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!