Please note that challenges 5,14, 18 and 19's pictures don't show anymore, therefore those challenges have been left out.
So, it seems as if the Xmas edition was easier than normal because ‘mites generally had to work hard to get the answers, but scored very well!
We had 13 participants, which is understandable considering the nature of the times we are in currently! with 2012 in baby-shoes…
The ‘mites’ performances were very evenly distributed as follows:
1 ‘mite scored 4
1 ‘mite scored 7
2 ‘mites scored 8
2 ‘mites scored 9
2 ‘mites scored 9
2 ‘mites scored 10
one ‘mite scored 11
one ‘mite scored 12
and three got all IDs correct.
#1 – Common Black-headed Gull; non-breeding 
wrote: Colour of beak, small earphones and wing pattern.
#2 – Eurasian Curlew 
wrote: One of the largest coastal wading birds, with a long down curving bill; plumage browner and with more contrast in the plumage markings than the similar Whimbrel. The head of the bird has no particular distinctive markings unlike the Whimbrel, which has white eyebrows and a white central stripe. The bird is probably a juvenile male distinguishable by the shorter bill and the pinkish tinge to the base to the lower mandible.
#3 – Little Tern 
. I got quite a few ‘mites thinking that there were two soecies here. Mutorashanga
wrote: One of the smallest terns, with a well defined white forehead. Adults have a yellow bill with black tip, while non-breeding individuals have a dark bill, dark leading upper forewings and primaries. Both are visible in the photo. The tern is also identified by the black outer primaries, which are present in breeding and non-breeding individuals.
#4 was the first picture with two species… #4a – Whiskered Tern 
is the bird exercising in the foreground. The habitat is freshwater. The bird is in a transitional stage with distinctive white underwings and partial darker belly feathers that becomes slate grey when in full breeding plumage. The bird has a red bill and legs distinguishing it from other freshwater terns. Once you got the habitat right, the rest was easy.
#4b – White-winged Tern 
wrote: Non-breeding – mottled grey above with white below. Black earphones, black bill, red legs.
#5 – Rock Kestrel 
. Many ‘mites said they battled with the ID, but I think the overall appearance and numerous small individual features helped 11/13 ‘mites to eventually get the right ID. This bird could only be confused with a lesser kestrel male in which case the upperwing should be plain rufous which it si not. THAT is the single ID feature that would have clinched the correct ID.
#6 – Female Montagu's Harrier 
. Facial mask was clear enough to make this an easy ID.
#7 – Southern Giant Petrel 
. The large bill with long nasal tube is distinctive and the tip of the bill colour is the main diagnostic feature to distinguish it from the very similar Northern Giant Petrel that has a darker (brown/pink) tip to its bill. The Southern Giant Petrel has a paler green-tinged tip. This feature is evident both in juveniles and adults.
#8 – This picture featured five species. #8a – Grey Plover 
was found by all but one ‘mite.
#8b – Red Knot 
was missed by three ‘mites. The Knot is the smaller plover-like bird in the background with rufous plumage.
#8c – Sanderling 
. Although the statistics suggest this was the most difficult ID, I don’t think so… it was just well-hidden. It is the only bird in flight that is not a Curlew sandpiper – banking steeply in the right quarter of the photograph. Mutorashanga
remembers: The Sanderling was the subject of an earlier ID challenge, with its distinctive grey shoulder to nape band, grey eye stripe and dark shoulder. The dark bill is also quite sturdy.
#8d –Curlew Sandpiper 
says: It is the only sandpiper with a evenly down curving bill and rufous underparts when in breeding plumage. There is also a distinctive eye stripe. A narrow white band is visible in the wing.
#8e – Terek Sandpiper 
. Virtually everyone spotted the lone individual in the background towards the right, with its distinctive orange legs and long evenly upturned bill.
Some of you found the change to waders and pelagic birds a challenge, but, in spite of being unfamiliar with them, you rose to the challenge, scoring on average best ever!Read more about:
1. Common Black-headed Gull unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
2. Eurasian Curlew unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
3. Little Tern unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
4. Whiskered Tern
and White-winged Tern
5. Rock Kestrel
6. Montagu's Harrier
7. Southern Giant Petrel unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.
8. Grey Plover
, Red Knot unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet, Sanderling
, Curlew Sandpiper
and Terek Sandpiper unfortunately not on the Bird Index yet.