Friday, 19 February 2016

Estuarine Minileague - January 2016

Jumping straight in with a hefty 76.47%, Joost Brandsma plants Dibden Bay & Hythe firmly at the top of the Estuarine Comparative Minileague for January. Managing a delightful Hawfinch and adding patch ticks of Stonechat and Marsh tit gave the Dibden Bay & Hythe patch just short of a 8% lead over Paul Freestone in second position.

It's exceedingly close between second and third place with as little as 0.467% difference. Paul Freestone at Hayle Estuary added a cracking assortment of birds (Firecrest, Yellow-browed Warbler, Water Pipit and Red-necked Grebe) to just pip Martin Elcote at Topsham to second on the leader board. However, Martin's collection of highlights weren't exactly shabby with Cattle Egret, American Wigeon, Black Brant and Jack Snipe to name a few!

With a start like this, the 2016 Estuarine Comparative Minileague looks set to be quite exciting!

American Wigeon, Topsham (Credit: Dave Helliar)

On to the Points Minileague, Dave Craven at Hale & Pickerings Pasture sets the bar high with 114 species giving him at total of 133 points for January. Not only did he pick up bonus points for Great White Egret, he scored a #patchgold in the form of Lapland Bunting.

Looking further down the league, it's close between Anthony Bentley at RSPB Lincs Wash Reserves and Howard Vaughan at RSPB Rainham Marshes with 128 points and 127 points respectively. Howard added a  quartet of gulls with Little Gull, Kittiwake, Iceland Gull and Caspian Gull all making an appearance. In addition, Dartford Warbler and Short-eared Owl were still a highlight on his Rainham Marshes patch. Great Stuff! Else where, Stuart Darbyshire gained bonus points for finding American Wigeon at his Hesketh Out March patch. 

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