Monday, 27 July 2015

Coastal East Anglia June Minileagues

Craig Fulcher's fantastic year continues at Southwold with Manx Shearwater and Wood Sandpiper helping to extend his lead at the top. 91% at the half year is a superb score and with the autumn just around the corner the 100% marker must surely fall soon. A Red-footed Falcon for Ryan Irvine helped him leap frog Tommy Corcoran who saw what was undoubtedly the Coastal East Anglia bird of the month - a gleaming Pacific Golden Plover at the east end of Breydon which arrived on the 27th June.

No locusts required in Hemsby!

Nige Lound leads the point table at Gibraltar Point NNR, his location on the Lincolnshire side of the wash pushing the Norfolk and Suffolk sites down the table! He added a further six year ticks in the month, including a Montagu's Harrier. Robert Smith at Holme Dunes NNR keeps second despite no additions in the month but his gap to third is closing due to a Hen Harrier for James Brown.

Gary White at North Walsham scored bonus points with a self-found Bee-Eater. In true patching style however, a Tufted Duck also makes his highlights list. #Patchgold comes in all forms!

There is still plenty of time in this league, and looking at some of the sites in the chasing pack it will be an interesting autumn!

Great Yarmouths star attraction in June.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Inland Scotland Minileagues June

The 100% barrier has finally fallen in the Inland Scotland league, with a two pointer Osprey pushing Chris Pendlebury's Stirling patch past the all important comparative marker.

Alastair Forsyth nudges that little bit closer to the marker with a #patchgold flyover Crossbill, just a second patch record. Meanwhile Andy Cage in third added roding Woodcock and Tufted Duck, the latter not so easy at his Kilmany site.

The flyover Crossbill helps Alastair to retain his lead at the top of the points league. David Douglas is keeping him on his toes, just 15 points adrift with plenty of time to go. David is the only competitor to top 100 species, but the American duck bonanza earlier in the year is paying dividends at Old Nisthouse with an impressive 1.412 points per bird.

NGB Minileagues June

A very quiet month in the NGB league thanks to a mixture of people forgetting to submit their scores and many patchers being away from patches at their universities. There's no change in the top 3 in the comparative league with the top 2 both being away from patch for the entire month.

The main change in the points league sees Jonathan Farooqui move up into second place on his Druridge Bay patch, a Cuckoo being a highlight there. Cathal Forkan had the best month in the league at Galway Bay where he managed to rack up 16 points and move up into the top 10 with seabirds dominating including Balearic Shearwater, Storm Petrel, Little Tern and Little Gull.

July sees migration starting up again so expect a few higher scores coming in this league in the next couple of months.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Inland East Anglia Minileagues June

Ben Moyes takes over with his mighty Gipping Valley patch crashing in with 111.5%. His climb to number one in the comparative league was helped by a self-found Honey Buzzard. Sweet work squire! Nick Robinson failed to make any additions but his 111% is still good enough for second as is the equally static Ben Rackstraw in third place.

Jamie Wells adds a single point in June to extend his lead to nine points - this is going to be tough for Ben Lewis to haul back. In fact Jamie's point is the only one in the top three as Ben Rackstraw holds third but for how long? Ashley McElwee is now only a solitary point behind.

Aside from the aforementioned Honey Bunny there was precious little from the various outposts with a brace of Quail for Ashley McElwee at Felmingham and Spotted Flycatchers for David Gomer and Jonny Rankin. Mr Rankin also records his final score for Needham Market next month as he is shifting jobs and patches so he has supplied us with a blog post about the anxieties of changing patch which will be up in early August. Finally a flyover Great White Egret was seen by Ben Lewis briefly but also captured in magnificent hi-fidelity photography.

#recordshot  by Ben Lewis

Islands Minileague June

The top of the comparative league remains static in terms of position and David Wood failed to make any additions but Bryan Rains and Ian T made significant inroads into David's lead with them both in and around the 90% mark.

John Bowler continues to make additions as if they are going out of fashion and has accrued a mighty haul of 247 points including the elusive Sabine's Gull that evaded him in May leaving him out of sight to Mike Pennington in second place at Baltasound, Unst. Jason Moss is in third place on Skomer a mere five points behind Mike thanks to a self-found Rosefinch plus a Greenish Warbler.

One species that failed to make it this month was Cedar Waxwing which avoided John Bowler on Tiree! There were further Rosefinches on the Isle of May and for Barrie Hamill on Burray. Find of the month goes to Alastair Forsyth with a Gull-billed Tern briefly on his Birsay patch.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Midlands Minileague June

A brace of points for Tom Shields in June takes him to the brink of 100% after he finds a Black Tern at Holme Pierrepoint.  Rob Williams is just over 5% back but with no additions this month the gap widens. Steve Lyon also failed to add anything whilst Andy Sims surges over 90% with half the year gone still to go thanks to a patch tick Red-crested Pochard.

Little Tern, Eyebrook - Andy Mackay

The top two managed just two points between them but unfortunately for John Hopper they both went to Ian Cowgill at Lound making the gap a whopping 35 points. Is this too much to bridge already? In third Andy Mackay had a better month at Eyebrook reservoir as he added five points with Bar-tailed Godwit and Little Tern both making an appearance.

There is a bit of a drop back to the peloton but plenty of competition as you would expect in a league with 39 contestants. Relatively few scores were received for June, indicative perhaps of the doldrums but Carl Cornish added some quality with Red-necked Phalarope and Wood Sandpiper at Langford Lowfields. Rhys Dandy added a Little Stint at Cropston and Swithland and an inland Sanderling for Rhys Chivers made for some good wader records.Richard Harbird got in on the Crossbill eruption and this months #patchgold was a Kingfisher for Matthew Dick at Darley Dale.

Wales Minileagues June

Alison keeps her excellent year at Llanfair TH going with her first Cuckoo in years and her excellent comparative score highlights this as she clocks in at 126.8% - a fabulous achievement on a patch which doesnt have the diversity of some. Adam Tilt failed to add in June but remains in second place already well over the 100% barrier. Henry Cook doubled up and is now in joint third place with himself thanks to hitting both 145 points and 100% at both Great Orme and Conwy RSPB as Alun John fails to make the addition to reach the magic mark.

Red-necked Phalarope, Newport Wetlands - Mathew Meehan

A single point for Laurie Allnatt was enough to consolidate his lead at Llanelli WWT as Barry Stewart failed to add anything at Burry Inlet. Mathew Meehan at Newport Wetlands closed on the top two with 5 points in June including a female Red-necked Phalarope and brings himself into striking range for the autumn.

Away from the top of the table there were signs of the changing of seasons with a juvenile Purple Heron on David Carrington's Sker and Kenfig patch although he doesn't get the finders points. Paul Roberts managed to usher in the summer of seawatching with additions of Pomarine Skua and Storm Petrel whilst the annual arrival of summer Yellow-legged Gulls in the UK was represented on the Clwyd Estuary for Chris Jones to bag some points. Finally the UK wide eruption of Crossbills meant that Henry Cook managed to make additions at Conwy RSPB.