Sunday, 15 March 2015

Midlands - February 2015

An American Wigeon at Holme Pierrepont helps Tom Shield take top spot in the comparative league at the end of February with a healthy 67%. The field is bunched close behind however with just 3.5% splitting the top 4.

February is always a hard month with most winter species falling in January and spring still waiting in the wings, so a Great Grey Shrike was a nice 6 point find for Benjamin Ward at Aubourn. A couple of patches recorded Bittern, whilst a Great White Egret was a welcome points boost at Eyebrook Reservoir. Carsington Water is always a good inland site in winter for Grebes or Divers, and a Great-Northern Diver was an excellent find for Matthew Dick who also scored two shades of grey at his Darley Dale patch with a male Hen Harrier and Great Grey Shrike.

Matthew Bruce at his patch affectionately named The Puddle scored with a double patch first of Raven and that ugly brute the Egyptian Goose. Meanwhile Caspian Gulls seem to be more frequently recorded and a bird at Earlswood was a lifer for Matt Griffiths.

A couple of patches located Lesser-Spotted Woodpeckers - a difficult bird to find. Meanwhile a Smew at Langford Lowlands helped Carl Cornish to a healthy 4th in his first year in the competition.

Ian Cowgill stretches his lead at the top of the points table with a superb 117 points after just two months, an excellent score for an inland site. Joining Ian on the 100+ points are John Hopper and Andy Mackay. As in 2014, Nottinghamshire is taking an early lead in the table, with only Eyebrook breaking up the monopoly at the top. Also notable is the points per bird score for John Hopper at Hoveringham who is outscoring all sites in the 'quality' score.

It's excellent to see so many patchers contributing to BirdTrack in the Midlands with many submitting records in the hundreds. Andy Sims at Boultham Mere leads the way with 53 lists covering 1941 records. For those Green patchers, Andy Sims at Boultham Mere is ahead with Benjamin Ward, Phil Espin and Sam Pitt Miller not far behind.

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