Thursday, 28 November 2013

Wales Minileagues

 Well, eventually I get round to the last minileague - with sincere apologies to anyone in Wales who might have been waiting!

For once, we have a bit of a polarity between the top of the points league and the top of the comparative leagues. Our friends on Bardsey occupy 1st and 3rd place in the points league, but are bottom and 3rd bottom in the comparative league - probably a result of posting very reasonable comparative scores (which is exactly what you'd expect from a bird observatory!)

Matthew Meehan separates the Bardsey Boys in the points league, with a very respectable 205, and Marc Hughes tops the comparative league from Great Orme.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Inland North Minileague - October

Jonny Holliday still leads but it is down to 17 points from Mark Reeder and Pete Antrobus in joint second. Mark Breaks storms into 4th and looks like a serious contender for best of the rest after the long standing top 3. Phil Woolen added six species but hasn't quite bridged the gap to the Mays in 5th at Burton Marsh. Still a bit of time for some patch gold to make the difference! Best bits of the month included patch ticks at Orgreave and Neumann's with Red-breasted Merganser and Egyptian Goose respectively. Best finds include Mark Reeder's Great White Egret and, well, Jonny's Rock Pipit at Pugney's.

The comparative table is still looking very good for Phil Woollen at Backford Cross. He holds a 10% lead over George Watola and Pete Antrobus holds on to 3rd place. There are no new 100%ers but it is still a realistic target for Mark Breaks and Richard & Chloe May.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Coastal North Minileague - October

Ian Mills extends his led to a corking 57 points at Whitburn whilst Iain Robson leapfrogs Jane T making the north east the place to be. Very few additions were logged this month with the highlights being James Spencer's Richard's Pipit at Barmston and Iain Robson's Balearic Shearwater.

The Ia(i)n's switch places this month in the comparative league with Iain Robson overhauling Ian Mills' tally. Both are well over 100% and with Alan T the only other 100%'er way back the fight is on to see who ends up taking the crown.

South West Minileague - October

Kev Rylands extends his lead by twenty points with closest rival Gavin Haig failing to register any additions in October. Paul Bowerman has closed the gap on second to just two points - it looks like the battle for silver may well be the one to watch in the South West. Paul Bowyer has made the most progress this month with his addition 6 species and 13 points taking him from 8th into 4th and the best of the rest so to speak. It would take a special late autumn for somebody to break up the top 3 but 6 points cover 4th to 8th so all really is to play for in midfield. Best finds go to Kev at Dawlish with 3 Yellow-browed Warblers and Dick Best finding a coastal example of one of Somersets newest birds with a Great White Egret at Steart.

Roger Musgrove has the comparative table sown up with a 25% lead. Marcus Lawson reinforces his second place and there is little movement further down. This may well be how this table stays. Well done to Roger for his great score.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

South Coast Minileague - October

If you thought Andy Johnson was going well before I'm struggling for superlatives to describe his October. With Semipalmated Plover, Red-breasted Goose, Dusky Warbler and Yellow-browed Warbler all finds he has nearly doubled his lead in the points table and is now 104 points clear. Respect is due for an amazing effort, especially the plover which is a great find. Joost Brandsma's Leach's Petrel lifts him into the top 5 at Adam Faiers expense.

Despite Andy Johnson's superb October Liam Curson maintains top spot in the comparative league. Andy has however managed to join the 100 club - only the second member of the South Coast league to do so. Chris Powell has managed to overtake Mark Lawlor. Nevermind Mark - just a bird. It looks like a race between Andy and Liam for first place with Ian Roberts fighting with both Chris and Mark for third.

London Minileague - October

A meagre return overall for the capital in October with no 3 pointers aside from Marek Welford's Yellow-browed Warbler at Dinton Pastures. Despite Marek's good fortune positions remain static amongst the top three with each adding just two or three points. Kevin M has closed the gap a little on the leaders. Graham Howie and Tom Stevenson both manage to climb a place to 9th and 12th respectively.

The comparative table is extremely close with less than 1% between first and second and only 6.4% covering the first 5 places. Despite this the order remains as you were with Adam Bassett remaining marginally ahead of Marek Welford. Tom Stevenson becomes the fifth member of the London 100 club as he equals his comparative score.

Ireland Minileague - October

Owen stretches his lead to a monumental 104 points. This one is done and dusted unless WADA come in with doping allegations. Owen added a remarkable 50 points for just 11 species in October - fantastic work including self found Semipalmated and Baird's Sandpipers. Niall T. Keogh in second place added 4 species and 11 points with his highlight finding a Sabine's Gull. Neal Warnock on Rathlin managed to climb from 8th place to 5th with an additional 7 species and 11 points.

Owen Foley's exceptional October manages to propel him to the top of the comparative table and leapfrogging Neal Warnock and Alan Lauder in the process. Alan in the meantime slips to third place with no updates. Both Paul Walsh and Niall T. Keogh have managed to join the top 3 in the hundred club. Can anybody catch Owen in the comparative stakes? It looks very tough but a couple of late gems could do it.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Midlands Minileague October

Nick Crouch maintains his lead despite no additions in October and the slow addition of species suggests he has the Midlands minileague wrapped up. The race for second is much closer with Dave Roberts' self found Yellow-browed Warbler a piece of classic inland patch gold cutting Matt Griffith's lead to two points. Plenty to play for there. Not many other additions I am afraid so no movement further down the table.

A single additional point allowed Alan Kydd to stay top and with Dave Roberts' relatively high comparative score it will take some going in the last part of the year to catch up. No position changes further down although Richard Harbird managed a couple of additions in October to keep him well clear in third place.

Coastal Scotland Minileague - October

There has been virtually no change in the rankings of the Coastal Scotland minileague despite many good birds being found and seen. Andrew Whitehouse moves up a place into 11th above Tristan but Stornoway is as likely as any of the patches to catch a goody in November or December. Sean Morris' league switch has him in at 17th, largely thanks to the nearctic Mourning Dove which spent a decent slice of October cavorting on his lawn. At the very top there is only a self found scarce bird between John Bowler and Rob Fray who are both well clear of Gary Bell in third.

The comparative table shows some excellent scoring with four contestants now over 120%. Ian T at Askernish overhauls John Bowler in third but the top two remain constant with Mark Lewis needing a good few birds or finds to catch Barrie Hamill on Burray.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Inland Scotland October Minileague

Aside from Ali Shuttleworth's Pectoral Sandpiper at Cullaloe there weren't any three pointers (or better) added to the Inland Scotland points tallies but despite this there has been a big shake up in the standings. Firstly the realisation on our part that Rum is an Island and thus Sean Morris was in the wrong league (cheers to Sean for his honesty) and the Mourning Dove should trouble the coastal minileague rather than here meant that most bumped up a place. The bigger change was Chris Pendlebury losing his ascendancy with his local rival, Graeme Garner, claiming top spot but with only six points in it a rogue Richard's Pipit could change it all round. Ali's Pec ensures he leapfrogs Andy Cage at Kilmany into 5th.

Despite the changes in the points table the comparative table remains static except for the loss of Sean M from top spot. Graeme G takes over the top spot with a 19% lead. No new additions to the 100% club this month but there is still time for Chris P and Alastair Irvine to get there.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Inland East Anglia - October

Ben Lewis has closed the gap to 11 points on Jamie Wells. Is there still time for a change at the top? Steve Swinney has leapfrogged Ed Keeble & Richard Stace into third but it seems the top 2 are clear. Nick Moran has managed to climb one place into 6th. There are still quite a few entrants in this minileague who are yet to post a score - will there be a late challenge from one of these? In all seriousness if you havent yet posted a score in the competition but entered earlier in the year you are still welcome to take part.

 Ben Lewis climbs one place into 5th but joining the 100 club will take a big effort over the last two months of the year with 13 points required. It is also looking improbable for the other 90%ers Russell and James but a self-found funny Crossbill and Siberian Chiffchaff could turn that on its head.

Coastal East Anglia - October

Moss maintains his slender lead in the Coastal East Anglia points table with seven points separating him and Simon Chidwick. Moss's additions this month including self found Great White Egret, Leach's Petrel and best of all a Red-flanked Bluetail which will no doubt be making it into the Meopta and Forest Best Find post alongside. Simon managed a Black-browed Albatross that was seen at several sites along the Norfolk coast. James Brown will be feeling good about moving into third place above both Jonathan Gibbs with 12 additional species and 27 points. Further down the league Dave Sivyer has managed a few additions and leaps up four places. With some close scores mid-table there is plenty still to play for.

 In the comparative stakes Gary White maintains his lead with an exceptional 157% with a handful of classy additions. Simon has managed to cut the gap on Moss who make up the top three. Ryan Irvine, James Brown and Scott Mayson join the 100% club so well done to all for their excellent years on patch.