If you haven't heard already (through various media channels) we have a winner of the 2021 Wanstead Wheatear Sweepstake - take a bow Mr Richard Rae!
Rich correctly predicted a Wheatear would be found at Wanstead on the 23rd March in a contest which we all agreed was the most unpredictable and gripping to date. At this point it's also worth mentioning the finder (Rob Sheldon) and although there's no trophy for being the finder, he does get to wear an imaginary badge of honour in being the first person to set eyes on one these special passage migrants we all adore so much.
Rich now joins an illustrious band of Wanstead birders who have now held the title of the 'Golden Wheatear' sweepstake winner and is entrusted to keep the prized chalice safe and suitably buffed throughout his reign. At this mornings presentation and passing of the chalice ceremony, a reluctant Jono handed over the trophy to a visibly emotional Rich, who isn't normally stuck for words but was clearly a little choked but did pull himself together to thank his fellow participants and vowed to do what it takes to hold onto the chalice in 2022. We all hope he enjoys being this years champion and look forward to seeing regular photos of Rich sipping Negroni cocktails from the chalice.
|A very proud moment for Richard and his family|
The generosity of team Wanstead ensured a bumper amount of money was raised for this years chosen charity with £150 donated to 'Birds on the Brink'. This money can help support projects like their recent Willow Tit nest box project near Manchester and soon to be announced nest box scheme for Bearded Screech-owls in Guatemala.
Please click the link below to view some of their wonderful work and projects in more detail.
This just leaves me to thank everyone who took part and for kindly digging deep into their pockets and raising such a great amount of money - let's hope next years contest will be equally as entertaining, and on a personal level I can only hope my name gets picked out of the hat a little earlier.
Tony Brown - Chairman (and rule maker).