Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Coastal Ireland Minileague - April 2016

Noel Keogh is on the fast track to reaching his 100% target at South Dublin Bay with a suite of common migrants boosting him up to 96.3% and remaining in first place on the Coastal Ireland Comparative Minileague table.

Eamonn O'Donnell moves into second ahead of Eleanor Keane (second place holder in March) as he clocked up 12 migrants species in April at Ninch/Laytown including Whimbrel and Little Tern. Eleanor keep the momentum going in third place at Killiney Hill to Dun Laoghaire coast with a singing Whitethroat, a scarce species for the site. 

Richard Donaghey is climbing the ranks, moving up from eighth to fifth on 81.8% at the Bann Estuary. A breeding plumage Spotted Redshank was his find of the month.

No less than three patch ticks for Dave Suddaby in first place on the Coastal Ireland Points Minileague table. A splendid breeding plumaged Red-necked Grebe was backed up by Tufted Duck and Carrion Crow. All new and all welcome as they keep him one point ahead of Noel Keogh's Tacumshin patch. Noel connected with the long staying Cattle Egret during April but also lucked out with an impressive patch tick, a Sooty Shearwater seen from the sand dunes during a seawatch there. 

Christopher O'Sullivan is thoroughly enjoying his first year of taking part in PWC from the West Cork site of Clonakilty/Inchydoney. Two six-pointer finds came in quick succession with a Great White Egret and a drake American Wigeon.

American Wigeon and Great White Egret at Clonakilty/Inchydoney © Christopher O'Sullivan

Other highlights from around the country included Sooty Shearwater, Arctic Skua and perhaps more importantly a Whooper Swan (in terms of patch listing) for Julian Wyllie at Baltimore. Joe Proudfoot was surprised to see a kettle of 3 Buzzards and 2 Red Kites over his local park near Sandymount, a great local record. A Spotted Flycatcher was at Rinville for Graham Johnston, always good to get those in early and a duo of Ring-billed Gull and Iceland present at the RSPB Belfast reserve for Derek Polley.

The absolute cracker of the month was waiting for Neal Warnock on Rathlin Island. A beautiful, untagged immature White-tailed Eagle, which almost certainly came over from Scotland. His pics say it all! 

White-tailed Eagle at Rathlin Island © Neal Warnock

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