Saturday, 17 October 2015

Estuarine Minileagues - September 2015

Ed Keeble continued his reign at the top of the Estuarine Minileague throughout September, adding a further two species and creeping ever closer to the coveted 100% milestone while Shaun Robson lurks closely behind, remaining firmly rooted in second place at his Lytchett Bay patch. Toby Collett made a rather impressive leap up the rankings this month, advancing from sixth to third and defining the term "patch gold" by unearthing a superb Wilson's Pharalope at RSPB Frampton Marsh. With less than a 4% difference between fourth and sixth positions a good showing in October will be sure to shake up the rankings once again and only time will tell if Toby can hold onto his place in the comparative triumvirate. Further down Martin Elcoate overtakes Joost Brandsma for seventh place, adding 11 species and 18 points since his last submission with highlights of Curlew Sandpiper, Black Tern and Spoonbill. 

To the points minileague now and Paul Sullivan continues his stint at the top with an impressive 175 species and 255 points at Lincs Wash Reserves. Likewise both John Badley and Dave Craven are non-movers in second and third place respectively, Dave nabbing Common Crane among a host of other winged goodies. Toby Collett's recent gains mean that he edges out Anthony Bentley for fifth place while looking down the table things remain largely the same for the vast number of contestants. Ian Ballam continues to show us how it is done when it comes to his impressive use of Birdtrack, wracking up a monstrous 11,839 records and 326 complete lists, all of which will contribute to the knowledge base regarding the bird-life of his Lytchett Bay patch. Well done Ian! 

Toby's Pharalope was by far the most exciting find during September, the other birds on offer paling in comparison to this delightful American vagrant, at least in the rarity stakes. The additional offerings this month were however more than enough to bring a smile to faces of the various birders represented in this league. Ian Ballam was delighted to land both Little Tern and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker on patch, the former the first since 2008 and the latter the first in a decade. Likewise, Howard Vaughan had a great run at Rainham this month, mopping up a few overdue ticks in the form of Firecrest, Osprey and Pied Flycatcher. He did however miss both Guillemot and Razorbill on patch with both auks observed further up river having crept past undetected. In addition these, other highlights this month include more  3 Common Cranes, this time for Toby Collett and a Great White Egret for points league front-runner Paul Sullivan. What will October bring I wonder? 

Common Cranes (Frampton Marsh) - John Badley

 - James C (Patchwork Challenge)

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