Thursday, 10 September 2015

Ireland - August 2015

A self-found Pectoral Sandpiper for Eamonn O'Donnell at Ninch/Laytown bolsters his comparative score nicely, continuing his lead in the Irish Comparative Minileague. Additional highlights of Balearic Shearwater and Pomarine Skua have helped bring Eamonn to a mighty 114%. The Pec Sand hung around for several days allowing many to twitch this excellent county bird for Meath which showed very well at times. 

Pectoral Sandpiper at Ninch/Laytown © Jim Bowman

Niall Keogh holds on to second place with Dipper and Sedge Warbler both welcome additions to his South Dublin Parks patch year list. Alan Lauder reaches 100% with a flyover Black-tailed Godwit (second patch record) at the inland site of Carrick Mountain. Alan moves into third pace, pushing Neal Warnock at Larne Lough back down to fifth.

Will September and October see Eamonn charge well ahead in first place? At a high scoring/large species list site like his it is likely that he will encounter another rarity or two but for Niall and Alan's lower species list/inland sites, a self-found bonus scoring species could really shake things up... (should they be so lucky!)

The only mover at the top of the Ireland Points Minileague is Eamonn O'Donnell who edges into second place past Niall Keogh at Kilcoole, but only by a matter of two points. Elsewhere on the table we see Gerard Murray jumping from tenth to sixth place at his Boyne Estuary patch (a Cuckoo his highlight of the month) and Richard Donaghey at the Bann Estuary who moved from twelfth to ninth thanks to a Ring-billed Gull. Noel Keogh is the latest contestant to join the ranks post-100 species, adding Black Tern and Arctic Skua to his South Dublin Bay patch. Terns proved popular at other sites during August with Roseate Terns noted as most welcome #fullfatpatchticks for Alan Lauder at Broad Lough to Wicklow Head and for Tim Murphy at St. John's Point (which also hosted patch tick Black Tern, and a Minke Whale!). Scarce waders were thin on the ground at competing patches (surprising given good totals elsewhere in the country at the time) with a Ruff for Niall at Kilcoole and a Little Stint for Cathal Forkan the highlights (the latter a good bird for North Galway Bay).

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