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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.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Shearwater spectacular

The waters around Lundy were the focus for one of the teams deployed for today's Balearic Shearwater and Bottlenose Dolphin survey (#swsurvey) of the whole SW peninsula coordinated by RSPB and MARINElife. Seven surveyors (Annette Dutton, Dave Chown, James McCarthy, Kevin Bainbridge, Steve McAusland, Tim Davis & Tim Jones) left Ilfracombe this morning on Obsession II, with two of us being dropped off on the island to scan from land (taking over from island resident and Guillemot expert Grant Sherman, who covered the early shift), while others performed a series of pre-defined GPS transects at sea.

We didn't manage to find any Balearic Shearwaters, which seem not to reach the Bristol Channel until September or October, but an estimated 10–20,000 Manx Shearwaters gathered in a spectacular 'feeding frenzy' off the East Side in the early afternoon and six Bottlenose Dolphins (including a calf) were off the West Side, seen from Shutter Point. The team also had multiple sightings of Common Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises, while additional seabirds included Gannets, Kittiwakes, Shags, Fulmars, a few Common Terns, small numbers of Guillemots – some now sporting winter plumage – and (during one of the transects) a single Storm Petrel.

On the island, en route to and from our various seawatching points, we saw a Pied Flycatcher (Millcombe), one Sand Martin (Castle), 9 Cormorants (including a migrating flock of 8 heading south along the East Side), a Grey Heron (East Side), a Kestrel (South West Field) and a few Willow Warblers. But it was the amazing concentration of Manx Shearwaters that will live long in the memory. Thanks to Andrew Bengey, skipper of Obsession II, for a superb day.

The survey team at Ilfracombe (R–L): Kevin, Annette, Dave, Steve, James & Tim D
The team had the island surrounded!

2 comments:

  1. Great work Tim and thanks to all involved.
    I'm visiting Lundy this Saturday (22nd), hoping to see some of these species!
    Rick Morris (chair) MARINElife

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