Friday, 10 January 2014

Meopta and Forest Optic Best Find 2013 - and the winner is.......

2013 finally came to a close and what a year for PWC, excellent birds found throughout the year and throughout the country with many people highlighting it had been an exceptional year on their patch. Back in January Meopta and Forest Optic were very kind to offer a prize for the best find on a patch during 2013 and it didn't take long before a stunning white-phase Gyr Falcon was found at Askernish! What a way to start the year and a shoe in to make the best find short list at the end of the year. The rest of the winter rolled past with excellent finds in the form of White-billed Diver, Green-winged Teal etc keeping many a patcher happy. 

Spring had a slow start but by the end of April a nice male Lesser Scaup appeared at Pugneys, Yorks. May was swamped with a deluge of common and scarce migrants and just as we thought the summer doldrums would take over July provided two more highlights of the year. Over in Cork, there was a seawatching day to remember, three Fea's Petrels in one afternoon!!! Another seabird stole the headlines in July when the 'Farnes' Bridled Tern turned up on the Isle of May.

Autumn was the time where the coastal patches really took off with many a scarce and rare migrant in August and September, a skulking Blyth's Reed Warbler at Red Rocks and a Western Bonelli's Warbler at Burray, Orkney probably the highlights. As expected October hit home with some major rarities, first a Red-flanked Bluetail at Weybourne, not quite as rare as in the past but still a cracking bird to find. It was left to two real top notch rarities to see out the month with a  Semipalmated Plover at Sandy Point, Hants and a Mourning Dove in Kinloch, Rhum, a garden tick no less! Two amazing birds and the rarest seen throughout PWC 2013.

As winter approached an inland patch hit back with one of the best finds of the year, Pied Wheatear at Collingham, Notts. A county first and a genuine rarity anywhere let alone on an inland patch. What a way to end the autumn. Winter helped patchers add a few winter specialties but unfortunately none of the Ivory Gulls made it on to a patch. Maybe next year.....

So there is a very brief run down of 2013 and a look at the Meopta and Forest Optic Best Find contenders and all that is left to do is announce the winner.........................

Congratulations Andy Johnson, you are now the proud owner of Meopta Meostar B1 10x42 HD binoculars. A cracking find and for want of a less tired phrase, a true birders bird. And congratulations to all the runners up, all great birds that I'm sure made your year, and birds all of us would dream of finding on our patches.

1 comment:

  1. How about a prize for the best find on someone else's patch? Get it sponsored by Specsavers