Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Estuarine Minileague - August 2016

Aquatic Warbler at Lytchett Bay - Ian Ballam
No questions about bird of the month in the Estuarine League in August, this Aquatic Warbler for Ian Ballam at Lytchett Bay is one of the PWC2016 finds of the year and to pose for such a fine photograph for such a skulking species is really quite something. The bonus points received for this bird, which is becoming increasingly difficult on UK shores, have helped Ian take third spot in the comparative table. Joost Brandsma continues to lead at the top of the table, adding Kittiwake in the month, but it is getting very tight at the top with the critical months of September and October to come. Putting on the pressure is Peter Hazlewood at Oldbury who got in on the Curlew Sandpiper influx in August as well as adding his first patch Little Stint since 2012.

Dave Craven is still the long term leader at the top of the table at the end of August despite no points additions in the month. It meant that Paul Sullivan and Howard Vaughan could take advantage and close the gap. Paul scored with a Redstart and Pied Flycatcher at Frampton whilst Howard added 10 points with Roseate Tern and a Stint double bill including the finders points for the Temminck's. Ian Ballam joins the 200 club with his Aquatic Warbler above, but mention must also go to his #patchgold Yellowhammer which was a patch lifer!

In other highlights, waders naturally dominated as one might expect in August and it was the Curlew Sandpiper influx which made many people's highlights along with Little Stints and Wood Sandpipers, all nice two pointers. Max Hellicar benefitted from the Temminck's Stint found by Howard Vaughan at Rainham, The rarest wader to put in an appearance was a White-Rumped Sandpiper at Frampton.

Terns were on the move again in August, and Elliot Montieth managed to bag a brace of Black Terns to complete the UK 'common' Tern set. Stuart Darbyshire added Sandwich Tern at Hesketh Out Marsh. In fact, Stuart Darbyshire and Graham Jones teamed up at Hesketh to add finder points for Great White Egret as numbers on site increased from one to three. A Spoonbill was a highlight for Martin Elcoate at Topsham whilst two patch lifers in the form of a Green Woodpecker and Long-Eared Owl helped to continue an excellent year so far for Simon Brebner at Paull Holme Strays.

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