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Monday 4 May 2020

1st to 3rd May – Where have all the migrants gone?!

1st May

Sunny with cloudy spells throughout, coupled with a strong westerly wind.

Pyramid Rock and the sidelands above took the brunt of the strong May Day westerlies  © Dean Jones

Highlights from a rather quiet bird day included a Hooded Crow foraging in Tent Field and a flock of six Jackdaw over Jenny’s Cove in the afternoon.

Record shot of the Hooded Crow in Tent Field, 1 May © Dean Jones

Out of the blue – six Jackdaws over Jenny's Cove, 1 May © Dean Jones

Another interesting sighting came in the form of a colour-ringed Guillemot (Red 0114) in Jenny’s Cove. Cast your mind back to September last year (see blog post: Goldfinch and Storm Petrels among the latest bird ringing highlights posted on 25 Sep) and you may remember this bird loafing around Jenny’s Cove last summer. Originally ringed as a nestling on July 8th 2013 on Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, he or she was back again on pretty much the same ledge it was spotted on last year – with a potential mate! It is rare for these birds to breed elsewhere other than their natal colonies so this could be an unusual record if the bird does decide to settle and breed. Fingers crossed that this will be the case!

Colour-ringed Guillemot "Red 0114" in Jenny's Cove, 1 May © Dean Jones

Other birds logged included four Whimbrel, two Blackcap, three Willow Warbler, four Chiffchaff, one Goldcrest, 112 Swallow, 11 Sand Martin, 42 House Martin, two Yellow Wagtail and two Spotted Flycatcher.

One of the two Spotted Flyctachers logged, Millcombe, 1 May © Dean Jones

At least three male Emperor Moths were on the wing along the east coast in the afternoon.

2nd May

A beautiful spring day – slight westerly breeze, lots of sunshine and a few cloudy spells.

Hirundines once again stole the show with 220 Swallow, 69 House Martin and 14 Sand Martin being logged throughout the day. Other migrants included a small arrival of Sedge Warbler (seven logged), a reeling Grasshopper Warbler at Quarter Wall, small numbers of Blackcap (6) and Willow Warbler (17), two Swift, four Whimbrel in Barton Field and a small push of Wheatear which included at least three Greenland-type birds around High Street Field.

Lots of nesting activity again, with Robins, Starlings and Blackbirds all feeding chicks in their nests and a number of Meadow Pipit and Wheatear collecting nest material.

Female Wheatear collecting nesting material in the evening light, Battery, 1 May © Dean Jones

3rd May

A miserable day weather wise, with a stiff easterly wind, thick mist and drizzle throughout...

Unsurprisingly, given the very poor visibility and constant rain, birds were rather inconspicuous. Birds logged included 26 Swallow, one Swift hawking low down through Millcombe in the murk, a Tree Pipit and Whimbrel calling from Barton Field, three Blackcap, three Sedge Warbler, five Willow Warbler, two Chiffchaff and a Whitethroat.

A total of 36 moths were trapped overnight on 2nd/3rd, including a nice Vine’s Rustic – only the second record for the island with the last one being caught in 1990!

Vine's Rustic Hoplodrina ambigua – the 2nd Lundy record but the first for 30 years! Millcombe, 3 May © Dean Jones

A male Fox Moth Macrothylacia rubi shows off his pheromone-detecting antennae, Millcombe, 3 May © Dean Jones

Lundy is currently closed to visitors. The latest Covid-19 update from the Landmark Trust can be found here.

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