Thursday, 16 June 2016

Coastal Ireland Minileague - May 2016

Noel Keogh is the first to reach the 100% milestone on the Coastal Ireland Comparative Minileague table with some great patch birds for South Dublin Bay seen during May including singing migrant Reed Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler at Irishtown Nature Reserve plus a Great Skua and a Cuckoo(!) seen while seawatching the bay. He finished the month with a clear lead on 104.38%.

Eamonn O'Donnell adds Roseate Tern at Ninch/Laytown, completing the list of expected migrants for the site. This lands him on 90% but slips to fourth place due to the advancements of Eleanor Keane and Richard Donaghey. While watching four Wheatears at the West Pier Dun Laoghaire, a trio of Whimbrel flew overhead for Eleanor making an evening stroll all the more worthwhile as she finishes the month in second with 91.964%. Close behind in third is Richard who had a double duck patch tick day on 22nd May with a male Garganey and a female Scaup at the Bann Estuary. You can read more about Richard's patch birding exploits at the Bann Estuary on his blog post here

No major patch highlights for Neal Warnock at Larne Lough during May but at least these Dunlin showed well! © Neal Warnock

Noel's second patch site at Tacumshin, Co. Wexford is racing ahead on the Coastal Ireland Points Minileague table with 132 species yielding 173 points. That's 7 points clear of former table leader, Dave Suddaby at Blacksod who now sits in second place even after some #patchgold Shoveler. 

Seawatching from the sand dunes at Tacumshin has been productive for Noel, adding a trio of Great Skua, European Storm-petrel and a Black-throated Diver to the tally along with Spotted Flycatcher at the 'High Car Park', Curlew Sandpiper on the flats and a Hobby hunting over the marsh.

It has been a good Spring for Hobby in Ireland and Tom Moore got in on the action with one at Kilmore Quay (along with a most welcome Coal Tit!). A drake Garganey was backed up by a pair of Tufted Ducks at Chris O'Sullivan's patch at Clonakilty/Inhcydoney. Glaucous Gull was a fine addition during May for Michael O'Donnell at Kilmichael/Kilpatrick/Kilgorman and a Bullfinch at Belfast Harbour RSPB was Derek Polley's second record for the site, with the last being in 2010.

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