Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Islands Minileague - January 2016

Paul Higson makes his annual, White-billed Diver fuelled, grab for top spot before his self imposed torpor until spring. He outstrips IanT at Askernish by 4% to hit 59%. Ian himself started with a bang as both White-tailed Eagle and Grey Phalarope graced his patch with the latter a full-fat patch tick and the former now established as a patch regular. On Islay, David Wood made an excellent start on the Oa with 48% including a Little Auk which is a fair effort given the height of the cliffs on his patch! 

Paul also tops the points table with a whopping score of 120. Perennial Islands table-topper, John Bowler, sits in second spot with a Kumlien's Gull the only bonus points for him this time out (there will be more!) but a raft of 2 pointers put him in a decent position. Notably it was the same two patches lined up in reverse order this time last year and both are down on last years opening month (Paul scored 122 and John managed 126 in January 2015). IanT has made a better start than last year and is 12 points ahead meaning that whilst Barrie Hamill is also up on last year he is a place worse off.

A selection of the 700 Twite on the Oa - David Wood
Five patches recorded Little Auks in January which is to be expected for these forntiers men and women at this time. Other standard two point fare included white-winged gulls and Slavionian Grebes. There was a Kumlien's Gull at Scatness for Steve Minton in the half hours daylight up there. On Scilly, John Headon was left frustrated by a Surf Scoter that wouldnt make itself visible from his patch whilst at Askernish, YvonneB consoled herself on Ian's fast start by finding a Water Rail which he failed to connect with. As Barra makes its debut this year there were White-tailed Eagles on both patches for Bruce Taylor. More Western Isles White-tailed Eagle action was at Balivanich for Stuart Taylor who also added a patch tick in the form of Guillemot. On the Isle of May, Mark Newell went owl crazy with 22 (twenty two) Short-eared Owls and a patch tick Barn Owl. Nice!

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