It seems that nobody wants to budge from their top five ranking positions in the Ireland Comparative Minileague! Eamonn O'Donnell adds another 2% to his first place comp score with Siskin and Lesser Redpoll at Ninch/Laytown during an excellent viz-mig September for those species. Additions of Kingfisher and Stock Dove at Broad Lough for Alan Lauder sees him hang on the edge of 100% for his patch there in fourth place.
While Niall Keogh failed to add any new species to his second place South Dublin Parks patch in September, some good local sightings there included an impressive flock of 72 Mediterranean Gulls, a juvenile Tufted Duck and 5 Ravens at Kilbogget Park.
The main mover on the table is Tim Murphy, who now occupies sixth place at St. John's Point where an adult American Golden Plover was the minileague top find of the month at Killough Harbour.
Neal Warnock got stuck in at Rathlin Island, adding seven new species with highlights including Sooty Shearwater, Great Skua and a flock of 72 Knot (beating his previous island record count of 1 bird!).
The majority of contestants in the Ireland comp league are over 80% so with October yet to go we could some major changes before the years end.
September saw Dave Suddaby break through the 200 point barrier and past 1.6 PPB at his Blacksod patch with a bounty of migrants in or around his garden including Wryneck, Yellow-browed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Coal Tit! While sitting firmly in first place on the Ireland Points Minileague table, Dave has some way yet to go before equaling his comp score.
Niall Keogh holds on to the largest species list title in the league but aided only by one new species (Arctic Skua) during a slow month at Kilcoole. Tim's AGP at Killough boosts him up to fourth place.
Highlights for other contestants included two juvenile Curlew Sandpipers for Noel Keogh in South Dublin Bay, Merlin and Bullfinch for Cathal Forkan at North Galway Bay, a migrant Sedge Warbler for Eleanor Keane at The 40 foot near Dun Laoghaire, a well earned fall of three Grasshopper Warblers at Rinville for Graham Johnston and three Garganey at Lough Beg for Tim Murphy.
A trio of typical Blacksod garden birds! © Dave Suddaby