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Thursday 3 October 2019

28th Sep to 1st Oct – Long-stayers, passers-by and butterflies

Chris & Carol Baillie summarise their recent short stay on Lundy:

Dominated by south-westerlies, birds were mostly on the move during brief lulls and short clear spells. Perhaps aided by the autumn exodus of gulls, a long-staying Grey Heron worked the low tides around Rat Island, Lametry and the southern East Side, and the high tides around the island's ponds. Two Teal remained on Pondsbury, Water Rail were heard daily in lower Millcombe and two Kestrels and a Sparrowhawk were routinely noted, mostly on the East side.

Four (possibly more) Firecrests graced the parties of Goldcrests which were driven to creative wet-weather foraging. A Spotted Flycatcher worked Millcombe on the last and first days of the months, and a Pied Flycatcher chose the quieter air at Quarry Pond on 1st Oct. Swallows and House Martins passed through in modest numbers during breaks in the wind and rain, as did small groups of Meadow Pipits and Chaffinches and a few Wheatears. Stonechats seemed to keep drifting through, with 7 noted on 29th Sep. Blackcaps were mostly hunkered down with a maximum count of 23 on 30th Sep, while a handful of Chiffchaffs and a single Willow Warbler brightened up the first day of October.

29th Sep saw an afternoon build up of Kittiwakes (229 in the main flock) in the Roads [off Lundy's East Side] and this number remained during the rest of the period. A Bonxie passed on the same day.

1st Oct brought a good dose of sunshine and much-reduced wind with a fair amount of north in it for much of the day. This brought out the butterflies, including Painted Lady, Small Copper, Peacock, Small White and Red Admiral, and led to a gentle 'vis mig' of common migrant birds to round off a brief but memorable stay.

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