A productive May saw the first PWC contestants to break the 100% mark on the Irish Comparative Minileague table with Eamonn O'Donnell and Niall Keogh holding on to first and second place at Ninch/Laytown and South Dublin Parks respectively. Short-eared Owl, Red-legged Partridge, Cuckoo and Spotted Flycatcher were all #fullfatpatchticks for Eamonn while Niall added Reed Warbler, Common Sandpiper and Fulmar to his local park patch list (the latter being most unexpected as it was seen 2km inland!).
Alan Lauder and Neal Warnock remain in third and fourth place (finding a breeding site for Whitethroat and a couple of migrant Little Gulls the best for Neal at Larne Lough) while Tom Moore reclaims fifth place at Kilmore Quay. Most contestants are now over 70% as we approach the half way point.
Little change in the Irish Points Minileague rankings. Dave Suddaby consolidates his impressive lead with a mighty 122 species, 190 points and 1.557 points per bird at Blacksod. The undoubted highlights from Dave being a #patchgold Alpine Swift (found while on the phone!) and a #patchbronze Bee-eater (found while on crutches!). The Bee-eater hung around for several days and inspired a twitch giving many the chance to catch up with this hard to connect with species in Ireland.
Elsewhere on the table, Eamonn, Neal and Niall are battling it out for second, third and fourth place with just a species and a few points separating them. Richard Donaghey enters with his patch at the Bann Estuary and 100 species including Marsh Harrier. Half of the contestants on the table are now over 100 points with many reporting Reed Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Sanderling and Cuckoo added to their totals in May.
Mega patch tick of the month goes to Des Higgins for his very fine drake Ring-necked Duck which turned up on a recently created pond at University College Dublin. An excellent county record and a new species for the campus list! Well worthy of six points there.
Ring-necked Duck at UCD © Pat Lonergan
Bee-eater at Blacksod © Brian Porter