Monday, 8 February 2016

NGB and AFON Under 25 Minileague - January 2016

The newly amended "under 25's" minileague kicked off in explosive fashion this month with birders from both NGB & AFON scouring their respective patches in search of winter rarities. Something which seems to have paid dividends with great birds such as Long-Billed Dowitcher, Penduline Tit, Green-Winged Teal and Ring-Billed Gull featuring in this months round-up. With more competitors than ever taking part and many PWC stalwarts opting for a change of scenery this year; this league looks set to reach new heights over the course of 2016.

Green-Winged Teal - Tim White

Looking first at the comparative league and Amy Robjohn's seizes the top spot with an impressive 63% of her former score at Titchfield Haven, no doubt aided by the addition of Penduline Tit to her patchwork total. Sam Pitt Miller comes it at second at Priory Water, wracking up a similarly impressive 58% while Espen Quinto-Ashman lands himself in third place with 54%. Further down the table things appear neck and neck between other familiar names such as Josie Hewitt, Joe Stockwell, Rhys Chivers and Ash Baines. 

Jonathan Farooqi heads up the points league this month with a whopping 127 points at Hadston to Hemscott Hill, adding Long-Billed Dowitcher among a host of other goodies. Joe Stockwell lands himself in both second and third place, taking both runners up positions with scores of 121 and 117 respectively at Ferrybridge and RSPB Arne. Just how much time do you spent in the field Joe? It's certainly paying off. Next; Amy Robjohn's finds herself in fourth position followed by James Common in fifth and Joe Proudfoot in sixth place. What will February hold I wonder?

LATE EDIT: Anthony Bentley submitted his score late but now tops the points minileague. Cain Scrimgeour also added to the league.

LATE LATE EDIT: Elliot Montieth added after late score.

Moving on to the birds notched throughout January and other glaring rarities sighted this month include a Green-Winged Teal for newcomer Sarah Woods at Rising Sun Country Park and Ring-Billed Gulls for Cathal Forkan and Joe Proudfoot. A wintering Yellow-Browed Warbler was similarly a nice touch for Sam Wall at Lilstock. Elsewhere in the league; Espen Quinto-Ashman managed Red-Crested Pochard at Wellington while James Common caught up with a small flock of Waxwings at Blyth. On the subject of Waxwings, other typical winter scarcities were abundant in the league this month, among them; two Iceland Gulls, two Spotted Redshank and a hearty helping of Jack Snipe. Wildfowl featured as highlights for many competitors; White-Fronted Geese and Whooper Swans noted on a number of patches alongside the odd Scaup while seawatching clearly paid off for some with Little Gull, Little Auk and Red-Necked Grebe featuring prominently. Elsewhere other January highlights included; Snow Bunting for Sam Wall, Black Redstart for both Ollie Thomas and Joe Proudfoot and both Long-Eared Owl and Bittern for James McCulloch at Hedgecourt Lake. Concluding; former "most valuable player" Josie Hewitt also nabbed some #patchgold in the form of only her second ever Crossbills at Blackbushe Airfield. 

Red- Crested Pochard - Espen Quinto-Ashman
Water Pipit - Jonathan Farooqi

- James C (Patchwork Challenge)

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