Saturday, 24 December 2016

Inland North Minileague - November 2016

It was with great sadness during November that we learned of the untimely and very sudden death of Pete Antrobus (POD). Pete was a familiar face in UK birding and a stalwart of the Cheshire birding scene, particularly his beloved Neumann's Flashes.  He will be missed by friends and birders far and wide, our thoughts and condolences go out to his friends and family particularly his wife Debbie. 

No change at the top of the Inland North comparative minileague as David Franklin sits tight despite adding just one species - his first Tawny Owl in two years. John Law added White-fronted Goose, Merlin and (finally) Treecreeper to close the gap, a similar points haul in December could see him nick it from David. Out of nowhere Bill Aspin leaps to 3rd place - more of that nonsense later! David Franklin failed to add anything to his Askern patch which slips to fourth. Nick Morgan drops out of the top five and is replaced by NIck Tonge.

Bittern - Brockholes - Bill Aspin

As previously mentioned, in the comparative minileague Bill Aspin (it hurts to even type that name) leapt from 8th to 3rd, which can only mean one thing he cheated had a very good month! All joking aside Bill had an amazing month, where he added a gut wrenching 23 points, giving him what must at this late stage be an unassailable lead. Key species for Bill during the month were Cetti's Warbler(5th record), Brockholes' 1st Great Grey Shrike, 2 Smew (3rd record), Great White Egret (5th record) and the 1st site Siberian Chiffchaff. Never one to give up a fight, Mark Reeder hit back with a meagre 8 points that in a normal November would have been an excellent haul. Mark added Scaup, Jack Snipe, Long-eared Owl (a patch 1st) and 2 Mealy Redpolls, consolation enough to put daylight between him and John Law who dropped to 3rd. Duncan Bye slipped to fourth with 3 Knot a new patch bird, keeping him above Andy Bunting by a whisker.

Great Grey Shrike - Brockholes - Bill Aspin
Cetti's Warbler - Brockholes - Bill Aspin
Siberian Chiffchaff - Brockholes - Bill Aspin

In addition to the aforementioned patch firsts, other patchers firsts were a Tree Sparrow for Hilary Milburn at Pugneys, Brent Goose for Nick Tonge at Rodley and Marsh Harrier at Winsford Flash for Findlay Wilde.

Long-eared Owl - Orgreave Area  - Mark Reeder

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