Monday, 11 April 2016

Under 25's Minileague - March 2016

March was an action-packed month in the Under 25's league, a smorgasbord of great birds and more than a few instances of #patchgold resulting in some pretty hefty scores. Ever the transitional period, March saw a number of longed for migrants making it back to their summer haunts - the best of these perhaps being Osprey for Jacob Spinks and Amy Robjohns respectively. Other newcomers this month included Garganey for Erik Ansell at Rutland Water, Woodlark for Josie Hewitt and Black Redstart for Dan Beadle. Of the more regular migrants seen, Swallow, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Little Ringed Plover and Sand Martin featured prominently while a Firecrest was surely brought a smile to the face of Jack Dawson at Frampton Marsh.

As ever, a number of typical winter visitors lingered into March. Arguably the best of these comprising a Great Grey Shrike for Will Langdon though Siberian Chiffchaff also featured for both Will Scott and Joe Stockwell. Elsewhere two white-wingers were seen, including a Glaucous Gull for Amy Robjohns and an Iceland Gull for Elliot Montieth while Jack Snipe, Velvet Scoter, Pink-Footed Goose and Black-Throated Diver also appeared as highlights. Moving on to this months most striking examples of #patchgold and March saw a record count of 30 Great-Crested Grebes for Findlay Wilde at Winsford Flash while James Common finally caught up with a Rook at Blyth following a somewhat prolonged absence. Final mention goes to Will Langdon and his pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers.

Good to see someone is keeping notes! - Great Grey Shrike by Will Langdon.

To the tables now and first up, the bread and butter of the Patchwork Challenge that is the comparative league. Amy Robjohns steals the top spot this month following a great run at Titchfield Haven which saw her land no less than three patch lifers during March. Second place goes to Rhys Chivers following an impressive leap from the 10th position while Ben Moyes jumps ahead of Espen Quinto-Ashman to secure his place in the triumvirate. Further down, former front-runner Sam Pitt Miller drops to fifth this month at Priory Water and other familiar faces continue to edge their way towards the coveted 100% milestone, among these; PWC stalwards Ash Baines, Josie Hewitt and Jonathan Farooqi.

The points league looks much the same as it did at this point in 2015; Amy Robjohns topping the league followed by usual high scorers Joe Stockwell and Jonathan Farooqi. Erik Ansell sits in fourth place, snapping at the heels of the top three while further down the table Joe Stockwell (again) snatches fourth place at RSPB Arne while Anthony Bently concludes the top five with a decent 128 points at Lincs Wash Reserves. With an increasing number of migrants set to return in April and, of course, the possibility of something all together more exciting, it will be interesting to see how this league changes come the next submission date. Do remember to submit your scores this months chaps ;-)

Little Ringed Plover - Josie Hewitt

- James C (Patchwork Challenge)

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