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Wednesday 10 May 2017

7th to 10th May – Sunday migrant rush followed by midweek lull

The clear skies, much lighter winds and higher temperatures of Sunday 7th gave a window of opportunity for delayed migrants to flood north. In line with observations along the mainland coast of North Devon, Swallows were particularly abundant, with a "highly conservative" estimate of 1,000 entered in the Lundy logbook, alongside 400+ House Martins and 100+ Sand Martins. Grounded night migrants included 11 Whitethroats, a Lesser Whitethroat, 5 each of Sedge Warbler, Garden Warbler and Blackcap, 9 Willow Warblers, 5 Chiffchaffs, 3 Whinchats and a Spotted Flycatcher. The Bar-tailed Godwit was still in the Pondsbury area, whilst other waders were represented by 4 Dunlins at the Rocket Pole (see photo of breeding-plumaged bird below) and 3 Whimbrels. A Buzzard (presumably the same bird as during the first week of May) was also seen. The fine weather brought out good numbers of butterflies, among them Small, Green-veined and Large Whites, Red Admirals and Small Tortoiseshells.

Breeding-plumaged Dunlin © Dean Jones
Monday 8th was much quieter, with the more notable sightings comprising: 1 Cormorant, 3 Dunlins, 4 Whitethroats, 5 Sedge Warblers, 1 Wood Warbler (see photo below), 2 White Wagtails and 2 Spotted Flycatchers.

Wood Warbler, 8 May © Dean Jones
The quieter theme continued into Tuesday 9th, which featured a Merlin, 3 Swifts, 4 Sedge Warblers, 3 Whitethroats, a handful of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers and a Spotted Flycatcher. Dean Jones noted the first fledglings from among the 37 active Starling nests located by Tim Jones last week. Zoë Barton's discovery of a stunning female Emperor Moth sitting on the doorstep of the shop (see photo below, after relocation to a safer spot!) was undoubtedly the sighting of the day though.

Female Emperor Moth, 9 May © Dean Jones
Writing on Wednesday 10th, Dean reported a further quiet day birdwise, with the exception of an arrival of 8 Spotted Flycatchers – the first real influx of the spring – and 2 White Wagtails.

Thanks to Dean for forwarding counts from the log to enable this update.

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