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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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Bird recording and ringing on Lundy are coordinated by the Lundy Field Society and general information about visiting the island can be found here.

Monday, 8 November 2021

2nd to 5th Nov – Red-breasted Flycatcher and a whopping Fungi Foray!

Eleanor Grover relates the latest happenings on Lundy.

2nd November

Showery at dawn, becoming bright and sunny with mild temperatures – hard to believe it’s November!

Not only a good day for the weather but also a good day for birds, with a nice variety of species being seen. Totals included: four Skylarks, five Swallows, 12 Chiffchaffs, six Blackcaps, 13 Goldcrests, 23 Wrens, nine Robins, five Stonechats, five Dunnocks, 30 Meadow Pipits, nine Rock Pipits, 74 Chaffinches, a male Brambling, 19 Goldfinches, 117 Siskins and nine Linnets. Two Pied Wagtails flew over the Village and a flock of eight Greenfinches were heard calling all the way around Millcombe Valley, then again (possibly the same flock) flying south over South West Field. Two Fieldfares added to the variety of thrushes, which included 10 Blackbirds, 20 Redwings and 11 Song Thrushes.

Checking through a group of feeding Chiffchaffs in the Walled Garden in Millcombe revealed a surprising find: not a warbler at all but a Red-breasted Flycatcher. Flitting about in the trees, it paused only to seemingly smirk at the camera being pointed at it, before dropping down into thicker branches and being lost from view. A delightful little bird, it appeared and then disappeared all in the space of the time  it took to check the mist-nets and, unfortunately, was not resighted again.

Along the Lower East Side Path, a Snipe was flushed near the Terrace Trap. Singles of Snow Bunting and Ring Ouzel flew overhead calling and a Sparrowhawk was seen hunting at Quarter Wall Copse. Two Oystercatchers and a Grey Heron hugged the coastline, while out at sea a total of eight Shags, nine Great Black-backed Gulls and 114 Herring Gulls were logged during the day. Three Water Rails were scattered around the island, along with three Peregrines and seven Ravens.
 
Eighteen birds were ringed: Song Thrush (2), Blackbird (1), Blackcap (3), Chiffchaff (2), Goldcrest (5), Siskin (4) and Brambling (1).

3rd November

Another sunny day, with the winds picking up a little.

Another Snipe was sighted, and nine Mallards were present at Rocket Pole Pond. Out at sea, a single Kittiwake, 26 Great Black-backed Gulls, 12 Herring Gulls, 10 Gannets and 20 Shags flew past. Blackbirds were prominent with 27 being logged, including eight together that were feeding up on the late blackberries in VC Quarry. Eight Song Thrushes were recorded, as well as 180 Redwings. A flock of 50-60 Redwings were grubbing around in Barton Field, though not all birds were able to pass through so happily: a mass of Redwing feathers in Millcombe suggested that at least one of these migratory thrushes provided a nice meal for one of the island’s Peregrines.

At dusk, a flock of 29 Carrion Crows were congregating in Tillage Field. The smaller birds, however, were recorded in smaller numbers, with counts of four Skylarks, one Swallow, three Chiffchaffs, five Blackcaps, two Goldcrests, two Stonechats, five Meadow Pipits, four Rock Pipits, 19 Chaffinches, two Greenfinches, one Goldfinch and eight Siskins recorded throughout the day.

Thirty-four birds were ringed: Redwing (17), Song Thrush (1), Blackbird (8), Blackcap (1), Goldcrest (2), Siskin (4) and Chaffinch (1).

On the non-avian front, two Red Admirals were a testimony to the warmth of the day.

4th November

Cloudy with sunny spells and a stiff breeze – there was a definite chill in the air that gave the day almost a wintry feel.

Two Fieldfares joined the 60 Redwing that passed overhead. Seven Gannets soared past out at sea, four Skylarks called as they flew over the Airfield, and a flock of 150 Starlings made a mini-murmuration over the Village. In Millcombe Valley there was one Swallow, one Goldcrest, seven Blackbirds, two Song Thrushes, 32 Chaffinches, six Greenfinches, six Goldfinches and 12 Siskins.

Whilst not birds, the day’s excitement came from a fantastic Fungi Foray led by John Hedger and Mandy Dee. A total of 42 different fungi species were located: Crimson Waxcap, Scarlet Waxcap, Vermillion Waxcap, Spangle Waxcap, Goblet Waxcap, Blackening Waxcap, Meadow Waxcap, Orange Waxcap, Oily Waxcap, Heath Waxcap, Glutinous Waxcap, Honey Waxcap, Butter Waxcap, Golden Waxcap, Persistent Waxcap, Snowy Waxcap, Cedarwood Waxcap, Slimy Waxcap, Yellowfoot Waxcap, Parrot Waxcap, Fool’s Funnel, Drab Bonnet, Ivory Bonnet, Lilac Bonnet, Lilac Pinkgill, Silky Pinkgill, Star Pinkgill, Common Conecap, Field Mushroom, Horse Mushroom, Yellow Club, Apricot Club, White Spindles, Meadow Coral, Meadow Puffball, Smoky Spindles, Dewdrop Mottlegill, Turf Mottlegill, Brown Mottlegill, Magic Mushroom, Dung Roundhead and Peppery Roundhead!

Just 10 birds were ringed: Redwing (8), Blackbird (1) and Siskin (1).

A single Red Admiral was also espied to be braving the cold weather.

5th November

The winds dropped and the temperature rose, leading to a remarkably pleasant day.

Despite the pleasantness of the day, relatively few birds were recorded. Ninety-four Redwings were logged in the morning, whilst an evening stroll through Millcombe Valley revealed two Chiffchaffs, 11 Blackbirds, two Song Thrushes, four Robins, three Wrens, three Ravens, three Carrion Crows, two Dunnocks, one Stonechat, 13 Chaffinches, one Water Rail, a Greenfinch, and a single Siskin.

Flyovers during the day included a Pied Wagtail, three Skylarks, a Meadow Pipit and four Fieldfares. A further dozen Fieldfares were chattering away in Millcombe Valley and it is likely that more birds passed overhead unrecorded during the day. Gliding around the coast were two Peregrines, a Great Black-backed Gull and nine Herring Gulls. A flock of approximately 100 Starlings were around the Lambing Shed and the single Feral Pigeon was once again snuggled up in the Farmyard.

Forty-one birds were ringed: Redwing (40) and Fieldfare (1).

Records from Chris & Mandy Dee, Eleanor Grover, John Hedger and Rachel Sprosen.

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