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"Battle of Towers"


Lake Sloka Tower

The sixth Latvian competition of birdwatchers - "Battle of Towers 2009" was completed at the evening of May 24


The competition was attended by eight teams - altogether 30 participants. The event took place in eight towers - one in Kuiviži (Limbaži district), two towers by Lake Lubāns (Madona district), one by Lake Pape (Liepāja district), one in Kaltene (Talsi district), two towers by Lake Engure (Tukums and Talsi districts) and in a tower in Dunduri meadows (Tukums district). This year the rules of the competition had been changed and the first prize was given to a team who most of all increased the number of bird species record during the previous competitions at the exact tower. There were tree different nominations - "The Record of the Tower", "The most interesting Observation" and "The Friendliest Team". The winners - team "Naktsputni" (could be translated as "birds of night") - Ēriks Dreibants, Edgars Lediņš, Edgars Laucis and Ritvars Rekmanis from tower at Ķūļciems by the Lake Engure (Talsi district) observed 73 bird species during the 24 hours. They exceeded the previous record of the tower by two species.


The Winners


In nomination „The Most Interesting Observation" the prize was given to the only international team of the competition - the team "" gathering Andris Klepers (LV), John Starie (UK), Hilger Lemke (DE) and Franziska Knaker (DE). The team from a tower in Kaltene (Talsi district) three hours after the start of the competition on May 23 observed a Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa trydactila (2cy). The bird was flying along the tower towards Kolka (Northwest Latvia) and was exposed for good observation for approximately tree minutes. Andris Klepers acknowledged that he is very pleased and also surprised about observation of this for Latvia very rare bird. Up to now there are at least 141 records of the species in Latvia, but it has mostly been during winter and in Southwest Latvia. So far in Gulf of Riga (where the Kaltene tower is situated) it has been observed only three times. Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa trydactila is mostly distributed in coastal areas of northern regions of Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and in islands and at some locations also at the coast of the Arctic Ocean.


Team from Kaltene Tower

Other nominations for this category were Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis observed from the Tower by the Lake Pape, Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola from the tower in Ķūļciems and Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus by the Lake Lubāns.


The winner from the nominations in category The Friendliest Team" was team „Skaidrie okulāri (could be translated as „clear oculars") - Mārtiņš Briedis, Māris Jaunzemis and Arnis Zacmanis, who were based in tower by the Lake Pape and during the competition received 72 visitors. Altogether during the competition almost 200 people have visited the towers participating in the "Battle of Towers 2009" this year.



youngest watcher

This year the competition was also attended by three teams of popular Latvian people who were observing birds for three hours. Team "Uzvarētājstrazds" (could be translated as "starling - winner") redactor of the magazine "Lilit" Dace Rukšāne, actor of the National Theater of Latvia Mārtiņš Brūveris and a representative of Hipotēku Bank Baiba Ābelniece got the first prize. The team was guided by experienced birdwatcher Kaspars Funts. The team observed 31 bird species from Tower in Mērsrags by the Lake Engure. Kaspars Funts acknowledged that the team had been assiduous and quick to understand and the team in their turn expressed their surprise about the great numbers of Grey Herons Ardea cinerea and Marsh Harriers Circus aeruginosus they saw and admitted they have gained new knowledge as well as a lot of positive emotions.


The winners

There have been recorded altogether 341 bird species in Latvia so far. The latest ones this year are Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis on May 17 and Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis on May 19.


The competition „Battle of Towers 2009" was organized by Latvian Ornithological Society and financially supported by Hipotēku Bank and Restaurant "Kaļķu vārti".

2009.05.27 13:51

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