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Saturday 7 April 2018

1st to 6th April – Migration picking up speed

Dean Jones reports that the spring flow of migrants is steadily picking up. Highlights for the period as follows:

Cormorant: Passage recorded on most days. Nine birds flying north on 1st, two flying north on 3rd, three flying south on 5th and two north on 6th.
Manx Shearwater: Heard most nights from the Village/Millcombe area.
Sparrowhawk: A gorgeous adult female was seen with an unidentified prey item behind the Casbah on 1st.
Water Rail: Calling most evenings now from Quarters Pond and Barton Field. Max of five birds recorded on 5th (one calling at Quarters Pond, two seen in Smelly Gully and two calling from brambles next to the Secret Garden).
Snipe: One flushed by Andrew Cleave just north of Quarter Wall on 3rd and one flushed just north of Pondsbury on 5th.
Puffin: Birds have been recorded on most days from their usual haunts. A count of 112 on 3rd was the highest of this period (and the year so far) and 87 were recorded on 4th (most of which were seen on ledges in Jenny’s Cove and near St Peter’s Stone).
Guillemot: 1,330+ on 1st, 870+ on 3rd and 2,350+ on 4th.
Razorbill: 740+ on 1st, 300+ on 3rd and 430+ on 4th.
Woodpigeon: Max count of 17 on 4th. Two birds have been heard ‘cooing’ and were seen displaying in the Millcombe area on both 4th & 5th. Stock Dove: One recorded flying past Quarry Cottages on 6th.
Collared Dove: One on 6th seen and heard from the top of Millcombe Valley.
Merlin: Single birds on 1st, 4th & 6th.
Goldcrest: Small numbers were recorded at the start of this period, mostly from the Millcombe area. A small arrival of 18 birds was recorded on 4th from numerous areas over the island, followed by 22 on 5th and 16 on 6th.
Skylark: Max count of 36 birds on 5th.
Sand Martin: A single bird was seen flying north of Middle Park on 4th and three were over Ackland's Moor on 5th.
Swallow: Ten birds on 4th was the highest count of this period (nine on 5th and eight on 6th).
House Martin: Four on 3rd (Alan & Sandra Rowland), one on 4th and three on 5th.
Chiffchaff: Similar to Goldcrests, small numbers recorded from 1st until 3rd, followed by a super spring arrival of 49 on 4th – this is a very conservative estimate for this species on this date as there were loads of unidentifiable Phylloscopus warblers noted flying with intent over the island throughout the day. Singing birds were recorded from two areas of Millcombe and from St Helen’s Copse (on 3rd and one on 6th).
Willow Warbler: A small number at the start of the period with an influx of 26 birds on 4th. A singing bird was recorded next to Brambles on 3rd.
Blackcap: Singles on 1st–3rd followed by an arrival of 24 males and six females on 4th.
Coal Tit: A single bird, presumably the same overwintering individual from last year, was seen (and heard) on 1st in numerous areas of Millcombe and again on 3rd near the Casbah and Brambles.
Ring Ouzel: The first bird (an adult female) was seen on 4th, followed by two females on 6th next to Felix Gade’s Hut.
Song Thrush (Millcombe) and Redwing: Singles of both were noted on 4th.
Robin: A max count of 13 was recorded on 4th.
Black Redstart: A lone female was seen coming in off the sea from the east on 6th. It landed on the Terrace trap briefly before heading south.
Wheatear: Ten birds (including two new colour-ringed individuals) were noted on 4th - the highest count of the period.
Pied Wagtail: Small numbers of birds recorded on most days along with numerous other fly-over alba spp.
White Wagtail: The first birds were recorded on 1st feeding near the Black Shed. Two birds were also recorded on 3rd (lower Lighthouse Field) and 4th (next to the Lambing Shed).
Chaffinch: Ten on 4th – the highest number this year so far. A singing male was heard from the top of Millcombe on 5th.
Linnet: The first obvious arrival of birds was recorded on 5th (nine birds) followed by 50 on 6th.
Goldfinch: A small arrival of 15 birds on 6th was the highest count of the period.
Siskin: A lone bird was recorded on 5th.
Reed Bunting: A female was seen feeding in the pig pen (in front of Paradise Row) on 4th. It was then observed flying north and was later relocated next to Barton Cottages.

Dean closes the latest account with the following: "The highlight of the period was most definitely a lone Treecreeper found by Zoë in Millcombe Valley in mid-afternoon on 6th April. The bird was then seen and heard numerous times up until 18:00 as it busily picked its way through every bit of lichen and bryophyte throughout the valley looking for a meal. Then, whilst we were enjoying the Treecreeper from the top of Millcombe wood, I heard a very excited yelp from Zoë (who was actually just sat beside me but couldn’t contain her excitement) – WOODPECKER!!!  Swinging the bins round I was immediately met with a stunning female Great Spotted Woodpecker only a few metres away from us both, perched on an old gnarled sycamore. As with the Treecreeper, we were able to enjoy this bird periodically for about an hour or so before it disappeared.  A perfect afternoon's birding on Lundy!"

Report composed of sightings by Neil Trout, Grant Sherman, Zoë Barton and Dean Jones.

A very wet Ackland's Moor, 6 Apr. © Dean Jones
Adult female Ring Ouzel, Timekeeper's Hut, 6 Apr. © Dean Jones
Linnet, Old Light track, 6 Apr. © Dean Jones
Treecreeper, Millcombe, 6 Apr. © Zoë Barton
Female Great Spotted Woodpecker, Millcombe, 6 Apr. © Dean Jones

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