The plan was set and the race was run. A good day was had by all. Thanks to RM for arranging the race and to the other teams for spurring us on. It was all a forgone conclusion, of course, with JB's meticulous calculations predicting a win with a 89.32% certainty. One or two outside chances rolled in and one or two certainties rolled out, but 88 was a pretty good total, just two shy of my unscientific target of 90.
Highlights - two Song Thrushes at Birsay, as predicted, the only ones seen all day. Greenland White-fronted Goose. Finding an Iceland Gull, 1st winter, at Loch of Skaill (just like buses, never one for ages ...). Smew at Loch of Skaill. Goldfinch behind Firth church. Fields of waders including a surprise Black-tailed Godwit on Tankerness. The excellent Green-winged Teal at Graemeshall Loch. BH's Whimbrel performing in an exemplary manner on Birsay as did the Long-eared Owls in the Hope roost. Surprise of the day was JB's carefully fattened Tree Sparrow. Bonus of the day was the not so elusive Brent Goose.
Dips - Pied Wagtail, the scurrilously suppressed Common Redpolls on the Heddle Rd, Sparrowhawk, Short-eared Owl and Barnacle Goose.
Close calls - Robin, just the one but that did; Kestrel and Skylark from the car; Pheasant, finally falling with a field of four and saving JB from a long, cold winter dip. Pink-footed Goose with ten minutes to spare.