Monday, 6 February 2012

Harry and Luke's big London bird challenge

Good birding to all of you.

What started as a failed £100 bet with my good friend last year,
turned into a bird challenge that I will never forget. Last May my cousin, my friend Joe and I attempted to win a bet with a friend of mine and prove that we could see 100 birds within the M25 in just 48 hours. Despite our best efforts and because of events out of our control we had to pick a weekend which was just 'after' the key migration period , I unfortunately lost the bet.

Well this year the prize money has doubled to £200!  Part of the aim (outside of my desire to prove my friend wrong) is to make people aware that it doesn't matter where you are or what environment you live in, you can always find interesting wildlife if you just take the time to look. There are various social and environmental advantages for increased awareness in urban wildlife and it's an initiative that has my full support.
Last year I undertook this very difficult task but unfortunately  we were unsuccessful on that occasion. We only scored 89 birds overall and despite an excellent start on the first day, which recorded 81 birds, our luck ran out on the second day. Whilst this wasn't a bad score considering we left it till the 28th-29th May, this year I am even more determined to complete my mission.

The 2012 race will be happening on the 5th-6th May and I will be scouting out potential sites to use on route from now. Please mail me any details of regular rarities that can be seen in Spring or offer your support by helping me find these birds in a race against time on the day. Last year I received great support via email, and two very kind individuals who offered to show me the birds on their local patches. Many thanks to David and Gary for their support! I'd also like to thank the RSPB and BirdGuides for their aid last year in helping me organise the event and gain support.
Details of last years race can be found at...

You can follow my progress @earlybirders on twitter to hear about the sites I am scouting, the birds I'm viewing and the updates on my route prior to the race. I will also be tweeting regular updates on the race days to keep you up to date with my progress.
I will need all the help and help I can get this year again so please can you....
show your support by donating to the RSPB via my sponsor page and sending me your good luck wishes: visit for secure payment that goes directly to the RSPB through Just Giving
To give me any info on regular sightings or scarce birds or ask me any questions about the challenge please email or tweet me @earlybirders

Anyway, wish me luck! If you follow the blog or @earlybirders on twitter then I'll keep you updated with the progress and planning as we go