Champions of the Flyway 2016

CaptureOn 29th March 2016, Birdwatch magazine’s team The Birdwatch-BirdGuides Roadrunners – of which I am a member – will take part in the third Champions of the Flyway bird race, a major international event which is now being staged annually in Eilat, Israel – home of one of the world’s most desirable birding destinations and famous migration spectacles.Last year, some twenty teams raced in the event attempting to find, identify and log as many species as possible in an intense 24 hour contest to win the coveted title ‘Champions of the Flyway’. While the racing might be light-hearted, the goal is serious – to raise conservation funding through sponsorship and donations that will help the BirdLife International Partnership tackle the illegal killing of birds in southern and eastern Europe.

Shock image for Twitter

Although the event commences and finishes in Eilat, it covers a well-defined ‘field of play’ extending north-west to Nizzana in the western Negev Desert on the Egyptian border and north-east along the Jordanian border in the Arava Valley.

Champions of the Flyway Playing Field
Champions of the Flyway Playing Field

Again, this is not just a bird race, but a massive fundraising campaign to support conservation work and the proceeds will be channelled this year into action to prevent the illegal annual slaughter of migrant birds in Greece

In 2015 The Birdwatch-BirdGuides Roadrunners (Josh Jones, Alan Tilmouth and myself) won the award ‘Guardians of the Flyway’ for raising the most funds – just over £4,700 – of all the teams entering! We would like to better the total this year and smash through the £5,000 barrier. The event hopes to raise $50,000 in total.


Guardians Trophy
Guardians Trophy

This year the team (David Callahan, Mark Avery, Andy Clements and myself) is looking for individuals and corporate sponsors/donors to support our fundraising efforts. If you care about the perils which are faced by ‘our’ birds as they migrate to and from the UK and elsewhere in northern Europe then please consider visiting our donation page and pledging even a small amount.

The link to the Champions site is  (this gives all details of the scheme), our team’s page is at from which there is a ‘Donate’ link to our fundraising page at

Many thanks in anticipation of your kind support!

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