Ed Keeble still leads the charge on the Estuarine Comparative Minileague table with two new species added in August at his Brantham patch edging him ever closer to 100%. The second site record of Bluethroat at Lytchett Bay headed up a total of eight species added there by Shaun Robson, keeping him firmly in second place. Russell Neave at Maldon overtakes Gordon Hodgson at Saul Warth & Frampton on Severn for third place by only by less than 1%. Whinchat, Little Tern and Ruff were Russell's highlights of the month.
Paul Sullivan remain at the top of the points minileague at the end of August with an excellent 168 species and 235 points. Dave Craven consolidates his third place position at Hale & Pickerings Pasture with fine patch birds such as Willow Tit, Tree Sparrow, Great White Egret, Wood Sandpiper and best of all, a self found White-rumped Sandpiper which was just reward for two months of regular scans through the high tide wader roost!
Ian Ballam and Shaun Robson are both patching from Lytchett Bay with equal species tallies of 139. Both of the guys got the Bluethroat which was the second site record (first was in 1971!), however, Ian also found the first site record of Melodious Warbler boosting him up to seventh place on the table. Shaun dipped the Melodious yet remains within striking distance, just four points behind in ninth place. A patch battle to watch this autumn! Ian is also making some mega contributions to BirdTrack with over 10,000 records and close to 300 complete lists submitted.
Wood Sandpiper at Lytchett fields © Ian Ballam
Other patch highlights reported from the Estuarine contestants included a patch tick Osprey for Colin Bushell at Hesketh Outer Marsh and a Roseate Tern at RSPB Rainham Marshes for Howard Vaughan (a "monster" bird for the Thames no less!).