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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.

Friday, 15 October 2021

15th Oct – Marsh Harrier the star of a balmy October day

A magically calm, almost windless day, with long sunny spells and atypical warmth for mid-October.

Bird of the day was a first-year Marsh Harrier, seen arriving off the sea from the SE at 08.50, quartering Pondsbury at 11.05, and then at various locations across the island, before thermaling and heading off for the Welsh coast mid-afternoon.

Other notable sightings included six Golden Plover, two Jack Snipe, single Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, two Merlin, 87 Swallow, two House Martin, two Yellow-browed Warbler, two tristis-type Chiffchaff (of which one ringed), a very fat Garden Warbler (also trapped and ringed), a Firecrest, only 30 Redwing, 30 Song Thrush, a Common Redstart, nine Black Redstart (including four together at North Light), 30 Stonechat, four Wheatear, 25 alba wagtails, 26 Rock Pipit, 40 Chaffinch and 3 Brambling.

Records contributed by Chris & Carol Baillie, Richard Campey, Stuart Cossey, Tim Davis, James Diamond, Rob Duncan, Paul Holt, Andy Jayne, Tim Jones and Jack Turner-Moss.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

14th Oct – Another migrant-filled day

Another dry day, with light to moderate SW winds and variable cloud cover – unseasonably warm, sunny spells alternating with quite heavily overcast, dull and cool interludes.
Visible/audible migration from upper Millcombe, from first light to 08.30 comprised 250 Redwing, small flocks of Siskin, and 3 Brambling.
Also logged were two Teal, two Sparrowhawks and a Kestrel, 3 Merlin, a Golden Plover, 10 Common Snipe, 60 Swallows, 50 Blackcaps, 80 Song Thrush, and 8 Grey Wagtails, 350 Meadow Pipit, 350 Siskin, and 60 Chaffinch.

Scarcities included a Lapwing at Three-quarter Wall, five Jack Snipe (four at Pondsbury and one at Middle Park Pond), a first-year Black-headed Gull, a Whinchat near Pondsbury, two Yellow-browed Warblers in the vicinity of St Helen's Copse. a Reed Warbler near the bottom of the Steps of Doom, a Pied Flycatcher in Rüppell's Quarry, a Spotted Flycatcher in St Helen's Copse, and Lapland Buntings in SW Field and at North End (near John O'Groats).
Records contributed by Chris & Carol Baillie, Richard Campey, Tim Davis, James Diamond, Rob Duncan, Paul Holt, Andy Jayne, Tim Jones and Jack Turner-Moss.

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

13th Oct – A superb day of visible migration

A superb day for visible migration, with Millcombe filled with the sound of Redwings from before first light. A conservative total of 1,000 was logged, the great majority of which were in and around Millcombe before 09.00 hrs. It was such a still morning that we were able to hear the sound of air rushing through the wings of Redwings and Song Thrushes as they plummeted into the valley from great height. Both species went from zero on 12th to 1,000 and 65, respectively today! Other species passing through in numbers included Meadow Pipit (400), Skylark (70), Linnet (200), Siskin (250) and Goldfinch (80). Among them were a late Tree Pipit, a Brambling, a Greenfinch, a Mistle Thrush, a Ring Ouzel, two Black Redstarts, three Wheatears, two Lapland Buntings, and a Snow Bunting.

There were two Jack Snipe and six Common Snipe at Pondsbury, and a high count of 19 Mallard (16 at Barton Pond, three at Pondsbury). Other waterbirds included single Golden Plover, Ringed Plover and Dunlin, 19 Oystercatchers, two Teal and a Cormorant. Warblers comprised 20 Blackcaps, the presumed eastern-race Lesser Whitethroat, a Common Whitethroat (wearing a ring, so a local retrap), 15 Chiffchaff, and single Willow Warbler and Yellow-browed Warbler (both ringed). Goldcrests were less numerous than on 12th at 35, but there was a small influx of three Firecrests. A probable Red-throated Pipit was heard calling amongst a flock of Meadow Pipits in Tent Field and South West Field during the late morning, but the flock was dispersed by the attentions of both Peregrine and Merlin. What was likely the same bird was heard over Millcombe a short time later but neither instance was definitive.

Records contributed by Chris & Carol Baillie, Richard Campey, Tim Davis, James Diamond, Rob Duncan, Paul Holt, Andy Jayne, Tim Jones and Jack Turner-Moss.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

12th Oct – A new Yellow-browed Warbler, a late Willow Warbler; presumed eastern Lesser Whitethroat still present

A day of gentle, but chilly northerly breezes, with variable cloud amounts giving some heavily overcast conditions interspersed with bright or sunny intervals.
There were further influxes of 80 Goldcrest and 20 Blackcap, plus a steady diurnal passage of 150 Swallow and a few House Martin (11 logged). Other migrant passerines included 10 Chiffchaff, a new Yellow-browed Warbler in Millcombe, 62 Siskin, 80 Goldfinch and 14 Linnet. Shed body feathers of the eastern-race blythi-type Lesser Whitethroat ringed on 11th were posted off for DNA analysis and the bird itself was still in upper Millcombe during the afternoon, but had lost its tail in a presumed altercation with a predator (having been seen in the same general area with an intact tail during the late afternoon of 11th). A single Willow Warbler was seen and later trapped and ringed in Millcombe. Notable non-passerines comprised two Teal, a Stock Dove, a Sparrowhawk, two Merlin and two Golden Plover.

The ringing total for the day of 71 comprised 40 Goldcrest, 14 Blackcap, 5 Siskin, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldfinch, and singles of Swallow, Willow Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Wren, Stonechat and Dunnock.
The boat crossing from Ilfracombe to Lundy was enlivened by a Red-throated Diver flying right over MS Oldenburg, 12 Common Scoter, and a Purple Sandpiper circling the boat at sea level at 11:10 hrs, just over halfway across.
Sightings contributed by: Chris Baillie, Richard Campey, Tim Davis, James Diamond, Rob Duncan, Paul Holt, Tim Jones and Jack Turner-Moss.

Monday, 11 October 2021

11th Oct – Migration kicks up several notches, including the first Yellow-browed Warbler of 2021

Chris Baillie writes: 

"A light northerly breezes and a stunning sunny day saw the action increase. Highlights included an eastern race Lesser Whitethroat and single Yellow-browed Warbler, Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting and Black Redstart. 350 Starlings included 200 heading out south, a steady flow of Siskins and a hint of winter with the first Brambling and Redwing. 65 House Martin and 123 Swallows. A Mediterranean Gull offshore, 50 Blackcaps and 30 Goldcrests. Robins were on the move (30) as were Meadow Pipits. Ringing totals 71 birds ringed: 36 Blackcaps, 10 Goldcrests, 6 Chiffchaffs, 5 Robin, 3 Wren, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Stonechat, 1 Dunnock, 1 Blackbird, 1 eastern Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Swallow and 1 Yellow-browed Warblers."

Sightings contributed by Chris & Carol Baillie, Rob Duncan and Paul Holt. 

10th Oct – Exceptional autumn warmth...

Chris Baillie reports that Sunday 10th saw mostly clear skies and light northerly winds unhelpful to ringing but a warm and glorious Lundy day. There was an early-morning surge of Blackcaps through Millcombe, and a light passage of Swallows which seemed to feed well in almost summer-like conditions. Singles of Golden Plover, Snipe, Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Merlin, Kestrel, Wheatear, Garden Warbler, Firecrest and Greenfinch. Plus a Spotted Flycatcher assumed to be the long-stayer, one each of Pied and Grey Wagtail, and a handful of Siskins.

Sightings contributed by Chris & Carol Baillie, Rob Duncan and Paul Holt.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

9th Oct – An influx of hirundines but still quite quiet for the time of year

Saturday 9th brought some stirrings of visible migration after a few quiet days on that particular front. There were some Siskins through and a late-afternoon arrival of 186 Swallows and 37 House Martins. A Grey Heron might be the same first-year bird as seen on 6th. There was a Firecrest in St Helen's Copse, the Spotted Flycatcher was joined by a second Spotted and two Pied Flycatchers, whilst there were two 'northern' abietinus-type birds among the Chiffchaffs present. Finally, there was a raft of 30 Common Scoters offshore.

Sightings from Chris & Carol Baillie, Rob Duncan, Paul Holt, and Jaques Turner-Moss.