Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Wales Minileague - December 2016

A comfortable first place lead for Mike Cram through much of the second half of the year kept him there all the way up to New Year's Eve by which stage his position at the top of the Wales Comparative Minileague was due to an impressive 144.94%! (the second highest in the whole of the UK and Ireland)

Mike rounded off his year at Broughton and Llangennith with the following comments... "Just one visit [in December] yielding a Red-breasted Merganser to close of a fantastic year. If it is not enough to clinch the British Comparative League then well done to whoever pips me! I never imagined doing this well and shows what you can do if you really focus on an under-watched patch and learn how to get the best out of it. Although a Great White Egret was the best scoring bird for me with 6 points, the best bird personally for me was clearly the superb pair of Black Redstart that dropped in to the caravan park for a few days."

That pretty much sums up the essence of PWC!

The battle for RSPB Conwy finished up with Henry Cook boasting the higher species and points tally but Julian Hughes with the higher comp score. Julian claims second place in the Wales Comparative Minileague for the year after adding some #patchgold Treecreeper (only his second for the reserve) in December.

Henry stays in third and Trevor Fletcher remains in fourth at Rudry Common while Peter Howlett moves up to fifth by the end of the year after adding Gadwall at Cardiff Bay. No less than 13 of the 20 contestants in the Wales Comparative Minileague finished the year by reaching or surpassing their 100% target.

A fine male Black Redstart at Cardiff Bay (c) Peter Howlett

A duo of Slavonian Grebe and Black-throated Diver made for a fine finish to the year for Richard Dobbins at Teifi, where he remained in first place on the Points Minileague table with 211 points. Richard has set the bar high for his first year of comparative patching in 2017 but no doubt the challenge will be met head on!

The rest of the top five were busy in the final month of the year and ended up well into the 190 points bracket. Paul Roberts holds on to second place with 199 points while David Carrington moved up from fifth to third with Bittern, Black Redstart and Jack Snipe at Sker and Kenfig during the final month.

Waxwings showed up at Llysfaen for Chris Jones and Rhyl for Alex Jones while a Yellow-browed Warbler made for a fine end to the year at Brynna Woods for Tony Swann.

And finally, the BirdTrack stats from this most active and hardworking of minileagues comes to a staggering 80,839 records from 3,754 complete lists! While both Alastair Flannagan and Ceri Jones contributed a huge amount of the lists and records to this tally, there was plenty of solid effort from other patches too so a round of applause must go out to all who got involved! 

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