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Carden Challenge – Another Successful Year

Team Lagerhead

Cool and sunny weather and fields of alvar flowers greeted the twelve teams who took part in the 2013 Carden Challenge held May 24-25th. 

Morning frost and afternoon winds added challenges for all teams, especially those searching for dragonflies and butterflies.  A mix of returning teams and four new teams competed for prizes donated by The Bird House Nature Company and for special trophies to recognize the winners in three categories.

The Biodiversity category, back for its second year, allowed teams to count mammals, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies, and dragonflies & damselflies as well as birds, with extra points for species at risk.  Four teams took up this challenge, with the Carden Catbirds team of Susan Blayney, Kathy Parker, Alex Mills and Chris Evans narrowly edging out the Conservancy Cowhands team to take home the new Biodiversity trophy.

In the competitive birding category, the winning team was Team Lagerhead, consisting of Biz Agnew, Gregor Beck, Matt Timpf, Adam Timpf and Steven Price.  Their count of 133 species didn’t top the 2011 winning total of 136, but was enough to beat out three other teams.

In the recreational category, the CouCouCaChing team of Nathalie Rockhill, Adam Thomson, Jane Ball, Kathy Callahan and Gordon Ball took home the trophy with a count of 82 species.

Overall, 148 bird species were counted, down five from the previous year, but including two species new to the Challenge count – a Lesser Yellowlegs just east of Sebright, and an Orchard Oriole found near Canal Lake.

The Teeter-Ass Trophy, given for the greatest team spirit, went this year to the Pedalling for Nature team of Dorthea Hangaard, John Challis, Liz Ross and Jamie Ross who travelled bumpy back roads by bicycle in their search for birds.

On the fundraising side, the 2013 Challenge was also an outstanding success, with nearly $23,000 in donations and pledges for participants. The top fundraising team was the Team Lagerhead, with over $5000 in donations.

Our thanks to everyone who took part, and to those who supported your favourite team with your pledges.  Thanks also to the Dalrymple UCW ladies for another wonderful supper on Saturday night.

We are already planning Carden Challenge 2014, so keep the last weekend of May open for us!

A list of birds seen by all teams combined is available here.

Want to see photos from the Carden Challenge? Visit our Flickr.