Carden Alvar Nature Board by Bob BowlesResults of Carden Challenge

The 2nd Carden Challenge is now history, with 7 teams taking part to find the greatest number of bird species in a 24-hour period. All the teams had a great time, and saw some great birds - the highlights being a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, a pair of Trumpeter Swans on Lake Dalrymple, Cape May warbler seen by several teams, a beautiful Red-shouldered Hawk with young on the nest, and a Goshawk carrying food.

Congratulations to the winning team - the Cardenals, with Chris Ellingwood, Dan Bone, Greg Jaski, and Brenan Ackert. Their total was 119 species, followed by the NCC Lagerheads with 114, and the Earley Birds with 110.

A list of all birds recorded by the 7 teams adds up to 139 species, it is 2 more than last year. But there were some notable misses - very few owls, including no Great Horned; no Bald Eagle, no Merlin, no Sandhill Crane - all species that have been seen fairly recently and that you might expect.

Congratulations also to the pledge winners - Leslie Dyment as the top individual pledge-getter, and the NCC Lagerheads as the top team by a hair. The total for the day was almost exactly $13,000 - an amazing amount! The raffle for David Homer's fine carving of an Upland Sandpiper (won by Art Ward of Dalrymple) raised an additional $715. All funds are being dedicated to stewardship activities on the Carden Alvar.

The Carden IBA committee, Carden Field Naturalists, and other local groups are looking at the potential for a Carden Nature Festival next year, which could tie into the Challenge. So any thoughts or suggestions on that topic are also most welcome.


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