Thursday, 21 April 2016

Coastal Ireland Minileague - March 2016

Another month at the top of the Coastal Ireland Comparative Minileague table for Noel Keogh who makes it to 90% during March with a Gadwall at South Dublin Bay, his 100th species there. Climbing the ranks and into second place is Eleanor Keane, patching for her second year from the Killiney Hill to Dun Laoghaire coastline where 6 Brambling, 3 Buzzards and a Kestrel were all great patch birds plus the addition of her first Chiffchaff of the year on 29th March resulting in an end of first quarter score of 80%. One to watch!

Regular faces at the top of the table, Eamonn O’Donnell and Neal Warnock, take up third and fourth place respectively. Eamonn was treated to a patch tick Jay and his second patch record of Shoveler at Ninch/Laytown while a Greenland White-fronted Goose was a patch tick for Neal at Larne Lough (with Tufted Duck, Pintail, Gadwall, Common Scoter and Iceland Gull as other notable highlights).

Three contestants come in with a score of 127 points at the top of the Coastal Ireland Points Minileague by the end of the month but no surprise that it is Dave Suddaby which bests them all with the highest points per bird score of 1.337 at Blacksod where 22 Greenland White-fronted Geese, a Jack Snipe and a Black Redstart were his highlights for March.

Other notable mentions throughout the month included a Water Pipit at Tramore Backstrand for Arlo Jacques, the first Manx Shearwater of the year for Christopher O’Sullivan off Inchydoney, a #patchgold Pintail at Belfast Harbour RSPB reserve was the first one Derek Polley has seen there in 18 years visiting the site, Pintail was also notable for Tom Moore at Kilmore Quay along with Stock Dove, a trio of Spoonbills and a drake Green-winged Teal graced Tacumshin Lake for Noel Keogh and finally, Niall Keogh caught up with the (in)famous Forster’s Tern at Mutton Island for his Galway City patch. 

Greenland White-fronted Goose © Neal Warnock

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