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Sunday 1 March 2020

23rd to 29th Feb – Gulls, 'Purps' & Jackdaws

Things are starting to feel a bit like groundhog day with regards to the weather as the near incessant stream of storms and gale-force winds continue to push in from the Atlantic.

Highlights from this period include the 1st-winter Glaucous Gull again which has been observed in numerous locations around the island up until the 27th at least. Both the adult and 1st-winter Little Gulls have also remained, foraging together in close within the Landing Bay on the 26th.

1st-winter Glaucous Gull, Tillage Field, 26th Feb © Dean Jones
1st-winter Glaucous Gull, Tillage Field, 26th Feb © Dean Jones
1st-winter Glaucous Gull (foreground), Brick Field, 26th Feb © Dean Jones

Continuing the marine theme, two Purple Sandpipers were feeding along the shore at low tide in Gannets’ Bay on the 23rd, and up to two Red-throated and three Great Northern Divers have also been logged offshore from the east coast on some days. Come the afternoon of the 26th, a super flock of 1,267 Kittiwakes arrived out of nowhere along the east coast in search of a meal, a flock which harboured a nice adult Mediterranean Gull in its midst. This spectacular sight was rather short-lived however as shortly after their arrival the flocks were pushed far offshore, disappearing from the island and out of view. On the afternoon of the 27th however, the flocks returned and in slightly stronger numbers (1,316) and in the company of 10 Common Gulls and an adult Black-headed Gull.

Other Lundy scarcities include a Jackdaw, calling from Millcombe Wood on the 26th, joined by a second bird on 27th. Other sightings of note include the first three Cormorant of the year on the 23rd, a Woodcock on the 23rd, a female Reed Bunting next to Pondsbury on 23rd, small numbers of passage Meadow Pipit (33 on the 27th), Pied Wagtail (5 on the 27th), Skylark (peak 51 on 27th), Stonechat (4 on 2 days), as well as singles of Fieldfare and Redwing on 26th pushing through the storms.

Report composed of sightings from Rosie Ellis, Dean Jones, Martin Thorne and Steve Wing.

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