About this page...
This page is run by Lundy Bird Observatory (LBO) as a source of news for everyone interested in the birds and wildlife of Lundy, situated 12 miles out in the Bristol Channel, UK. If you have sightings to report, please consider sharing your observations or photographs with the Bird Obs team here. While you're here, check out the companion website The Birds of Lundy for comprehensive updates to the book of the same name (Davis & Jones, 2007). All bird recording and ringing activities on Lundy are coordinated by LBO and general information about visiting the island can be found here.
Thursday, 28 October 2021
Wednesday, 27 October 2021
27th Oct — A late Spotted Flycatcher, a stunning male Brambling; still plenty of Siskins on the move
|Dan & Ellie Zantboer and Rob Duncan enjoying the comforts of Millcombe|
as they ring the day’s catch © Justin Zantboer
|Spotted Flycatcher, Millcombe © Justin Zantboer|
|A spectacular male Brambling, Millcombe, 27 Oct © Justin Zanboer|
Records from Rob Duncan and Justin, Ellie & Dan Zantboer.
Tuesday, 26 October 2021
Another 52 birds ringed comprised: 27 Siskin, 11 Chaffinch, 7 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldfinch and 1 Wren.
Also logged today were 2 Oystercatchers, a Grey Heron, a Woodcock, 3 House Martins, 10 Swallows, two Bramblings in Millcombe, and a Snow Bunting, .
Monday, 25 October 2021
Sunday, 24 October 2021
Saturday, 23 October 2021
|Little Bunting, St John's Valley, 23 Oct © Trevor Dobie|
|A classic late-autumn scarcity and the third October on the trot for Lundy © Trevor Dobie|
|Reinforcements from Gower Ringing Group help to deal with the|
mega Siskin catch in Millcombe, 23 Oct © Rob Duncan
“The Merlin, my third over the years seen from the Oldenburg, was bombing along in among a flock of ‘shocked’ Manx Shearwaters. The last half-hour on board, heading up to North End, was like driving through a snowstorm of seabirds, mostly Kittiwakes, Guillemots and Gannets, along with a few Common, Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls. I didn't attempt to count them (I was too busy looking for skuas and shearwaters!) but the numbers were just massive – well into the twenties of thousands. On the island I saw Black Redstarts at The Battery, Old Hospital, Quarry Cottages, near the Church and along the Beach Road – quite how many there were, your guess is as good as mine! There was a constant movement of flocks of finches over the plateau all day as well. The one big disappointment was missing the two Choughs, but hey ho! Fingers crossed for my week on the island from 5th Nov.”
|Stock Dove, Millcombe, 23 Oct © Martin Thorne|
|The Merlin seen from the Oldenburg, 23 Oct © Martin Thorne|
|One of the many Black Redstarts seen throughout the day, 23 Oct © Martin Thorne|
Friday, 22 October 2021
Thursday, 21 October 2021
Wednesday, 20 October 2021
A day of lashing SW gales, spells of rain and drizzle, and often very poor visibility, as clag shrouded the island for much of the time, led to the cancellation of all transportation on or off the island.
A write-off as far as ringing was concerned, but visibility improved enough for a time in the middle of the day for some birding in the few relatively sheltered spots, including the Terrace and parts of lower Millcombe and along the Beach Road. Observations included a Cormorant, two Merlin, seven Blackcap, three Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest, a Wheatear near Old Light, two Black Redstart (plus a few Stonechats, Robins and Rock Pipits) around the Landing Bay, one Grey Wagtail, five alba wagtail, 42 Chaffinch, 90 Siskin.
Seawatching from the Castle and the Ugly, when visibility allowed, proved fairly fruitless, with small numbers of Gannets, auks, Shags and a handful of large gulls, with no Kittiwakes, other smaller gulls, shearwaters or skuas, in spite of the rough conditions.
Ringing total zero again...
Monday, 18 October 2021
Sunday, 17 October 2021
Saturday, 16 October 2021
|Red-eyed Vireo, 'Smelly Gully', lower Millcombe, 16 Oct; note that the tail appears to be re-growing,|
having presumably been lost at some point during the bird's long journey © Richard Campey
Friday, 15 October 2021
A magically calm, almost windless day, with long sunny spells and atypical warmth for mid-October.
|A basking Painted Lady attests to the positively summery conditions on 15 Oct © Richard Campey|
Other notable sightings included six Golden Plover, two Jack Snipe, single Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, two Merlin, 87 Swallow, two House Martin, two Yellow-browed Warbler, two tristis-type Chiffchaff (of which one ringed), a very fat Garden Warbler (also trapped and ringed), a Firecrest, only 30 Redwing, 30 Song Thrush, a Common Redstart, nine Black Redstart (including four together at North Light), 30 Stonechat, four Wheatear, 25 alba wagtails, 26 Rock Pipit, 40 Chaffinch and 3 Brambling.
|Black Redstart in typical habitat! Old Light, 15 Oct © Richard Campey|
|Black Redstart, Old Light, 15 Oct © Richard Campey|
Thursday, 14 October 2021
|A first-year Peregrine (with streaked, not barred underparts) over South End, 14 Oct © Richard Campey|
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
A superb day for visible migration, with Millcombe filled with the sound of Redwings from before first light. A conservative total of 1,000 was logged, the great majority of which were in and around Millcombe before 09.00 hrs. It was such a still morning that we were able to hear the sound of air rushing through the wings of Redwings and Song Thrushes as they plummeted into the valley from great height. Both species went from zero on 12th to 1,000 and 65, respectively today! Other species passing through in numbers included Meadow Pipit (400), Skylark (70), Linnet (200), Siskin (250) and Goldfinch (80). Among them were a late Tree Pipit, a Brambling, a Greenfinch, a Mistle Thrush, a Ring Ouzel, two Black Redstarts, three Wheatears, two Lapland Buntings, and a Snow Bunting.
|Presumed 'Siberian' Chiffchaff P. c. tristis, Millcombe 13 Oct © Tim Jones|
Ringing total 60, comprising: 1 Yellow-browed Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler, 7 Chiffchaff, 13 Blackcap, 2 Firecrest, 15 Goldcrest, 3 Redwing, 1 Blackbird, 6 Robin, 1 Chaffinch, 4 Goldfinch and 6 Siskin.
Tuesday, 12 October 2021
12th Oct – A new Yellow-browed Warbler, a late Willow Warbler; presumed eastern Lesser Whitethroat still present
The ringing total for the day of 71 comprised 40 Goldcrest, 14 Blackcap, 5 Siskin, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldfinch, and singles of Swallow, Willow Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Wren, Stonechat and Dunnock.
Monday, 11 October 2021
Chris Baillie writes:
"A light northerly breezes and a stunning sunny day saw the action increase. Highlights included an eastern race Lesser Whitethroat (see photos below) and single Yellow-browed Warbler, Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting and Black Redstart. 350 Starlings included 200 heading out south, a steady flow of Siskins and a hint of winter with the first Brambling and Redwing. 65 House Martin and 123 Swallows. A Mediterranean Gull offshore, 50 Blackcaps and 30 Goldcrests. Robins were on the move (30) as were Meadow Pipits. Ringing totals 71 birds ringed: 36 Blackcaps, 10 Goldcrests, 6 Chiffchaffs, 5 Robin, 3 Wren, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Stonechat, 1 Dunnock, 1 Blackbird, 1 eastern Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Swallow and 1 Yellow-browed Warbler."
The Yellow-browed Warbler is the first of the autumn for Lundy.
Sightings contributed by Chris & Carol Baillie, Rob Duncan, Paul Holt and Jac Turner-Moss.
|The first-winter, presumed eastern-race Lesser Whitethroat ringed on 11 Oct.|
Shed body feathers were retained and sent for DNA analysis © Jac Turner-Moss
|Blunt wingtip with short 2nd primary; also extensive brown on nape onto crown © Jac Turner-Moss|
|Abraded juvenile tail showing extensive white in the outermost feathers © Jac Turner-Moss|
|The tip of the 2nd primary falls approximately equal to the tip of the 7th primary © Jac Turner-Moss|
Chris Baillie reports that Sunday 10th saw mostly clear skies and light northerly winds unhelpful to ringing but a warm and glorious Lundy day. There was an early-morning surge of Blackcaps through Millcombe, and a light passage of Swallows which seemed to feed well in almost summer-like conditions. Singles of Golden Plover, Snipe, Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Merlin, Kestrel, Wheatear, Garden Warbler, Firecrest and Greenfinch. Plus a Spotted Flycatcher assumed to be the long-stayer, one each of Pied and Grey Wagtail, and a handful of Siskins.
Sightings contributed by Chris & Carol Baillie, Rob Duncan and Paul Holt.
Sunday, 10 October 2021
Saturday 9th brought some stirrings of visible migration after a few quiet days on that particular front. There were some Siskins through and a late-afternoon arrival of 186 Swallows and 37 House Martins. A Grey Heron might be the same first-year bird as seen on 6th. There was a Firecrest in St Helen's Copse, the Spotted Flycatcher was joined by a second Spotted and two Pied Flycatchers, whilst there were two 'northern' abietinus-type birds among the Chiffchaffs present. Finally, there was a raft of 30 Common Scoters offshore.
Sightings from Chris & Carol Baillie, Rob Duncan, Paul Holt, and Jaques Turner-Moss.
Saturday, 9 October 2021
Shaun Robson reports that:
"Our time on Lundy (23rd-28th) was marred by low cloud for the first two days then very strong westerly winds and occasional rain for the last three... Ringing was very limited and none at all was possible on the last two days.
Birding-wise, migrants were thin on the ground throughout. The main notes being two Arctic Skuas – a pale adult and a dark bird pursuing Kittiwakes along the east of the island on the 26th. Potentially of more interest were three waders seen flying over Barton Field on the afternoon of the 23rd. Sadly they were lost to view before their identity was confirmed. They may have been Ruff or they might have been even better! Searching of likely locations found nothing. The only other wader was a Golden Plover at the Airfield on the same date.
The 28th produced an increase in Blackcaps, with at least 20 present between the Terrace and Millcombe in the afternoon. A lingering Spotted Flycatcher was still present."
Following Shaun's departure, stormy weather at the start of October brought disruption to transport but nothing of note seabird-wise (e.g. just a handful of Gannets and auks off North End on 5th). The most notable event was a sizeable fall of Goldcrests during a relative lull in the weather on 3rd/4th – it's always amazing how such tiny birds manage to battle through such conditions. Jamie Dunning also reported 10 Greenfinches – a good count for Lundy these days.
Dean Jones and Zoë Barton saw two Snow Buntings as they walked back from North End on 5th.
A Twite found by Chris Baillie at Old Light in the late afternoon of 6th is the first for Lundy since one near the Castle on 28 October 2003 (subject to acceptance by Devon Birds Rarities Committee). Chris also reports for 6th: a Greenland-type Wheatear, just over 100 Swallows, a late Spotted Flycatcher, 21 Blackcaps (of which 16 eponymous males), and a couple of Greenfinches.
Thursday 7th dawned foggy after a largely clear night. Departures were indicated by a drop in tne Blackcap count to one and Swallows dipped to a trickle of 12. But the Spotted Flycatcher remained settled in.
Friday 8th brought new Herring Gulls (33), a raft of 48 Guillemots, single Sparrowhawk and Merlin, whilst influxes landside included 10 Chiffchaffs and 15 Goldcrests, and a few additional Chaffinches promised more to come soon. A handsome stag Sika Deer chomping away on Rat Island was a novel sight for Chris & Carol Baillie.
Finally, many regular readers will be aware that Lundy Warden Dean Jones and his fiancée Zoë Barton, erstwhile Head of Housekeeping, are leaving Lundy to take up new jobs closer to family and friends in Northern Ireland ahead of their marriage next year. In fact, after a delayed departure due to vagaries of the weather and a temperamental crane on MS Oldenburg, yesterday (8th October) saw Dean & Zoë finally setting sail for their new life – pictured below stepping ashore in Bideford.
|We'll be seeing youse... © Tim Davis|
Dean and Zoë, thank you both for everything you have done for Lundy and its wildlife; we'll miss your smiles, your warmth and sheer zest for life, and wish you everything that is good for your future together!