The latest message-in-a-bottle from Richard Campey begins with a question...
"Had the wind dropped overnight? Yes, by about 2mph! Now due east, Force 6/7. Started off walking South End up to Old Light: very little about. At Old Light, Starling flock of 87 birds, with two Swallows flying around them. Presumably the Starling mob were disturbing insects, as when the Starlings moved, the Swallows stayed with them. Also seen in this area: Peregrine (one male), Sparrowhawk (one female), half-a-dozen more Swallows and a Wheatear.
4.30pm and the wind had dropped a fair bit but more importantly it had gone north with a bit of sunshine peeping through. I felt Millcombe would be the place. Walked through the Bue Door and it was promisingly calm. More to the point, there were three Willow Warblers in the tree next to the gate! Feeling a sense of excitement, I entered the valley. In brambles near the tree plantation were Blackcaps, a Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler. About 50 Swallows overhead. Looking across to the Casbah there were Goldcrests and Phylloscopus warblers. And then... a fast-moving small warbler falling through the trees. It fed briefly on a branch towards the edge of the Sycamores and I was watching a Yellow-browed Warbler. Not for long though, as I lost it from view. Saw Sam Bosanquet across the valley, who shouted "Firecrest in pines". I retorted with the Yellow-browed! Searched for another 20 minutes but couldn't relocate it. Did see the Firecrest though. Also in Millcombe two Pied Flycatchers, another three Willow Warblers and a total of 11 Blackcaps.
Finished off by the Rocket Pole and had a Brambling fly-over calling."
Sam Bosanquet adds that: "A number of Lepidoptera were sheltering on Long Roost, including Large & Small Whites, Red Admiral and the migrant moth Rush Veneer. A young Cormorant flew over, heading north, and a pair of gull wings with fresh blood on the bones proved to belong to a 1st-winter Mediterranean Gull. As I walked back past Gannets' Combe a Lapland Bunting flew up “tik-a-tik” and then landed in an open area to give good views. The large, rare lichen Roccella fuciformis
on the Mousehole & Trap was new for Lundy, and a surprise given how
many lichenologists have visited the island. Even more surprising was
the gametophyte of Killarney Fern on the ceiling of Queen Mab’s
Grotto – also new for Lundy. The wind had dropped a bit by the time I
returned to Millcombe, which held at least one Redstart and a Garden Warbler as well as the Firecrest which I called out to Richard."
Additional species and combined totals from Richard, Chris Baillie and Sam Bosanquet included: Mallard 10, Shag 11, Gannet 5, Dunlin 2, Snipe 4, Woodpigeon 7, Swallow 500, Sand Martin 2, House Martin 30, Skylark 20, Willow Warbler 8, Chiffchaff 8, Goldcrest 8, Robin 6, Stonechat 6, Starling 200, Meadow Pipit 50, Pied/White Wagtail 8, Linnet 150 and Goldfinch 30.