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Tuesday 25 December 2018

25th Dec – Season's Greetings!

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year from the Lundy Birds blog – happy festive birding!

© Ben Porter Wildlife Photography

Thursday 20 December 2018

1st to 20th Dec – A pre-Christmas round-up

Lundy Warden Dean Jones provides an update covering the first 20 days of December:

"Unfortunately it has been super quiet bird-wise on the island bird since the last post. Unsurprisingly the weather hasn’t been the best with strong south-easterly winds dominating, then switching to the west, bringing with it some heavy downpours. There have been one or two really nice winter days in there though, which has allowed for better birding as well as a small night-time passage of thrushes, for example 35 Fieldfares on 12th Dec.

Birds of note through the period include:

A single Great Northern Diver busily feeding in the Landing Bay on most days up to 20th. Other than this beautiful bird there hasn’t been much else out at sea other than some distant auks, the odd Kittiwake, Gannet and a 1st-winter Common Gull on 12th. Grant Sherman has been out checking his Guillemot sites, resulting in some decent counts on the ledges at St Mark's and Jenny’s, along with good numbers of Fulmar arguing over ledges on a number of days. 

A female Sparrowhawk was present in Millcombe up until 16th at least (perhaps the same long-staying female from November). Other raptor sightings have included Merlin, Kestrel and Peregrine

There are still some Woodcock, Snipe and Water Rail skulking around the island (mainly in Millcombe and at Pondsbury), while on the passerine front the island has been graced with small numbers of Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, a number of glorious Goldcrests, a male Stonechat, a lone Chiffchaff in Millcombe on a number of dates, and a single Firecrest on 12th.

One highlight was the rediscovery of our lady Great Spotted Woodpecker in St Helen's Copse on  10th by Neil Trout. She has been heard/seen most days up until 19th when she was heard calling loudly in St Helen's Copse again.

We also had a rather special non-avian visitor in the form of a huge Basking Shark off Rat Island on  14th. This sighting came as quite a surprise to everyone on the island as observations of these leviathans through the hefty swell this late in the year are rather few and far between.

With me heading off home to the Emerald Isle on Saturday for some Christmas festivities, I am unsure if there will be any further updates until at least 29th Dec. Just in case there aren’t, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas from the island and to say thank you to everyone who has submitted sightings or photographs over the past year. It has been a truly special one with some fantastic birds and even better birders on the island.

Hope to see you all on the island in the New Year!"

And a big thank you to you, Dean, from all Lundybirds blog readers for all your updates through the year. A very Merry Christmas to you and Zoƫ from us all.

Wednesday 5 December 2018

27th to 30th Nov – Rough weather for birding

Lundy Warden Dean Jones, currently off-island, has sent the following update for the period 27th to 30th Nov.

27th Nov
A rather dull, breezy day and very quiet bird-wise, most birds having left Lundy, perhaps anticipating the stormy weather which was due to hit us the following day. Thrush numbers have dropped away a bit, with only a scattering of Redwings (9) and Blackbirds (7), a single Fieldfare and two Song Thrushes, along with an obvious reduction in Chaffinch numbers (3) compared to 26th. Not much else in the way of landbirds of note other than singles of Goldcrest and Chiffchaff (very vocal) in Millcombe and good numbers of Starling in upper Lighthouse Field. Unfortunately there has been no further sign of our ‘lady’ Great Spotted Woodpecker, perhaps due to the fact that Sue has run out of peanuts for her feeder! A brief seawatch during the afternoon saw a re-emergence of feeding Kittiwakes (181) off the Landing Bay after a prolonged absence due to strong easterly winds. Amongst the Kittiwakes were small numbers of Gannet (27), Shag (6) and one Fulmar, as well as around 30 feeding auks (mostly Razorbills), a single adult winter-plumaged Black-headed Gull and, most surprisingly, two Manx Shearwaters doing what they do best, shearing effortlessly through the hefty swell.

Starlings over Lighthouse Field, 27th Nov © Dean Jones

28th Nov
The rain and wind picked up tremendously as forecast, making it extremely difficult to even stay on my feet in parts of the island, never mind record sheltering birds. I did manage to get out for a brief seawatch though the seabirds were much scarcer today than yesterday. In about an hour of recording I managed to see six Gannets, six Razorbills, seven Kittiwakes, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, four Herring Gulls, two Great Black-backed Gulls and, again to my surprise, three Manx Shearwaters!

29th Nov
Another very wet and windy day but slightly less so than the day previous. It is starting to feel much more like winter now, with very few birds on and around the island. Despite the weather I did manage to find a few thrushes hiding in sheltered areas on the east: eight Redwings, seven Fieldfares and five Blackbirds, along with five Goldcrests, four Chaffinches, a single Linnet, and a Great Northern Diver in the Landing Bay.

30th Nov
The horrible weather theme and lack of birds continued. The Great Northern Diver was again in the Landing Bay, two Pied Wagtails were busily feeding outside the Tavern in the early morning, and small numbers of Chaffinch (4) alng with one Linnet and a single Redwing were the only real birds of note.

Tuesday 27 November 2018

26th Nov – Hen Harrier & Snow Bunting the highlights

Dean Jones reports: "A much nicer day weather- and bird-wise yesterday" (Monday 26th Nov):

Most of the thrushes, in particular Fieldfares, had seemingly cleared out on the night of 25th in the clear, calm evening conditions. Despite this, there were still some Redwings (22) and Blackbirds (16) still kicking about the following morning scattered around various areas of the island. The calm conditions throughout the day also allowed for some diurnal passage, which included small numbers of Chaffinches (31), Goldfinches (5) and Starlings (313) overhead as well as a few Lundy scarcities such as Reed Bunting (one in Windy’s Pig Pen and one at Quarter Wall), Brambling (two in Millcombe) and a beautiful, noisy Snow Bunting (Quarter Wall).

There were also a lone male Blackcap, six Goldcrests and a beautiful Mistle Thrush in Millcombe in the early morning, the latter very showy for five minutes or so before flying south over Castle Parade. In and around Pondsbury there were at least three Snipe and singles of both Teal and Woodcock sulking around the Molinia tussocks.

It was a good day for raptors yesterday too, with Sparrowhawk, Merlin and Kestrel all making an appearance throughout the day, as well as a stunning female Hen Harrier looking for a meal around Tibbetts in the late morning.

Finally, the female Great Spotted Woodpecker was again seen in Millcombe Wood and a Great Northern Diver was busily feeding in the Landing Bay in the early afternoon.

Monday 26 November 2018

20th to 25th November – Biting easterlies continue

The following update from Lundy Warden Dean Jones covers the period Monday 20th to Sunday 25th November:

"The strong, bitterly cold easterly winds continued for the remainder of the week which unfortunately stymied most attempts to get out for a good look about.

There have been noticeably fewer finches on the island compared to last week, with only a few Goldfinches and Linnets hanging on in the Village area along with reduced numbers of Chaffinches (highest count for the period was 47 on the 21st). On the passerine front, there have been no further sightings of Blackcap since Tony and Rebecca's visit but there have been a small number of Goldcrests present on most days calling conspicuously from sheltered areas of scrub in Millcombe and along the Lower East Side Path (max 6 on the 21st). Thrush passage has continued, resulting in good numbers of Redwings, Blackbirds and Fieldfares being recorded on most days.

The long-staying female Sparrowhawk and Great Spotted Woodpecker have also been seen periodically, either from the Village area or the now wind-torn Millcombe Valley. Other birds of note within the period included a single Golden Plover heard over the village on 24th; singles of Woodcock (Village) and Snipe (Pondsbury) on 21st; three Water Rails on 21st (two in Smelly Gully and one at Quarters Pond); two second-year Common Gulls in the Landing Bay on 21st; a single Woodpigeon in Millcombe on 25th and an adult Dark-bellied Brent Goose – a Lundy rarity – next to Quarters on 20th."

Fieldfare, Quarter Wall, 25 Nov © Dean Jones
Adult Dark-bellied Brent Goose, lower aerogenerator field, 20 Nov © Dean Jones

Entries below for 13th, 16th & 17th Nov have been updated with photos from Martin Thorne.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

18th & 19th Nov – Challenging conditions for birding

Tony Taylor and Rebecca Taylor report on their last two days on the island for this trip:

Sunday 18th November

"A windy day, with a little ringing possible in the morning. Limited coverage of the island, and birds keeping a low profile in Millcombe. In the Landing Bay: 16 Gannets, 17 Kittiwakes, six Razorbills, and six Lesser Black-backed Gulls going south together. 85 Herring Gulls mainly hunkered down in Lighthouse Field. Single Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Merlin. One Goldcrest, one Blackcap, three Stonechats, 24 Redwings, four Fieldfares, two Song Thrushes, 250 Starlings (mainly in Lighthouse Field), 80 Chaffinches, one Brambling (same bird as 17th) and one Goldfinch."

Monday 19th November

"Extremely windy, and not the weather to be birding in Millcombe. We made it to Quarter Wall and Brick Field ponds. Birds included: two Teal in Barton Field, three Lapwings in Bull's Paradise, and 37 Redwings, 11 Fieldfares, and seven Meadow Pipits in various fields, mainly Brick Field. Also a Blackcap on apples we'd put out at Brambles. During our week we ended up ringing 23 Redwings, 19 Chaffinches, 12 Blackcaps, two Blackbirds and singles of seven other species. Eleven retraps included several Blackbirds."

Sunday 18 November 2018

16th & 17th Nov – Blackcaps still on the move

The latest updates from Tony Taylor and Rebecca Taylor show that migrants are continuing to pass through in good numbers, even though we are now into the second half of November:

Friday 16th November

The main movements comprised 50 Redwings, 400 Starlings and 120 Chaffinches, with a supporting cast of Sparrowhawk, Merlin, Kestrel, Peregrines (the raptors often targeting passerine flocks in Lighthouse Field), the Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Chiffchaff, nine Blackcaps (with a surprisingly high total of 10 ringed during 15th/16th), a Fieldfare, two Goldfinches and a Linnet. A Great Northern Diver was in the Landing Bay, but a different bird to that seen recently, showing much more white on the head and neck.

Martin Thorne saw 30 Golden Plovers in flight over South West Field.

Saturday 17th November

Strong winds limited both ringing and birding but a single 20-foot mistnet in a sheltered corner delivered a trickle of birds including a second calendar year Sparrowhawk and a Brambling. Among  birds seen were a Woodcock, the Great Spotted Woodpecker (which Martin Thorne has observed using nestbox no. 5 in Millcombe), a Chiffchaff, three Blackcaps, a Goldcrest, 40 Redwings, six Fieldfares, two Song Thrushes, two Stonechats, 110 Chaffinches and two Linnets.

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker leaving nestbox no. 5 in Millcombe – a bit of a squeeze! 17 Nov © Martin Thorne 
A more conventional view of the woodpecker in Millcombe, 16 Nov © Martin Thorne

Thursday 15 November 2018

Photos from 9th to 12th Nov

Below is a selection of photos from Richard Campey's recent brief sojourn on the island...

Brambling in Tillage Field, November 2018 © Richard Campey

Chiffchaff near Terrace Trap, November 2018 © Richard Campey

Great Spotted Woodpecker (female) above the Casbah, Millcombe, November 2018 © Richard Campey

Ravens on the Airfield, November 2018 © Richard Campey

Reed Bunting at Pondsbury, November 2018 © Richard Campey

Stonechat along the Lower East Side Path near St Helen's Copse, November 2018 © Richard Campey

And finally... we're struggling to see the bird(s) in this photo; possibly a vagrant Oxpecker?

Sika Deer, November 2018 © Richard Campey

14th & 15th Nov – Light passage of thrushes, Starlings & finches

There was little new to report on 14th, although the feeding flock of gulls and other seabirds off the East Side again attracted a Great Skua, whilst Millcombe held two Goldcrests and two Blackcaps. Other records included two Teal and single Snipe and Woodcock.

Thursday 15th brought more movement, with sightings including: individual flocks of 25-30 Redwings, Starlings and Chaffinches heading south, plus single Black Redstart, Redpoll and Reed Bunting dropping briefly into Millcombe during the morning. The valley also held 17 Blackbirds, five Song Thrushes, four Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff and the lingering Great Spotted Woodpecker. There was a Common Gull in the Landing Bay, where the Great Northern Diver was still present, with two Great Skuas further off the East Side.

The south coast of Devon recorded some spectacular thrush migration on the morning of 15th (e.g. 8,400 Redwings over Berry Head in a couple of hours first thing). That movement clearly didn't reach as far north as Lundy – and was also absent from the north coast of mainland Devon. It will be interesting to see if numbers are any higher in the coming days as the wind becomes more easterly.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

13th Nov – A good mix of migrants

Today brought a wide variety of migrants, including:
  • single Ring Ouzel and Mistle Thrush at the top of Millcombe first thing;
  • nine Skylarks, 25 Starlings and a Snow Bunting, all of which seemed to arrive from the east;
  • an adult Mediterranean Gull and a Great Skua together with Kittiwakes and Gannets off the East Side at midday (plus three skua sp. at first light);
  • the Great Northern Diver still in the Landing Bay and two Red-throated Divers off Rat Island;
  • four Teal, four Snipe, a Jack Snipe and a Woodcock on top of the island;
  • a Chiffchaff on the Terrace;
  • a Black Redstart along the Beach Road;
  • three Goldcrests, a Linnet and 80 Chaffinches.
In addition, Martin Thorne saw a large-ish raptor, possibly a harrier or Short-eared Owl, coming in off the sea, mobbed by gulls as it went, when he was fishing from the jetty first thing.

Records from Rebecca Taylor, Tony Taylor and Martin Thorne.

Great Skua off the East Side, 13 Nov © Martin Thorne
Great Skua chasing a Kittiwake off the East Side, 13 Nov © Martin Thorne

Monday 12 November 2018

12th Nov – Passage of crests and finches continues

Richard Campey reports (from his last morning on this trip) a Firecrest and six Goldcrests on the Terrace, the Great Spotted Woodpecker in Millcombe, a Brambling in Tillage Field again and 140 Chaffinches, which were "getting hell" from a Merlin and a Sparrowhawk. Tony Taylor and Rebecca Taylor recorded a further 300 Chaffinches moving south during the afternoon.

Sunday 11 November 2018

11th Nov – Migrants dodge the downpours

Richard Campey reports a mostly sunny day with a few isolated but torrential showers. There was no sign of the Little Owl, unfortunately, despite a morning spent searching for it. On top of the island, four Cormorants flew past the Old Light, a Golden Plover was on the Airfield, and raptors made a good showing, with Merlin, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and Peregrine logged. Chaffinches were less numerous than on 10th, but there were still 200 in evidence in sheltered areas and along the tracks. One Brambling was with Chaffinches in Tillage Field. The Terrace willows yielded two Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff, whilst there were three Stonechats along the Lower East Side Path and two more at Pondsbury. Finally, there was a Water Rail in Smelly Gully and a Redwing flying over the Village in the early evening.

Saturday 10 November 2018

10th Nov – Little Owl: the fifth EVER for Lundy!

Richard Campey notched up a very well-deserved 'Lundy tick' this afternoon when he found a Little Owl towards the top of St John's Valley. This is only the fifth in the island's ornithological history and comes after singles on 15 June 1933, 7 November 1944, 1 June 1955 and 1 June 1984. Unfortunately Richard's views were brief and the light poor, so he didn't have his camera readily to hand, but his sketch and supporting notes do the job perfectly:

Richard's other sightings during a challenging day weather-wise included three Teal, a Water Rail, a Woodcock and two Reed Buntings, all at Pondsbury, a Golden Plover over the Airfield and 500+ Chaffinches over Millcombe and elsewhere in the south of the island. Seawatching produced a Manx Shearwater, 79 Gannets, 23 Kittiwakes, 11 Great Black-backed Gulls and 21 auk sp.

Friday 9 November 2018

3rd to 9th Nov – Chaffinch passage continues

Recent sightings, contributed by Mandy Dee and Richard Campey, have included:
  • a Hen Harrier over Lametry Bay on 3rd
  • the long-staying female Great Spotted Woodpecker on 4th, 5th & 9th
  • 200 Starlings gathering to roost in the Village on 5th
  • a Snipe on 6th
  • 26 Redwings on 6th
  • 36 Chaffinches and a Brambling on 6th
  • 400 Chaffinches and three Bramblings on 9th
  • 1 Goldcrest on 9th
  • 2 Gannets, 3 Shags and 9 Kittiwakes during a seawatch on the afternoon of 9th, before conditions became too stormy to see!

Saturday 3 November 2018

30th Oct to 2nd Nov – Rough-legged Buzzard

The following update from Ross and Helen Bower brings news of yet another scarcity, continuing the recent run of outstanding birds on the island and the excellent coverage this autumn...

"Just returned from a lovely few days on Lundy. Not overrun with birds (as you would expect at this stage of the autumn), but nice to see a steady passage of thrushes and Chaffinch through the island. Highlight of our trip was a Rough-legged Buzzard on the West Side, north of Tibbetts yesterday afternoon (1 Nov). It appeared from nowhere, was briefly pursued by a Raven before circling up very high and drifting south until lost from view."

Other highlights included:

30th October:
2 Woodcock
Ringtail Hen Harrier – first seen along the Terrace then later around Old Light, heading south.
Black Redstart around North Light.

31st October:
At least a couple of Brambling overhead within the frequent Chaffinch flocks.
At  least two Merlin around the island, providing much entertainment on their hunting escapades.
One very flighty Snow Bunting recorded briefly on the West Side, south of the Old Light.

1st November:
Snow Bunting again recorded briefly along Castle track in the morning, but not seen again.
Great Spotted Woodpecker still present in Millcombe Valley.
Again, at least 2 Merlin.
Rough-legged Buzzard.

2nd November:
Great Spotted Woodpecker still present.
A couple more Brambling heard within Chaffinch flocks. A Lapland Bunting overhead at Quarter Wall, heading south across the Airfield.

Tuesday 30 October 2018

28th & 29th Oct – More wild wind and more birds; photos of the American Robin

28th October: Paul Holt reported the wind as "even wilder than yesterday, but lessened slightly in the afternoon". His round-up of birds reads: Great Spotted Woodpecker still present, four Goldcrests, one Chiffchaff, two Blackcaps, one Mistle Thrush, 40 Blackbirds, 52 Redwings, eight Song Thrushes, seven Fieldfares, one Black Redstart, two Bramblings, 140 Chaffinches, two Siskins, two Redpolls and one Snow Bunting.

29th October: Paul sent his final list of species for the week whilst back on the mainland in the coach from Hartland Point to Ilfracombe. He prefaced his report saying: "The wind had dropped and Millcombe was heaving with birds, the ground rustling with thrushes and Chaffinches pouring south." His list reads:

– one Lapwing
– one Woodcock (the first of the season)
– one Snipe
– three Woodpigeons
– one Stock Dove
– one Merlin
– 26 Skylarks
– 65 Blackbirds
– 300 Redwings
– 40 Fieldfares
– 10 Song Thrushes
– one Ring Ouzel
– one Grey Wagtail
– 1,400 Chaffinches moving south between dawn and 08.00 hrs and from 09.00 to 10.00 hrs
– 17 Bramblings
– three Siskins
– nine Linnets
– 27 Goldfinches
– one Greenfinch
– five Redpolls

A selection of Paul's photos from his week on Lundy (including four record shots of the American Robin) appear below.

Thanks to everyone who has texted or emailed their sightings for the blog this autumn. With Warden Dean Jones now off the island on a well-deserved holiday, and seemingly no birdwatchers currently 'in residence', that's probably it from Lundy until Martin Thorne goes over for a week from 12th November.

Garden Warbler © Paul Holt
Yellow-browed Warbler © Paul Holt

American Robin, Millcombe, 26 Oct © Paul Holt
American Robin, Millcombe, 26 Oct © Paul Holt
American Robin, Millcombe, 26 Oct © Paul Holt
American Robin, Millcombe, 26 Oct © Paul Holt
Fieldfare © Paul Holt
Goldfinch © Paul Holt
Linnet © Paul Holt
"Sneaky" Reed Bunting © Paul Holt

Sunday 28 October 2018

27th Oct – Tough conditions for birding

Although Saturday was a "tricky day in howling NE wind", Paul Holt managed a good crop of birds: a Grey Heron flying south, one Sparrowhawk, two Merlins, two Kestrels, the still-present Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Lapwings on the Airfield, one Swallow (heading north!), one Chiffchaff, three Blackcaps, five Stonechats, eight Blackbirds, 170 Redwings, 12 Song Thrushes, 10 Fieldfares, 480 Chaffinches, two Bramblings, 40 Linnets, three Redpolls, 17 Goldfinches, and singles each of Siskin and Greenfinch. In addition, Paul observed two parties of grey geese: 15 heading north and eight south, but too distant to identify them to species.

Saturday 27 October 2018

27th Oct – Photos from Andy Jayne's week on Lundy

A few record shots from my recent trip from 18th–26th October. They include juvenile Hen Harrier at Quarter Wall, Snow Bunting at the Rocket Pole, Merlin near Threequarter Wall, Black Redstart near North Light, Lesser Redpoll in Millcombe, Short-eared Owl just north of St Helen's Copse and Ring Ouzel by the Timekeeper's Hut. 


Friday 26 October 2018

26th Oct – STOP PRESS! American Robin on Lundy

The following update arrived from Paul Holt late in the evening : "Despite searching until dusk could not re-find the American Robin – seen for 15 minutes around 13.50 in Millcombe and then in St John's Valley." Here's one of the photos Paul took of the bird, a mobile phone shot of the back of his camera.

American Robin, Millcombe, 26th Oct © Paul Holt

Other birds seen by Paul, some of which were reported earlier by Trevor and Karen Dobie (see below) were one Yellow-browed Warbler, a Garden Warbler, a Ring Ouzel, one Jackdaw, the  Great Spotted Woodpecker, six Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs, two Merlins, one Kestrel, eight Goldcrests, four Redpolls, two Siskins, 18 Fieldfares, 40 Redwings and five Stonechats.

Andy Jayne, whilst on his way back from his week on Lundy on the Oldenburg, received a text from Paul Holt to say that he had found an American Robin. The latest news from Paul, at 16.35 hrs, is that the bird was seen briefly in Millcombe, and that he has taken photos of the bird. This will be Lundy's fourth following occurrences in 1952 (also a first for Britain), 1962 and 1982.

Before boarding the boat Andy did a seawatch which produced five Bonxies and one Manx Shearwater. In something of a frustrating week for him, Andy saw six grey geese flying up the East Side at 11.05 this morning, but he was unable to identify them to species, but most likely Pinkfeet.

Postscript: Intriguingly, Tony Taylor reported six White-fronted Geese arriving in West Pembrokeshire from the south later the same day!

Trevor and Karen Dobie arrived today on a "rough ride over on a splash and dash Oldie trip". They haven't seen the American Robin but during "a quick wander through Millcombe at sunset" they saw  four Fieldfares, six Redwings, three Song Thrushes, a male and female Blackcap, the Great Spotted Woodpecker, 10 Chaffinches, five Goldfinches and "a squeal from Smelly Gully which was either an escaped pig or a Water Rail!" They also report a Kestrel all afternoon around the Castle area.

Thursday 25 October 2018

25th Oct – Pallas's Warbler the star of the show & thrushes on the increase

Justin Zantboer has texted the following full update for 25th Oct:

"Pallas’s Warbler ringed but unfortunately not seen thereafter. Another Yellow-browed Warbler ringed at 5pm, making a total of two in Millcombe for the day. Ring Ouzel still on the Terrace. Jackdaw in the Pig Pen near Quarter Wall (seen the afternoon before by Ellie and myself but I didn’t realise the significance ['very rare autumn migrant']). Also present were 13 Goldcrests, 7 Chiffchaffs, 8 Blackcaps, 21 Fieldfares, 14 Song Thrushes, 162 Redwings, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Grey Wagtail, 14 Bramblings, 73 Chaffinches, 5 Lesser Redpolls, 10 Siskins and the female Great Spotted Woodpecker. Offshore, 30 Gannets, 1 Bonxie, 12 Kittiwakes, 2 Black-headed Gulls, 20 Common Gulls and 4 Mediterranean Gulls (3 ads + 1 juv)."

Meanwhile Warden Dean Jones, who spent the morning with the ringing team, found and photographed a Stock Dove close to St Helen's Church.

Stock Dove, near St Helen's Church, 25th Oct © Dean Jones

Wednesday 24 October 2018

24th Oct – What might have been!

Andy Jayne had a very frustrating sighting this morning: 16 egrets flying north-east past North Light (at 09.50 hrs) which may very well have been Cattle Egrets, but he couldn't be sure given the distance involved. It would be interesting to know if a flock of 16 egrets, whether of Cattle or Little, turned up anywhere in the Bristol Channel today.

Had Andy been able to pin down the birds as Cattle Egrets, not only would they have been a new species for his Lundy list, they would also have been a new species for Lundy. That's birding!

The best of the rest of Andy's sightings was a lone Ring Ouzel.

Justin Zantboer sent these additional sightings for 24th Oct on 25th, having been unable to get a mobile phone signal:

– four Yellow-browed Warblers (three in Millcombe and a new one in Quarter Wall Copse).
– a Siberian Chiffchaff (calling & photographed – picture to follow) in Millcombe.
– a Firecrest in St Helen’s Copse.
– a Ring Ouzel at the Terrace (the same bird seen later by Andy).
– one Golden Plover over Quarter Wall.
– a Grey Heron on Pondsbury.
– one Fieldfare and eight Redwings.
– four Blackcaps.
– four Chiffchaffs.
– a light passage of Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and a few finches.

Seawatching produced an adult Black-headed Gull, an adult Common Gull and 58 Kittiwakes feeding offshore from Millcombe.

Tuesday 23 October 2018

23rd Oct – “A quiet day but always something of interest"

Andy Jayne reports a Short-eared Owl roosting in rhodi brash just north of St Helen’s Combe for at least an hour in late morning, two adult Mediterranean Gulls off South End (a Lundy tick for Andy), the female Great Spotted Woodpecker and at least one Yellow-browed Warbler in Millcombe first thing, and two Merlins.

Andy was joined on the island today by Paul Holt as well as Rob Duncan and his ringing team of James Booty and Justin, Ellie & Daniel Zantboer. It didn’t take long before they mist-netted three Yellow-browed Warblers, two of which are pictured below. Also of note were six Redwings, two Song Thrushes, two Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, eight Goldcrests and two Lesser Redpolls seen around Millcombe during the afternoon. They also saw three drake Common Scoters on the crossing.

Yellow-browed Warblers, Millcombe, 23rd Oct © Justin Zantboer

Monday 22 October 2018

22nd Oct – Red-eyed Vireo puts in a (very) brief appearance

Andy Jayne had a "bit of a shock" today when at 09.55 he briefly encountered the Red-eyed Vireo in gorse and brambles on the slope above Brambles Villa. However, despite searching for much of the day, he was unable to find it again. During the evening a further text arrived from Andy: "Just seen an owl in the gloaming over South West Field, presumably Short-eared."

Sunday 21 October 2018

21st Oct – Highlights of the day

Andy Jayne's third day of birding Lundy brought a ringtail Hen Harrier briefly near Quarter Wall, a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Firecrest in Millcombe, and a Black Redstart near North Light. The female Great Spotted Woodpecker is still around, as is yesterday's Stock Dove, but new for his trip were two Mistle Thrushes.

20th Oct – No sign of the Red-eyed Vireo

Andy Jayne reports no further sightings of Friday's Red-eyed Vireo. Highlight's of the day's birding were a Common Rosefinch, seen briefly in Millcombe in the morning, a Yellow-browed Warbler, one Stock Dove and a Snow Bunting.

Saturday 20 October 2018

14th to 18th Oct – An array of birds

Featured here are a selection of photographs contributed by Richard Campey during his recent five-day stay on Lundy with fellow Norfolk birder Malcolm Davies (click on image for best viewing).

Female Sparrowhawk © Richard Campey
Firecrest © Richard Campey
Firecrest © Richard Campey
Firecrest © Richard Campey
Goldcrest © Richard Campey
Raven © Richard Campey
Kestrel © Richard Campey

Peregrine © Richard Campey

Peregrine © Richard Campey
Wheatear © Richard Campey
Tree Pipit © Richard Campey
Female Great Spotted Woodpecker © Richard Campey
Goldfinch © Richard Campey