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Tuesday 15 November 2016

Wed 9 to Fri 11 Nov – Bird-wise pretty quiet

Richard & Rebecca Taylor's last three days on Lundy produced the following sightings, for what Richard reports were quiet days bird-wise:

Wednesday 9th Nov: Blackbird 27, Common Gull 1, Black-headed Gull 2, Firecrest 1, Blackcap 1, Woodcock 3, Snipe 10, Jack Snipe 2, Merlin 1 and Wigeon 2.

Thursday 10th Nov: Redwing 52, Fieldfare 9, Teal 7, Great Skua 1, Chiffchaff 2, Firecrest 1, Great Northern Diver 1, Blackcap 1 and Wigeon 1.

Friday 11th Nov: Great Northern Diver 1, Lapwing 2, Redwing 70, Blackbird 25 (including a group of 14 passing up through St John’s and onwards), Fieldfare 20, Brambling 1, Chiffchaff 1, Siskin 2, Skylark 7 in over Landing Bay and heard throughout the morning, and a small passage southwards of some 200 Chaffinches.

Unless there are further regular birdwatching visitors to the island between now and the end of the year, this is likely to be the last report of 2016. Thanks to everyone who has either uploaded photos and reports, or has sent texts and photos for uploading.

Thursday 10 November 2016

Mon 7 & Tue 8 Nov – A bit windy!

Richard & Rebecca Taylor began their five-day stay on 7th (effectively a half-day after their arrival by helicopter from Hartland Point) with a Firecrest, a high count of ten Snipe, three Woodcocks, three Chiffchaffs and three Blackcaps.

The following day (8th Nov) they tallied six Wigeon, two Great Northern Divers, a Jack Snipe, six Snipe, three Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps, a Firecrest, three Goldcrests, 250 Redwings, at least one Mistle Thrush, 30 Fieldfares, 50 Blackbirds and five Redpolls.

Given Richard's opening comment ("Hello. It's a bit windy!"), it seems unlikely that they have been able to open the mist-nets. With calmer winds on Wednesday (9th) the chances look better... but less so on Thursday (10th)!

Monday 7 November 2016

Photos from 31 Oct to 4 Nov

Spent five days last week on the island with Tim Davis and James Diamond – here is a selection of photos – Richard Campey

Fieldfare - all over the island, this one in Lighthouse Field
 Another Fieldfare in the top of Millcombe
 Meadow Pipit near Quarter Wall
 Black Redstart at Quarter Wall Cottages
 Firecrest in Lower Millcombe by Smelly Gulley
 Kestrel seen flying through Millcombe from The Ugly
 Redwing in Tent Field living up to it's Latin name !

Pallid Swift & Pallas's Warbler photos from 25 & 27 Oct

Thanks to Simon Slade for sending through his photos of the Pallid Swift, which entertained birdwatchers for half-an-hour or so on 25th October, and the Pallas's Warblers seen on 25th and 27th. With regard to the Pallas's Warbler seen on 25th, Simon says: "The light and shadow makes a big difference to how the bird looks but it seems to me that there are enough differences to indicate that it was a different bird to the one shown in the in-hand image."

Of the Pallid Swift, Simon says: "It was hard to photograph but the image shows the key features of primary contrast and wing shape and you can just about make out the pale throat and breast pattern."

Unless a currently pending record of Pallid Swift at Hope's Nose on 17th November 2010 is accepted, the Lundy bird, if accepted, will be a first for both Devon and Lundy.

 Pallas's Warbler, Lundy, 25th October 2016

 Pallas's Warbler, Lundy, 25th October 2016

 Pallas's Warbler, Lundy, 27th October 2016

 Pallid Swift, Lundy, 25th October 2016

All photos © Simon Slade

Friday 4 November 2016

Fri 4 Nov – The end of a fun five days

The last of our five days and a very different one, waking to a heavily overcast sky, a southwesterly airflow and light rain. Little in the way of movement through the island detected but in the few hours available to us before boarding the helicopter to Hartland Point, James, Richard and I recorded – all in or from Millcombe – one Brambling (flight call only), a handful of Blackcaps, a calling Water Rail in Smelly Gully, four Siskins, two Firecrests showing very well in the Sycamores above the Casbah, 30 Starlings perched on the Church, a Stock Dove, first seen arriving in Millcombe wood late the previous day, one Woodpigeon, a Merlin flying from near the Sugar Loaf to South Light, and a Great Northern Diver out in the Landing Bay. James also had early-morning views of the Yellow-browed Warbler first seen late on Thursday afternoon, but sadly it eluded us thereafter.

The much better than average coverage of birds on Lundy this autumn continues next week with the arrival on Monday of Richard & Rebecca Taylor, so continue to watch this space!

Thursday 3 November 2016

Thu 3 Nov

On their last full day on the island, Tim Davis, James Diamond and Richard Campey finally caught up with a Yellow-Browed Warbler late in the day in Millcombe, where there were also 2 Firecrests, 8 Goldcrests and 6 Blackcaps.

With the change in wind direction to the south-west, gulls were much further offshore, but a single Black-headed Gull, 6 Common Gulls and 5 Mediterranean Gulls were detected.

Elsewhere there were 2 Jack Snipe, 2 Woodcock and 8 Common Snipe. A Stock Dove was seen and there were 2 Kestrels, a Merlin and 5 Stonechat. Only 190 Starlings were counted but there was still some thrush passage with 40 Blackbirds, 40 Fieldfares, 25 Song Thrushes and 200 Redwings. Finches were represented by 350 Chaffinch, a Brambling and a Lesser Redpoll.

Tue 1 & Wed 2 Nov – Shoveler and continued strong thrush passage

Tim Davis reports a Teal on Pondsbury on both 1st and 2nd November and a male Shoveler on the 2nd - only the 13th Lundy record and the first since 2010. James Diamond located 4 Jack Snipe in the Pondsbury area on the 1st when there were also 4 Lapwing on the Airfield. Also on 1st was a flock of 10 Oystercatcher on the rocks at low tide on the West Side, 6 Snipe, a Kestrel, 2 Merlin, a Sparrowhawk and 3 Common Scoter. One Merlin was still present on 2nd. Three Golden Plover were seen on the 2nd and in an hour's count 25 Black-headed Gulls, 25 Common Gulls and 14 Mediterreanean Gulls were tallied.

Thrush numbers continue to be impressive with at least 50 Blackbirds, 25 Song Thrush and 125 Redwing on each day, 100 Fieldfare on 1st and 150 on 2nd, a Mistle Thrush on 1st and 2 Ring Ouzels on 1st and one on 2nd. The Starling flock was counted as 550 on 1st and on the same day 7 Black Redstarts were seen. Eight Stonechats were reported on both days.

On 2nd there were counts of 18 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest and 13 Blackcap. Finch passage is building up with 350 Chaffinches passing through on 1st. There was a single Snow Bunting on 1st and 3 a day later, when a Lapland Bunting was also located.

In the mild conditions, two Red Admirals and a Small Copper were on the wing.

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Tue 1 Nov – Huge feeding flock of gulls and good migrant passage

Tim Davis, who is on the island with James Diamond and (un-beknown to them in advance) Richard Campey, report a huge feeding flock of gulls on the East Side, spreading from the Landing Bay to Gannet's Coombe. At around 12:50 the flock included 400 Kittiwakes, 200 Herring Gulls, 6 Common Gulls, 3 Black-headed Gulls, a few Great Black-backed Gulls, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Great Skua. Most notable though was the presence of six adult Mediterranean Gulls - the largest ever Lundy count of this species - and well overdue considering the number that winter on the nearby Devon mainland and in southern Ireland.
Over the island there was good thrush passage, with counts of 200 Redwing, 50 Fieldfare, 15 Song Thrush, 25 Blackbird and a Ring Ouzel. Strong Chaffinch migration amounted to at least 500 birds. A flock of 700 Starling were feeding in South West Field. Elsewhere, five Water Rail were reported (3 in Millcombe and 2 at Pondsbury), a Jack Snipe was flushed from the Upper East Side path and three Lapwing were on the Airfield. A female Sparrowhawk and a Merlin were present.
Sadly there was no sign of any Yellow-browed Warblers or the Pallas' Warbler, but six Chiffchaffs were present.