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2015 ZooChat UK Challenge

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Shorts, 31 Dec 2014.

  1. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Three words once more: Birds Of Prey.

    Eagles, Falcons, Owls, Secretary Birds (who doesn't love them?), Vultures et al.

    I've pondered long and hard again to come up with a challenge "with legs" and hope I've cracked it this time (I didn't anticipate Hevden's drive last year!). I also fancied moving away from mammals for a change.

    I've tried to create a marathon, rather than a sprint, again and hopefully this one will keep running for a little longer than last year's. The winner will most likely need to be someone who's well traveled and is as happy to visit some obscure little collections as well as the big places. Whilst a handful of excellent larger (bird specialist) collections will give someone a substantial score I believe it'll be "picking up" extra species over a large number of collections that will ultimately decide the winner. As per last year, I'm hoping a number of lesser-visited places gain some benefit, exposure and (where appropriate) appreciation as a result of this year's challenge.

    An interesting random factor this year is that I find that new birds of prey species often "pop up"/appear from nowhere, especially at smaller collections, so it's likely that the number and types of species on show at the start of the year will be different to that at the end.

    Whilst certain collections (such as "Newent" and a couple of others) will most likely be needed to be visited to underpin chances of winning a combination of many species being represented in a number of collections and some species only being present at a small number of places means that there is most likely more than one way of winning this challenge. Hopefully this helps smooth out geographical advantages to a some extent though I can see that living in the South-east is probably a little disadvantageous and, as always, the Midlands, turns out a good base-point. Unfortunately a little geographical bias is unavoidable as I can't physically shift the Midlands (if I could move land I'd bring Northern Ireland close enough for a bridge first so I could visit Belfast more often:D).

    For the record I'm not expecting anyone to see all possible species in the year (then again I didn't last year:))-they'd have to be very obsessive and time and money rich to cover all the traveling (and have no inclination to use those resources to travel outside the UK). As always, I'm hoping it'll be a fun challenge that many can get involved in.

    As always, I'm keeping the challenge to a species level as I don't want to get bogged down in the quagmire of debating validity of sub-species and/or genetic purity of specific animals (Eagle Owls anyone?). Taxonomy is not the greatest strength of mine so I'll rely on others to challenge anyone trying to sneak sub-species in and, if necessary, I'll take appropriate counsel for assistance on any related debates. My decision on any of these squabbles is "final" (subject to better evidence being presented and new scientific findings).

    To be honest I'm not sure of the (current) maximum number of species potentially viewable in the UK. Please accept my apologies for this but I've been away most of Christmas and December at work was "crazy busy". I'm sure someone will come along with a summary in due course.

    For clarification, rules are as follows:

    1. You have to actually see the animal, even if just for a second. You don't score if you visit a collection but don't see the animal (harsh, but fair);
    2. Proof via photographs is not required, your word is your bond;
    3. You have to see the animal via normal public access (i.e. not including zookeeper for the day or photography days behind the scenes) during normal public opening hours (i.e. no scoring because you know the keeper and can get access before/after hours). Basically the species has to be seen as Joe Public would;
    4. Any severely limited opening or private collections (e.g. Heythrop, WHF, and any similar collections or refuges) don't count for this challenge. Controversial I know, but see previous point and I didn't think it fair to include a handful of days these collections might be open to the public as this might logistically disadvantage a large number of people;
    5. Report/update your progress on this thread as you go along (let's say mandatory reporting from fifteen species and above);
    6. Except for the unlikely event that someone gets to see all the species potentially seeable by 31/12/15 the winner will be deemed to be the person(s) who's seen the most at that date;
    7. My (final) decision is final but I'm open to discussion and debate on any specific points.

    Right, do your Zootierliste research, get your atlases out and Satnavs/smart phones set, go!!

    Finally, can Hevden please get in touch and let me know their address so I can arrange delivery of 2014's trophy?
     
  2. Hevden

    Hevden Well-Known Member

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    Excellent choice again. I seriously doubt anyone will get all species this time and actually calculating the available total will be difficult considering how easy it is to buy/sell and exchange species especially within smaller collections. It may also be necessary to make multiple visits to see birds held offshow and used only in displays.
     
  3. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I suspect one "wildcard" will be the matter of where the World Owl Trust ends up relocating to, how rapidly they are able to re-open and how much of their collection currently sited at Muncaster Castle they are able to move in and get on display on re-opening.

    It is entirely possible, of course, that they will not manage to re-open before the year is out - so anyone wanting to get a big head-start where owls are concerned may wish to pop up to Cumbria before the end of March!

    A quick tally suggests the following rough total of 133:

    53 owl species
    74 Falcons/Hawks/Eagles/Secretaries/Vultures
    4 New World Vultures
     
  4. Bele

    Bele Well-Known Member

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    An excellent choice Shorts .

    Although I did not go public with my tally on last year's Challenge , as I had no expectation of winning , I did keep a list going and deliberately visited some collections for their Old-world primates , reaching a pleasing total of 55 species .

    In terms of 2015 I have had a look at Zootierliste and seen one intriguing entry - lammergeier for Warwick Castle Falconry . I have had a look at their web-site , their Gallery does not show the lammergeier but does have a lot of very nice species - Stellers sea-eagle , Andean condor , lappet-faced and white-headed vulture , African crowned , martial and Bonelli's eagles amongst many others .

    I am wondering if they have a display area at the Castle for their birds or whether you can only view the birds when flown , or even if they hold many of the birds elsewhere . Can anyone help on this ?
     
  5. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    The lammergeier is not there Bele, I went in 2013 with Zoogiraffe, Agile Gibbon and Javan Rhino.

    Birds can be seen when they are not flying but admission to the castle
    is expensive.
     
  6. Hevden

    Hevden Well-Known Member

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    My cousin went late last year and the lammergier was in the display. There are some birds on show but the are others used in the displays that are held offshow.
     
  7. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping to complete in this challenge but due to some of the locations it will be hard to do so with public transport

    All the best to those who chose to take part and hope you enjoy the challenge.
     
  8. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    Not being able to compete doesn't exclude you from taking part! There can only be one winner.
    Unless someone shows the dedication of last year's wwinners, I doubt anyone will get the lot.
    I haven't the slightest chance this year, as I'm not going to travel a long distance to visit a bird of prey centre and there are none near me. But I will still post my total once I get past 15(if only so people can laugh!).
    I was never going to win last year, but I got to 59 and would've had several more if I hadn't cancelled my summer holiday & missed out on Paignton & monkeyworld.
    I'm sure you will get more from 2 bird centres than I will from visiting 20 'zoos' during the year!
     
  9. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Feel free to compete - I am more or less dependent on public transport myself but still fully intend to give it a crack!
     
  10. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    Question for TLD
    Does the 133 require a trip to that place in Somerset? If so it might require some competitors to borrow a young child for the day if they don't have any of their own!
     
  11. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't believe that place is listed on ZTL, which is what I consulted along with my lifelist notes to come up with that total - so a visit there is not required methinks. The three collections giving the biggest head-start would be the World Owl Trust, Newent and Weyhill.
     
  12. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    Well seeing as nobody has posted what they have for the year yet,I will give people a target to start to shoot away at!!
    All these are from a quick visit to Chester Zoo on the 1st January.

    1) Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) at Chester Zoo
    2) Eurasian Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus) at Chester Zoo
    3) White-faced Scops Owl (Ptilopsis leucotis) at Chester Zoo
    4) Brown Wood Owl (Strix leptogrammica) at Chester Zoo
    5) Ural Owl (Strix uralensis) at Chester Zoo
    6) Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa lapponica) at Chester Zoo
    7) Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) at Chester Zoo
    8) Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata) at Chester Zoo

    Right so that a starting point for people,which should last until somebody visits a Falconry Centre.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jan 2015
  13. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    The stock is changed round,with the off-show breeding area and rest area,that the Falconers maintain in North Yorkshire!So what is at Warwick can change from week to week as a result
     
  14. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    Do wild species also count as anyone can see them at anytime just a query.
     
  15. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    No, for the same reason that barely open collections and "keeper favours" are not allowed -I'm trying to make the playing field as level as possible and allowing them would mean people living in certain areas have potentially significant unfair advantages.

    Plus it is 2015 ZooChat UK Challange :).
     
  16. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    sorry but I thought I would ask (I understand why) just trying to be a little cheeky really.
     
  17. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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  18. lamna

    lamna Well-Known Member

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    Is that an especially good collection? Because if so, I've gotten lucky, it's long walk or a short drive for me, if I can get a lift.

    I really enjoy these challenges, they make me look at things are usually skim.
     
  19. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

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    Back from a wonderful day at Hagley Falconry centre so here is my starting list for the Zoochat Challenge 2015.

    Great to see my first Stellers sea eagle and what a bird it was so beautiful and so very well built (would like it to land on my arm or wrist as it will be trained for displays).

    My favourite bird just gets better looking every time I see her she is now nearly 8 years old and soon be ready for breeding so here’s hoping (can’t say any more on here sorry)
    The place itself is looking great now with most of the aviaries now refurbished (like Dudley zoo all done by themselves).

    It was great to watch Itchy (6 year old Saker falcon) in the display area and how different the birds look close up to when they are in aviaries or on the standing areas.

    SPECIES SEEN TODAY -

    01 - African fish eagle
    02 - African spotted eagle-owl
    03 - American kestrel
    04 - Barn owl
    05 - Bateleur eagle
    06 - Bengal eagle-owl
    07 - Black kite
    08 - Buzzard
    09 - Chaco owl
    10 - Chilean blue buzzard-eagle
    11 - Crested caracara
    12 - Ferruginous hawk
    13 - Golden eagle
    14 - Harris hawk
    15 - Himalayan vulture – (the only one held within the UK)
    16 - Little owl
    17 - Long-eared owl
    18 - Northern goshawk
    19 - Peregrine falcon
    Raven
    20 - Red-tailed hawk
    21 - Rüppell’s griffon vulture
    22 - Saker falcon
    23 - Snowy owl
    24 - Spectacled owl
    25 - Straited caracara
    26 - Stellers sea-eagle
    27 - Tawny eagle
    28 - Turkey vulture
    29 - Turkmenian eagle-owl
    30 - White-headed vulture


    HYBRIDS –

    Gyr x peregrine falcon
    Gyr x saker falcon
    Hobby x peregrine falcon
    Merlin x peregrine falcon

    OFF SHOW FOR BREEDING PURPOSES –

    Steppe eagle
    Bald eagle
    Brown wood owl
    Lanner falcon
    European eagle-owl
    Aplomado falcon
     
  20. lamna

    lamna Well-Known Member

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    I didn't pay attention to the rules on hybrids last year, but this year there will be rather more, they don't count, correct?