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Saturday 27 July 2019

5th to 27th July – Summer eases into ornithological autumn

Below is the latest update from Lundy Warden, Dean Woodfin Jones, covering the period 5th to 25th July.  In addition, a stop-press message from Dean this morning, 27th July, brought news of a fall of at least 73 Willow Warblers (the first wave of autumn passage) and four Sedge Warblers, as well as a second brood of Whitethroat fledglings (to add to the one mentioned below).

5th to 25th July: "The avian highlight from this lengthy stint came in the form of a beautiful Common Buzzard which soared in off the sea from Rat Island tailed by a mob of angry Herring Gulls on the 25th. Another highlight was the discovery of an adult Chiffchaff feeding young in the sycamores near The Battlements on the 24th.

Volunteer Assistant Warden Caitlin has been working hard with this year’s seabird productivity monitoring, with the Fulmars and remaining Kittiwakes getting most of the attention now that the Guillemots and Razorbills have left their ledges for the high seas. Additionally Caitlin has been keeping an eye on the few remaining Puffins which are feeding young in burrows in Jenny’s Cove. Puffin counts throughout the period before the main bulk of birds departed include 468 birds (from South West Point to St James’s Stone) on the 7th, and 410 within Jenny’s Cove on the 11th.

Other sightings of note: 37 Oystercatcher on the 5th, most of which were together at Brazen Ward, Swift on five days from the 5th with a maximum of 25 on the 5th, two returning Sand Martin on the 10th and one on the 24th, small numbers of Swallow (Lundy’s breeders were incubating a second brood), singles of House Martin on 5th and 10th, a singing male Willow Warbler on the 5th and a maximum count of five Whitethroat, which includes the Lundy born fledglings."

Whitethroat fledgling, Millcombe, 7 July © Dean Jones

Non-avian highlights:

"The Conservation Team have had a few productive nights trapping moths throughout July and amazingly we’ve managed to catch a few more new species for the island including two Small Marbled and a single Caryocolum vicinella in the trap on the 7th at Benjamin’s Chair. Other migrants on that perfect moth night included a lone Small Mottled Willow, two L-album Wainscot, and a single White Point."

Small Marbled, Benjamin's Chair, 7 July © Dean Jones

"Emperor Dragonflies have also been seen on a number of days throughout the period at Quarter Wall Pond, Quarry Pond, Quarters Pond and the Terrace (munching on a Ringlet butterfly)."

Emperor Dragonfly eating Ringlet, Terrace, 7 July © Dean Jones

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