For those not jet-setting off to Shetland or Scilly, what better place to be in October than on your own patch in the Coastal North (should you be so lucky!), a minileague laden down with top notch rares.
With a species list of 218, a points score of 407 (yes, you read that right!) and a points per bird score of 1.86, Tim Jones at Spurn is truly untouchable in the Coastal North Minileague. This is what Tim had to say for himself in the highlights section of the monthly submission form... "Highlights: Too many to remember let alone list here! My best months birding ever with what felt like a constant stream of quality throughout the month! Second Pallid Swift of the year, biggest day total of Goldcrest ringed with 529, nearly breaking the Tree Sparrow record with 2285 flying south, smashing the Bonxie record when 335 flew south, 3x Leach's Petrel, Radde's Warbler, Sabine's Gull, grip back Hoopoe after missing spring bird, 2x Rough-legged Buzzard, Isabelline Shrike, mega sprint to see drake Surf Scoter fly south, 2 falls mid month and at the end with birds seemingly everywhere both times!"
Martin Garner at Flamborough and Jane Turner at Red Rocks continued to add a nice list of species to their patches through October, holding on to second and third place respectively. Martin connecting with one of the overall PWC best finds of the year with a flyby Brunnich's Guillemot during a seawatch as well as adding Pallas's Warbler. Jane added Sabine's Gull and Leach's Petrel as expected along with patchgold in the form of her first Kingfisher since 1976 and her third patch Hawfinch. Chris Bradshaw at Long Nab moves past Iain Robson at Druridge Pools to take fourth.
Many PWC contestants in this region commented on the heavy fall of winter thrushes at the end of the month as a highlight along with some always welcome Little Auks. Seawatching also produced a Black Guillemot for Jack Bucknall and a Surf Scoter for James Spencer, both at St. Mary's Island.
In the comparative league, Iain Robson remains in first as they only patchworker past the 100% mark (highlights including Shore Lark) while Jane Turner moves ever closer to her personal year listing targets, now in second with 99.29%.