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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, 30 November 2020
Monday, 23 November 2020
Damp and blustery has been the theme for the majority of this period, with strong winds for the most part (gusting between 38mph and 56mph) apart from a few mornings and afternoons where the winds dropped to a moderate westerly/south-westerly – conditions which allowed for some more comfortable birding and of course, a trickle of migrants. Sunday the 22nd, however, was a glorious late-autumn day with barely a breeze throughout, warmer temperatures, some decent passage first thing and lots of very welcome sunshine.
Despite the foul weather and time of the year, there have been some real birding gems to behold throughout this period, one of which was a very unexpected Red-throated Pipit (not a bird you’d expect to find in a force 6/7 westerly) over Millcombe shortly after 08:00hrs on the 13th. Luckily the bird was very vocal as it flew overhead which, permitted a few wind-battered recordings as it made its way over the valley towards the South End. If accepted this will be the 12th record of this species for the island, the previous occurrence being one on 27 October 2017.
Another star bird of the period was a female Goosander fishing for Mirror Carp on Rocket Pole Pond on the 22nd. This was only the second record of this saw-billed duck for Lundy, the first seen 86 years ago by Felix Gade on the 17th December 1934. Thus, a true Lundy mega!
|Lundy's second Goosander in flight from Rocket Pole Pond, 22 Nov © Dean Jones|
|Male Black Redstart on the roof of Old House South, |
22 Nov © Dean Jones
Offshore, birds of note were a drake Common Scoter past Rat Island on the 12th and six birds (two drakes and four ducks) on the 22nd, a Great Northern Diver sheltering and foraging in the Landing Bay from the 12th to the 15th (with a second bird passing Rat Island on the 15th), a Great Skua present offshore along the east on the 12th, two Mediterranean Gulls on the 13th and seven on the 22nd, three Common Gulls on the 13th and four on the 19th, a single Manx Shearwater on the 15th, and small numbers of Gannet, Shag and Kittiwake (max 70 birds on the 18th) along with auks offshore each day. Fulmar and Guillemot too have been periodically visiting their breeding ledges along the West Side.
|Great Northern Diver in the Landing Bay, 15 Nov © Dean Jones|
Furthermore, there have been singles of Sparrowhawk, Merlin and Kestrel terrorising the Starling flocks on a near daily basis, and small numbers of larks, thrushes and finches have continued to move south during the fairer weather – with Skylark logged most days (max 21 on the 22nd), Redwing on six days (max 21 on the 13th and 22nd), Fieldfare on three days (max 19 on the 13th) and small numbers of Chaffinch each day, with the exception of the 22nd when 68 flew south.
|Merlin taking a rest from chasing passage Starlings near Pondsbury, 21 Nov © Dean Jones|
|Female Teal sheltering from the winds on Barton Pond © John Lambert|
Friday, 20 November 2020
Thursday, 12 November 2020
A blustery start with the south-westerly winds becoming progressively stronger throughout the day (peak gusts of 57mph in mid-afternoon) – dry for most other than a few short-lived spells of drizzle in mid-afternoon.
A very tricky day's birding due to the strong winds. Sightings of note included five Teal on Pondsbury, a Water Rail in Millcombe, 12 Gannet, 266 Kittiwake off the east coast, a dark morph Arctic Skua, singles of Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, the Coal Tit for its 18th day (perhaps the bird will overwinter on the island), two Swallow, a Chiffchaff, four Blackcap, six Goldcrest, one Firecrest (ringed), two Redwing, seven Blackbird, one Song Thrush, 16 Meadow Pipit, 15 Rock Pipit (which included a group of 13 at the North End), a Grey Wagtail in Millcombe Pond, one Pied Wagtail, seven Goldfinch, four Chaffinch, and singles of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin.
|Song Thrush, St Helen's Copse, 1 Nov © Dean Jones|
A wet and very windy start to the day – thick mist and drizzle first thing coupled with winds from the north gusting over 60mph – the winds dropped away throughout the afternoon and into the evening which allowed for a small passage of Redwing over the Village (around two calls per minute before the rain set in).
Other than this brief spell of nocturnal passage, not much had changed on the island bird-wise compared to the previous day. The only real highlight from this stormy day was the reappearance of the female Bullfinch in Millcombe – her seventh day on the island.
Other birds logged included two Water Rail, eight Oystercatcher in flight past White Beach, a Snipe, 55 Kittiwake, one Black-headed Gull in the Landing Bay, singles of Kestrel and Sparrowhawk, a lone Swallow, the Coal Tit, four Blackcap, two Goldcrest, the ringed Firecrest, two Stonechat, ten Meadow Pipit, four Chaffinch, and three Goldfinch.
Non-avian sightings included a single Red Admiral on the wing in Millcombe.
Light showers, drizzle and moderate northerly winds throughout the early hours, picking up rapidly to gale force once again by 09:00hrs – a few squalls in the afternoon as the wind dropped away, falling light by the evening.
A bit more variety today, highlights being the female Bullfinch in Millcombe, a Great Skua past Rat Island shortly after 07:30hrs, a female/immature type Black Redstart on the Upper East Side Path, a Reed Bunting at Quarter Wall and a small arrival of Redwing (52) and Fieldfare (30).
Blackcap too were making their way through the island in decent numbers for early November, with 32 logged throughout the day (18 of which were trapped and ringed by Chris Dee). The biggest surprise of the day however came in the form of a late Whitethroat in Millcombe – only the second occurrence of this species on Lundy in the month of November, the first being on 5th Nov 1959 (the latest autumn date recorded).
Other birds logged included a Water Rail, 45 Kittiwake, a first-year Black-headed Gull in St Helen’s Field, singles of Kestrel, Merlin and Sparrowhawk, a lone Swallow, four Skylark, the Coal Tit, six Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest, the ringed Firecrest, 10 Blackbird, nine Song Thrush, five Stonechat, a Grey Wagtail, 15 Meadow Pipit, three Rock Pipit, 25 Chaffinch, a single Brambling, five Siskin, two Linnet and singles of Lesser Redpoll and Goldfinch.
|Record shot of the Whitethroat in Millcombe, 3 Nov © Dean Jones|
|Black-headed Gull, St Helen's Field, 3 Nov © Andy Jayne|
Non-avian sightings included a single Silver Y flushed form the bracken on the Lower East Side Path.
At last a change in winds! Instead of the relentless westerly gales, today the island was blessed with clear skies and a slight north-easterly wind which allowed for some superb passage during the first few hours of daylight.
|A glorious autumn sunrise from Millcombe, 4 Nov © Dean Jones|
The title of star bird however went to a first-winter Iceland Gull which flew over Quarry Beach with two first-winter Herring Gulls in mid-afternoon. Additional highlights included a Woodlark (the fourth to be recorded this year) over Millcombe, a Lesser Whitethroat at Quarter Wall, a Garden Warbler trapped and ringed in Millcombe, a Lapland Bunting on Ackland’s Moor, a Reed Bunting at Pondsbury, a total of four Mistle Thrush, at least six Brambling and 10 Mediterranean Gulls offshore.
|One of the hundreds of Chaffinch logged on the island in Millcombe, 4 Nov © Dean Jones|
|Mistle Thrush, Barton Field, 4 Nov © Dean Jones|
|Collared Dove in the morning light, Millcombe, 4 Nov © Dean Jones|
Another spectacular late autumn day complete with clear skies, warm temperatures, a slight easterly wind and, of course, some superb visual migration!
|Jenny's Cove on a glorious afternoon out west, 5 Nov © Dean Jones|
Additional highlights were a male Great Spotted Woodpecker making his way along the fence posts in Barton Field, a Lapland Bunting near Pondsbury, a single Ring Ouzel in with the Blackbirds first thing, at least seven Woodcock flushed in various places around the island throughout the morning, the female Bullfinch again in Millcombe, and two Reed Bunting south of Pondsbury.
|One of the many Redwing logged today, Barton Field, 5 Nov © Dean Jones|
Other sightings of note included three Teal, two Snipe, a Merlin, two each of Water Rail, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, one Woodpigeon, three Common Gull, one Mediterranean Gull, 22 Skylark, four Swallow and House Martin, 11 Blackcap, one Chiffchaff, five Goldcrest, two Firecrest, the Coal Tit, 4,750 Starling, 10 Robin, four Stonechat, 21 Meadow Pipit, five Pied Wagtail, one fly-over Grey Wagtail, five Brambling, 17 Goldfinch, four Lesser Redpoll and three Linnet.
Birds trapped and ringed were 33 Redwing , six Blackbird, seven Blackcap, one Lesser Redpoll, two Goldcrest and a Goldfinch.
A dry day with clear skies throughout and moderate easterly winds first thing, picking up to a strong and chilly east/south-east wind by noon – a sad day all-in-all as the island went into a second lockdown which will continue for a least four weeks.
Despite the easterly winds there wasn’t much in the way of visual migration first thing other than a small number of thrushes, namely Redwing (66), Fieldfare (15), Song Thrush (10) and a handful of Blackbird.
Other sightings were two Sparrowhawk, singles of Kestrel and Woodpigeon, 10 Kittiwake, one Mediterranean Gull, six Skylark, one Swallow, two Chiffchaff (including one pale abietinus type bird), two Goldcrest, one Firecrest, 13 Chaffinch, one Siskin and two each of Goldfinch and Linnet.
|A Kestrel resting after a meal, Millcombe, 6 Nov © Dean Jones|
Strong east/south-east winds in the morning gradually dropped away throughout the day – clear with sunny spells for most of the morning – becoming overcast later in the day.
A slightly quieter day with most of the birds hiding away from the stiff and chilly easterlies. Highlights included the Lapwing for its second day on Ackland's Moor, a single Woodcock in Millcombe and a nice scattering of Redwing (123) and Fieldfare (17) across the in-fields.
Other excitement was news of three tagged Atlantic Grey Seals (animals that had been rescued, rehabilitated and released, each with a flipper tag) which were photographed on the island last year. Two were local animals which were picked up in Newquay, Cornwall and Dyfed, Wales and released in Cornwall and North Devon respectively after rehabilitation. The third seal however (orange flipper tag 083), photographed by both Dean Jones and Martin Thorne on the 27th Sep 2019 in the Devil’s Kitchen, had travelled much further. In fact, this animal was found injured and picked up in north-west France on 5th Mar 2016 and sent to the Océanopolis rehab centre in Brest, before being released in an area of Plouarzel on the 4th May 2016! Who knew that some of Lundy’s seals were coming from areas of mainland Europe? Incredible stuff! Special thanks to Kate Williams and the Cornwall Seal Group and Research Trust for sending on this amazing recovery.
A day of light south/south-easterly winds which picked up to a stiff SE by the evening – low sea mist surrounded the island first thing, enveloping us for a short period around 09:00hrs before clearing but remaining overcast for the rest of the day.
Sightings from a lovely day of Lundy birding included 22 Gannet, four Manx Shearwater offshore from the Landing Bay, three Golden Plover in Brick Field, two Lapwing together over Ackland's Moor, three Oystercatcher in the Devil’s Kitchen, two Woodcock, four Water Rail in Millcombe, 250 Kittiwake, eight Mediterranean Gulls, 15 Common Gull, 80 Herring Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a lone adult Black-headed Gull, 300 distant auks, the Millcombe Woodpigeon, singles of Kestrel and Sparrowhawk, one Skylark, 28 Redwing, 10 Blackbird, 28 Fieldfare, three Rock Pipit, two Blackcap, six Goldcrest, two Firecrest, the Coal Tit, four Stonechat, 72 Chaffinch, seven Goldfinch, two Siskin, a Lesser Redpoll, two Brambling, and a Reed Bunting next to the Old Hospital.
|Golden Plover in Brick Field, 8 Nov © Dean Jones|
Light/moderate south-easterly winds in the morning which swung around to the SW by late afternoon – a wet start to the day with numerous light showers and spells of drizzle – becoming dry but overcast in the afternoon.
With a mass exodus of birds overnight, today's birding had a distinctly wintery feel to it, with only a handful of migrants logged. These included a female Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, the Millcombe Woodpigeon, four Common Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull offshore, 32 Kittiwake, just 11 Redwing, eight Blackbird, three Song Thrush, singles of Blackcap and Chiffchaff, five Goldcrest, one Firecrest, the Coal Tit still, 38 Chaffinch, three Goldfinch and a Brambling.
A beautiful November day with sunshine, clear skies and a light WSW wind for most – becoming overcast by mid-afternoon as the winds picked up.
An even quieter day with a further exodus of migrants overnight (no Redwing or Fieldfare on the island today). Not much of note bird-wise unfortunately, though the fine autumn weather more than made up for the lack of birds. Sightings included a Firecrest in Millcombe, a lone Common Gull offshore, 30 Chaffinch and a scattering of Goldcrest, Goldfinch and Siskin.
A day of strong southerly winds which reached gale force by mid-morning – overcast for the most part give or take a few brief sunny spells and a few bouts of rain in mid-afternoon.
Report composed of sightings from Chris & Mandy Dee, Rosie Ellis, Andy Jayne, Dean Jones, Saeed Rashid and Matt Stritch.
Sunday, 1 November 2020
The winds rage on! A day of strong northerly winds gusting 40mph throughout – heavy rain in the early morning giving way to overcast and the odd sunny spell.
|Swell rolling into Lametry Bay, 26 Oct © Dean Jones|
Other birds of note were the hibernicus type Coal Tit, singles of Swallow, Chiffchaff and Firecrest, seven Goldcrest, nine Blackbird, one Fieldfare, four Song Thrush and six Redwing, two each of Grey and Pied Wagtail, 30 Chaffinch and two Siskin.
Another wet start to the day with frequent squalls in the morning and one or two heavy showers up until the afternoon – strong southerly winds first thing turning north by 09:00hrs – peak gusts 43mph.
Highlights from another reasonably quiet bird day were a male and female Bullfinch (it is incredible that some birds are still moving in these storms), the lingering Yellow-browed Warbler in Millcombe and a Great Northern Diver (the third to be logged so far this autumn) in the Landing Bay.
Other birds noted included four Teal on Pondsbury, two Manx Shearwater, a female Sparrowhawk, two Snipe, c1,000 Kittiwake offshore from the Landing Bay in the afternoon, two Razorbill and 20 other distant auks, the Coal Tit, three Swallow, four Firecrest, eight Goldcrest, 11 Blackbird, two Fieldfare, three Song Thrush, 10 Redwing, 14 Robin, eight Dunnock, one Grey Wagtail, four Meadow Pipit, 31 Chaffinch, and singles of both Brambling and Siskin.
Bouts of heavy rain throughout the morning, turning cloudy with the odd sunny spell by the afternoon – strong north/westerly winds throughout, peaking at 57mph just before noon.
The hefty winds and frequent downpours made for another tricky day's birding up top, therefore the sea got most of the attention today. Highlights were a first-winter Iceland Gull, a bird which was spotted flying past Rat Island by Justin Zantboer from his cosy sea-watch window in Hamners. Also offshore from the Landing Bay were two Great Skua, three Mediterranean Gulls and two fly-by drake Common Scoters. The lingering Yellow-browed Warbler was still present in Millcombe.
Additional birds logged included a single Manx Shearwater, two Cormorant, a female Sparrowhawk, singles of Water Rail and Oystercatcher, 500 Kittiwake, two Lesser Black-backed Gull, ten Razorbill and 50 other distant auks, singles of both Kestrel and Merlin, the hibernicus type Coal Tit for a 14th day, two Swallow, two Chiffchaff, a lone Firecrest, five Goldcrest, seven Blackbird, one Song Thrush, four Redwing, 11 Robin, one Stonechat, nine Dunnock, two Grey Wagtail, 15 Meadow Pipit, four Rock Pipit, 20 Chaffinch, a male Greenfinch, four Siskin, and singles of Lesser Redpoll and Reed Bunting.
|Stonechat, Lower East Side Path, 28 Oct © Dean Jones|
40mph winds from the north first thing which switched WSW and steadily gathered pace in the afternoon until the evening – peak gusts 50mph at 22:00hrs – a drier day with the odd spell of drizzle.
Highlights included two Lapland Bunting feeding outside Paradise Row briefly in the morning, a Snow Bunting at the North End, a lone Black Redstart in the Landing Bay and a Great Northern Diver offshore.
Other sightings were a female Sparrowhawk, a Water Rail in Smelly Gully, two Oystercatcher, two Lesser Black-backed Gull, a Merlin, singles of Swallow, Stonechat and Chiffchaff, two Goldcrest, seven Blackbird, a Grey Wagtail, 25 Chaffinch, one Goldfinch and 16 Siskin.
Strong south-westerly/westerly winds first thing – peak gusts of 44mph – dropping away to a very light breeze come the afternoon which spurred on a brief spell of finch and pipit passage. Drizzle and thick mist until 11:30hrs – becoming overcast but dry up until 16:00hrs when the rains returned – heavy downpours throughout the evening.
Highlights included a female Bullfinch in Millcombe (no sign of the male) and a fly-over Snow Bunting at Halfway Wall (more than likely the same bird noted by Dave Fairhurst at the North End the previous day).
Other birds logged: two Water Rail, 21 Kittiwake, two Lesser Black-backed Gull, a Merlin, one Skylark, three Chiffchaff, seven Blackcap, 11 Goldcrest, nine Blackbird, two Song Thrush, 30 Redwing, 25 Robin, two Stonechat, 14 Dunnock, one Grey Wagtail, 20 Meadow Pipit, 40 Chaffinch, 20 Goldfinch, 46 Siskin, six Linnet and singles of both Brambling and Lesser Redpoll.
|Peregrine looking out for a meal in the gloomy afternoon light, East Side, 30 Oct © Dean Jones|
Heavy rain first thing giving way to drizzle up until 9:00hrs – sunshine becoming overcast by the mid-afternoon – very strong south-westerly winds in the morning gusting 55mph which shifted to the west and dropped slightly by late morning.
Highlights were the lingering Snow Bunting, this time on the main track near the Old Hospital, and the reappearance of the hibernicus type Coal Tit in Millcombe.
Other birds logged included singles of Merlin and Sparrowhawk, 110 Kittiwake offshore, three Lesser Black-backed Gull, two Swallow, four Blackcap, one Chiffchaff, four Goldcrest, a Firecrest on the Terrace, two Stonechat, the Millcombe Pond Grey Wagtail, 13 Chaffinch and singles of Siskin and Linnet.
Report composed of sightings from Rob Duncan, Dave Fairhurst, Dean Jones and Dan, Ellie & Justin Zantboer.
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
|MS Oldenburg departs a sun-kissed Landing Bay with her final passengers of 2020, 23 Oct © Dean Jones|
Night of 14th – 15th October (20.08–06.42 hrs)
Redwing 104 calls
Song Thrush 5 calls
Skylark 2 calls
Grey Heron 2 calls
Blackbird 1 call
Robin 1 call
Manx Shearwater 1 bout of calling at 23.36 hrs
Oystercatcher 1 call
Night of 15th – 16th October (20.29–06.43 hrs)
Redwing 62 calls
Song Thrush 2 calls
Blackbird 1 call
Sika Deer (this animal was probably not overflying the Castle, given that there were still more than two months to go before Christmas)
Night of 16th – 17th October (20.11–07.11 hrs)
Redwing 13 calls only (in line with the much-reduced numbers of Redwings seen by day on 17th)
Skylark 6 calls (just before first light at 06.55 hrs)
Blackbird 2 calls
Manx Shearwater 1 bout of calling at 01.30 hrs
MOORHEN 1 call at 21.40 hrs (see spectrogram below) – very much a Lundy rarity, being the first for the island since 2009! No doubt others fly through at night completely undetected...
Sika Deer (very vocal, giving their strange, wailing, diver-like call)
|The distinctive spectrogram of a calling Moorhen, 16-17 Oct|
Monday, 26 October 2020
Dean Jones brings us up to date with an eight-day roundup of all that's been happening on Lundy.
A glorious autumnal day! Light south-easterlies and beautiful sunshine for most – becoming overcast for a few hours in the late afternoon but clearing again in the evening – conditions which allowed for some superb star-gazing!
A rich and diverse day of Lundy birding with numerous star birds including a very vocal first-year Red-breasted Flycatcher at the back of Quarter Wall Copse in the afternoon – the second record of this species for 2020 following a bird found by Paul Holt in the same area on 6th October.
|Red-breasted Flycatcher, Quarter Wall Copse, 18 Oct © Dean Jones|
|Cetti's Warbler, Millcombe, 18 Oct © Dean Jones|
The male and female Great Spotted Woodpeckers remained for their fourth day and a total of four Firecrest were scattered across Millcombe and the east coast.
Other birds logged included eight Mallard, ten Gannet, two Water Rail, a male Sparrowhawk, two Kestrel, a single Merlin, six Kittiwake, eight Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 44 Swallow, seven House Martin, five Chiffchaff, 17 Blackcap, six Goldcrest, 180 Starling, 19 Blackbird, 33 Redwing, 14 Song Thrush, 66 Fieldfare, 180 Starling, 22 Robin, three Stonechat, 12 Dunnock, two Coal Tit (including the lingering hiburnicus type), singles of Grey Wagtail and alba wagtail, ten Meadow Pipit, 83 Chaffinch, seven Siskin, six Goldfinch, two each of Linnet and Greenfinch and a single Lesser Redpoll.
Ringing totals: one Cetti’s Warbler, two Yellow-browed Warbler, 15 Blackcap, six Chiffchaff, one Firecrest, two Goldcrest, one Wren, two Redwing, two Blackbird, three Robin, one Greenfinch (36 birds of 11 species).
Non-avian sightings included a Humming-bird Hawkmoth in Millcombe.
Light south-easterly wind first thing, picking up to a strong SSE wind by the evening – peak gusts 46mph – clear skies and sunshine for most of the day, becoming overcast in mid-afternoon – heavy rain just before midnight.
A much quieter bird day, with the light winds and clear skies on the night of the 18th allowing for a mass exodus of migrants overnight. Despite the reasonably birdless start to the day, Rob Duncan continued to man the mist-nets in Millcombe. Thankfully he did, as by the late morning Rob was rewarded with a superb Little Bunting in one of the Secret Garden nets. This is the 21st record of Little Bunting for the island (of which eight now have been trapped and ringed), with the last being found on 23rd October 2019. Bravo Rob!
|Little Bunting, Millcombe, 19 Oct © Dean Jones|
Ringing totals: one Little Bunting, one Blackcap, one Chiffchaff, four Goldcrest, one Dunnock, six Chaffinch and one Goldfinch (15 birds of seven species).
A day of overcast skies, brief sunny spells and a strong SSW wind throughout.
Unsurprisingly the strong winds made birding rather difficult and had most of the birds on the island hidden out of sight in vegetation.
Highlights from this wild day included the male Great-spotted Woodpecker in Millcombe (no sign of the female), a Black Redstart in the Landing Bay and more scarce gull excitement along the east with a total of 29 Mediterranean Gull logged – the highest single count for Lundy on what is becoming an increasingly common species around the island.
Other birds logged included a single Kestrel, 14 Common Gull, 30 Herring Gull, six Lesser Black-backed Gull, three Kittiwake, singles of Chiffchaff and Blackcap, five Goldcrest, one Firecrest, 13 Chaffinch, two Goldfinch, four Siskin and one Linnet.
A light westerly breeze in the morning, picking up slightly around 13:00hrs, swinging WNW – drizzle first thing, clearing up for a few hours in mid-morning, then drizzle for the rest of the day – heavy showers in late afternoon.
Today’s highlight was the reappearance of the White’s Thrush in Millcombe after remaining hidden in the Valley for three days! The bird was seen by Rob Duncan at around 14:00hrs flying up from the path just below the Casbah, perching briefly on a low branch in a tree before flying up the Valley. The other highpoint included yet another Yellow-browed Warbler trapped and ringed.
|Yellow-browed Warbler, Millcombe, 21 Oct © Dean Jones|
Ringing totals included the Yellow-browed Warbler, six Blackcap, one Robin, one Redwing, 12 Chaffinch, three Siskin and one Goldfinch (25 birds of seven species).
Another glorious, sunny autumn day on Lundy – light north-westerly winds first thing, slacking off to a light westerly breeze by late morning.
A superb day full of migrants! As dawn approached, the calls of Redwing and Chaffinch filled the air, with multiple small flocks moving south overhead up until 10:15hrs or so. Blackcap and Stonechat too were passing in decent numbers, with 59 and 26 birds logged throughout the day respectively.
The day's highlight however was once again the White’s Thrush which, instead of lurking in the undergrowth like it usually does, spent much of the morning feeding on the more open paths, for example next to Government House, and flying around the Valley, allowing multiple superb in-flight views.
Other notable birds included a very showy Woodlark above Benjamin’s Chair, a total of five Yellow-browed Warbler in Millcombe and along the east coast, a female Crossbill which dropped into the pines at the top of Millcombe in the afternoon, a Short-eared Owl which was flushed by the culling team next to Pondsbury in the afternoon, two Mistle Thrush south over the Valley first thing and a late Reed Warbler was trapped and ringed in Millcombe.
|Woodlark, Benjamin's Chair, 22 Oct © Dean Jones|
|Female Chaffinch on Tillage Field wall – one of the many logged on the island today, 22 Oct © Dean Jones|
Non-avian sightings included a Harbour Porpoise off South West Point, a Small Copper butterfly on the Lower East Side Path and a Silver Y in Millcombe.
Strong northerly winds in the morning dropping away by 11:00hrs – in mid-afternoon the winds slowly gathered pace again, blowing a gale by late evening – dry and cloudy for the most part other than a bout of heavy rain for around an hour or so shortly after 09:00hrs.
A much quieter day compared to the 22nd, though there were still some great birds to be enjoyed by the last of the season’s day-trippers.
Highlights were another unringed Yellow-browed Warbler in Millcombe, a good candidate for Siberian (tristis) Chiffchaff and a Garden Warbler, both of which were tapped and ringed in the afternoon.
Other birds logged included a young Cormorant on Rocket Pole Pond, singles of Merlin and Kestrel, two Skylark, seven Swallow, one House Martin, 32 Blackcap, two Chiffchaff, five Goldcrest, a lone Firecrest, the hiburnicus type Coal Tit, 69 Redwing, 11 Blackbird, three Song Thrush, five Fieldfare, nine Robin, four Stonechat, the feathered remains of a Common Redstart next to the Quarries, five Dunnock, 12 Meadow Pipit, a Grey Wagtail, 37 Chaffinch, 27 Siskin and ten Goldfinch.
|A Merlin looking for some lunch in Barton Field, 23 Oct © Dean Jones|
|A beautiful thrush-filled sunset to end a superb day's birding, Quarter Wall, 23 Oct © Dean Jones|
Strong westerly/north westerly winds throughout – thick cloud and frequent downpours throughout the day.
Another quiet day on the bird front which wasn’t unexpected due to the wet and very windy weather. Highlights included the White’s Thrush again near the Casbah in Millcombe in the early evening.
Other birds logged were the Cormorant, again on Rocket Pole Pond, singles of Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Merlin, 67 Kittiwake, ten Mediterranean Gull and one Common Gull offshore, four Swallow, a single Blackcap, four Goldcrest, 20 Robin, a Black Redstart in the Landing Bay area, three Stonechat, seven Dunnock, three Grey Wagtail, four Redwing, seven Blackbird, two Song Thrush, 27 Chaffinch, 23 Linnet and two Siskin.
The strong north-westerly winds continued – cloudy with sunny spells and a number of heavy downpours and hailstorms – conditions which produced some beautiful cloud formations and rainbows.
|A rainbow shines through a hailstorm over the Village, 25 Oct © Dean Jones|
Other birds noted were the Cormorant, again on Rocket Pole Pond, two Water Rail, two Snipe (one of which was trapped and ringed in Brick Field in the evening), 60 Kittiwake, two each of Skylark and Swallow, a single Blackcap, two Firecrest and a handful of Goldcrest, the hiburnicus type Coal Tit, 10 Robin, three Grey Wagtail, four Redwing, five Blackbird, two Song Thrush, 20 Chaffinch, three Goldfinch and three Siskin.