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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, 15 January 2019

8th to 14th Jan – A beguiling whiff of spring...

Herewith the latest update from Dean: 

“We’ve been very lucky again weather wise as the mild winter conditions continued for the majority of last week. This lovely weather coupled with the first flowering Primrose below Quarter Wall Copse and a Red Admiral on the wing in Millcombe on 14th gave the island an early spring feel rather than a period in the middle of winter. The only exception to this mild weather was on the weekend, when we were hit with some burly westerlies and colder temperatures.

Again seawatching has provided most of the excitement, especially coming into the end of the week as the great visibility and flat-calm seas allowed fantastic views of hundreds of feeding Kittiwake (631 on the 10th) from the Ugly as well as near daily records of Common Gull (two on the 10th, three on the 11th, one on the 13th & 14th). I’ve also been treated to a number of Mediterranean Gulls this week (three on the 9th, singles on 10th & 14th), as well as six Common Scoter on the 8th, a pod of 10 Common Dolphin on the 10th and a few Harbour Porpoise (possibly the same mother and calf seen on a number of occasions). Unfortunately there have been no further sightings of the Great Northern Diver in the Landing Bay since the 8th but there have been up to nine Red-throated Divers recorded every day since the last post.

Continuing the seabird theme, there has also been lots of Guillemot activity on ledges throughout the week (Grant Sherman) and lots of other auks (mostly Razorbill) feeding offshore from the Landing Bay every day (ca.800 auk spp on the 10th).

Other highlights away from the sea include 25 Lesser Black-backed Gulls roosting on Pondsbury along with seven Teal (three drakes & four ducks) on the 13th. 

A Kestrel has also been seen daily, hunting around the Castle Parade, and the Sparrowhawk was present in Millcombe until the 11th at least within the Millcombe area, as well as the single Woodpigeon on the 14th.

Up to three Chiffchaff have been recorded, including a good candidate for the Siberian race (see photos below), though the bird has been way too busy feeding to call yet, which would clinch the ID. There have also been some good numbers of wintering Goldcrest (max seven on the 13th) spread over the east sidelands and Millcombe.

The best of the rest include a single Pied Wagtail on the 11th, small numbers of Redwing (three on 10th) and Song Thrush (up to two daily) in Millcombe and not forgetting the female Great Spotted Woodpecker seen/heard right up until the 14th.”

Potential 'Siberian' Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita tristis, Millcombe, 14 Jan 2019 © Dean Jones
Potential 'Siberian' Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita tristis, Millcombe, 14 Jan 2019 © Dean Jones

Dean's updates so far this month have mentioned unusually high (though not entirely unprecedented) numbers of wintering Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs, perhaps as a result of the generally mild and quiet weather. It's also interesting that Red-throated Divers are being seen in some numbers again, as was the case from January onwards last winter. With colder conditions predicted over the next few weeks, will we see a change of cast?

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