On April 9 birders gathered again in Smolensk Lakeland. Birding competition “Lakeland Cup 2016” took place at the ecological center “Baklanovo”. This is a relatively new hobby in Russia caused a stir that few could have predicted. 19 teams came for the competition from Smolensk and Tver regions, and that is 94 people! After a short introduction by the head of the Ecological center “Baklanovo” D.A. Belyaev and chairman of the jury, coordinator of environmental programs of Non-profit Partnership “Birds and People” A.K. Blagovidov, start was given to the teams.
Participants “hunted” birds around ecological center, and many of them even got the village of Baklanovo. To take pictures of the birds is not so easy – they will not sit and wait for you to sneak in on them with a camera! However, all teams returned not empty-handed. Having handed over the results to the jury, the participants visited the wetland center of the Smolensk Lakeland, as well as participated in the workshops.
The teams’ results were evaluated at this time by a competent jury that has been very, very difficult because of such a number of teams! But the results were very interesting, because birders have taken pictures not only of ordinary Chaffinches and Fieldfares, but some rarities were recorded as well! For example, quite a few participants managed to take a picture of a flock of Bean geese, and our guests – a team “Bullfinches” from the city of Zapadnaya Dvina – managed to take a picture (but, unfortunately, could not identify it correctly) of a Great cormorant! In total all teams have registered 31 species of birds. By the way, the team “Bullfinches”, who has photographed a cormorant, got a victory, gaining 44 points, 17 species of birds to shoot and identified correctly 14 of them. Second place went to the team “Falcons”, representing the Lyceum named after Cyril and Methodius, Smolensk. They have registered 12 species, and correctly identified 10 of them. A bronze medal will go to Rudnya. The team “Sunny mandarin ducks” from School #1 of this town took the 3rd place with 30 points, 18 species of birds photographed and 8 identified correctly. All participants liked the competition very much; there was a lot of excitement and discoveries! Considering the interest to this hobby, we assume that such contests will become traditional and are planning to hold another such event in the autumn. We are waiting for all fans of the birds back to visit us and we hope that birding will be popular in Smolensk region as it is abroad!