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Monday 7 May 2018

4th to 6th May

The warden, Dean Jones reports "It’s been very warm and muggy on the island as of late, which has been great for insects who are now starting to emerge in good numbers, but not very good for migrants, as the warm air on the island coupled with a cool oceanic breeze has cloaked the island in a near continuous blanket of fog for the majority of this period. We were still luckily enough to get some beautiful sunny spells with next to no winds at parts, which allowed for a superb passage of Hirundines on the afternoon of the 4th. Here a very conservative estimate of 1200+ swallows, 200+ sand martins and 38 house martins passed over Lundy on route to their breeding grounds in the north."

Other avian highlights from the period include (excluding birds from Rob Duncan’s previous post):
  • Whimbrel: 8 on the 5th & 1 on the 6th.
  • Snipe: One flushed from a small patch of rush in SW field on the 6th.
  • Swift: One over Millcombe on the 4th and 3 on the 6th.
  • Goldcrest: One on the 4th & 5th.
  • Swallow: 200+ on the 5th, & 80 on the 6th.
  • Sand Martin: 10 on the 5th & 51 on the 6th.
  • House Martin: 10 on the 5th & 7 on the 6th,
  • Stonechat: One male near the Rocket Pole on the 4th and the 6th.
  • Pied Wagtail: 2 on the 4th & 5th. One of which (a young male) was caught and ringed in Millcombe on the 5th. 5 on the 6th.
  • Chiffchaff: 21 caught and ringed from the Millcombe area which included a highly probable Siberian bird (see photo).
  • Willow Warbler: 14 birds caught and ringed on the 5th.
  • Blackcap: 30 (21 females & 9 males) on the 5th.  
  • Whitethroat: 1 caught in St John’s on the 5th.
  • Sedge Warbler: 8 on the 5th - all caught and ringed from the Millcombe/St John’s area.
  • Reed Warbler: 1 caught and ringed from St John’s Valley on the 5th.
  • Chaffinch: 2 females on the 5th.
  • Linnet: 33 on the 6th which included 4 females with nest material. 
  • Bullfinch: One female in Millcombe on the 5th.
I was also lucky enough to join the guys from Obsession 2 charters for a round the island trip on the afternoon of the 6th. The beautiful calm sea state allowed for perfect conditions for counting some of the islands seabirds.

Totals include:
  • Shag: 38
  • Oystercatcher: 22
  • Kittiwake: 192
  • Great Black-backed Gull: 63
  • Herring Gull: 479
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull: 237
Possible Siberian Chiffchaff © Dean Jones
Swallow having a quick preen before departure © Dean Jones

Lesser Redpoll along the Beach Road © Dean Jones

Stonechat in Southwest Field © Dean Jones

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