Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Calling all (UK based) Young Birders!

Calling all UK based Young Birders (18 and under, though this could be extended possibly upon request). Seeing as the Young Norfolk Birders (that is myself, Simeon Grundy, Connor Rand, and Matthew Evans) had a cracking Spring day today we decided that it would be cool to launch a game of Finders Keepers for 2008. We had in mind for this to be a team game (largely to stop Connor from jammily cashing in on our finds) - Young Norfolk Birders v. Young Birders, although any friends can be included so long as the number does not get ludicrously large (in which case multiple teams could be formed).

For those of you not initiated in the rules of the game, it involves finding as many scarce/rare birds as possible in 2008, for which points are earned. For co-finds the points are split depending on how much of a hand you had in the find. Birding does not have to be done as a team, the points are simply added. Also, as Steve and Jyothi have expressed concern that we live in Norfolk it has been decided that points will be adjusted depending on where (and when in some cases) the bird was found, eg. A Baltimore Oriole in London scores more than in Norfolk which scores more than in Shetland. For this reason we cannot invite people outside the UK (including Ireland, sorry!) as it would get rather confusing - I don't know what a Baltimore oriole is worth in the USA!

We will have our own set of modified rules, as the Punkbirder rules are somewhat out of our league, with Simeon and I deciding the points to be given with a second opinion from Connor - don't worry we will be totally fair (well, as fair as we can!). Also, we will operate on the basis of trust - all records will be accepted, trusting that people's consciences will ensure that the records are valid. Anyway, it would be a little unfair if we were to judge validity without actually knowing anything about it - it doesn't work for the county recorders and it wouldn't work for us! There will be no prizes, except the ultimate prize of satisfaction and glory!

Above all we will be playing largely for fun, not to prove that we are better than everyone else! I for one have A levels to think about, so if I find a rare it will probably be by accident, not because I went to Sumburgh Lighthouse at 5:00am every day - don't worry, it's not going to be intensely serious.

Please email me at if you are interested or if you have questions.


Parus said...

Sounds like you guys have a fun game planned. Good luck!
btw, what a Baltimore Oriole is worth in the USA also depends on where you are. East of the Mississippi river, they're common as dirt. West of the Mississippi, they're rare. The farther west you go, the rarer they become.
If anyone has any questions about USA birds, don't hesitate to ask me. I live in the USA.

Happy Birding! --Chris

David Campbell said...

As I said to you recently, I'll do it. I'll probably just do it on my own though if that's alright.

Connor D. Rand said...

I still think only birds that get accepted by the relevant rarity comitees should be counted in the long run- but I see I'll probably be out voted on this one!

PBC said...

Why not do a listing competition instead?

This rules out the stress of contentious records (which may take some time to be accepted/rejected) that may be found by any members.

When I was your age, the old Teenbirders UK group ran a listing competition over the summer holidays - basically who saw the most in the UK won. Plenty of banter and a good laugh.

For many, finding rare birds is going to be very hard, not least because rarities are just that - rare. Many people don't have the benefit of living in e.g. Norfolk where chances of finding something are somewhat higher.

Just a suggestion, but it might be worth considering!


Jeremiah Ogglethorpe said...

Definitely only have birds that are either accepted by the authorities or seen by people other than just the finder. if you don't do this then this competition will become a bit stringy. rare birds are just that and if you find a baltimore oriole wherever its a rare bird. they will be rarer in norfolk than they are in oxfordshire.