We see some very high scores on the Inland Ireland Comparative Minileague table by the end of the first quarter. Niall Keogh caught up with Kingfisher at Kilbogget Park where some viz-mig Meadow Pipits and Skylarks over the football pitches also bolstered his first place score, taking him to 91.7%. In close second on 87.7% is Des Higgins who had a productive month at University College Dublin with flyover Cormorant and Buzzard plus Reed Bunting and Stonechat in the few remaining ruderal sites on campus.
In minileagues such as this, just one or two species can make a huge difference to your comparative score, so with a number of ‘guaranteed’ spring migrants just around the corner we could see some vying for top spot here over the coming months.
Alan Lauder and Darragh Sinnott make no mention of notable highlights during March but gain ground with common species, taking them into the mid-70% region.
Andrew Power continues to top the points table for the second month in a row at Kildavin where a late evening Wigeon coming in to roost on the pit was the highlight of his month. Andrew has the highest overall species total in the minileague with 66 species earning 73 points.
Elsewhere, the 2cy Iceland Gull at Grange Castle Business Park continued its stay for Ian Stevenson’s Grand Canal Way patch, a Glaucous Gull showed up at Skibbereen for Julian Wyllie, a female Brambling visited Christian Osthoff’s garden feeders at Carrigmore, a Merlin was seen at Lough Ree by Brian Burke, a Cormorant on the River Dodder was the first there for several years for Mary Fitzgerald and Liam Lysaght finally got Tree Sparrows at Bramblestown after much effort!
Brambling © Christian Osthoff
Des and Julian are neck and neck in eight place with 50 points apiece. Darragh also finishes the month with a score of 50 points and while he is a species higher than the guys in eighth place, it is the points per bird (PPB) score which sorts out the rankings in this case. Overall, the highest PPB score on the table (of 1.200) goes to Alan Lauder mostly due to his garden tick White-tailed Eagle last month!