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Wednesday 26 May 2021

Additional post for 1st to 11th May – Windy, cold, wet, but sunny too... all the ingredients for another 'whatever next!' time on Lundy

Former island resident and long-time Lundy aficionado Richard Campey reflects on another stay on his favourite island.

An eleven-day break on Lundy (hopping between the Radio Room and The Vestry) was a real treat post-lockdown and I was hugely excited as I packed my optics and camera equipment before the long drive from my home in Norfolk to North Devon. What followed was quite a challenging stay, given a force 10 storm (which blew the island's tepee out of the Beer Garden!) and, actually worse, a force 8 gale with rain and fog. Thankfully, however, there were some sunny days and some good migration to enjoy, including 3,500 Swallows and 1,500 House Martins on one memorable day. Combined with the arrival of Spotted Flycatchers, Pied Flycatcher, Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats, Grasshopper Warblers, Blackcaps and Garden Warblers, some days in Millcombe were alive with sightings and songs. Of course, with the ever changing conditions, the next day would be windy and cold, a stiff north-easterly blowing straight into Millcombe, meaning little in the way of birds to see or hear! Such is the nature of island birding – but I wouldn't change a thing as you never know what awaits you around the next corner.

Below are some of my image captures from my latest Lundy adventure
A recently-ringed female Blackcap in Millcombe, 1 May
A glossy male Starling in full song, 1 May
... here another male about to feed a hungry offspring, 9 May
A Sika Deer with attendant Starlings on the Airfield, 2 May
One of three Whimbrels in Tent Field ...
... and in flight, 2 May
A Whitethroat feeding along a path in Millcombe Wood, 2 May
One of two Lesser Redpolls feeding in Barton Field, 3 May
A wet Wheatear after a bath at Rocket Pole, 4 May
A Pied Flycatcher rests a while on a Barton Field fenceline, 6 May
A Dunlin in a wet flash on South West Field, 9 May
One of two Garden Warblers feeding together in Smelly Gully, 10 May
Stealth was needed to get this shot of an immature Peregrine near VC Quarry, 10 May
A Manx Shearwater captured over the waves during the return crossing on MS Oldenburg, 11 May

All images © Richard Campey.

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