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This page is run by volunteer contributors as a source of news for everyone interested in the birds of Lundy, in the Bristol Channel, UK.
If you have news to report, please consider signing up as a contributor or send in your sightings here.
See also the companion website The Birds of Lundy for comprehensive updates to the 2007 book of the same name.
Bird recording and ringing on Lundy are coordinated by the Lundy Field Society and general information about visiting the island can be found here.

Monday, 18 September 2017

16th &17th September

Chris Dee reports for Saturday 16th: "Plenty of Blackcaps, 1 Whinchat (ringed), 5 Stonechat, small numbers of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest. Decent hirundine passage."

For Sunday 17th: "25 Blackcap, 10 Chiffchaff, 1 Ring Ouzel (ringed), 1 Pied Flycatcher, 25 House Martin, 3 Cormorant. 25 Gannet with c.50 Common Dolphin off the Battery."

Thursday, 14 September 2017

27th August–12th September, including a Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Lundy Warden Dean Jones reports some rather nice birding of late, with the highlight being a Buff-breasted Sandpiper on the airfield on 11th and 12th September. The bird was first seen by Mark Wolden who was over with the Natural England team ringing Manx Shearwaters – though unfortunately they didn’t get out much due to the poor weather conditions! The sandpiper was also seen by Dean, Peter Slader, Tim Frayling, Vicky Gilson, and Dean caught up with it again the next morning before it disappeared.

John Duffy, Tim Adcock and Alan Rosney of Glamorgan Bird Club were on the island from 7th to 9th Sep; their highlights are included in the update below (thanks for your records, guys). They added a Great Skua to their trip list on the their way back to the mainland on the Oldenburg.

Aside from the Buff-breasted Sandpiper, notable records for the period 27th August to 12th September were:

Mallard – 11 on 8th Sep.
Gannet – good numbers on most days, with 40 on 8th Sep being the highest daily count.
Cormorant – good numbers on most days, seven the highest count, on 12th Sep.
Grey Heron – one on 5th Sep.
Water Rail – singles on 8th, 11th & 12th Sep.
Oystercatcher – 12 on 6th Sep.
Curlew: – a single on 1st Sep.
Woodpigeon – peaked at six on 31st Aug & 7th Sep.
Swift – a late bird on 11th Sep.
Merlin – one on 8th Sep and another near Quarry Cottages on 9th.
Marsh Harrier – seen a number of times up until 31st Aug.
Goldcrest – good numbers passing through, with 44 on 9th Sep the highest daily count since the last update.
Firecrest – one on 7th Sep.
Sand Martin – a single on 12th Sep.
Swallow – small numbers on most days, 23 on 9th Sep the highest daily count since the last update.
Chiffchaff – small numbers most days, 11 on 13th Sep the max count since the last update
Willow Warbler – two on 6th, one on 7th, one on 12th & one on 13th Sep.
Blackcap – like Goldcrest, some superb passage, including 60 on 10th & 12th Sep, with many ringed over the past few days.
Garden Warbler – four on 10th and one on 11th Sep.
Whitethroat: – two on 8th Sep.
Sedge Warbler – one on 7th Sep.
Grasshopper Warbler – one on 31st Aug.
Spotted Flycatcher – singles on a few days, three on 8th & 11th Sep.
Pied Flycatcher – six on 27th Aug, three on 3rd and one on 12th Sep.
Wheatear – ten on 8th Sep was the highest count of late.
Grey Wagtail – singles on 9th–12th Sep.
White Wagtail – two on 7th and one on 11th Sep; numerous other alba type wagtails have been over the past few days, including 28 on 30th Aug.
Tree Pipit – singles overhead on 30th Aug, 8th & 10th Sep.
Greenfinch – one on 8th Sep.
Linnet – 120 on 12th Sep was highest daily count since the last update.
Snow Bunting – a single bird on 11th & 12th Sep.

Many thanks for the update, Dean. All the best to you and Zöe for your well-deserved island-hopping trip to Croatia; hope you manage to see those Griffon Vultures!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

27th August – North End Dotterel

One of two juvenile Dotterels photographed at the North End
by David White and Alice Hasted on 27th August.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

26th August – Rose-coloured Starling & late(ish) Swifts

The night of 25th/26th saw 9 adult and 9 Manx Shearwater chicks ringed, whilst the oldest of the 16 adults retrapped was from 2006. Incidentally, a recent shearwater ringing recovery involved an adult ringed by Steve Wing on Lundy in 1996 and found dead (leg only) on the Pembrokeshire island of Skokholm in spring 2017. From the state of the remains, it was thought that the bird had probably died in 2016, but was still over 20 years old.

The main highlight of Saturday 26th August was a juvenile Rose-coloured Starling in Lower Millcombe from 12.00 to 13.30 hrs. It was feeding on the slopes below the Ugly and visiting the walled gardens around Millcombe Gates. Later on it was seen in St Helen's and Tillage Fields.

Other sightings included 3 ad & 2 juv Woodpigeons, 2 Swifts, the Rook, 2 Goldcrests, 20 Sand Martins, 200 Swallows, 2 Chiffchaffs, 40 Willow Warblers, 3 Blackcaps, 10 Whitethroats, 1 Reed Warbler, 30 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Pied Flycatchers, 6 Wheatears and a Tree Pipit calling in flight over Lower Millcombe. Finally, a Grey Heron, flying low over the sea towards Lundy, passed MS Oldenburg just five minutes out from the island on the return crossing to Bideford.

Friday, 25 August 2017

25th August – A compensatory Nightingale

On the night of 24th/25th, Richard & Rebecca Taylor, Rosie Hall and Warden Dean Jones visited the North End, where they caught 18 Storm Petrels (six of which were not sound-lured), including one bearing a ring from elsewhere and one carrying food. They also ringed 14 Manx Shearwater chicks and two adults.

Tony Taylor ringed a first-year Nightingale in Millcombe during the early morning of Friday 25th August, which, as he says, "was some compensation for missing a great night". Many regular Lundy birders will heartily agree as this is the first island record of Nightingale since one was ringed on 1 May 2010. Prior to that, one was seen one in St John's Valley in May 2005, whilst there were two  occurrences in 1996, in May and June respectively. This iconic, charismatic yet elusive species was a more regular passage visitor to Lundy in earlier decades of the twentieth century. Sadly, it became a real rarity as the UK breeding range contracted progressively towards the south-east, though doubtless some go undetected, given their typically skulking behaviour, especially in autumn. Tony's was the tenth Nightingale to be ringed on Lundy.

[NB this entry was updated on 29 August to include mention of the 2010 bird, inadvertently excluded from the original text.]

Thursday, 24 August 2017

22nd to 24th August – Night manoeuvres & daylight reconnaissance as migration gathers pace

At Old Light colony during the night of 21st/22nd, Tony, Richard & Rebecca caught 52 Manx Shearwaters, including 24 retraps, among them chicks ringed in 2007 & 2008. They also caught one Storm Petrel (not sound-lured) "with a big, bare brood patch".

The following night, 22nd/23rd, the team visited the gully north of Sunset Butress (W side of Ackland's Moor) and caught 26 new Manx Shearwaters and three retraps originally ringed in the same area from 2004 onwards. They caught another Storm Petrel, again with no lure and showing a good brood patch.

Movement during the day on Tuesday 22nd included a Buzzard, a few Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, single Garden Warbler, Whitethroat and Blackcap, and several Spotted Flycatchers.

Team Shearwater were out again at the Old Light colony on the night of 23rd/24th, when more chicks were starting to emerge. 17 new birds were ringed, along with 10 retrapped adults.

By day on Wednesday 23rd, migrants included 17 Cormorants, a Marsh Harrier, a Goldcrest, 41 Wilow Warblers, 4 Whitethroats, single Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Grasshopper Warbler and Sedge Warbler, 21 Wheatears, 55 Swallows, 20 Sand Martins, 12 Spotted Flycatchers, a Pied Flycatcher, a Tree Pipit and the long-staying Rook.

For Thursday 24th Tony reports "a nice tame Dotterel on the Airfield", seen earlier in the day by Alan & Sandra Rowland. Other notable sightings included single Turtle and Collared Doves, 9 Willow Warblers, single Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler, 30 Swallows, 8 Sand Martins and 4 Spotted Flycatchers.

Monday, 21 August 2017

21st August

The night of 20th/21st August saw Richard & Rebecca Taylor clambering about the slope above the Pyramid (West Side), where they caught 14 Manx Shearwaters, of which three were chicks and one had been ringed as a chick at the Old Light colony in 2013.

During the day on Monday 21st, Millcombe held a variety of late summer / early autumn migrants, including 2 Goldcrests, 7 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, 5 Spotted Flycatchers and a Tree Pipit.