Date: 1/1/18 10:22 am
From: Anthony Hewetson <fattonybirds...>
Subject: [texbirds] The Kostecke:Hewetson Competition - An Incredibly Close Finish
Greetings All:
This year's competition finds Rich Kostecke working over 960 square miles
of Fayette County as Anthony Hewetson flails away at 902 square miles of
Crosby County. Both counties have a nice mix of habitats, though
Kostecke's is a bit less agricultural and a bit more wooded and watered.
On the other hand, Hewetson has some nice canyon cuts and, possibly, a
better selection of grasslands. To make things a bit more fair this year
lists are going to be weighted using the cumulative eBird total of ABA
countable birds as reported by 31 December 2016. That means that Rich's
efforts will be divided into a total of 264 species for Fayette County
whereas Anthony's efforts will be divided into a total of 290 species for
Crosby County. Species we add to the county lists during 2017 will not
cause these totals to go up: 264 and 290 remain fixed for purposes of the
contest.

Rich got into Fayette County at least three times, adding Green Kingfisher
during his first visit, Harris's Sparrow and Sora during his second visit,
and Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Greater-white Fronted Goose, Dunlin, Brown
Creeper, and Dark-eyed Junco during his third visit, rocking out the old
year with 227 species.

I was able to get out to my county twice during the month, adding
Chestnut-collared Longspur and Harris's Sparrow during the first visit and
adding Short-eared Owl during the White River Lake Christmas Bird Count,
finishing out the year with 248 species.

This year's game was weighted for eBird history and with Rich scoring many,
many more birds during the month than did I, my tight lead grew tighter and
tighter, then vanished, and then reversed itself. Rich's 227 out of 264
species put his final score in at 85.9848%. My 248 out of 290 species put
my final score in at 85.5172%.

*HUZZAH, HUZZAH, HUZZAH - Rich takes the prize (a moderately priced bottle
of whiskey) by 0.4676% - a blowout by competitive running, skiing, diving,
and - now - birding standards!*

By the time the CBC rolled around, the only way the finish could have been
closer is if I had added one more species in which case I would have lost
by .1228% or if I had added two more species in which case I would have won
by .0022%. A hard won bottle of whiskey, indeed!

This was our fifth game: I won the home county vs. home county game back in
2013, we tied during the home region vs. home region game in 2014, I won
the Clapp Park vs. Lake Devine game in 2015, I won the yard vs. yard game
in 2106, and - in what could be the start of a disturbing new trend - Rich
took 2017.

*MOST IMPORTANT*, however, is that we both eBirded every trip, allowing our
frivolity to contribute a lot of data to two relatively poorly birded
counties. Our 2018 game - details to be released a little later today -
should serve the same purposes: friendly competition and eBird data.

We would both like to thank all of the folk who provided us with sightings
to track down, offered encouragement, or just plain sent us e-mails letting
us know that they enjoyed the ongoing competition.

Anthony 'Fat Tony' Hewetson; Lubbock


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