Thursday, 18 September 2014

South West Minileague - August

Local leader Joe Stockwell adds the national lead to his crown and is closing on 300 points. 359 last year was enough to win it - can Joe do it? Kev Rylands may well be handing his SW crown over but he continues to fight on whilst Sean Foote who patches North Portland is challenging just 14 points back. Most of this months best finds are Joe's with Wryneck, Stone Curlew, Cory's Shearwater and Long-tailed Skua all garnering bonus points. Kev managed to see a Rose-coloured Starling but somebody else beat him to the punch. A Red-neck Phalarope for Paul Bowerman meant he held near namesake Paul Bowyer at bay. Plenty of points for Gordon Hodgson without any finds as two Cattle Egrets and a Marsh Sandpiper graced Saul Warth.

Paul Bowyer loses top spot as Dan Chaney hits 94% but its extremely close with 5% covering the top 6 places. Marcus Lawson is now in third but the comparative league is anyone's game and extremely competitive!

NGB Minileague - August

It’s as you were at the top of the NGB league with Joe Stockwell on Portland leading the way (as well as leading the national league). A very impressive 42 points accumulated during August included a 4-pointer Western Bonelli’s Warbler and a hatful of self-find bonuses including Long-tailed Skua, Cory’s Shearwater, Stone Curlew and Wryneck. Tim Jones remains in the hunt for the top spot however, finds of Icterine Warbler and Red-backed Shrike means he’s only a find of a mega away from catching up. Ben Porter didn’t submit a score for Bardsey for August but stays put to round off the podium positions.
Ben may well be feeling the heat slightly due to Jack Bucknall’s St Mary’s patch making gains in 4th position. 33 points added during August thanks to a heap of seabirds including self-found Great Shearwater means he is only 18 points away from the podium, a good autumn on the east coast could see him right up there. Further down the league and sees James Common breaking into the top 10 thanks to a raptor hat-trick of Hobby, Red Kite and Marsh Harrier.
With only 23 points covering 9 places from 5th-13th the next couple of months could see a dramatic shake up in this league, school and university may strike at just the wrong time for some competitors however!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wales Minileague - August

Steve Stansfield's update didnt arrive until after the graphics had been done and with nothing from Ben or Barry either it is lower down where we concentrate. Matt Meehan added ten points to get within three of third place. Best finds away from the hotspots were meagre with Whinchat, Med Gull and Wood Warbler sharing the spoils. Peter Howlett at Cardiff Bay moves up a spot to divide and conquer Henry Cook and his Conwy RSPB patch which remains ahead of Julian Hughes at the same location. Mark Hipkin climbs the table with 24 points added and 3 places gained.

No advances from AlisonC but she holds firm locally as her national lead starts to erode. Henry Cook nor Adam Tilt fail to make progress but Matt moves to within 1% of third with a pack down to 8th position covered by not a huge percentage. 

London Minileague - August

A good turnout in this league with 8 of the 14 patches submitting scores for August. Some good little battles are cropping up all down the table, not least at the top where Adam Bassett retains the top spot thanks to self-found Honey Buzzard and Osprey. His lead has been cut to 5 points by Nick Croft at Rainham who was aided by a Spotted Crake during the month. Nick's Wanstead patch moves up to the last podium position although Marek is still within touching distance so it could all change yet.

Michael Terry remains in the lead of the comparison league and is joined by Adam Bassett in the 100% club. A good autumn for any of these competitors could change everything however.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Ireland Minileague - August

August brought with it some small but welcome increases in species and points for most contestants in the Irish Minileague yet Dave Suddaby at Blacksod remains in top spot with both the highest overall points and points per bird to date. Niall Keogh at Kilcoole still maintains his comfortable lead with regards numbers of species recorded but still only affording him 2nd place. Julian Wyllie at Baltimore looks to be a contender for one of the final top spots in the league slipping past Neal Warnock at Larne Lough by 5 points to take 3rd place. Other movers on the table include Tom Moore at Kilmore upping his game from 8th to 7th and Paul Walsh at Brownstown Head moving from 14th to 12th.

Positions on the percentage table remain the exact same as last month. The O'Donnells both hit their 100% target in August with Eamonn at Ninch/Laytown taking the lead with an impressive 107.2%

August was always going to throw up a few good seabirds for some of the coastal patchers as was the case with Julian in Baltimore where finds of both Cory's Shearwater and Sabine's Gull provided a welcome 12 points between them. Similarly, a rare spell of good East coast seawatching weather in late August resulted in a fine juvenile Long-tailed Skua for Eamonn from his perch on Ben Head, another 6 pointer. A showy Osprey at Lurgangreen found by Peter Phillips proved popular with local birders and photographers whilst confirmed breeding of Spotted Flycatchers at Holy Cross & Carriganore was the first such record on Darragh Sinnott's patch. The Little Tern colony at Niall's Kilcoole patch ended their breeding season with the most successful on record, 120 pairs raising 219 young to fledging.

For more news and pics from Irish local patches check out the Patch Birding Ireland blog.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Away Patches. Go!!!

To the right their is a new form - much like the monthly submission form. Its for the away patches this autumn. If you find yourself on a lonely headland looking at a Cosmic Sibe or Yank then the chances are that the home fires aren't burning so brightly but to ensure that PWC vibe continues we want to know what you guys are finding, where you are going and if you are one of the 328 people to connect with a Philadelphia Vireo on Unst? Best finds win....well nowt save the chance to get a mention on here and the chance for a little friendly competition. At present Ryan is up at Voe and Mark R heads to a top secret lair near Virkie shortly whilst Mark L will be hitting up Ouessant (Ed. - Isnt that France? Stretching it a bit). With the first Yellow-brows turning up massively early and a Daurian Shrike up on North Ronaldsay it looks to be kicking off but what can PWC'ers on tour turn up?

Inland North Minileague. August

August sees Wayne Gillatt leapfrog Darren Starkey to steal first place and create a monster 18 point gap. Wayne to his credit removed his Ruddy Shelduck find, starting the month six points down. Despite this setback he bounced back finding Temminck's Stint, Pec Sand and Great-white Egret. Darren on the other hand added Spotted Flycatcher and White-fronted Goose!! He might want to follow Wayne's lead in removing dodgy wildfowl though!

Moving away from the runaway leaders a real War of the Roses is taking place between 4th and 9th place with only 13 points separating Andy Bunting in 4th and Jonny Holliday in 9th.

Best find of the month goes to Paul Massey with a very enviable Citrine Wagtail at Grindon Lough.

For those that are in the game for their second year it's the comparative table that matters - COUGH!
James Common is sailing high with 113% with Peter Williams the only other to break the 100% mark.