Saturday, 15 November 2014

Coastal Scotland Minileague - October

A league full of large species lists, points totals and points per bird scores, Coastal Scotland features some of the biggest hitters in PWC with an enviable array of mouth watering rarities accumulated between them and October was always going to be the month for it.

Peter Donnelly on North Ronaldsay moves into first place thanks to finds of no less than three Olive-backed and a Pechora Pipit plus connecting with an American Wigeon. He may have dipped on the Black-billed Cuckoo and Grey-cheeked Thrush but picked up on some crucial island rarities in the form of a Corncrake (found on his birthday) and a Blue Tit! John Bowler at Balephuil, Tiree slips into second place but only by a matter of nine points so the top rankings are in no way set with two months still to go. He added nine new species in October including Lesser Scaup, two Ring-necked Ducks and a Rose-coloured Starling bringing his points per bird score up to a very fine 1.978 (a score of 2.0+ is certainly on the cards). Rare subspecies for John included the first record of sinensis Cormorant for Argyll, a blythi Lesser Whitethroat and a rostrata Redpoll.

No change for Gary Bell at Sumburgh or Steve Minton at Scatness, who both remain in third and fourth place respectively but Mike Pennington at Baltasound moved up one place, into fifth thanks to additions of Treecreeper, Firecrest, Bluethroat, Great Grey Shrike, Blue Tit & Grasshopper Warbler. Not much movement elsewhere on the table save for Peter Stronach at Durness who shifts from fourteenth to tenth place with good local additions of Hawfinch, Yellow Wagtail & European White-fronted Goose.

Some real patchgold in the form of a Shore Lark found at Askernish by Ian T has raised a few eyebrows with the possibility of it being a 'Horned Lark' from across the pond.

A big change up in the comparative league where John Bowler takes first place with 113.9%, followed by Andrew Whitehouse at Girdle Ness moving into second knocking Stephen Welch at Gosford Bay (formerly top of the table) into third. All of the top five are now above 100% with Dave W at Burray and Mark Lewis at Girdle Ness now taking fourth and fifth place respectively.

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