Thursday, 22 September 2016

Coastal Ireland Minileague - August 2016

Additions of Bullfinch and Stock Dove for Noel Keogh at South Dublin Bay leave him safe in first place by a matter of 10% on the Coastal Ireland Comparative Minileague table for another month. However, some of the minileague contestants who are in their first year of comparative scoring are moving up in the ranks and challenging the status quo...

Richard Donaghey's ringing efforts at the Bann Estuary paid dividends when some nocturnal wader mist-netting produced both Curlew Sandpiper and Ruff! Certainly not what he was expecting. The Curlew Sand may well represent the first ever to be ringed in Northern Ireland while the two Ruff were the first ringed there since 1983! More details on the excellent Causeway Coast Ringing Group blog. These additions plus others bring Richard to second place on the comparative table with 98.6%.

Eleanor Keane is bumped down to third place but managed to add Little Egret at her Killiney Hill to Dun Laoghaire coast patch, bringing her score up to 96.4%, so not entirely out of the running yet.

Derek Polley has been tipping away adding expected common species at his home patch of Bangor West, but the results of this have been a productive climb from eight to fourth place in the space of a month. One to watch! 

Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlin © Richard Donaghey

Some notable rarities get a mention in the Coastal Ireland Points Minileague during August and waders were certainly popular, as expected. A White-rumped Sandpiper and Curlew Sandpiper awaited Derek Polley at RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve while a Lesser Yellowlegs made for a fine addition to Chris O'Sullivan's Clonakilty/Inchydoney patch (along with Curlew Sandpiper) and Cory's Shearwater during a seawatch from Dunmore Head. Chris now moves into third place on the table as a result of these gains.

Graham Johnston put an end to his dry spell at Rinville with a Jay at the months end and Joe Proudfoot enjoyed no less than five year ticks in two hours at Sandymount Strand with Black Tern, Roseate Tern, Arctic Tern, Little Gull and Little Stint, leaving him on 110 species.

After all the excitement at Tacumshin during June and July, Noel Keogh had a quieter time of it during August but still added Wood Sandpiper and Little Stint bringing him to 148 species and 214 points in first place on the points table.

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