Monday, 25 February 2013

Best Find competition

No! This is not an instant award for the finder of the Askernish gyr. Although they might well find themselves winning it!

No self respecting patch birding competition is complete without a 'best find' competition. With 234 patches being birded hard throughout the country it's inevitable that now and then some good birds are going to be found. And it's only right that we celebrate the best of them.

As such, we are delighted to announce 'The Meopta & Forest Optics Best Patch Find' competition. To inspire you Meopta & Forest Optics  have offered a winner's prize of a pair of Meopta Meostar B1 10x42 HD binoculars (RRP £799).

As we've stated somewhere, at some point down the line, we can't be waiting for the good men of the rarities committee to pronounce judgement (well, we could, but they're very busy and we'd be waiting a while). We'll take your word for it. And we'll give everyone else an opportunity to take your word for it too, as the 'Meopta & Forest Optics Best Patch Find' will be settled by contestants voting for their choice in a poll that we will set up on the blog at the end of the year. The poll will be open to all folk taking part in the competition, and the candidates for the prize will be selected by the Patchwork Challenge Best Find Shortlist Selection Committee - all you will need to do is vote (only once!) Watch this space, along with the twitter feed and the facebook page for further details through the year.

In addition Meopta & Forest Optics have agreed to donate £1 for every species seen during the Patchwork Challenge to a charity of our choice and we've selected the BTO’s Out of Africa appeal, specifically to sponsor the tracking of cuckoos. With over 300 species of birds a likely target, that would amount to a very handy £300+ going to this worthwhile and fascinating project! Even more reason to get out onto that patch!

Just the boost we might need in the late February lull!


  1. Absolutely brilliant news - please pass on my thanks to all involved in this very generous sponsorship.

    Now about the Willet that I saw today . . . .

    All the best,


  2. Suppose Black-bellied Dipper is a bit tenuous given that a) it was first photographed by a non-birding colleague, and b) all I did was relocate it the next day (and clinch the ID as Black-bellied)? Oh and it was November 2012 (though still on-patch today)! Anyone feeling generous towards an impoverished inland patcher?!

  3. I wouldn't give up hope if your inland, look at the buff-bellied pipits in Berks, or a few years back the belted kingfisher in the midlands, or how about that cracking snowy owl in the Cairngorms, as inland as you can get :-) I think there could be a few inland rares sneaking in before you know it!

  4. And don't forget that the best find will be voted for...It wont necessarily be the rarest bird that wins - it might be something out of context (e.g. Shetland lesser pecker, a cetti's anywhre in scotland, an inland OBP)or something that lingers and performs for the crowds and looks handsome (a BW stilt,or indeed a black bellied dipper). Maybe when we have drawn up a shortlist we should invite the finders to make a case for their bird?!

  5. Bizarrely I had a dream that I had a Cetti's the other day. Fife's River Warbler was a random find in the middle of nowhere though.

    This is a very nice piece of sponsorship, so kudos to all involved, including of course the sponsor.

  6. oh dear!! me thinks a certain Cromer birder might be off down the market.