A new leader emerges in the Coastal North Comparative Minileague at the end of August as Stewart Sexton adds nine new species to his Howick patch year list (including two Pied Flycatchers in the garden!) taking him over 95%. A classic August Spotted Crake plus a Short-eared Owl at Fleetwood boosted Seumus Eaves over the 90% mark and into second place.
Pied Flycatcher at Hoswick © Stewart Sexton
The rather excellent fall of migrants which hit the east coast at the end of August allowed many contestants to add significantly to their species lists. Martin Garner jumped from 172 to 187 species (and past 70%) at Flamborough with a superb tally of three Icterine Warblers, Wryneck, Long-tailed Skua and Garganey. PWC's own James Spencer went from 72 species at St. Mary's Island to 81 species with some patch goodies such as Black Tern and Little Stint.
Mick Turton continues his run in first place on the points table. He cleaned up nicely during August where Spurn was certainly the place to be. A stellar self-found Black Stork added some hefty bonus points along with extra finds in the form of Long-tailed Skua, Barred Warbler and Icterine Warbler. No content with finishing there, Mick also connected with a Red-footed Falcon on his patch which had the gall to spend five hours sitting around on wires outside his boundary beforehand! Grit determination sorted that one out! The result of all this effort/luck....an enviable 322 points and just shy of 200 species by the end of August!
Other members at the top of the points table added several juicy species. Chris Bradshaw clocked Red-necked Grebe and Barred Warbler at Long Nab to Scalby Mills where he sits in third place. Spotted Redshank, Marsh Harrier and Reed Warbler were all species which he missed out on in 2014 so good to get those this time around too. In second place, Nick Addey chalked down self-found Long-tailed Skua, Icterine Warbler and a late calling Quail at Long Nab - Scarborough.
Another delighted recipient of the August fall was Damian Money who moves up from tenth to sixth at Saltburn in a cracking month there with 13 additions to the list featuring Great White Egret, Leach's Storm-petrel, Wryneck and Icterine Warbler (all self-found).
So we have several patch birders set up nicely even before Sept and Oct kick off. Could be an interesting rest of the autumn in the Coastal North Minileague!