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Sunday 14 April 2013

9th - 13th April 2013

Chris and Mandy Dee spent 5 days on Lundy, hoping for some Spring migrants after weeks of easterlies, and to do a little ringing.

Arrived late on 9th after spending 2 hours on the Oldenburg anchored in Jenny's Cove waiting for the swell to subside in the Landing Bay. No auks on the ledges, but plenty of Fulmar and Kittiwake activity. Good numbers of Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the west side colonies.

There were small numbers of Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps around on 10th, along with a few Goldcrests. Up to 20 Wheatear south of Quarter Wall and the occasional Swallow and House Martin passing through.

The 11th was a day of mixed weather; low cloud alternating with bright sunshine. A count of 14 Guillemot and 6 Razorbill on ledges at the south end (near Seals' Hole), we the only auks seen ashore all week, but 30 Razorbill and 11 Puffin were on the water in Jenny's Cove.  The skies cleared and winds dropped in the evening, raising hopes that serious migration might start. At least one Manx Shearwater was calling over Castle Hill at night.

A few showers overnight and just before dawn on Friday 12th grounded a lot of warblers on the island. Although there was still too much rain to open mist-nets at dawn, over 100 mixed Willow Warbler / Chiffchaff poured into Millcombe from Castle Hill between 6:30 and 7:00. From the numbers caught later in the morning the ratio of Willow:Chiff was about 3:2. A single flock of 120 Redwing were part of around 200 later reported in St Helen's Field. The flock also included 5 Fieldfare. Later in the morning Goldcrests started to appear in Millcombe; the 34 ringed during the day exceeding most recent Spring counts. There were also good numbers of Blackcaps; mostly males, and almost all that were trapped were in good condition for onward migration. A Firecrest was trapped and ringed and a Grasshopper Warbler was singing in Smelly Gully at dawn.

Most of the migrants had moved on by Saturday, which was again a damp morning, but another Firecrest was ringed. With strong southerlies forecast, the Oldenburg left early curtailing further activities. Despite much searching, the Chough was not located all week and we left feeling slightly short-changed having lost Lundy-time at both ends of the stay.

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