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What a week, what an outcome!

Shorebird murmuration over the mudflat of Snettisham, Norfolk, United Kingdom. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

Let me start with a personal note. As life challenges and health issues came into play during the preparation and organisation of this year’s Global Shorebird Counting Program, I thought it would be a barely supported event of the year. I had limited financial assets and time to get it done on the way I always planned. Now, a day after the closing date of the counts, I’m sitting at my desk and looking at the stunning numbers on my screen. What I see, makes me very proud. What a week you all have been put together. Let me share some of the numbers with you.

… you have submitted a staggering 758 checklists…

As of writing, you have submitted a staggering 758 checklists, what contains at least one shorebird species. This is the second most submitted checklists since the 2014 launch of the Global Shorebird Counting Program. It is 69 checklists more than in the previous year. As many observers submitted checklists of the same location but different dates the number of unique location is slightly lower. Still, over 600 unique coordinates have been entered manually to the actual counting location map.

Despite New Zealand and key African and Asian countries did not participate, we still recorded a stunning total of 131 shorebird species.

We have huge gaps in the participation of certain countries what is reflected in the number of species reported. Despite New Zealand and key African and Asian countries did not participate, we still recorded a total of 131 shorebird species. That is half of the world’s shorebird species.

What does the future hold for the Global Shorebird Counting?

There is a lot to do for a brighter future of Global Shorebird Counting and World Shorebirds Day. Personally, I have only achieved the fraction of the goals I set last year. Due to the constructive criticism, there will be some changes and some of them will be introduced as soon as today or within a short time. The location registration process will go forever and purely for communication purposes, a basic and one-off registration will be required. This registration form is now open for anyone (see below). A new, more structured and cleaner website is under construction and will soon be shared for review. Further changes, like renaming the program to Global Shorebird Counts or other ideas will also be shared and hopefully constructively be discussed. More importantly, I work closely with one of the World Shorebirds Day supporters, Nils Bouillard, who is working on the statistical analysis of records. We hope to be able to present it soon.

I’d like to congratulate everyone for the great commitment and express my gratitude for this incredible support.

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