Thursday, 29 December 2016

Estuarine Minileague - November 2016

The Estuarine Minileague is a powerhouse of patch birding enthusiasm and effort with no less than ten contestants on the comparative table having reached and well surpassed their 100% target by the end of November. Lots of tough acts to follow!

Paul Freestone had a productive month at Hayle Estuary with Green-winged Teal and Cattle Egret (although he missed Pintail!) and this brings his comp score up to an impressive 125.6%, enough to overtake Ian Ballam at Lytchett Bay and claim first place! A good find or a few additions during December could see Ian get back in the lead so it's by no means over here!

Much of the rest of the comp table stays the same save for Toby Collett at RSPB Frampton Marsh who nips ahead of Dave Craven at Hale & Pickerings Pasture by a fraction of a percent and into sixth place thanks to Bittern and White-fronted Goose.

The Lesser Yellowlegs continued its stay at Lytchett Bay throughout the month (c) Ian Ballam

A high scoring points table here in the Estuarine Minileague with a quarter of contestants over 200 points and Paul Sullivan still in first place with 272 points at Frampton/Freiston.

And now a few of the highlights during the month...

Graham Jones found the first site record of Cattle Egret at Hesketh Out Marsh. A viz-mig Richard's Pipit brought a very welcome bonus to Elliott Montieth's points tally at Birkenhead Docks. A flock of 23 Barnacle Geese dropped into Lytchett Bay where they were gratefully received by Shaun Robson. A good start to the month for Howard Vaughan at RSPB Rainham Marshes involved a Great Skua flying along the River Thames on the 1st and then a Black Redstart on the 3rd but little else after that.

Estuarine Minileague sites often boast some impressive gatherings of rare and scarce waterbirds, including this flock of eight Spoonbills at Lytchett Bay (c) Ian Ballam

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