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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.
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Thursday, 21 October 2021

20th Oct – Red-breasted Flycatcher a surprise arrival after a stormy night

A wild night, with thunder and lightning a couple of hours before dawn, gave way to a morning with much better visibility, albeit still with a westerly gale and torrential showers. The wind abated for a time in the afternoon and the showers eased off, but only ahead of more persistent rain later.
 
Seawatching during the first part of the morning revealed over 300 Gannets passing WSW, along with good numbers of Kittiwakes and auks, plus a first-winter Common Gull and a dark-morph Arctic Skua.
 
Given the overnight weather conditions, it came as something of a surprise to bump into a gorgeous first-winter Red-breasted Flycatcher feeding along the more sheltered edge of Millcombe Wood between the Casbah and Brambles, at times perching confidingly in the open, but more often moving rather elusively among the branches and bunches of Turkey Oak and Sycamore leaves. It spent much of the day in Millcombe, but turned up in St Helen's Copse later in the afternoon.

There were again plenty of Chaffinches and Siskins around Millcombe (where supplementary sunflower and niger seed is being provided) and Rob Duncan was able to open a couple of mist-nets in the most sheltered corners for a time in the afternoon. However, he only managed to ring one Siskin and a Blackcap before the weather closed in again. The Siskin showed a very healthy weight of 13.4g, indicating that at least some birds have been managing to feed successfully in spite of the blustery and wet conditions.
 
Male Siskin, Millcombe, 20 Oct © Richard Campey

A few Meadow Pipits flew south in the lee of the East Side in the morning and small numbers of Swallows passed through later in the day. In addition to the flycatcher, there appeared to have been a small overnight arrival of Blackcaps and Goldcrests in Millcombe.
 
Ringing total just 2 – see above.
 
Observations by Chris & Carol Baillie, Richard Campey, Tim Davis, James Diamond, Andy Jayne, Dionne Jenkins, Tim Jones and Miguel Lourgi.

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