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This page is run by volunteer contributors as a source of news for everyone interested in the birds of Lundy, in the Bristol Channel, UK.
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Friday, 17 April 2020

14th to 16th Apr – Ring Ouzels, a Hawfinch – and an escaped Black Kite!

14th April

A nippy and windy day (easterlies again), particularly in the morning.

Highlights from what was a rather quiet bird day included a decent push of Swallow throughout, with 122 birds recorded – most of which were flying low down on the west cliffs.

It was also a good day for Ring Ouzel with three birds present: a female in Millcombe and a male and female together near Old Light. Some small flocks of Linnet too (73) were pushing on through the winds.

Female Ring Ouzel, near Old Light, 14 Apr © Dean Jones

Other sightings of note included four Woodpigeon, a single Snipe, the female Sparrowhawk, three each of Sand and House Martin, ten Blackcap, just three Willow Warbler, seven Chiffchaff, one Goldcrest, 20 Skylark, two Pied Wagtail, 74 Meadow Pipit, five Dunnock, three Robin, 47 Wheatear (including four more colour-ringed birds), six Blackbird, three Chaffinch and 11 Goldfinch.

15th April

A cool but beautiful spring day with moderate to light easterly winds.

A great day for migrants, particularly Swallow (312) and Wheatear (92), the latter of which included a number of Greenland-raced birds.

One of 92 Wheatears logged today, Benjamin's Chair, 15 Apr © Dean Jones

Additionally, the first Whimbrel of the year made an appearance below North Light in the afternoon, a male Ring Ouzel was hopping around the cliffs near Pilot’s Quay with a female Black Redstart, and a female Merlin was chasing Meadow Pipits and Linnets near Pondsbury in the late morning.

Black Redstart, near Pilot's Quay, 15 Apr © Dean Jones

Other sightings of note included 30 Manx Shearwater feeding off North End, the Quarters Water Rail, four Woodpigeon, the female Sparrowhawk again, a female Kestrel, eight Sand Martin, 38 House Martin, two Sedge Warbler, 12 Blackcap, 16 Willow Warbler, two Chiffchaff, two Goldcrest, 19 Skylark, four Pied Wagtail, three unraced alba wags, a single White Wagtail in Barton Field, 62 Meadow Pipit, ten Dunnock, three Robin, a female Stonechat, three Blackbird, four Song Thrush, three Chaffinch, 13 Goldfinch and 41 Linnet.

Non-avian sightings included five Harbour Porpoises off North End.

16th April

A lovely, warm spring day complete with blue skies, a light easterly wind and a good selection of migrants.

A beautiful spring day along the west coast, looking north from Dead Cow Point, 16 Apr © Dean Jones

Highlights included a female Hawfinch resting on the allotment wall after a run-in with the Pied Wagtail pair. The bird was seen again later in the afternoon foraging in Millcombe Wood.

Female Hawfinch, Paradise Row allotments, 16 Apr © Dean Jones

Other birds of note were the first Dunlin of the spring – a total of six birds in two flocks in South West Field. Two more Whimbrel dropped in later in the day, one in Barton Field and the other on Ackland’s Moor. Two more Ring Ouzels were found along the west coast (both males), two fly-over Tree Pipits were also recorded, as well as a decent passage of 143 Linnet throughout the morning – which included a flock of 60 over the Camping Field.

Two of the six Dunlin in South West Field, 16 Apr © Dean Jones

Whimbrel, Barton Field, 16 Apr © Dean Jones

Another run-in that must be mentioned was the surprising occurrence of an escaped Black Kite (sporting jesses, though these are hidden on the photos below) which decided to take a wee rest on the allotment wall outside Paradise Row in the late evening. Despite its captive origin, the kite created much excitement in the Village, with Paradise Row turning into one giant bird hide, most of the Lundy residents enjoying the bird from their kitchen and living room windows!

Black Kite, Paradise Row allotments, 16 Apr © Dean Jones

Black Kite, Paradise Row allotments, 16 Apr © Dean Jones

Other sightings included a lone Sandwich Tern in the Landing Bay, the Quarters Water Rail, a fly-over Ringed Plover, seven Woodpigeon, the female Sparrowhawk still, two Kestrel, a female Merlin, good numbers of auks on ledges, including 89 Puffins in Jenny’s Cove, 37 Swallow, one House Martin, two Sand Martin, a single Whitethroat, 21 Blackcap (quite a few hiding on the West Side from the easterly winds), 24 Willow Warbler, one Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest, 38 Skylark, 10 Pied Wagtail, five White Wagtail in Barton Field, 82 Meadow Pipit, three Dunnock, four Robin, one Stonechat, 45 Wheatear, 11 Blackbird, four Song Thrush, two Chaffinch and 25 Goldfinch.

Sandwich Tern, Landing Bay, 16 Apr © Dean Jones
Female Merlin, main track near Pondsbury, 16 Apr © Dean Jones
Male Blackcap, Battery Slope, 16 Apr © Dean Jones
Resident male Blackbird enjoying the morning sunshine in a shelterd spot in Millcombe, 16 Apr © Dean Jones

Non-avian sightings included another Holly Blue butterfly in Millcombe, the first Small Whites (2) of the year, a Barrel Jellyfish offshore from Miller’s Cake and five Black Oil Beetles on the Castle Parade track.

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