Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Inland East Anglia - July 2016

Adam Nicholls' fantastic year at Thorpe St Andrew continues as he marches on to 136% adding Little Egret this month. James Emerson remains in second position despite no new species in July. Nick Moran displaces Tim Phillips from the podium by adding Black-tailed Godwit and Nightjar. 

Black-tailed Godwit - Nick Moran

Ben Lewis adds 24 points in June and July including Savi's Warbler and Bee-eater within 30 minutes and 11 Garganey. A single point addition sees Luke Wake slide from leader to trailing by 15 points. Jamie Wells makes no additions to remain third. The only decent find was a Red-veined Darter for Stuart Reeves at Mutford.

Coastal East Anglia - July 2016

Rob Hall continues on the top of the Coastal East Anglia comparative minileague and closes in on 100%. He adds 3% in July to sit on 92%. No news from North Lowestoft means James Brown remains static on 87% in second. Scott Mayson adds 2% to close on second position on the podium.

James Brown is top of the points minileague, becalmed for now on 250 points. Justin Zantboer in second position adds 9 points to close up at the top Spoonbill, Garganey, Wood Sandpiper and a patchgold Treecreeper. Paul Eele at Titchwell managed to connect with the brief Stone Curlew that graced the reserve and padding the list with Spotted Flycatcher and House Sparrow. The highlights column this month is very thin with Bearded Tits for Irene Boston at Brancaster a belated addition and James Appleton noting Manx Shearwater and Common Tern. And thats it. Good luck for the autumn!

Monday, 29 August 2016

Coastal North - June and July

Its a bumper edition of the Coastal North minileague as we omitted last months table due to an administrative error. Ash Baines is still top of the comparative minileague but he has only added 2% in the summer months meaning we still await our first over 100%. This month he added his second record of Mandarin for Starr Carr. Pete Marsh is in second place having added nothing since May. Iain Robson holds onto third place having added Storm and Leach's Petrels this month and is now less the 0.4% behind Pete.

Night Heron over Paul French's garden.

Mick Turton is still top of the points minileague and has 33 points over the summer to keep him 25 points clear of Tim Jones who is a new entry in second. These two are the highest ever scorers on their overlapping patches on the Spurn peninsula but this is the first year they have entered together. In July Mick added Red-necked Phalarope and White-rumped Sandpiper whilst in June he really made hay having found Golden Oriole and American Golden Plover plus he added Red-footed Falcon and Night Heron. Tim hasn't updated for July and Spoonbill was his June highlight. Nick Addey is in third place having pulled in Andy Hood with his Scarborough patch. Nick also got in on the Petrel action and got bonus points for Leach's Petrel.

June had a few late migrants which brought in bonus points with a Long-tailed Skua at Tynemouth for Duncan Watson. Nige Lound added Red-backed Shrike at Saltfleetby whilst Ross Ahmed added Pomarine Skua and Black Guillemot at South Tyneside. Paul French had Night Heron and Spoonbill over his Easington garden and also added Red-footed Falcon, American Golden Plover and Golden Oriole as he was beaten to the punch by the other birders for the find.

In July and Paul French added the same Red-necked Phalarope and White-rumped Sandpiper that Mick did and alas no bonus points. Hopefully Paul rectifies it this in August! Andy Hood added Pectoral Sandpiper at Flamborough while James Common managed to scope the Blyth Bonaparte's Gull from his patch boundary. There were Roseate Terns for Ross Ahmed and Duncan Watson this month too.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Coastal South - July 2016

Amy Robjohns continues to move onward in her quest for minileague glory. She extends her lead by 3% this month as Paul Freestone and Dick Best fail to make any additions in second and third place. Amy's best this month was a Nuthatch although she also found a Great White Egret. 

Amy remains top of the points minileague as well with a 7 point cushion over Joe Stockwell as he failed to add for the second month in succession. Sean Foote closes on the leaders adding a couple of points with a Yellow-legged Gull.

Bearded Tit - Amy Robjohns
The only other bird of note was the Dalmation Pelican at Loe Pool for Ilya Maclean. Ilya has decided not to take any points for this bird but naturally he is welcome to add 5 or 15 as appropriate should it get accepted. In 12 years. After a review of the first review. And further records. And isotoping. Just joking of course. As mentioned on the podcast it is up to personal views until the record is assessed and should it be rejected it should be removed from the lists of those who have it on.

Inland North - July 2016

The top three in the Inland North comparative minileague remains the same as last month with David Franklin going double top with Campsall and Askern in first and second. John Law is in third place at Old Moor. David added Hobby and Garden Warbler at Campsall and Sand Martin at Askern. 

Caspian Tern at Orgreave - Mark Reeder

John Law remains top of the points minileague despite a blank July. Chris Bradshaw at Wykeham is in second place and he added Grey Partridge and Spotted Flycatcher. Rounding off the top three is Duncan Bye at Wheldrake Ings who added Nuthatch and Whinchat in July.

White-winged Tern at Orgreave - Mark Reeder
Find of the month was Mark Reeder's Caspian Tern and he doubled up with a fine White-winged Tern as he returns to the competition in style. Also in on the hot tern action was Andy Bunting who also got a White-winged Tern. A Quail for Alan Todd at Mootlaw Quarry was a good find and there was a Woodlark for Stuart Churchill at Rossington.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Islands Minileague - July 2016

Slow going in the Islands Minileague during July with no major changes to the rankings in either the comparative or the points minileagues. Signs of a genuinely quiet period for patch birding or are the contestants keeping their powder dry for the autumn rush?

Still a few species added here and there all the same as reported to us on the monthly score submission forms.

A Little Stint on Brownsman pond was a nice addition to Ed Tooth's Farne Islands year list while Stuart Taylor clocked a flyover Iceland Gull at Balivanich.

Proper #patchgold was the order of the day however with several sites noting some excellent patch birds. Treecreeper on an island without trees is certainly a good one! This was the highlight of the month for Mark Newell on the Isle of May while John Bowler picked up on a Little Grebe at Balephuil, Tiree, a species which is less than annual there. John and Mark remain in second and third place respectively on the points table while Mark holds third place on the comp table with 92.5%.

Shag was a full blown patch first for IanT at Askernish, South Uist. Ian remains in second place on the comp table for another month, now on 95% and within sight of his target for the year.

Little Grebe at Balephuil... an evocative record shot of some #patchgold! © John Bowler

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Midlands - July 2016

Just a single addition for John Clarkson with Great Black-backed Gull keeping him ahead of Nick Crouch at Collingham in second spot. Nick climbs 4 places from sixth thanks to Quail, Great White Egret, Wood Sandpiper and Mediterranean Gull. A fine showing to breach 100% including bonus points for the Egret. Phil Hyde remains in third place having leapfrogged Tom Shields with Sand Martin and Spotted Flycatcher his best bits this time out. Matthew Dick who patches Darley Dale is our latest to 100% in the Midlands with a patch first Oystercatcher the culprit. 

Steve Nuttall slips into joint second position in the points league surrendering his lead to Erik Ansell with Rod Baker level on 184 with Steve. Erik adds Roseate Tern plus Marsh Harrier and Wood Sandpiper with Rod only connecting with the Rosy. Steve Nuttall added three points consisting of Pied Flycatcher and Barn Owl.

Grasshopper Warbler - Richard Harbird
The only bonus points this month aside from at Collingham were also for a Great White Egret at Willington GPs for Mark Gash. Ben Ward added a Wood Sandpiper at Whisby, and at Marston Sewage Works there was Turtle Dove, Yellow-legged Gull and Egyptian Goose for Dave Roberts. Grasshopper Warbler was new for Richard Harbird and as were Whinchat and Redstart for Rob Swift. Andrew Chick had a Turtle Dove in his garden whilst Jack Bradbury had a Hobby hunting Swifts over the 'toxic pool'.  

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Inland South Minileague - July 2016

Stephanie Brown added just a point in July for Common Sandpiper but it is more than enough to keep her clear at the top of the comparative minileague on 120%. Richard Scantlebury makes no further progress this time out and stays in second and Ian Bennell is also staic in third place although both are over the 100% mark. Tom Stevenson jumps in to fourth spot and is a shade under the magic 100% climbing three places this time.

Brendan Sheils jumps to the top of the minileague having submitted his first score of the year at Trent Manor Farm. He supplants perennial leader, Tom Raven who isn't a million miles off his comparative score although there was no update for July (it seems plenty of inland birders have had a quiet month). And as we know Ian Bennell hasn't updated this time out either so he remains on 148 points, 16 behind our new leader.

Roger Murfitt managed the only bonus points of the month with Great White Egret providing him with a handy 6 points. Other good bits include a patch lifer for Tim Farr at Sutton Bingham in the form of a Black Redstart and similarly a Pied Flyctacher for Adam Bassett whilst not a first was notworthy at Little Marlow. Neil Burt is one of the lucky few to record Turtle Dove this year and in conjunction with Spotted Flycatcher as well. James McCulloch found an Arctic Tern amongst the Commons at Hedgecourt NR and a few people mentioned Med Gulls and Common Sandpipers. Its pretty quiet but not for long. We know there is a Yank Wader in August but who for and how many points?

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Coastal Ireland Minileague - July 2016

No change in the rankings at the top of the Coastal Ireland Comparative Minileague by the end of July where Noel Keogh continues his run in first pace with a comfortable lead from South Dublin Bay on 106.5%, Roseate Tern his latest addition.

Eleanor Keane in second also added Roseate Tern to her patch year list which now stands at 94.6% along the Killiney Hill to Dun Laoghaire coastline. Also well into the 90% bracket is Richard Donaghey in third who managed some #patchgold by finally nailing Moorhen for the Bann Estuary patch list, flushed from reeds at one of the local ringing sites (see the Causeway Coast Ringing Group blog for more).

Tacumshin continued to provide the megas since the last update and while he missed out on Greater Sand Plover and Pacific Golden Plover, Noel Keogh still managed to catch up with the Western Sandpiper and White-rumped Sandpiper found there during the month. Western Sand is a new addition to the overall PWC list since it began in 2013! This leaves Noel well ahead in the Coastal Ireland Points Minileague with 210 points from 146 species.

Christopher O'Sullivan added Little Ringed Plover, Mediterranean Gull and European Storm-petrel at Clonakilty/Inchydoney which sees him climb from sixth to fourth place there. This site will no doubt do very well as the autumn progresses.

Cathal Forkan had a good run in North Galway Bay with new additions including a fine breeding plumage Spotted Redshank, adult Mediterranean Gull, two Little Gulls, three Little Terns and a Great Skua. Continuing with the theme of good patch waders, Derek Polley recorded Wood Sandpiper at RSPB Belfast Harbour and a Curlew Sandpiper was an excellent addition to Julian Wyllie's year list at Baltimore.

Arctic Skua and Tree Sparrow awaited Tom Moore at Kilmore Quay while Keith Adams found three Long-eared Owls at Dunhill ecopark/Annestown/Boatstrand in Co. Waterford.

Spotted Redshank © Cathal Forkan 

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Inland Ireland Minileague - July 2016

July was another quiet month for the Inland Ireland Minileague with no change on the comparative table but on the points table we see some of the new contestants busy plugging away and adding well to their first year scores.

In third place on the points table, Christian Osthoff added flyover Curlew (a classic July species) and Kingfisher on the river at Carrigmore Co. Wicklow, bringing him up to his target of 70 species for the year. 

Ian Stevenson gets in with a June update this month which was a very productive time for him along the Grand Canal Way with Cuckoo, Yellowhammer and Kingfisher added. All fine species to see on the outskirts of the capital. 

Julian Wyllie updates his score from Skibbereen in West Cork which results in a tie in tenth place with Des Higgins at University College Dublin, both on 56 species and 59 points.

The first site breeding record of Tufted Duck was noted at Kilbogget Park, Co. Dublin © Niall T. Keogh

Wales Minileague - July 2016

July brings some movement near the top of the Wales Comparative Minileague table where a Great White Egret found by Julian Hughes at RSPB Conwy was only the second site record and allowed for some bonus points to bump his comp score past the 100% milestone and edge him just ahead of Alison C to take second place.

Great White Egret © Julian Hughes

Trevor Fletcher connected with a #fullfatpatchtick Hobby at Rudry Common and along with getting Crossbill in for the year saw him rise from eight to fourth pace with 96.5%. Well within reach of his target now.

Tony Swann is also doing well, with an eleventh to eight place move at Brynna Woods where some serious #patchgold came in the form of a Mute Swan (first for the site) as well as flyover Black-headed Gulls on passage. 

The Teifi duo of Richard Dobbins and Wendy James are back in first and second place together in the Wales Points Minileague after both connecting with Great White Egret, a difficult species to get in Pembrokeshire. Both are in the 140's in terms of species and Richard is topping the list at 183 points.

Mike Cram may be top of the comp table at Broughton and Llangennith but his second patch at Porthcawl to Rest Bay (which is in its first year of PWC) produced a fine seawatch on 10th July with 1952 Manx Shearwaters in 3 hours along with an Arctic Skua and best of all, a Leach's Storm-petrel to boot! 

A Little Egret was the first patch year tick in 9 weeks for Alastair Flannagan at Swansea Vale to Fendrod Lake, a Redstart was the first on site in two years at Comeston, Sully and Lavernock for Ceri Jones and a Sandwich Tern at Cardiff Bay was the only notable sighting for Peter Howlett who is currently riding out a quiet spell at his patch. Hopefully August will bring the goods for the hard working patchers here! 

The contribution to BirdTrack in the Wales Minileague has now surpassed 2,100 complete lists and 47,000 records!