March 27, 2018 by Rokman61
This blog is all about ‘Listing’. Only one photo of birds is included; all the rest depict bird nerds. For background, and an explanation of what is described here, see my earlier blog, The Listing Game.
The Listy Awards for 2017
This scintillating event took place on March 17, 2018, at the Skyhawk Restaurant, Boundary Bay Airport, in Delta, BC. In essence it is a gathering of local hard-core Listers to celebrate some outstanding achievements in Vancouver Big Year Birding.
The first highlight of the event was to be the arrival of The Crow trophy. Arrangements had been made to have it brought to the venue by Brinks armoured car, in a convoy led by a big red firetruck, and escorted by a half-dozen RCMP on Harleys, then to be ushered in by kilted pipers and placed on display. Unfortunately, all got called away at the last minute to attend various emergencies, so The Crow made a quiet entrance in a plastic bag.
After a pre-ceremony lunch and socializing, the attendees excitedly gathered for the award presentations. Ilya, as host, organizer, contributing patron, and incumbent Custodian of the Crow performed admirably as master of ceremonies. The seat with the blue coat in the photo below is Norma’s; it is empty because she was taking photos of the event.
The attendees sat spellbound in rapt attention as Ilya directed the proceedings.
The first order of business was to recognize two individuals who in 2017 had smashed the previous Vancouver Big Year record. To properly acknowledge and commemorate this lofty achievement, Ilya located and acquired two lovely little bird statues, skillfully hand-carved and painted by a bird artist of note.
Roger received the Mountain Chickadee, a bird that required a lot of effort to track down.
Melissa, who set a new all-time Vancouver Big Year Record, received the Blue Jay, which was the last bird she scored whilst setting the record.
After the thundering applause had quieted down, it was time for the presentation of the recipients of the eBird MetroVan Big Year Crowing Award. There were three newbies for 2017, and each got their name on the trophy and a small commemorative framed certificate. From left: Keith, Quentin, and Carlo.
The birder with the highest score for the past year is designated as Custodian of the Crow, and gets to guard and manage its whereabouts until the next Custodian is declared. Ilya was the highest scoring awardee in the inaugural year 2015, and the only qualifier for 2016, so he has been the only Custodian to date and has held the trophy for two years.
For 2017, Quentin was at the top of the list, so here we see the first-ever formal Passing of the Crow.
It appeared for a moment that Ilya was keeping a very tight grip on the trophy, as if he was not going to release it. He explained later that he was just making sure the trophy did not get accidentally dropped, but we were not completely convinced of that.
The three new awardees were presented with their framed certificates, and each took the opportunity to deliver a stirring acceptance speech.
Here, for the first time ever in one photo, all eight of the birders whose names appear on The Crow. (Ilya and Rob both appear twice, so there are 10 name plaques on the trophy.)
From left – Back Row: Keith, Roger, Quentin, Carlo, Mike. Front: llya, Melissa, Rob.
Disclaimer: I describe these events as I perceived them. I may have taken the liberty of using some literary licence, and a touch of dramatization may have crept into my account. However, the basic essence of what transpired is truthful and accurately reported.
Thanks to all who attended and helped make this such a memorable occasion!
Still cawing in Cloverdale . . .