Sunday, 22 May 2016

Islands Minileague - April 2016

April was a fairly decent month for many of the Island patchers. A couple of true #patchgold entries were submitted (Great Tit for John Bowler at Balephuil and Canada Goose for IanT at Askernish) along with a few other patch firsts in the form of Iceland Gull for Mark Newell on the Isle of May and Great White Egret for IanT at Askernish. Probably the highlight of the month for Steve Minton at Scatness was a pod of Orca cruising by. Although not birds, they're freaking awesome and I'm sure many of us would love them as a patch tick!

Credit: Steve Minton

After 10 weeks away in Spain, IanT returned in style and topped pole position of the Islands Comparative Minileague. On his return to patch, he added twenty-seven species, including two patch firsts (Great White Egret and Canada Goose) leaving him on 98 species and 78.8% for April. All but one patcher have at least broken the 50% milestone and are steadily adding species, and with only a few percent separating the top 3, May could see a change at the top again. 

Moving on to the Island Points Minileague, while points have increased, there's no change for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place. John Bowler at Balephuil remains on the highest perch with some cracking birds added for the year (Corncrake, Manxie, Little Tern, Mealy Redpoll, and Lapland Bunting), while Paul Higson at Quoyangry clings on in 2nd despite not adding any species in April. Barrie Hamill at Burray is hot on Paul's heels in 3rd with finds including Hawfinch, Little Gull, and Black Redstart. As April ends, only one point separates 2nd and 3rd place.

Elsewhere, Bryan Rains had the first Iceland Gull for five year on patch at Pennyghael, Mull. Alastair Forsyth at Palace, Orkney also had Iceland Gull in addition to Carrion Crown (very uncommon) and Common Scoter which is less than an annual visitor to his patch. A drake Garganey graced Steve Minton's patch, while Bruce Taylor's highlights were Gropper at Brevig and White-billed Diver at Ardmhor.

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