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Monday 30 November 2020

What the eagle did next...

As some readers will already have seen, the latest blog from the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation is full of fascinating insights into the story of White-tailed Eagle 'G471' who graced Lundy with his presence (for we now know that G471 is a young male) on 16 October.
G471 left the Isle of Wight reintroduction area on 11 October and headed west along the south coast of mainland England, reaching east Devon on 13th. On 14th he flew steadily north-west, arriving on the north Cornish coast near Bude on 15th, the eve of his day-trip to Lundy. After leaving Lundy at around 13.00hrs on 16th, G471 crossed back to Hartland Point and roosted overnight in woodland near Clovelly, before spending two weeks in the upper Tamar valley, again close to Bude. On 4 November he flew further south-west, roosting close to Stithians and then overflying Penzance and on towards Land's End on 5th, before doing an about turn and roosting near Camborne on the night of 5th/6th. As of 10 November, G471 remained in Cornwall. All fingers and toes are firmly crossed for him and the other members of the "Class of 2020"!

Monday 23 November 2020

12th to 22nd Nov – An array of late migrants and Lundy's second Goosander

Dean Jones reports on the latest avian goings-on from 'Lundy in Lockdown' – including an unexpected encounter with a Goosander.

Damp and blustery has been the theme for the majority of this period, with strong winds for the most part (gusting between 38mph and 56mph) apart from a few mornings and afternoons where the winds dropped to a moderate westerly/south-westerly – conditions which allowed for some more comfortable birding and of course, a trickle of migrants. Sunday the 22nd, however, was a glorious late-autumn day with barely a breeze throughout, warmer temperatures, some decent passage first thing and lots of very welcome sunshine.
Small gatherings of Rock Pipits have now formed in sheltered parts of the south and west coasts, flocks of hungry Herring Gulls are chasing the Farmer daily as he puts down supplementary feed for the sheep, and avian migration has slowed to a trickle. Winter on Lundy is well and truly just around the corner! 

Despite the foul weather and time of the year, there have been some real birding gems to behold throughout this period, one of which was a very unexpected Red-throated Pipit (not a bird you’d expect to find in a force 6/7 westerly) over Millcombe shortly after 08:00hrs on the 13th. Luckily the bird was very vocal as it flew overhead which, permitted a few wind-battered recordings as it made its way over the valley towards the South End. If accepted this will be the 12th record of this species for the island, the previous occurrence being one on 27 October 2017.  

Another star bird of the period was a female Goosander fishing for Mirror Carp on Rocket Pole Pond on the 22nd. This was only the second record of this saw-billed duck for Lundy, the first seen 86 years ago by Felix Gade on the 17th December 1934. Thus, a true Lundy mega! 

Lundy's second Goosander in flight from Rocket Pole Pond, 22 Nov © Dean Jones
Additional highlights included a juvenile Glaucous Gull roosting within a flock of 24 Lesser Black-backed Gulls in Lower Lighthouse Field on the 15th, a Yellow-browed Warbler busily searching each and every epiphyte for a meal in Quarter Wall Copse on the 12th, singles of Snow Bunting on the 13th, 21st and 22nd, and a scattering of Black Redstart throughout (max four birds on the 22nd). 
Male Black Redstart on the roof of Old House South,
22 Nov © Dean Jones

Offshore, birds of note were a drake Common Scoter past Rat Island on the 12th and six birds (two drakes and four ducks) on the 22nd, a Great Northern Diver sheltering and foraging in the Landing Bay from the 12th to the 15th (with a second bird passing Rat Island on the 15th), a Great Skua present offshore along the east on the 12th, two Mediterranean Gulls on the 13th and seven on the 22nd, three Common Gulls on the 13th and four on the 19th, a single Manx Shearwater on the 15th, and small numbers of Gannet, Shag and Kittiwake (max 70 birds on the 18th) along with auks offshore each day. Fulmar and Guillemot too have been periodically visiting their breeding ledges along the West Side.  

Great Northern Diver in the Landing Bay, 15 Nov © Dean Jones
Up on top of the island, sightings included up to four Water Rail in Millcombe, a freshly predated Woodcock on the Lower East Side Path on the 22nd, the hibernicus type Coal Tit for its sixth week, singles of late-occurring Swallows on 13th, 16th and 22nd, a Black-headed Gull roosting in Tillage Field on the 12th, the Millcombe Woodpigeon, which remained in the Valley throughout this period, and up to three Firecrest logged daily – along with a handful of Goldcrest and singles of Blackcap and Chiffchaff.

Furthermore, there have been singles of Sparrowhawk, Merlin and Kestrel terrorising the Starling flocks on a near daily basis, and small numbers of larks, thrushes and finches have continued to move south during the fairer weather – with Skylark logged most days (max 21 on the 22nd), Redwing on six days (max 21 on the 13th and 22nd), Fieldfare on three days (max 19 on the 13th) and small numbers of Chaffinch each day, with the exception of the 22nd when 68 flew south. 

Merlin taking a rest from chasing passage Starlings near Pondsbury, 21 Nov © Dean Jones
Small numbers of Blackbird, Song Thrush, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Stonechat, Goldfinch and Siskin have also been logged most days, as well as five Linnet on the 22nd and singles of Brambling on the 13th and 22nd. 

Female Teal sheltering from the winds on Barton Pond © John Lambert

Friday 20 November 2020

A November Hoopoe!

News came in a few days ago from Jonathan Williams of a Hoopoe that he and his wife Elizabeth were lucky enough to watch from the main window of Castle Cottage as the exotic avian visitor probed the short turf of Castle Parade during the late morning of 5th November. Jonathan writes: "My wife first noticed the bird and called me to see it as well. The most obvious features were the clearly delineated black and white stripes of its wings and back, its pinky/orange chest, neck and head, long, slightly downwardly curved beak and orange/pink & black spotted crest which was mainly in the ‘down’ position rather than ‘fanned’. It pecked at the grass and the stony margins of the 'walled garden' area for at least a minute and a half. With a flash of its black and white wings, it took off and flew over the back wall facing the South Lighthouse".
The great majority of Lundy Hoopoe records – as for Britain and Ireland in general – are in spring. This was only the seventh autumn record and by some way the latest ever, the others (in month order) being:
10 August 1967
28 August 1999
25-30 August 1967 (2 birds)
30 August 2004
15-17 September 1974
25 October 1981

Many thanks to Jonathan and Elizabeth for getting in touch; as the only ones to have seen the Hoopoe they have made an important contribution to the annals of Lundy bird recording!

Thursday 12 November 2020

1st to 11th Nov – Autumn moves on… with a Grey Seal surprise!

Dean Jones describes the happenings of the first eleven days of November, as autumn gradually moves towards winter.
1st November

A blustery start with the south-westerly winds becoming progressively stronger throughout the day (peak gusts of 57mph in mid-afternoon) – dry for most other than a few short-lived spells of drizzle in mid-afternoon.
A very tricky day's birding due to the strong winds. Sightings of note included five Teal on Pondsbury, a Water Rail in Millcombe, 12 Gannet, 266 Kittiwake off the east coast, a dark morph Arctic Skua, singles of Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, the Coal Tit for its 18th day (perhaps the bird will overwinter on the island), two Swallow, a Chiffchaff, four Blackcap, six Goldcrest, one Firecrest (ringed), two Redwing, seven Blackbird, one Song Thrush, 16 Meadow Pipit, 15 Rock Pipit (which included a group of 13 at the North End), a Grey Wagtail in Millcombe Pond, one Pied Wagtail, seven Goldfinch, four Chaffinch, and singles of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin
Song Thrush, St Helen's Copse, 1 Nov © Dean Jones

2nd November

A wet and very windy start to the day – thick mist and drizzle first thing coupled with winds from the north gusting over 60mph – the winds dropped away throughout the afternoon and into the evening which allowed for a small passage of Redwing over the Village (around two calls per minute before the rain set in).

Other than this brief spell of nocturnal passage, not much had changed on the island bird-wise compared to the previous day. The only real highlight from this stormy day was the reappearance of the female Bullfinch in Millcombe – her seventh day on the island.  

Other birds logged included two Water Rail, eight Oystercatcher in flight past White Beach, a Snipe, 55 Kittiwake, one Black-headed Gull in the Landing Bay, singles of Kestrel and Sparrowhawk, a lone Swallow, the Coal Tit, four Blackcap, two Goldcrest, the ringed Firecrest, two Stonechat, ten Meadow Pipit, four Chaffinch, and three Goldfinch.  

Non-avian sightings included a single Red Admiral on the wing in Millcombe.  

3rd November

Light showers, drizzle and moderate northerly winds throughout the early hours, picking up rapidly to gale force once again by 09:00hrs – a few squalls in the afternoon as the wind dropped away, falling light by the evening.

A bit more variety today, highlights being the female Bullfinch in Millcombe, a Great Skua past Rat Island shortly after 07:30hrs, a female/immature type Black Redstart on the Upper East Side Path, a Reed Bunting at Quarter Wall and a small arrival of Redwing (52) and Fieldfare (30).  

Blackcap too were making their way through the island in decent numbers for early November, with 32 logged throughout the day (18 of which were trapped and ringed by Chris Dee). The biggest surprise of the day however came in the form of a late Whitethroat in Millcombe – only the second occurrence of this species on Lundy in the month of November, the first being on 5th Nov 1959 (the latest autumn date recorded). 

Other birds logged included a Water Rail, 45 Kittiwake, a first-year Black-headed Gull in St Helen’s Field, singles of Kestrel, Merlin and Sparrowhawk, a lone Swallow, four Skylark, the Coal Tit, six Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest, the ringed Firecrest, 10 Blackbird, nine Song Thrush, five Stonechat, a Grey Wagtail, 15 Meadow Pipit, three Rock Pipit, 25 Chaffinch, a single Brambling, five Siskin, two Linnet and singles of Lesser Redpoll and Goldfinch.
Record shot of the Whitethroat in Millcombe, 3 Nov © Dean Jones

Black-headed Gull, St Helen's Field, 3 Nov © Andy Jayne
Non-avian sightings included a single Silver Y flushed form the bracken on the Lower East Side Path.   

4th November

At last a change in winds! Instead of the relentless westerly gales, today the island was blessed with clear skies and a slight north-easterly wind which allowed for some superb passage during the first few hours of daylight.

A glorious autumn sunrise from Millcombe, 4 Nov © Dean Jones

Chaffinches in particular were moving in very good numbers, with a conservative estimate of 950 birds logged throughout the day. Starlings too were present in large numbers, with some 4,000 logged overhead throughout the day – a count which included a single flock of around 3,000 birds out over the sea to the east in the early morning.

The title of star bird however went to a first-winter Iceland Gull which flew over Quarry Beach with two first-winter Herring Gulls in mid-afternoon. Additional highlights included a Woodlark (the fourth to be recorded this year) over Millcombe, a Lesser Whitethroat at Quarter Wall, a Garden Warbler trapped and ringed in Millcombe, a Lapland Bunting on Ackland’s Moor, a Reed Bunting at Pondsbury, a total of four Mistle Thrush, at least six Brambling and 10 Mediterranean Gulls offshore.
One of the hundreds of Chaffinch logged on the island in Millcombe, 4 Nov © Dean Jones
Other sightings of note were 12 Mallard, nine Teal, six Cormorant over the Village, a Grey Heron in the Landing Bay, two each of Water Rail and Snipe, a Collared Dove, a male Sparrowhawk, one Kestrel, a Merlin, four Guillemot, 14 Razorbill plus c.100 other distant auks, seven Kittiwake, three Common Gull, 176 Herring Gull, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 29 Skylark, four Swallow and House Martin, six Blackcap, two Chiffchaff, four Goldcrest, two Firecrest, the Coal Tit, 102 Redwing, 33 Blackbird, 22 Fieldfare, 24 Song Thrush, 15 Robin, eight Stonechat, 24 Meadow Pipit, twelve Rock Pipit, singles of Pied and Grey Wagtail, 18 Goldfinch, a Greenfinch, 10 Siskin, two Lesser Redpoll and two Linnet.
Mistle Thrush, Barton Field, 4 Nov © Dean Jones

Collared Dove in the morning light, Millcombe, 4 Nov © Dean Jones
Birds trapped and ringed by Chris Dee were two each of Blackbird, Song Thrush and Redwing, five Blackcap, the Garden Warbler and singles of Wren, Linnet and Chaffinch.  

5th November

Another spectacular late autumn day complete with clear skies, warm temperatures, a slight easterly wind and, of course, some superb visual migration!
Jenny's Cove on a glorious afternoon out west, 5 Nov © Dean Jones
Come dawn there was a steady arrival of birds, particularly Chaffinch (400) and Blackbird (128), some of which dropped into Millcombe for a quick rest whilst others passed high overhead and on towards the mainland. Redwing (234), Song Thrush (35) and Fieldfare (69) were also moving in decent numbers, and yet another huge flock of c.4,000 Starling was seen flying north over the Village shortly after dawn – a truly spectacular sight!

Additional highlights were a male Great Spotted Woodpecker making his way along the fence posts in Barton Field, a Lapland Bunting near Pondsbury, a single Ring Ouzel in with the Blackbirds first thing, at least seven Woodcock flushed in various places around the island throughout the morning, the female Bullfinch again in Millcombe, and two Reed Bunting south of Pondsbury.
One of the many Redwing logged today, Barton Field, 5 Nov © Dean Jones

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Barton Field, 5 Nov © Dean Jones
The title of star bird however went to a stunning ringtail Hen Harrier which was initially spotted over Quarter Wall by Andy Janye in mid-morning. The bird was then seen a few times throughout the afternoon up until dusk when it was quartering around Pondsbury looking for a cosy spot to roost.  

Other sightings of note included three Teal, two Snipe, a Merlin, two each of Water Rail, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, one Woodpigeon, three Common Gull, one Mediterranean Gull, 22 Skylark, four Swallow and House Martin, 11 Blackcap, one Chiffchaff, five Goldcrest, two Firecrest, the Coal Tit, 4,750 Starling, 10 Robin, four Stonechat, 21 Meadow Pipit, five Pied Wagtail, one fly-over Grey Wagtail, five Brambling, 17 Goldfinch, four Lesser Redpoll and three Linnet.

Birds trapped and ringed were 33 Redwing , six Blackbird, seven Blackcap, one Lesser Redpoll, two Goldcrest and a Goldfinch.

6th November

A dry day with clear skies throughout and moderate easterly winds first thing, picking up to a strong and chilly east/south-east wind by noon – a sad day all-in-all as the island went into a second lockdown which will continue for a least four weeks.  

Despite the easterly winds there wasn’t much in the way of visual migration first thing other than a small number of thrushes, namely Redwing (66), Fieldfare (15), Song Thrush (10) and a handful of Blackbird.

A Lapwing on Ackland's Moor was a nice treat but disappointingly only the second to be recorded this year. Three Woodcock were also logged – two of which were trapped and ringed in St John’s Valley first thing. The male Great Spotted Woodpecker remained for his second day and a Mistle Thrush was logged in Millcombe in the morning.  

Other sightings were two Sparrowhawk, singles of Kestrel and Woodpigeon, 10 Kittiwake, one Mediterranean Gull, six Skylark, one Swallow, two Chiffchaff (including one pale abietinus type bird), two Goldcrest, one Firecrest, 13 Chaffinch, one Siskin and two each of Goldfinch and Linnet.

A Kestrel resting after a meal, Millcombe, 6 Nov © Dean Jones
Birds ringed included the two Woodcock, seven Redwing and a Blackbird.  

7th November

Strong east/south-east winds in the morning gradually dropped away throughout the day – clear with sunny spells for most of the morning – becoming overcast later in the day.  

A slightly quieter day with most of the birds hiding away from the stiff and chilly easterlies. Highlights included the Lapwing for its second day on Ackland's Moor, a single Woodcock in Millcombe and a nice scattering of Redwing (123) and Fieldfare (17) across the in-fields.
Additional sightings were the Millcombe Woodpigeon, singles of Kestrel, Merlin and Snipe, a single Chiffchaff, four Goldcrest and a lone Firecrest, the Coal Tit, 14 Blackbird, four Song Thrush, 140 Starling, three Stonechat, 30 Chaffinch and nine Goldfinch.    

Other excitement was news of three tagged Atlantic Grey Seals (animals that had been rescued, rehabilitated and released, each with a flipper tag) which were photographed on the island last year. Two were local animals which were picked up in Newquay, Cornwall and Dyfed, Wales and released in Cornwall and North Devon respectively after rehabilitation. The third seal however (orange flipper tag 083), photographed by both Dean Jones and Martin Thorne on the 27th Sep 2019 in the Devil’s Kitchen, had travelled much further. In fact, this animal was found injured and picked up in north-west France on 5th Mar 2016 and sent to the Oc√©anopolis rehab centre in Brest, before being released in an area of Plouarzel on the 4th May 2016! Who knew that some of Lundy’s seals were coming from areas of mainland Europe? Incredible stuff! Special thanks to Kate Williams and the Cornwall Seal Group and Research Trust for sending on this amazing recovery. 
Orange taggie 083, photographed in the Devil's Kitchen (Landing Bay) on 27 Sep 2019

The origins of orange taggie 083
8th November

A day of light south/south-easterly winds which picked up to a stiff SE by the evening – low sea mist surrounded the island first thing, enveloping us for a short period around 09:00hrs before clearing but remaining overcast for the rest of the day.

Sightings from a lovely day of Lundy birding included 22 Gannet,  four Manx Shearwater offshore from the Landing Bay, three Golden Plover in Brick Field, two Lapwing together over Ackland's Moor, three Oystercatcher in the Devil’s Kitchen, two Woodcock, four Water Rail in Millcombe, 250 Kittiwake, eight Mediterranean Gulls, 15 Common Gull, 80 Herring Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a lone adult Black-headed Gull, 300 distant auks, the Millcombe Woodpigeon, singles of Kestrel and Sparrowhawk, one Skylark, 28 Redwing, 10 Blackbird, 28 Fieldfare, three Rock Pipit, two Blackcap, six Goldcrest, two Firecrest, the Coal Tit, four Stonechat, 72 Chaffinch, seven Goldfinch, two Siskin, a Lesser Redpoll, two Brambling, and a Reed Bunting next to the Old Hospital.    

Golden Plover in Brick Field, 8 Nov © Dean Jones
Non-avian sightings included six Portuguese Man o' War washed up in the Landing Bay.

9th November

Light/moderate south-easterly winds in the morning which swung around to the SW by late afternoon – a wet start to the day with numerous light showers and spells of drizzle – becoming dry but overcast in the afternoon.  

With a mass exodus of birds overnight, today's birding had a distinctly wintery feel to it, with only a handful of migrants logged. These included a female Sparrowhawk, a Kestrel, the Millcombe Woodpigeon, four Common Gull and an adult Mediterranean Gull offshore, 32 Kittiwake, just 11 Redwing, eight Blackbird, three Song Thrush, singles of Blackcap and Chiffchaff, five Goldcrest, one Firecrest, the Coal Tit still, 38 Chaffinch, three Goldfinch and a Brambling.  

10th November

A beautiful November day with sunshine, clear skies and a light WSW wind for most – becoming overcast by mid-afternoon as the winds picked up.

An even quieter day with a further exodus of migrants overnight (no Redwing or Fieldfare on the island today). Not much of note bird-wise unfortunately, though the fine autumn weather more than made up for the lack of birds. Sightings included a Firecrest in Millcombe, a lone Common Gull offshore, 30 Chaffinch and a scattering of Goldcrest, Goldfinch and Siskin.  

11th  November

A day of strong southerly winds which reached gale force by mid-morning – overcast for the most part give or take a few brief sunny spells and a few bouts of rain in mid-afternoon.  
Due to the stormy weather not much in the way of birds up top, other than a handful of Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Siskin and a Firecrest in Millcombe . Offshore however there was a bit more going on, with a Great Skua harassing good numbers of Kittiwake (180), 43 Gannet, two Mediterranean Gull, 110 Herring Gull, six Lesser Black-backed Gull, a single Common Gull and a handful of distant auks.   

Report composed of sightings from Chris & Mandy Dee, Rosie Ellis, Andy Jayne, Dean Jones, Saeed Rashid and Matt Stritch.

Sunday 1 November 2020

26th to 31st Oct – High winds, heavy showers and (maybe) the last hurrah of the White's Thrush

Dean Jones reports on a "super quiet" last six days for birds during what, generally, has been an outstanding month of Lundy birding.

26th October

The winds rage on! A day of strong northerly winds gusting 40mph throughout – heavy rain in the early morning giving way to overcast and the odd sunny spell.

Swell rolling into Lametry Bay, 26 Oct © Dean Jones
A very quiet bird day due to the wet and breezy weather. Highlights included the White’s Thrush, which was seen again near the Casbah by Rob Duncan as he made his way to the Village in the mid-morning.

Other birds of note were the hibernicus type Coal Tit, singles of Swallow, Chiffchaff and Firecrest, seven Goldcrest, nine Blackbird, one Fieldfare, four Song Thrush and six Redwing, two each of Grey and Pied Wagtail, 30 Chaffinch and two Siskin.

27th October

Another wet start to the day with frequent squalls in the morning and one or two heavy showers up until the afternoon – strong southerly winds first thing turning north by 09:00hrs – peak gusts 43mph.

Highlights from another reasonably quiet bird day were a male and female Bullfinch (it is incredible that some birds are still moving in these storms), the lingering Yellow-browed Warbler in Millcombe and a Great Northern Diver (the third to be logged so far this autumn) in the Landing Bay.

Other birds noted included four Teal on Pondsbury, two Manx Shearwater, a female Sparrowhawk, two Snipe, c1,000 Kittiwake offshore from the Landing Bay in the afternoon, two Razorbill and 20 other distant auks, the Coal Tit, three Swallow, four Firecrest, eight Goldcrest, 11 Blackbird, two Fieldfare, three Song Thrush, 10 Redwing, 14 Robin, eight Dunnock, one Grey Wagtail, four Meadow Pipit, 31 Chaffinch, and singles of both Brambling and Siskin.

28th October

Bouts of heavy rain throughout the morning, turning cloudy with the odd sunny spell by the afternoon – strong north/westerly winds throughout, peaking at 57mph just before noon.

The hefty winds and frequent downpours made for another tricky day's birding up top, therefore the sea got most of the attention today. Highlights were a first-winter Iceland Gull, a bird which was spotted flying past Rat Island by Justin Zantboer from his cosy sea-watch window in Hamners. Also offshore from the Landing Bay were two Great Skua, three Mediterranean Gulls and two fly-by drake Common Scoters. The lingering Yellow-browed Warbler was still present in Millcombe.

Additional birds logged included a single Manx Shearwater, two Cormorant, a female Sparrowhawk, singles of Water Rail and Oystercatcher, 500 Kittiwake, two Lesser Black-backed Gull, ten Razorbill and 50 other distant auks, singles of both Kestrel and Merlin, the hibernicus type Coal Tit for a 14th day, two Swallow, two Chiffchaff, a lone Firecrest, five Goldcrest, seven Blackbird, one Song Thrush, four Redwing, 11 Robin, one Stonechat, nine Dunnock, two Grey Wagtail, 15 Meadow Pipit, four Rock Pipit, 20 Chaffinch, a male Greenfinch, four Siskin, and singles of Lesser Redpoll and Reed Bunting.

Stonechat, Lower East Side Path, 28 Oct © Dean Jones
29th October

40mph winds from the north first thing which switched WSW and steadily gathered pace in the afternoon until the evening – peak gusts 50mph at 22:00hrs – a drier day with the odd spell of drizzle.

Highlights included two Lapland Bunting feeding outside Paradise Row briefly in the morning, a Snow Bunting at the North End, a lone Black Redstart in the Landing Bay and a Great Northern Diver offshore.

Other sightings were a female Sparrowhawk, a Water Rail in Smelly Gully, two Oystercatcher, two Lesser Black-backed Gull, a Merlin, singles of Swallow, Stonechat and Chiffchaff, two Goldcrest, seven Blackbird, a Grey Wagtail, 25 Chaffinch, one Goldfinch and 16 Siskin.

30th October

Strong south-westerly/westerly winds first thing – peak gusts of 44mph – dropping away to a very light breeze come the afternoon which spurred on a brief spell of finch and pipit passage. Drizzle and thick mist until 11:30hrs – becoming overcast but dry up until 16:00hrs when the rains returned – heavy downpours throughout the evening.

Highlights included a female Bullfinch in Millcombe (no sign of the male) and a fly-over Snow Bunting at Halfway Wall (more than likely the same bird noted by Dave Fairhurst at the North End the previous day).

Other birds logged: two Water Rail, 21 Kittiwake, two Lesser Black-backed Gull, a Merlin, one Skylark, three Chiffchaff, seven Blackcap, 11 Goldcrest, nine Blackbird, two Song Thrush, 30 Redwing, 25 Robin, two Stonechat, 14 Dunnock, one Grey Wagtail, 20 Meadow Pipit, 40 Chaffinch, 20 Goldfinch, 46 Siskin, six Linnet and singles of both Brambling and Lesser Redpoll.

Peregrine looking out for a meal in the gloomy afternoon light, East Side, 30 Oct © Dean Jones
31st October

Heavy rain first thing giving way to drizzle up until 9:00hrs – sunshine becoming overcast by the mid-afternoon – very strong south-westerly winds in the morning gusting 55mph which shifted to the west and dropped slightly by late morning.

Highlights were the lingering Snow Bunting, this time on the main track near the Old Hospital, and the reappearance of the hibernicus type Coal Tit in Millcombe.

Other birds logged included singles of Merlin and Sparrowhawk, 110 Kittiwake offshore, three Lesser Black-backed Gull, two Swallow, four Blackcap, one Chiffchaff, four Goldcrest, a Firecrest on the Terrace, two Stonechat, the Millcombe Pond Grey Wagtail, 13 Chaffinch and singles of Siskin and Linnet.

Report composed of sightings from Rob Duncan, Dave Fairhurst, Dean Jones and Dan, Ellie & Justin Zantboer.