Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Wales Minileague - November 2016

November brings little change to the Wales Comparative Minileague table rankings but the contestants were still busy adding to their tallies and ensuring it will be a high scoring year with no less than eight patch birders boasting comp scores well over their 100% target.

At the head of this is Mike Cram, still in first place at Broughton and Llangennith where a Woodcock was flushed near his caravan, becoming the 104th species in a fantastic year which sees him get to an amazing 143.8% and a month still to go.

Henry Cook was away in Gambia during November, allowing Julian Hughes enough time to break away and make some gains on his fellow RSPB Conwy patch birder. Bonus points for Julian came in the form of a Siberian Chiffchaff which was a much anticipated first for the site and a nice find (especially since it was singing!). Julian now has a good lead on Henry with 123% in second place.

Needless to say, the Long-tailed Duck at Cardiff Bay showed well! (c) Peter Howlett

Richard Dobbins updates his score from Teifi for the first time in a while, with Whooper Swan added in November. He now has a respectable ten point lead in first place on the Wales Points Minileague table and is the first contestant to break past 200. 

Paul Roberts had a good run at Ogmore Estuary this year and additions of Merlin, Black Redstart and Red-throated Diver over the past few weeks see him move into second place, on 195 points from 150 species. This knocks Barry Stewart at Burry Inlet down to third. 

Some of the other highlights during the month included a Hawfinch at Rudry Common for Trevor Fletcher, a triple highlight day at Rhyl for Alex Jones with Lapland Bunting, Scaup and two Black Redstarts, another Scaup at Cardiff Bay for Peter Howlett (plus the showy Long-tailed Duck) and Henry Cook added Little Auk and Pomarine Skua at Little Orme plus a Brambling at RSPB Conwy.

Mike Cram also patches at Portcawl to Rest Bay where in addition to Razorbill, Greylag Goose and Black-throated Diver, he got Chough new for the year during November, Furthermore, the Chough was colour-ringed and it transpires that it fledged at a nest site in Anglesey this year, representing the longest distance moved by any Anglesey born Chough to date. Nice record! 

The ever impressive BirdTrack stats in the Wales Minileague now stand at 75,326 records from 3,558 complete lists.

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