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Tuesday 28 February 2017

Fri 24 to Tue 28 Feb – Some good birds to close out the month

Martin Thorne was over on the island 24th–27th Feb, though his trip was curtailed by persistent clag, which prevented the helicopter from flying on four previous attempts last week and played havoc with plans for a week-long Lundy Field Society conservation work party.

In spite of having only two full days and further rough weather to contend with, Martin notched up some good birds, reporting two Red-throated Divers off Mouse Island and a Black-throated Diver and two Common Scoters in the Landing Bay, as well as a 'white-winged gull' (there has been a significant UK-wide arrival of both Glaucous and Iceland Gulls in recent weeks) around the Airfield. There was also a noticeable arrival of passage Stonechats, with four on Ackland's Moor and up to 20 along the East Side. Dean Jones (Lundy Warden) also picked up the Stonechat influx, seeing seven below Quarry Cottages on 27th and 11 around the Rocket Pole area on 28th. Both Martin and Dean also detected a small passage of Redwings, including 20+ on 27th.

A pukka Lundy vagrant to end the month, and the first since Sep 2003, was a Great Crested Grebe in full breeding plumage, found by Dean in the Landing Bay this morning (28th); a bird he describes as "quite the treat". And so say all of us!

We now look forward to the first half of March, with its promise of the first migrant Wheatears, Chiffchaffs and Sand Martins – and who knows what else?

Monday 27 February 2017

28 Jan to 26 Feb 2017 – New Year, New Lundy Warden

New Lundy Warden, Dean Jones, took up his post at the end of January and has already logged a variety of interesting late-winter sightings, among them:

Teal – two on 18 Feb
Great Northern Diver – two on 13 Feb
Red-necked Grebe – one on 13 Feb (Lundy rarity)
Woodcock – two on 2 Feb
Snipe – one on 2 Feb
Kittiwake – 304 on 18 Feb, 400+ off the Landing Bay on 23 Feb (the day Storm Doris blew through)
Woodpigeon – two on 10 Feb (scarce in winter)
Merlin – one on 18 Feb
Skylark – six on 4 Feb
Goldcrest – one on 17 Feb (scarce in winter)
Fieldfare – two on 18 Feb
Redwing – six on 5 Feb, 13 on 16 Feb
Stonechat – three on 28 Jan, one on 4 Feb
Black Redstart – singles on 28 Jan & 4 Feb
Meadow Pipit – five on 4 Feb (scarce in winter)
Pied Wagtail – one on 17 Feb (scarce in winter)
Goldfinch – four on 16 Feb

At Jenny's Cove on Sunday 26th February there were 17 Gannets, 34 Fulmars, 2 Cormorants and 30 Kittiwakes all flying South and 365 Guillemots on the ledges.

On behalf of Lundybirds contributors and readers, welcome to Dean and happy Lundy birding!

Two rarities from the end of last year

Below are photos of the Red-necked Grebe (Lundy vagrant) and Red-throated Pipit (national rarity) found by Philip & Helen Lymbery on 18th December and 18th & 19th December, respectively. The grebe was in the Landing Bay and came remarkably close to shore, while the pipit was in the vicinity of the Church and Castle. Although Red-throated Pipit is significantly rarer at national level, there have actually been more Lundy records of this species than there have of Red-necked Grebe! Great records Philip & Helen; sorry to be late uploading the photos.

Red-necked Grebe, Landing Bay 18 Dec 2016 ©Philip Lymbery
Red-necked Grebe, Landing Bay 18 Dec 2016 ©Philip Lymbery
Red-throated Pipit, Castle Hill area, 19 Dec 2016 ©Philip Lymbery
Red-throated Pipit, Castle Hill area, 19 Dec 2016 ©Philip Lymbery