ONFEM Holdings got their beaks well in front to win the annual Big Bird Race yesterday, logging 178 species and setting a new record for the 12-year-old event. The team held off strong competition from the Wandering Tattlers, with 171 species, and the World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong (WWFHK) Grey Lags, to win the title for the third year running. The Wandering Tattlers won 'Bird of the Day' award for spotting the Japanese Grosbeak - a rare visitor to the territory - while the Grey Lags took the Pentax Cup. Last night all 16 teams celebrated the end of the event at the Beas River Jockey Club. The race has raised more than $14 million to establish, enlarge and run the Mai Po Nature Reserve since it began in 1984 and on Thursday, the eve of the 24-hour race, more than $1.2 million had been raised. Margaret Chan Mo-kit of the WWFHK forecast the total would top $2 million. Managed by the WWFHK, the reserve on the border with China is home to the rare Dalmation Pelican and Mandarin Duck and the more common Pied Kingfisher and Little Egret. The park is a voluntary project run on donations and the Bird Race is the brainchild of WWF. Teams race around Hong Kong trying to identify as many different species of birds as possible. Otters, leopard cats, mongooses and civets can also be found at Mai Po.