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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, 17 September 2019

10th to 16th Sep – Barred Warbler, record Grey Heron passage, first Firecrests and much more besides!

A bumper update follows, courtesy of Lundy Warden Dean Woodfin Jones:

Tuesday 10th September

All in all a rather pleasant, dry day with an accompanying stiff northerly.

The undoubted highlight of the day was the occurrence of a Barred Warbler which was found by Nik Ward in Millcombe in the late afternoon. Unfortunately the bird took off up the valley immediately after it was discovered and was not found again despite searching.

Other sightings of note included 4 fly-by Cormorant, a Water Rail, 8 Woodpigeon, 2 Swift, 20 Sand Martin, 150 Swallow, 6 House Martin, 5 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 35 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 5 Whitethroat, 12 Goldcrest, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Robin, 8 Wheatear, 1 Pied Flycatcher, a single fly-over Grey Wagtail, 11 fly-over alba wagtails, 150 Meadow Pipit, 4 Chaffinch, 17 Goldfinch and 30 Linnet.

Wednesday 11th September

A day of strong westerly winds and scattered showers and squalls which resulted in some trickier birding conditions, particularly in the mid-afternoon. Sightings includes a Water Rail, a Grey Heron found dead by Quarter Wall Pond, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Woodpigeon, 1 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 20 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warbler, 1 Whitethroat, 6 Goldcrest, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Pied Flycatcher, 2 fly-over alba wagtails, 5 Chaffinch  and 3 Goldfinch.

Thursday 12th September

Not much to note on this very wet and windy day, other than a scattering of Blackcap and Goldcrest in Millcombe as well as 2 young Woodpigeons (which have prematurely fledged from a rather late nest, perhaps due to the presence of the two Sparrowhawks in the valley this week), huddling together underneath one of the memorial benches in Millcombe.

Soggy young Woodpigeons sheltering in Millcombe, 12 September © Dean Jones

Friday 13th September

A much better day weather wise, characterised by some lovely sunshine and a NE breeze – perfect conditions for passage hirundines.

Sightings included a Grey Heron at Ladies Beach, 6 Woodpigeon, 20 Sand Martin, 700 Swallow, 50 House Martin, just one Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 30 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 14 Goldcrest, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a single fly-over Grey Wagtail, 4 fly-over alba wagtails, a single Tree Pipit, 94 Meadow Pipits, 3 Chaffinch, 13 Goldfinch and 37 Linnet.

Saturday 14th September

A gorgeous summer-like day, complete with clear skies, scorching temperatures and a slight northerly breeze. The highlight of the day was the occurrence of a south-bound flock of 19 Grey Heron over the island in the early afternoon, shortly after the Oldenburg arrived. This is the highest number of this species ever to be recorded on Lundy in a day smashing the previous record of 16 birds (composed of 4 groups) on July 1975! Another highlight was a Turnstone (an increasingly scarce bird for Lundy) flying along the east coast in the early morning.

Other sightings includes a Teal at Brick Field Pond, a male and female Sparrowhawk, a Dunlin over the Village in the evening, 6 Woodpigeon, 2 Swift, 4 Sand Martin, 200 Swallow, 30 House Martin, 5 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 7 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, 12 Goldcrest, a small movement of Skylark (3 over South End first thing), 10 Spotted Flycatcher, a single Stonechat, 10 Wheatear, 3 Pied Flycatcher, a single fly-over Grey Wagtail, a fly-over alba wagtail, 70 Meadow Pipits, 2 Chaffinch and 8 Goldfinch.

Sunday 15th September

A very pleasant day all around, with lots of sunshine and a westerly breeze throughout the day.
Highlights included 2 female Tufted Ducks resting on one of the green islands in Pondsbury (only the 25th record for the island), a stunning male Crossbill perched briefly on top of the spruce trees in Millcombe Valley and the first Lapland Bunting of the year, seen and heard flying over High Street Field at around 08:00am.

Other birds of note include 7 Mallard, a male and female Sparrowhawk, a fly-over Golden Plover, 6 Kittiwake, 6 Woodpigeon, a Kestrel, 8 Skylark, 1 Sand Martin, 800 Swallow, 2 House Martin, 5 Chiffchaff, 23 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 33 Goldcrest, a Spotted Flycatcher, 8 Robin, 3 Wheatear, a Grey Wagtail, 2 alba wagtails, 28 Meadow Pipit, 3 Chaffinch, 8 Goldfinch and 167 Linnet.

Monday 16th September

A lovely but gloomy start to the day with thick mist and squalls moving in for much of the afternoon.
Slightly quieter day bird-wise, with sightings of note including 3 Sparrowhawk, 2  fly-over Golden Plover, a calling Water Rail, 4 Woodpigeon, 2 Kestrel, 4 Skylark, 2 Sand Martin, 300 Swallow, 34 House Martin, 2 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 15 Blackcap, a Whitethroat, 20 Goldcrest, the first Firecrest of the autumn in the Secret Garden, a Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Robin, a Grey Wagtail, 4 alba wagtails, 60 Meadow Pipit, 6 Chaffinch, 8 Goldfinch and 90 Linnet.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

8th & 9th Sep – Superb visual migration

September 8th

A truly beautiful day of clear skies, warm temperatures and a slight northerly breeze, perfect conditions for some superb visual migration throughout the day, particularly with regard to passage Swallow, Sand Martin and Meadow Pipits which arrived here in their hundreds.

Sightings of note included, 2 Sparrowhawk together in Millcombe, a flyover Ringed Plover, a Dunlin over the Village in the evening, 9 Woodpigeon, 2 Swift, a Kestrel, 4 Skylark, 408 Sand Martin, 1,195 Swallow, 26 House Martin, 20 Willow Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff, a single Sedge Warbler in Millcombe, 30 Blackcap, a Garden Warbler, 5 Whitethroat, 18 Goldcrest, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 5 Robin, a Pied Flycatcher, 2 flyover Grey Wagtail, a Pied Wagtail and 12 unraced alba wagtails, 350 Meadow Pipit, a Tree Pipit over the Camping Field in the morning, 3 Chaffinch, 24 Goldfinch and 122 Linnet.

Non-avian sightings included a Migrant Hawker dragonfly outside the General Stores and a small number of By-the-wind Sailors (see photo below) washed up next to Rat Island.

September 9th

Torrential rain in the morning up until around 11:00 but brightening up thereafter with strong northerly winds.

Sightings of note included a Turnstone flying low over Quarter Wall in the morning, a flyover Ringed Plover, 9 Woodpigeon, a Kestrel, just 2 Skylark, 250 Sand Martin, 500 Swallow, 30 House Martin, 10 Willow Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff, 15 Blackcap, 6 Whitethroat, 22 Goldcrest, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, 6 Robin, a single Whinchat, 36 Wheatear, a flyover Grey Wagtail, 3 unraced flyover alba wagtails, 70 Meadow Pipit, 16 Chaffinch, 20 Goldfinch and 114 Linnet.

Report composed of sightings from AJ Bellamy, Dean Jones, Peter Slader and Nik Ward.

Above and below: Hirundines in Lighthouse Field, 8 Sep © Dean Jones

By-the-wind Sailor, off Rat Island, 8th Sep © Dean Jones

Sunday, 8 September 2019

7th Sep – No show from the Black-headed Bunting

Thanks to Ivan Lakin for sending in notes on his day-trip to the island yesterday:

Only three birders made it across today to day-trip Lundy and not see the bunting. That was expected (given that it had been seen on Thursday, though not on Friday), but a Green Sandpiper was an unexpected bonus – Lundy  tick for me. Had it calling as it flew along East Side, then it was heard and seen independently by the other two observers on top. One saw it head towards Pondsbury. Other sightings included quite a few Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers, a few Goldcrest and three Woodpigeon.

Oldenburg very quiet outbound, but much better returning with 5 Bonxie, 1 dark Arctic Skua, 7 Manx Shearwater, auks etc, though all well outside the Lundy recording area.

Friday, 6 September 2019

31st Aug to 2nd Sep – Wind, gloom, sun and... Black-headed Bunting!

August 31st

A windy and gloomy day overall and rather quiet bird wise with very few new arrivals to the island. A brief seawatch from The Ugly produced 633 Manx Shearwater, 21 Gannet, 6 Guillemot and 2 Razorbill in an hour. The stunning male Black-headed Bunting appeared again on the track bordering Tibbetts in the late afternoon.

Other than these, birds of note included a Grey Heron sheltering off Lamentor in the early afternoon as well as small numbers of Goldcrest, Swallow, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff scattered throughout Millcombe and the east sidelands.

September 1st

Another blustery day but with a bit more northerly element than yesterday which encouraged a small movement of Goldcrest (19) and Blackcap (12) to the island overnight.

Other sightings of note included a Sparrowhawk in Quarter wall copse, a Merlin hunting Blackbirds near Tibbetts, the Grey Heron in Quarry Pond, singles of Guillemot and Razorbill off the North End, a Whimbrel – which perched upon the Beer Garden wall in the late morning – 8 Swallow, 15 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, a Reed Warbler below St Helen’s Copse (photo below), 48 Meadow Pipit and 6 flyover unidentified alba wagtails.

Grey Heron, Quarry Pond, 1st Sep © Dean Jones
Reed Warbler, below St Helen's Copse, 1st Sep © Dean Jones

September 2nd

A beautifully sunny yet breezy day with some nice migrant birds again. Firstly the long-staying Black-headed Bunting turned up in its favoured foraging spot next to Tillage Field again in the late afternoon.

Goldcrest numbers continued to grow with at least 31 birds scattered across the island – most of which were found in Millcombe and along the east sidelands. Additionally the first Lesser Whitethroat of the autumn was found in the gnarled elder at the top of Smelly Gully in the early morning.

Other sightings of note included a flyover Golden Plover, 27 Swallow, 22 Sand Martin, 10 Blackcap, 10 Willow Warbler, 8 Chiffchaff, a Sedge Warbler, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 alba  wagtails, 23 Meadow Pipits and a flyover Tree Pipit.

Report compiled by Dean Woodfin Jones.


Below is a Tweet from Antony Bellamy showing the latest photos of the Black-headed Bunting, taken yesterday, Thursday 5th Sep.