this year there will be a return to a hard copy available via the newsletters.

It is hoped to develop a better system on the website in the next few weeks but information can still be relayed before each newsletter via phone or snailmail as well to the address given at the end of this article.

Here is a reminder of the aims and rules of the Birding League:
The Birding League was set up partly as a fun way to keep a local list by comparing what you see with others and partly to try and increase coverage in the local area. The latter aim is achieved by gaining extra points for birds that you find yourself.

The list of birds is split up into categories reflecting their status within the local area and the points awarded are as follows:

Category, Points if seen, Points if found

Common, 1, 1
Less common, 2, 2
Scarce, 3, 6
Medium rare, 5, 10
Rare, 10, 20
Extremely rare, 15, 30

For a full list of species please see the scoresheet.

The 'rules':

1. All sightings must be within the defined Birding League area as shown on the map in this Newsletter and on the website.

2. The competition is open to all members of the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society.
3. Scores should be submitted on a regular basis either via the record sheets provided or via the website.
4. All points/scores must be based on sight records with 5 allowable exceptions: Bittern, Quail, Spotted Crake, Corncrake and Tawny Owl may be counted if heard only.

5. Points can only be counted for species occurring in a wild state recognised in categories A, B and C of the British List.

6. Long staying birds from the previous year do not count as a find even if you are the first to see it on New Yearís Day.

7. Scores can be upgraded in that if you see a species as a 'see' originally then you discover another of that species for yourself your score can be upgraded to a 'find'.

8. Rarities must either be seen and identified by at least 3 people or be accepted by the BBRC (Extra Rare birds) or Lancashire Records Panel (Rare or Medium Rare).

9. Birds trapped do not count as finds unless seen prior to this.

Any birds which do not appear on the scoresheet can be added under the 'Extra Rare' category and scored accordingly.
Please send scores to Jean Roberts, 3 Claughton Terrace, Claughton, Lancaster LA2 9JZ. Tel: 01524 770295


Name No. Species Score Quality
John Reddish 203 632 3.1
Mark Prestwood 194 535 2.8
Pete Marsh 187 506 2.8
Ray Hobbs 186 502 2.7
Jon Carter 164 440 2.7
Jean Roberts 181 455 2.5
Mark Breaks 174 422 2.4
Jim Shepherd 165 388 2.4
Jeff Butcher 138 242 1.8
Howard Elliot 68 81 1.2

Local Sightings
LDBWS Website
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