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Friday 2 March 2018

Sightings to 1 Mar – Winter bites back...

Along with much of the rest of the country (and indeed continental Europe), Lundy is experiencing its most severe winter conditions for many years, with frozen water pipes among a variety of challenges for staff and visitors, not to mention the LFS Working Party (see photos on the Lundy Island public group Facebook page) who have been on the island all week. Needless to say, the weather must also be having a serious impact on Lundy's birds, whether residents, 'normal' migrants or refugees fleeing the mainland in a futile attempt to find less harsh conditions.

The following is Dean Jones's latest roundup of recent sightings, up to and including 1 March, the first day of meteorological spring...!

Red-throated Diver – Four off SW Point on 24th Feb (Martin Thorne).
Teal – Counts on most days with a max of eight on Pondsbury on 26th. One drake was found on Quarters Pond on 27th, probably an individual from Pondsbury trying to escape the relentless chill of the wind.
Mallard – Eight on 27th and again on 1st from Quarters Pond.
Gannet – Four on 25th and one on 28th; still very scarce.
Cormorant – Two birds at the North End on 23rd.
Golden Plover – Three birds present above Benjamin’s Chair on 28th and 10 on 1st, scattered around SW Point desperately trying to find a place to shelter out of the wind.
Lapwing – A flock of 26 was seen flying over the helipad field by Pete Lambden whilst on helicopter duty on 26th. Twenty on 27th comprised a flock of 18 moving north near Pondsbury and two roosting individuals near the water tanks. Nine present on 28th and five on 1st, hiding from the blizzard-like conditions near SW Point.
Woodcock – Two flushed from the long grass south of Pondsbury by LFS Working Party members who were searching the area for Rhododendron.
Snipe –14 on the 25th and 22 on the 27th, again flushed from around the Pondsbury area whilst the LFS Working Party were on the hunt for Rhododendron.
Dunlin – One at the North End on 23rd (Martin Thorne).
Razorbill – 309 rafting off SW Point in the early morning of 27th.
Herring Gull – 1,000+ roosting and feeding in Tillage Field on 26th (Martin Thorne).
Common Gull – Three immature birds at the North End on 23rd (Martin Thorne).
Skylark – Six on 28th has been the highest count since 21st.
Fieldfare – One on Ackland's Moor on 1st.
Redwing – No further records since three on 24th.
Mistle Thrush – Unusual for Lundy at any time of year, and especially in winter, one was near the main-track Heinkel wreck on 26th (Trevor Dobie & Louise Cookson) and one was below Benjamin’s Chair on 28th (Dean Jones).
Black Redstart – A 1st-year male below Benjamin’s Chair on 27th.
Stonechat – Two on 25th and one on 27th.
Pied Wagtail – One on 25th & 27th.
Brambling – One on 24th.
Linnet – Two on 26th (first of the month).

2 Mar "High Street passable with care" © Trevor Dobie/Facebook

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