Friday, 25 March 2016

Wales Minileague - February 2016

An 11% gain since January for Alastair Flannagan sees him take first place in the Wales Comparative Minileague during February with Yellow-legged Gull, Red Kite and his first Willow Tit since 2002 helping him rocket up to 67.6% at Swansea Vale to Fendrod Lake. His contribution to BirdTrack a testament to solid patch birding efforts, up from 46 complete lists in January to 123 by the end of February.

Cetti's Warbler at RSPB Conwy © Henry Cook (flickr page)

We see plenty of other movers and shakers on the table, taking up positions in the top five after a productive months birding. A Glaucous Gull spent two days at Peter Howlett’s Cardiff Bay patch where he is now in third. Henry Cook connected with Merlin, Chough and Barnacle at RSPB Conwy, putting him in fourth and just 0.3% ahead of Julian Hughes who is also patching from the same site. A Water Pipit there was Julian’s first record for the reserve. 

The top five in the Wales Points Minileague are all now past the ton. Ceri Jones slips from first to third place with Richard Dobbins now in the spotlight at Teifi where Glaucous, Yellow-legged and Little Gulls were added to his gull list which included Iceland in January. Barry Stewart is in close second with 113 points at the mighty Burry Inlet where Siberian Chiffchaff, Water Pipit and Little Stint made for a fine February selection.

A Water Pipit awaited Arfon Williams at Tregaron Bog. Strong winds brought in a few welcome seabirds with Kittiwake, Fulmar and Great Northern Diver noted as highlights at several sites. Owls were popular with Short-eared at Tregaron Bog, Little Owl at David Ripley’s Ogmore Estuary patch and Barn Owl at Cosmeston, Sully and Lavernock for Ceri Jones where Hawfinch was also present. Dan Rouse got in on the Great White Egret action at WWT Llanelli and a Firecrest no doubt brightened things up for David Pritchard at Aberthaw. 

Whether they are patch common or #patchgold, Stonechat are always a welcome sight © Dan Rouse

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