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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.

Thursday, 1 October 2020

27th to 30th Sep – The year's first Dotterel and a breaching Bluefin Tuna!

Dean Jones swings back into action on the blog with all the news from the last four days of September. Ringing numbers provided by team leader Chris Dee.

September 27th

Light to moderate northerly winds in the morning, shifting north-westerly in the mid-afternoon. A dry day with clear skies for most.

The title of star bird of the day went to a juvenile Dotterel (the first of the year) which was photographed by Lundy Ranger Matt Stritch in South West Field in the late afternoon.
A record shot of the year's first Dotterel, in South West Field, 27 Sep © Matt Stritch 
Other sightings of note included a Whinchat in South West Field, a single Firecrest foraging in the Terrace willows, a light passage of hirundines comprising 400 Swallow, 20 Sand Martin and 42 House Martin. Skylarks too were moving in small numbers throughout the morning, with 17 logged overhead. Additional sightings included a Water Rail in Smelly Gully, seven Chiffchaff, 40 Blackcap, 20 Goldcrest, 16 Robin, 12 Dunnock, three Stonechat, 88 Meadow Pipit, six Chaffinch, 46 Goldfinch, just 20 Linnet, six fly-over Redpoll and nine Siskin.

Whinchat, South West Field, 27 Sep © Dean Jones
A total of 64 birds were ringed in Millcombe, including five Chiffchaff, 25 Blackcap, seven Goldcrest and 20 Swallow.
September 28th

A light to moderate westerly wind in the morning swinging north-westerly by the evening. Clear but overcast for the first hour or so in the morning, followed by a thick mist and fog which enveloped the island for most of the day – give or take a few clearer spells.

A much quieter bird day with most of yesterday’s migrants having cleared out overnight and, of course, reduced visibility due to the weather.

Highlights included a huge Bluefin Tuna which was seen fully breaching just offshore from Rat Island during a brief, mist-free spell just after noon. 

Other sightings of note included the first Redwing of the year in Millcombe, two Water Rail in Millcombe, a lone Snipe, a single Willow Warbler in the Laundry Garden Privet, seven Swallow, three Goldcrest, eight Pied Wagtail in the Camping Field, twelve Goldfinch, four Siskin and two fly-over Redpoll.

Eight birds were ringed before the mist descended, among them four Blackcap and two Chiffchaff.

Finally, 30 moths of 17 species were caught in the Millcombe Heath trap. Highlights were singles of Delicate and Silver Y and the second record of Mecyna asinalis for the island.

September 29th 
A glorious autumn day complete with spectacular sunrise, clear skies and a slight northerly breeze.
Lundy's East Side in all its autumn splendour, 29 Sep © Dean Jones
A nice variety and number of migrants today, with two Yellow-browed Warblers the stars of the day – one in Millcombe and another foraging in the Terrace willows.

One of the two Yellow-browed Warblers present on the island, Terrace, 29 Sep © Dean Jones
Hirundines also put on a great show, particularly between 10:00 and 12:00 hrs. Totals for the day came to a conservative estimate of 2,500 Swallow, 15 Sand Martin and 150 House Martin.

Other sightings included a fly-over Cormorant, two apiece of Woodpigeon and Water Rail, a Merlin and a female Sparrowhawk having a quarrel over the Terrace, 14 Skylark, two Grey Wagtail, three Pied Wagtail (plus two other fly-over unraced birds), 300 Meadow Pipit (which included two nice flocks of 85 birds in High Street and 60 in Lower Lighthouse Field), 15 Blackcap, four Chiffchaff, 10 Goldcrest, seven Wheatear (including one large Greenland-type bird), a single Stonechat, 16 Robin, nine Dunnock, 25 Goldfinch, six Chaffinch, 37 Linnet and two each of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin.
This excellent candidate for the leucorhoa (Greenland and Iceland) race of Northern
Wheatear dropped into Paradise Row this morning, 29 Sep © Dean Jones

Dunnock in the beautiful morning light, Millcombe, 29 Sep © Dean Jones
A total of 60 birds were caught and ringed throughout the day, including 12 Blackcap, five Goldcrest and 39 Swallow.

Non-avian sightings included five Harbour Porpoise in the Southern Races in the evening.

September 30th

A very wet day with frequent squalls, periods of thick mist and one or two heavy downpours up until the mid-afternoon, followed by sunny spells and light showers. Strong to moderate south-west/westerly winds throughout.

Very difficult birding conditions for most of the day due to the very poor weather. The only sightings of note were a fly-over Ringed Plover first thing, a female Sparrowhawk, one Woodpigeon, 75 Swallow, a single House Martin, 14 Goldcrest, four Chiffchaff, a lone Blackcap, 22 Robin, two Stonechat, 80 Meadow Pipit, and a Grey Wagtail in Millcombe Pond.
A Grey Wagtail braving the rain, 30 Sep © Dean Jones

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