Lots of movement on the Irish Minileague comparative table by the end of April thanks to a rush of Spring migrants boosting everyone's scores which caused a shake up in the mid to lower rankings. At the top of the table, Eamonn O'Donnell still holds on to first place at Ninch/Laytown with twelve new species edging him ever closer to 100%. Whilst most of these species involved the expected migrants, his highlights included Cuckoo and Greylag Goose. A Carrion Crow at Cabinteely Park helped keep Niall Keogh in second place at his South Dublin Parks patch (now on 91%) whilst Neal Warnock slips from third to fourth place at Larne Lough where a Ruff was a #fullfatpatchtick for him. Third place now goes to Alan Lauder at Broad Lough to Wicklow Head where a Great Spotted Woodpecker was his best bird of the month. Darragh Sinnott recently submitted his scores from Holy Cross & Carriganore putting him straight into fifth place.
On the points table, Dave Suddaby reclaims the first place position he was so familiar with during last years competition. Whilst he doesn't have the highest species list in the league, it's his points per bird total of 1.5 which explains his ranking...thanks to fine selection of species added in April including a #patchgold Hoopoe and a #patchbronze Snowy Owl! The Hoopoe was a #fullfatpatchtick whilst the Snowy Owl was the sixth(!) he has seen in the general Mullet area since 2002! (third record on patch)
Given that Ireland was in the midst of a Hoopoe invasion overload during April (upwards of 60 recorded) it's a relief to see that at least one PWC contestant managed to connect with one!
Some scarce waders found during the month of April included a Curlew Sandpiper for Niall Keogh at Kilcoole and a Jack Snipe double act in Northern Ireland with one each at Ballyquintin for Keith Bennett and at St. John's for Tim Murphy who has also entered in a new inland patch at Lough Beg where a Wood Sandpiper was his best find.
Snowy Owl © Dave Suddaby
Hoopoe © Dave Suddaby