A very warm and sunny day throughout with a stiff SE wind belting in during the morning and afternoon which switched westerly by the evening. Migration has continued to pick up with the first fly-over Yellow Wagtail of the autumn, 5 fly-over Cormorant, 2 Tree Pipit in Millcombe, an increase to 55 Meadow Pipit along the East Side and South End, 2 Swift, 23 Swallow, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 5 Goldcrest, 3 Spotted Flycatcher and 4 Pied Flycatcher – including one inside the office perched on the rafters! Visiting ringers ringed two Manx Shearwater chicks from the nestboxes installed at the Old Light colony, and caught an interesting Goldfinch, which was in moult and so probably had summered on Lundy, but had been ringed elsewhere (details to follow later).
|One of the Pied Flycatchers, near the top of the 'Steps of Doom', 24 August © Dean Jones|
A spectacular day of beautiful calm weather, species diversity and Lundy rarities.
Highlights included the re-appearance of the Icterine Warbler (last seen on 23rd August) in various parts of Millcombe between 07:00 and 13:20. Additionally, whilst ringing passerines in lower Millcombe, Richard Taylor found a very showy Common Nightingale at the top of Smelly Gully in the late morning, a bird which provided some beautifully clear and prolonged views as it flitted up from the gully to forage on the ground near Millcombe Pond. Then, whilst waiting for the Nightingale to reveal itself again for another view, a Wryneck (perhaps the same bird seen on the 23rd), flew out from Smelly Gully and up to the rocks just behind the Walled Gardens where it hopped around for five minutes or so before disappearing back into the gully. Three super Lundy birds in the span of a few hours!
|The unusually showy Nightingale in Millcombe, 25 August © Dean Jones|
|The Wryneck, competing with the Nightingale for the Warden's attention, Millcombe, 25 August © Dean Jones|
Other birds of note included the first Reed Warbler and Garden Warbler of the autumn, a female Teal on Brick Field Pond, 7 Grey Heron (including a flock of six birds and a lone bird in Brick Field), 6 fly-by Cormorant, a fly-over Ringed Plover, a flock of 12 Curlew, a lone Whimbrel calling from the Landing Bay, a Dunlin, 1 Swift, 1 Sand Martin, 60 Swallow, 1 House Martin, a nice arrival of 31 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, a single Sedge Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 7 Goldcrest, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, a lone Stonechat, 11 Pied Flycatcher, a fly-over Yellow Wagtail, 8 Pied Wagtails (as well as 15 unraced flyover alba types) and 4 Tree Pipit.
|Juvenile Grey Heron, Brick Field, one of seven recorded on 25 August © Dean Jones|
Report composed of observations from Dean Jones, Patrick Keith, Rebecca Taylor, Richard Taylor, Tony Taylor and Martin Thorne.
As users of Twitter and BirdGuides etc. may already be aware, Lundy's Bank Holiday Purple Patch continued on Monday 26th with the trapping of the Icterine Warbler and the sighting of a male Black-headed Bunting on the roof of Paradise Row! Full details to follow in the next blog update! At the time of posting, there had been no further sightings of the bunting since around 13.00hrs on Monday, when it flew towards Millcombe.