About this page...

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, 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.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

20th August – a small influx, including first Tree Pipit of 'autumn'

Overnight on 19th/20th, 14 adult Manx Shearwaters were trapped at the Old Light colony, whilst the morning of 20th brought a single Tree Pipit, nine Swallows, a Whitethroat, three Willow Warblers, a Grasshopper Warbler and a Rook (the Rook!) before the rain set in...

Saturday, 19 August 2017

18th & 19th August – updated

During the night of Thu 17th/Fri 18th Richard & Rebecca Taylor braved wind and showers to ring 30 Manx Shearwaters at the Tibbetts colony; all but one were adults. They also handled two retraps, one of which was originally ringed at the Old Light colony.

Daytime sigthings on 18th included: the Rook, one Chiffchaff, two Willow Warblers, a Sedge Warbler and two Goldcrests.

During the night of Fri 18th/Sat19th: Tony, Richard & Rebecca ringed a further 15 Manxies along the South End, including three chicks, two of which were on the point of fledging.

There were no new arrivals on 19th, but the Marsh Harrier was still present.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

16th & 17th August

Tony Taylor, Richard & Rebecca Taylor and Dean Jones visited the Old Light Manx Shearwater colony during the night of 15th/16th, and ringed one chick and seven adults. They also retrapped six shearwaters ringed on Lundy in previous years, including two ringed as chicks in 2005 and 2013 respectively. During the day on 16th, sightings included three Teal, the Marsh Harrier, a Green Sandpiper, the long-staying Rook, and single Willow Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher. Two Chiffchaffs and two Goldcrests were ringed.

Thursday 17th proved to be a quiet day, with the more notable sightings involving 7 Cormorants migrating south, the Rook, one Blackcap, one Goldcrest and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

28 July to 15 August – Seawatching and early autumn migration highlights

Warden Dean Jones has managed to fit in some early morning and evening seawatching during the recent run of unsettled weather, recording some impressive numbers and the odd scarcity. Migration of raptors, waders, gulls and landbirds is also underway, with several 'Lundy rarities' putting in recent appearances.


3rd August 06.30–08.30 hrs, from SW Point

Manx Shearwater 538
Storm Petrel 1
Gannet 145
Shag 5
Kittiwake 19

5th August 18.30 hrs onwards, from North End

Manx Shearwater 10,000+ (all moving N, apart from a rafting flock of c.1,100 birds)
Gannet 100+
Shag 30
Great Skua 1 (in pursuit of Gannets, trying to to force them to regurgitate fish...)

Also at least 5 Storm Petrels coming into their burrows at around half-past midnight, in spite of a full moon.

6th August 06.30–10.00 hrs, from North End

Fulmar 13
Sooty Shearwater 1
Manx Shearwater 1,121
Gannet 136
Great Skua 1 or 2, harrying Kittiwakes
Puffin 1 (likely to be the last record for the year from the island) 
Kittiwake 127

Dean picked out the Sooty Shearwater sitting on the water as he watched "a spectacular mixed species feeding frenzy that started around 7.30am, with numerous Gannets and Manx Shearwaters diving for prey." After 10 minutes or so, the Sooty Shearwater flew off to the east with Manxies.

9th August 07.00–10.00 hrs, from North End

Fulmar 13 
Manx Shearwater 639
Gannet 124
Shag 74
Razorbill 4
Guillemot 1
Kittiwake 86

Also Harbour Porpoise 6

Other notable records from 28 July to 15 August (mainly migrants and post-breeding dispersal):

Little Egret – one in the Devil's Kitchen and Landing Bay area on 13 & 14 Aug (Dean Jones & Zoë Barton)
Marsh Harrier – juvenile on 7 Aug and daily from 9th to 13th (Dean Jones & Zoë Barton et al.)
Ringed Plover – one on 3 & 4 Aug
Whimbrel – singles on 2 & 15 Aug
Turnstone – one in Landing Bay on 29 Jul (Dean Jones)
Common Sandpiper – one on Rat Island on 13 Aug (Dean Jones, Rob & Sue Waterfield)
Guillemot – two on 12 Aug
Black-headed Gull – three juveniles on Rat Island on 13 Aug (Dean Jones)
Woodpigeon – seven on 12 Aug 
Collared Dove – three on 7 & 8 Aug
Swift – one on 31 Jul
Kestrel – singles on 29 Jul and 3 & 4 Aug
Sand Martin – up to three on six dates, 29 Jul to 15 Aug
Willow Warbler – higher counts were six on 4 & 8 Aug and 13 on 12 Aug
Blackcap – singles on 8 & 13 Aug
Whitethroat one on 6 Aug,  two on 7th and one on 13th
Reed Warbler – one on 7 Aug (Dean Jones)
Spotted Flycatcher – two juvs along the Terrace on 4 Aug, two in Millcombe on 12 Aug
Linnet – 100+ on 6 Aug
Crossbill – a juvenile in Millcombe on 10 Aug (R.M.R. James)

In addition, three Sunfish were seen from the island on 6 Aug (Emily Trapnell & Mike Jones), while Tony Taylor and Richard & Rebecca Taylor saw 5 Storm Petrels and good numbers of Guillemot adult-and-chick twosomes from MS Oldenburg on the crossing from Ilfracombe on 15th.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

27th & 28th July sea-watches

Lundy Warden Dean Jones reports a good sea-watch on the morning of 27th July: “No scarce tubenoses or skuas but around 300+ Manx Shearwaters, 23 Gannets and a handful of Shags and Kittiwakes. Watching the Manxies pass through the stormy sea was breathtaking.”

Dean got out again twice on 28th. The morning’s attempt was thwarted by heavy bouts of rain and mist. As Dean says: “There really isn’t much shelter on the SW point in a Force 7 oncoming wind!” However, a combination of a brief morning watch and an afternoon watch produced some 300 Manx Shearwaters, most of which were moving west, 80 Gannets, a single Fulmar and Guillemot and eight Kittiwakes. In addition, Dean had some amazing views of a Storm Petrel very close in off the South End in the afternoon. “I was able to follow the bird for a few minutes as it navigated the towering swell – definitely the highlight of all the birding I’ve done so far on Lundy; a spectacular show it was!”

Dean also had “some smashing views of five Harbour Porpoises feeding in the SW races in the afternoon, and in the morning a pod of 15 Common Dolphins which included two small calves. One of them was way in front of the rest of the pod, launching itself from the swell, seemingly loving life”.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

17th to 25th July – including successful breeding by Spotted Flycatchers

Dean Jones has scoured the Lundy Field Society logbook for the latest July records from the island. As Dean says, "there have been some really nice birds about of late". Along with a Marsh Harrier, perhaps the best news is of successful breeding by a pair of Spotted Flycatchers for the first time since 1997.

Storm Petrel – two on 3rd July seen offshore from the Oldenburg near Bull Point (Martin Thorne) and one on  25th again from the Oldenburg but much closer to Lundy, about 20 minutes out from the island (Dean Jones).
Cormorant – three on 23rd.
Little Egret – one on 23rd (Mike Thurner).
Whimbrel – one on 18th.
Curlew – one over Rat Island on the evening of 25th.
Black-headed Gull – a single 2nd-year bird in the Landing Bay on 25th (Dean Jones).
Cuckoo – singles on (Martin Thorne) and 24th (Philip & Helen Lymbery).
Swift – four on 17th, one on 18th and three on 24th.
Marsh Harrier – seen on a few occasions from North End to the South Light on 23rd & 24th (Philip and Helen Lymbery) and possibly also on 22nd, though noted in the logbook as a female Hen Harrier but with no supporting text or observer name.
Kestrel – one on 23rd & 24th.
Merlin – one on 23rd, normally a very rare summer visitor on Lundy (Martin Thorne).
Rook – the long-staying bird was near the Quarters pig pen on 23rd (Philip & Helen Lambery).
Swallows & Sand Martins – small numbers on most days.
Willow Warbler – five on 17th, seven on 23rd, three on 24th and one on 25th.
Sedge Warbler – one on 17th and one on 23rd.
Spotted Flycatcher – three fledged young being fed by parents in Quarter Wall Copse on 17th (Dean Jones).
Goldfinch – 12 on 25th, ten of which were juveniles.

With wet and windy weather on 26th July and more of the same forecast for the morning of 27th, Dean is contemplating a sea-watch from the south-west. Watch this space!