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Wednesday 10 January 2018

Wed 10 Jan – Red-throated Diver and more winter thrushes

Following on from Philip Lymbery's New Year update below, Lundy Warden Dean Jones reports (with masterly understatement) that the weather in early January continued to be "not the best for birding" with westerly gales dominating the start of the month, followed by lots of rain, then bitterly cold winds from the east...

A decent day, today, Wednesday 10th, saw the undoubted highlight of the period, a Red-throated Diver in the Landing Bay during the afternoon. It was preening close-in to begin with, pausing periodically and giving Dean good views. "The bird then powered out of the bay to deeper waters, where it began to search for food."

Other sightings of note between 4 & 10 Jan have included good numbers of wintering thrushes, including a very high midwinter Song Thrush count for the island, but finches have reached their typical winter nadir:

Mallard – Eight were on Rocket Pole Pond on 6th.
Teal – Three males were frantically courting four females on Pondsbury on 5th.
Great Northern Diver – A single bird was in the Landing Bay on 6th & 10th.
Kittiwake – The large feeding flocks present at the turn of the year soon disappeared at the onset of the strong easterly winds; max 68 on 4th.
Herring Gull – Some decent flocks were noted sheltering in Barton Field during the few days of westerly gales; max 172 on 4th.
Water Rail – One has been calling from the iris bed next to Millcombe House on most days.
Goldcrest – One was in Quarter Wall Copse on 5th.
Skylark – Three on 6th was the highest count since three on 28 Dec. To find a day-total of more than three means going all the way back to 16 Nov, when there were nine.
Blackbird – A max of 24 on 5th.
Song Thrush – A max of 21 on 5th.
Redwing – A max of 37 on 5th.
Fieldfare – A single bird in Barton Field on 5th.
Chaffinch – A max of four on 5th.
Goldfinch – A max of two on 7th.
Linnet – A single bird calling over the village on 5th was the first since another singleton on 24 Nov.

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