The week from Thursday 27th September to Wednesday 3rd October saw largely fine, settled weather, with often sunny skies by day and moon- and starlit nights, although the last two days of the period brought some low cloud and light drizzle.
There were small overnight arrivals of warblers, crests and flycatchers in Millcombe on most days, which kept the ringers based at Brambles occupied. These included: Goldcrest
(maximum 40 on 30th), Chiffchaff
(max 60 on 29th), Blackcap
(max 70 on 29th) and Spotted Flycatcher
(max six on 27th). Also two Willow Warblers
(29th), single Garden Warbler
(30th & 1st) and Reed Warbler
(27th to 1st) and single Firecrest
s (on 29th & 30th).
A Mistle Thrush
perched briefly on dead pines near Blue Bung on 29th was the first of the autumn and there were single Song Thrushes
on several dates. One or two Redstarts
were recorded on four dates, whilst the highest Wheatear
count was 13 on 29th and Stonechats
reached eight on 29th.
There was strong diurnal migration on several days with peak counts including: at least 4,000 Swallows
on 27th, 200 House Martins
(27th), 33 alba wagtails
(1st), 1,000 Meadow Pipits
on 28th, 330 Linnets
(29th) and 160 Goldfinches
on 30th. Less numerous species included Sand Martin
(one on 29th), Grey Wagtail
(up to three daily), Siskin
(max 13 on 29th), Redpoll
(max five on 1st), Reed Bunting
(a female in Millcombe on 1st) and a Snow Bunting
flying out to sea from the Castle on 28th.
Raptors took advantage of the abundant passerine prey, with multiple daily sightings of Sparrowhawk
(max two), Merlin
(max two), Kestrel
(max six) and Peregrine
The juvenile Red-backed Shrike
found in Millcombe on 26th was still present near Millcombe House late morning on 27th, but was not seen after that.
Scarcities (for Lundy) included a first-winter female Common Scoter
in the Landing Bay on 2nd/3rd, seen to fly off strongly to the east on the morning of 3rd (see photo below), a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker
ringed in Millcombe on 30th and seen at various locations along the East Side as far north as VC Quarry daily thereafter. The Great Northern Diver
was seen daily in the Landing Bay (see the magnificent portrait below by Philip Lymbery) and a second bird was seen passing the island on 29th. There was a Jack Snipe
at Pondsbury on 29th, three Lapwings
were on the Airfield on the 29th and one or two Golden Plovers
were seen or heard daily. A first-winter Common Gull
flew across the Landing Bay on 30th, and there was a single Collared Dove
on 29th (only the second of the autumn).
Sightings from multiple observers, including Carol & Chris Baillie, Paul Bullock, Tim Davis, Keith Dean, Chris & Mandy Dee, Darrin Dowding, Ken Ebsworthy, Tim Jones, Helen & Philip Lymbery, Ryan Miller, Alan & Sandra Rowland, Sue Sabin, Jan Swan and Martin Thorne.
|Jack Snipe, Pondsbury, 29 Sep © Martin Thorne|
|Common Scoter, Landing Bay, 2 Oct 2018 © Philip Lymbery|
|Great Northern Diver, still largely in breeding plumage, Landing Bay © Philip Lymbery|
|Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker, Millcombe, 30 Sep © Chris Dee|
|Spotted Flycatcher, Quarter Wall, 29 Sep 2018 © Tim Jones|