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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.
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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, 25 February 2019

22nd to 25th Feb – Record-breaking Wheatear & Sand Martins

Dean Jones's sightings of a male Wheatear at Jenny's Cove and a Sand Martin at Pondsbury (the latter followed by a second bird quartering over South West Field!) during the morning of Sunday 24 Feb are the earliest Lundy records for either species – by 7 and 11 days respectively. Until this year, the long-standing earliest Wheatear date was 3 Mar 1940, whilst the earliest Sand Martin was 7 Mar 1983. With continuing unseasonable warmth forecast for another couple of days at least, will more records tumble?

Male Northern Wheatear at Jenny's Cove on the extraordinarily early date of 24 February! © Dean Jones

In other news since his last update, Dean writes:

"My afternoon sea-watches have become rather quiet since the last post now that the rafts of Red-throated Diver have seemingly moved on from the East Side (one bird on the 22nd & 25th). Kittiwake numbers on this side of the island have also dropped away to nothing, (perhaps due to the change in winds), though up to 70 birds have been seen periodically perched on their breeding ledges at Jenny’s Cove and St Mark's Stone along with some super numbers of auks. Other gulls of notes include 11 Common Gull feeding off the East coast on the 22nd.

The beautiful, warm spring weather has also spurred on a small passage of passerines over the past few days namely Linnet (4 on the 22nd), Chaffinch (7 on the 22nd), Siskin (1 on the 25th), Pied Wagtail (3 on the 23rd, 2 on the 24th), Grey Wagtail (1 on the 25th) and Stonechat (2 on the 24th). Goldcrest are also starting to make their way North with at least 5 birds on the island on 22nd, 7 on the 23rd dropping to just one on the 24th.

Numbers of displaying Skylark have continued to grow too, with at least 21 birds singing across the island on the 24th as well as the first of the displaying Meadow Pipit of the year parachuting around on Castle Parade yesterday (high count for the period 30 on the 24th).

A second Woodpigeon has arrived on the island, joining our long-staying bird, and nearby our overwintering Sparrowhawk and Chiffchaff are still making themselves known periodically as they navigate the now bud-laden trees in Millcombe."

Non-avian news: A Vagrant Emperor Dragonfly was present above Benjamin’s Chair this afternoon (25th).

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