Thursday, 16 June 2016

Inland Ireland Minileague - May 2016

Michael John O'Mahony comes in with a mighty update from Upper Rathduff at the end of May which sees the addition of the expected Spring migrants including Spotted Flycatcher as well as Swift (not seen in 2015). A total of 60 species recorded on the farmland around his home in Co. Cork so far this year. With this, he sails past the milestone marker and on to 106.25% taking him to first place on the Inland Ireland Comparative Minileague table!

Des Higgins also breaks the 100% barrier at University College Dublin but slips to second place with 103.5%. His additions during the month included Swift, Sand Martin and House Martin feeding over the main lake on campus as well as Dipper and Grey Wagtail on a stream near the border of the site.

Two Sedge Warblers and a male Tufted Duck were both patch scarce for Niall Keogh at Kilbogget Park and brought him to 100% on the dot, in third place.

Derek Charles updates his score from the southern shores of Lough Neagh for the first time since winter. A productive Spring results in Derek taking first place on the Inland Ireland Points Minileague table from Andrew Power with a grand total of 86 species and 99 points. 

A second summer Ring-billed Gull put in an appearance at Derek's patch on 10th April which constitutes the second county record for Armagh. This was followed up by a Corncrake on the 24th April (singing passage migrant) and a Little Egret on the same day which was just his second patch record. Inland rarities during May included a flock of 7 Light-bellied Brent Geese on 8th, a Sanderling on 10th and an Arctic Tern on 22nd May, all of which appear to be genuinely rare inland in Northern Ireland (the brent and tern were patch firsts for Derek).

Light-bellied Brent Geese © Derek Charles

Elsewhere on the points table, the welcome return of singing warblers was noted with Whitethroats at Grand Canal Way, Carrick Mountain and Bramblestown and a reeling Grasshopper Warbler a Carrigmore.

Ian Stevenson continues to do well at his Grand Canal Way patch in Co. Dublin where a Common Sandpiper was a patch first plus nice sightings of Long-eared Owl and Stock Dove.

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