Wickow County Bird Race teams up bright and early
competition to spot as many species of birds
Four teams met bright and early at 7.30 a.m. on Bray Promenade before heading out on a mad dash across the county to try and spot as many species of birds within an allocated length of time.
The Wicklow County Bird Race finished up at 6.30 p.m. in The Beehive with a total of 104 species of bird recorded all the teams, just 8 less than the 2012 species total.
Calm and overcast conditions in the morning were favourable to finding birds on the sea. Redthroated Divers were plentiful right along the coast with the scarcer Great Northern Diver noted at three locations, Greystones, Kilcoole and off Broad Lough.
Great Crested Grebe is a rare bird on the Wicklow coast so one off Bray Harbour was most welcome. It was an exceptional day for Birds of Prey with teams logging 12 Buzzards, 4 Sparrowhawks, 5 Kestrels and 2 Peregrines across the county. A male Hen Harrier was also seen at Broad Lough and a pair of Long-eared Owls was still present and displaying at a traditional site in the south of the county. Each individual team's scores were tallied up in The Beehive with 'The Southside Swifts' (Niall T. Keogh, Noel Keogh and Brian Porter) finishing first with 95 1/2 points. 'The Montagus' (Jim Sheehan, Mick Boyle, Stephen McAvoy and John Tyner) were second with 92 points. In third spot were 'The Peckers' (Dick Coombes, Christian Osthoff and Gerry Lyons) on 90 1/2 points.
Category B winners were 'The Finches' (Domhnall Finch, Kieran Finch, Conor Finch and Fergus Finch) with 78 points.