Slim pickings for the leaders of the Ireland Comparative Minileague sees no change in the top three rankings during July. An Arctic Tern added by Eamonn O'Donnell at Ninch/Laytown results in his score edging over the 105% mark. A flyover Curlew was a welcome addition to Niall Keogh's South Dublin Parks patch right at the months end while Neal Warnock drew a blank in a tough July at Larne Lough. Keith Bennett picked up a Pomarine Skua at Ballyquintin which helps him climb from eight to fifth, knocking Alan Lauder at Carrick Mountain down a few places. The only other major mover on the comparative table is Niall Keogh at Kilcoole where a productive July seems him get over 80% and into ninth place from thirteenth last month.
The first record of Crossbill at Blacksod in two years was the only addition for Dave Suddaby, but a most welcome one. Surpassing the 200 points mark is surely 'only' a reasonable months worth of sightings away for him. Neal's very quiet month at Larne Lough allows Niall Keogh at Kilcoole to swap places and take second from fourth during an excellent July on the Co. Wicklow patch where no less than 13 species were added to the year list including a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull (#patchgold - 2nd record), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Roseate Tern, European Storm-petrel, Pochard and Feral Pigeon(!).
Other notable sightings during the month include Little Gull and Ruff for Tim Murphy at St John's Point, European Storm-petrel for Graham Johnston at Rinville (relief after a very quiet spell!), Little Tern for Tom Moore at Kilmore Quay and Roseate Tern for Noel Keogh at South Dublin Bay. Keith Bennett is now over the 100 species threshold at Ballyquintin and joins the top ten rankings as a result.
Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at Kilcoole © Niall T. Keogh