Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Midlands Minileague October 2015

Tom Shields holds on at the top but only by the thinnest of margins as Andy Mackay jumps from 4th to 2nd and becomes the fourth person to hit 100% and adding 10% in October. His highlights this month include bonus points for a Great White Egret (although only 3 points gained as he saw one in the first winter period). Other goodies included American Golden Plover, Spoonbill, Bewick's Swan and Jack Snipe - a very decent haul for inland even if Andy did miss out on the find for the AGP.

Azorean Gull - photo courtesy of Ben Ward
Dave Roberts also has a superb month jumping from 6th to 3rd and becoming the 5th 100%'er in the minileague. His best bit find was a monster - an Azorean Gull which he co-found and is certainly a contender for this years Forest Optics best find competition. We dont adjudicate on identification - we leave that to BBRC and the consensus is positive at the moment. It is up to the individual to decide on 'difficult' species/subspecies and what to include. Azorean Gull is a RIACT species and considered rare by Birdguides and is as such worth 12 points.

Andy Mackay closed Ian Cowgill's lead down to 11 points and moves above John Hopper in the points table. Ian managed three points but no notable species whilst Andy added 17 in October. John Hopper stays in touch adding four points with his October highlights an inland Rock Pipit and a Red-breasted Merganser.

Away from the top of the table there was a Rough-legged Buzzard for Kevin Clements and patch ticks in the form of Hawfinch and Cetti's Warbler for Matt Griffiths at Earlswood with the latter a new species for site and the former the first record in over 70 years. Sometimes it is the more mundane that brightens the day and for Matthew Dick this was certainly the case as he added Wigeon to his Darley Dale patch list with 6 flyovers.

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