Saturday, 7 November 2015

NGB Minileague - October 2015

As autumn advanced October found the NGB comparative league shaken up once again as Amy Robjohns overtook last months front-runner Josie Hewitt to claim the top spot, notching three species and five points points in the process including a rather nice Great Grey Shrike. Josie dropped into second place this month followed by Ash Baines who continued his recent spell of success edging yours truly out of the top three with seven new species noted at Starr Gate-Fairlawn Road. Further down the table the line-up remains unchanged many competitors off-patch for the duration of the month.

Great Grey Shrike - Amy Robjohns

Joe Stockwell maintained his stranglehold on the points league throughout October, a whopping 50 points ahead of his nearest rival, Jonathan Farooqi in second. Joe is definitely on track for a well deserved victory this year absent a miracle further down the table. Anthony Bentley remained firmly rooted in third place throughout the month though further down the table there was little to report on, excluding Amy Robjohns creeping up to occupy fourth place and Ian Pitts seemingly miraculous appearance in fifth.. Has the NGB option been clicked inadvertently? ;-)

In terms of the birds seen this month, autumn migration appeared to fizzle out somewhat with only two records of Yellow-Browed Warbler this month. The first submitted by Dan Rouse at WWT Llanelli and the second for Joe Stockwell. A few other interesting migrants were noted this month however with a Snow Bunting for Ash Baines and both Short-Eared Owl and Jack Snipe for Jonathan Farooqi, coupled of course with Amy's shrike. Dan Rouse showcased a rather impressive run of birds this month with the aforementioned YBW joined by both Cattle Egret and Pectoral Sandpiper as well as Marsh Harrier, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint. The former two would surely have increased Dan's standing if they had been self found. Concluding proceedings, a drake Mandarin came as a surprise for Samuel Pitt Miller while Drew Lyness noted both Ring-Necked Parakeet and Brambling  at UEA and Crossbill and Med Gull were new for the year for Jonathan Scragg.

Still all to play for in the comparative league in November and despite Joe's monumental lead in points table a few good birds could upset the standings further down. What winter migrants will crop up next month I wonder?

- James C (Patchwork Challenge)

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