Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Ireland Minileague - November 2015

The top three in the Ireland Comparative Minileague diligently tipped away during November, adding to their scores and securing their respective positions for yet another month.

Eamonn O'Donnell scored a #fullfatpatchtick in the form of a Pochard present offshore with the rafting Common Scoters at Ninch/Laytown while a trio of Whooper Swans was a further welcome addition to his year list, now over 130 species and with a leading comp score of 118%. 
Niall Keogh finally connected with Kingfisher at Kilbogget Park where some #patchday effort also added flyover Fieldfare for him plus an epic count of 173 Mediterranean Gulls feeding on the sports pitches! Niall's second place comp score of 111% at the South Dublin Parks is being challenged by Alan Lauder in third who adds 5% to his score at the Broad Lough to Wicklow Head patch, points there coming from Jack Snipe, Long-tailed Duck and a Nearctic harrier (more on this below). 

We see some movement elsewhere on the comp league table. Keith Bennett adds seven species at Ballyquintin to take him from ninth to sixth place and well past 90%. Niall had a great month at Kilcoole jumping from eight to fourth place (comp score of 95%) where a double act of Lapland and Snow Bunting was overshadowed by the discovery of a juvenile harrier with the hallmarks of Northern Harrier. The bird has since been ranging widely up and down the full length of The Murrough wetland complex where Alan Lauder was poised and ready to get some nice images of it at his Broad Lough patch the day after its initial discovery. This 12-pointer would represent the eight Irish and second county record if accepted.

Northern Harrier at Broad Lough © Alan Lauder

With a month still to go it may be a bit early to make predictions on how it will all pan out. Will Eamonn hold on to his first place position? Looks like Alan is now well placed to take second should he connect with a couple more species in December also.

A clear lead of 46 points leaves Dave Suddaby unchallenged at the top of the Ireland Points Minileague. No rarities for Dave in November but some great patch birds for Blacksod including his second record of both Barn Owl and Black Redstart plus welcome Short-eared Owl and Grey Phalarope.

Black Redstarts were also recorded at Baltimore by Julian Wyllie and at North Galway Bay where it was a great local record and self-found lifer for Cathal Forkan. Water Rail was a patch tick for Cathal while the like of several Ring-billed Gulls, a 1st-winter Iceland Gull and the 'usual' Forster's Tern showed up again for the winter around the Nimmo's Pier area.

An obliging Snow Bunting was present at the West Pier, Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the overlap zone between both Noel Keogh and Eleanor Keane's Dublin patches. A couple of Slavonian Grebes were not new for the year at Larne Lough but the first time Neal Warnock has seen more than one bird there. 

Finally, Des Higgins added a trio of year ticks in one day at the UCD Belfield campus... Siskin, Curlew and Mediterranean Gull.

Forster's Tern at Mutton Island © Cathal Forkan

No comments:

Post a Comment