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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.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

18th to 25th Jan – divers and gulls to the fore

As the last of the lashings and downpours of Storm Brendan past overhead, a long-awaited prolonged spell of high pressure followed, giving way to some beautiful, dry, settled yet chilly weather for pretty much the entirety of this period – much like the rest of the UK. With this, Lundy now emanates an early springlike feel with numerous Skylarks displaying daily from the 17th and the haunting calls of passing divers bellowing across a glass-like sea.

Highlights from this period include a Black-throated Diver rafting along the east coast on the 23rd. Good numbers of Red-throated Diver too have been busy feeding off the east coast  most days, with a peak count of 28 birds on the 25th. Two Great Northern Diver have also been noted on four dates within this period from both the Landing Bay area and just offshore from Quarry Beach.

Seawatching from the Terrace on the afternoon of the 19th revealed a smashing first-winter Little Gull foraging upon a glass-like sea-state. This bird then lingered on for a second day, being sighted just offshore from the Landing Bay again on the 20th. Other than this little beauty, there have also been a number of other scarce Lundy gulls offshore, including good numbers of Common Gull (peak count 32 on the 24th), Mediterranean Gull (peak 8 on the 24th), two adult Black-headed Gull on the 19th amongst good numbers of Kittiwake on some days (peak count 706 on the 24th).

One of 8 Mediterranean Gulls off the East Side, 24th Jan © Dean Jones

Other highlights include two Snow Bunting over the Terrace on the 25th and the first Reed Bunting of the year calling loudly from a gorse bush near the Old Hospital on the 19th.

Seabirds have also been periodically visiting the cliffs throughout this period, with 228 Fulmar on ledges around the island and 1,277 Guillemot counted from cliff faces in Jenny’s Cove, St Mark’s Stone and Aztec Bay on the 18th.

Other sightings of note include 16 Teal on Pondsbury on the 18th, singles of Water Rail in Millcombe, a Woodcock flushed near Quarter Wall on 18th and from Millcombe on the 20th, up to five Snipe on days in the Pondsbury area, two Woodpigeon in Millcombe on a number of days, singles of Kestrel on the 18th and 24th,  a murder of 57 Carrion Crow on the Church Tower on the 19th, a small arrival of 20 Skylark on the 18th (there are at least eight territorial males displaying around the island now), a peak count of 39 Rock Pipit on the 18th, the Millcombe Chiffchaff, up to two Goldcrest, singles of Song Thrush and a smattering of Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Stonechat most days.

St Helen's in the evening winter light © Dean Jones
Reed Bunting on the Old Hospital, 19th Jan © Dean Jones
A murder of Carrion Crows on the church tower, 19th Jan © Dean Jones
A frozen pond on a frosty morning © Dean Jones

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