Four official teams with a total of 19 birders participated in today's One-Road Challenge, searching for birds on one Washtenaw County road of their choosing this morning until 11 AM. As a bonus for getting up and out, birders had excellent views of the partial eclipse.
Each team was eligible to get one bonus point for any bird species found only by their team, as well as bonus points for having newcomers to Washtenaw Audubon outings on their team. Every team found at least one species that no other group had, and two of the four teams received the points for newcomers as well.
The team that chose Fletcher Road--and that named itself The Last Ten Minutes after rallying late in the competition--was the only one that had a Great-Horned Owl. The team on Maple Road was the only one to record a Bald Eagle, Eastern Screech Owl, Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker or--surprisingly--Ring-Billed Gull. The group on Sharon Hollow Road had good luck with waterfowl, finding for instance the only Gadwall, American Wigeon, and Northern Pintail, as well as the only Ring-Necked Pheasant and Barred Owl.
The winning team, named Things That Go Peent in the Dark, found 59 species of birds on Waterloo Road. Twelve of their birds were found only by them, including Tundra Swan, Blue-Winged Teal, Red-Breasted Merganser, Belted Kingfisher, and Pileated Woodpecker. Congratulations to the winners: Nancy Davis, Benjamin Hack, Matty Hack, and Sarah Toner.
In aggregate, the four groups found 79 species.
Special thanks to the generous soul who hosted our gathering to tally the results. Thanks also to all those who participated.
Washtenaw Audubon will host field trips next Friday and Saturday and numerous other outings in the coming weeks. Please visit www.washtenawudubon.org for more information.