From 30 April to 1 May 2022, the <Ganghwa Big Bird Race> was organized by Moolsaeal, a local NGO, on Ganghwa Island, Republic of Korea. A total of 26 teams, 110 birdwatchers from across the country (14 competitive, 12 non-competitive) spent 24 hours searching for birds in Ganghwa Island. Unlike normal birding competitions, all birds observed must be photographed and uploaded to a monitoring App called 'Getbol keepers'. With the records listed on this monitoring App, the judges score and rank them.
The competition, which began with a congratulatory greeting from EAAFP Chief Executive Mr. Doug Watkins, followed by the lectures introducing Ganghwa birding places and instructions of the race. The BBR then kick-started in the heated atmosphere.
Families and EAAFP secretariat staff, who participated in the non-competition section, then attended a lecture by the organizer to learn about common bird species. Then they visited rice paddies and mudflats with professional birding guides for bird watching. At the end of the first day, there was a music performance to celebrate the event, followed by a sharing section in which all the teams were introduced and expressed their feeling for joining the Ganghwa BBR.
During the BBR, teams observed a total of 581 photo records and 102 bird species for two days. The first-place team scored 75 points (69 records + 6 additional points for protected species), the second-place team scored 56 points (51 records + 5 additional points for protected species), and the third-place team scored 55 points (51 records + 4 additional points for protected species).
Some sharing from the participants:
Mr. Rahul Teku Vaswani and his family, from India, saw a black-faced spoonbill biting a giant frog and said, “It’s so amazing. The colors and patterns made by nature are really beautiful.” Another participant said, "There were not many birds this year. Continuous monitoring is needed, whether it is due to climate change or other environmental factors. We expect more people to participate next year.”
For more on Ganghwa BBR (in Korean) https://ghbbr.modoo.at/?link=cgfdi6ow
Article prepared by Moolsaeal.