Sunday, 3 July 2016

Coastal South Minileague - May 2016

The year that Amy Robjohns is having at Titchfield Haven could be no better depicted than by finding a stunning looking Caspian Stonechat while looking for snails! Our Stonechat is a lovely bird but this had a real dose of extra pizzazz and is one of the birds of the year so far. It also served to put Amy on 118%, an astounding lead at this early stage of the year.
Caspian Stonechat at Titchfield Haven (photo c/o Amy Robjohns)
Paul Bowerman is putting pressure on Dick Best in second. Paul found a Temminck's Stint and Golden Oriole in May to give him a score that he would not expect until a little later in the year. 

Amy and Joe have been having their own battle in the points league for the south coast and at the end of May they are tied for top spot! Sean has surpassed the 200 point marker too and is still in contention, there is plenty of the year left to run! Joe averaged 3.1 points per bird for his May additions including finding a Temminck's Stint and enjoying a patch first Cattle Egret. Add to that fantastic Tern passage and May was a good month for Joe!

Cattle Egret at RSPB Lodmoor c/o Joe Stockwell

Perhaps the bird that made the most headlines in May was the long staying Great Spotted Cuckoo at Portland. For a while it seemed that it might not venture onto Sean Foote's patch but it did make it North Portland in the end. A superb bird which stayed long enough for many to twitch it.

This well watched Great Spotted Cuckoo finally made it onto Sean Foote's patch. c/o Sean Foote

There have been a few Kentish Plovers around the country this spring and not surprisingly the south coast sites have played their part. In May, bonus points went to Ian Pitts at Church Norton and Mark Lawlor on Guernsey for this stunning little wader. Other classic spring fare made it onto patchers lists too this month including a Wood Warbler for Amy Robjohns, a Hoopoe at Coverack for Dan Beadle and a Bee-eater picked out on call by Joe Cockram at Steart Marshes.

It must be a superb bird when a patch rival asks for bonus points for a competitor. That was the case this month when Sean Foote found a Coot at Chesil Beach! Joe Stockwell successfully twitched it and then noted in his highlights that Sean should get extra points for this mind-blowing find. Coot is almost the defining species for the #patchgold hashtag.

Mega alert - Coot - the definition of #patchgold at Chesil Beach. c/o Joe Stockwell

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