Monday, 17 October 2016

Coastal Ireland Minileague - September 2016

September brought three new year ticks for Noel Keogh at South Dublin Bay with Black Tern in the autumn roost at Sandymount Strand (up to 17,000 Sterna terns there!) plus Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint with the Dunlin at Merrion Gates. His first place position in the Coastal Ireland Comparative Minileague is in safe hands for the moment thanks to a comp score of 112%.

Richard Donaghey reached 100% with a couple of patch tick Black Terns at the Bann Estuary, holding on to second place for another month. Eleanor Keane is plugging away in third place, adding Crossbill during the month at Killiney Hill to Dun Laoghaire coast.

Cathal Forkan had a great month for waders at his North Galway Bay patch with a fine duo of Baird's Sandpiper and Long-billed Dowitcher at Rusheen Bay hanging around long enough for him to catch up with them plus Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank and Little Gull also present. Quite a productive spot! This purple patch moves Cathal up from seventh to fourth place with 95%.

Spotted Redshank and Long-billed Dowitcher at Rusheen Bay (c) Cathal Forkan

Tacumshin Lake continues to lead the way in the Coastal Ireland Points Minileague where Noel Keogh added Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Osprey and Grey Phalarope plus some #patchgold in the form of Grey Wagtail and Siskin. He finishes the month with 155 species and 230 points.

September proved fruitful for many other contestants with plenty of welcome additions featured in the monthly score submission form comments.

In third place on the points table, Chris O'Sullivan added Common Tern and Little Gull at Clonakilty/Inchydoney. Manx Shearwater, Curlew Sandpiper and Chough were new for Tom Moore at Kilmore Quay. Spotted Redshank and Wheatear brought autumn with them to Graham Johnston's work based patch around the Marine Institute offices at Rinville. Roseate Tern and Little Stint at RPSB Belfast Harbour were eclipsed by a #patchgold Kingfisher for Derek Polley.

September produced no less than seven new species for Niall Keogh at his new Galway City patch with Raven, Common Sandpiper and #patchgold Pheasant at Lough Atalia, a couple of Little Gulls along Claddagh Strand and a fine seabird trio of Leach's Storm-petrel, Great Skua and Pomarine Skua in the bay off Mutton Island during some westerlies.

Tim Murphy provides us with an update from St John's Point in Co. Down where his patch birding efforts throughout the year have brought him to 113 species, 136 points and 78.6% so far. His highlights during the month of September include excellent views of Tree Pipit and some lunge feeding Minke Whales offshore.

Grey Phalarope at Tacumshin, looking a little worse for wear (c) Noel Keogh

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