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This page is run by volunteer contributors as a source of news for everyone interested in the birds of Lundy, in the Bristol Channel, UK.
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See also the companion website The Birds of Lundy for comprehensive updates to the 2007 book of the same name.
Bird recording and ringing on Lundy are coordinated by the Lundy Field Society and general information about visiting the island can be found here.

Sunday, 14 November 2021

6th to 12th Nov – A wide array of autumn birds, and more fungi

6th November

Just enough clouds to make for a glorious sunrise, leading to a sunny morning with rain showers in the afternoon and strong winds throughout.
The East Coast looks aflame during a glorious sunrise © Eleanor Grover

With the prevailing strong winds, it is hardly surprising that a spot of seawatching yielded results, with some 250 Kittiwakes, seven Great Black-backed Gulls, 30 Herring Gulls and 30 Gannets being seen. Closer to the coastline, an Oystercatcher and a Grey Heron were sighted.
A Grey Heron searches fruitlessly for lunch in the Landing Bay © Eleanor Grover

In Millcombe Valley, the highlights were a Stock Dove, a Chiffchaff, three Blackcaps, two Firecrests, three Goldcrests and two Greenfinches. Other records throughout the day included one Merlin, seven Blackbirds, 15 Fieldfares, 98 Redwings, a Black Redstart, a Stonechat, five Dunnocks, two Pied Wagtails, a Meadow Pipit, six Rock Pipits, 10 Chaffinches, four Goldfinches and eight Siskins.

7th November

Cloudy skies with the occasional blue spell – remaining dry throughout, the winds dropping to become a very calm day.

The calm of the morning was disturbed by a Woodcock exploding out from beside the path in Millcombe Valley. Four Snipe were also flushed later in the day. Also in Millcombe, the absence of howling wind allowed a single Mistle Thrush to be heard. Other thrush counts included six Blackbirds, 32 Fieldfares and 53 Redwings.

Once again the day's totals included a single Merlin, as well as a Woodpigeon, four Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, two Goldcrests, seven Robins, a Stonechat, over 20 House Sparrows, a Pied Wagtail, four Meadow Pipits, 17 Chaffinches, five Goldfinches and two Siskins.

Seawatching was a bit quieter, with one Great Black-backed Gull, 20 Herring Gulls and six Gannets, alongside a highlight of five Common Scoters.

8th November

A brief clearer spell at first light but fog soon rolled in, eventually lifting into an overcast afternoon.

The Stock Dove was seen again, this time in Barton Field, as well as two Woodpigeons. Also in Barton Field, first light revealed a flock of 96 Herring Gulls. Amidst the murk it was often easier to pick up birds on calls, with a Woodcock, two Water Rails, two Skylarks, a Snipe, a Chiffchaff, two Stonechats, a Pied Wagtail, five Meadow Pipits, three Rock Pipits, 12 Chaffinches, a Brambling, two Greenfinches, three Goldfinches and five Siskins. Other birds spotted before they dived back into the fog included a Merlin, two Blackcaps, a Firecrest, a Goldcrest, 13 Blackbirds, three Song Thrushes and a Mistle Thrush.

Once the fog cleared, it was time for some seawatching from the Ugly, with totals of 30 Common Scoters, 20 Kittiwakes, six Great Black-backed Gulls, 300 unidentified auks, two Great Northern Divers, six Gannets and 17 Dark-bellied Brent Geese (flocks of five and 12). All in all, not a bad day!
The Ugly's cheeky young Robin surveys his kingdom © Eleanor Grover

During a dusk stroll a second Woodcock was discovered and five Siskins were seen coming to land near Tibbetts. Once it grew darker, Fieldfares and Redwings were heard calling overhead, adding to the day’s totals of 97 and 188, respectively. Slightly more unexpected, two Manx Shearwaters were heard calling and coming down to land on the West Side just north of Quarter Wall.

9th November

A stiff breeze in the morning carried with it a veil of very fine rain.

The morning flock of 21 Herring Gulls in Barton Field were this time joined by a Great Black-backed Gull and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Two Cormorants were in the Landing Bay and a Great Northern Diver was seen further out off the East Side.

Unfortunately, rain stopped play and poor visibility meant that fewer birds were logged. They included a Stock Dove, a Merlin, a Chiffchaff, two Firecrests, a Goldcrest, three Blackbirds, 15 Fieldfares, 31 Redwings, six Meadow Pipits, a Rock Pipit, 24 Chaffinches, seven Bramblings, a Greenfinch, a Goldfinch and two Siskins.

A lost Redwing mixes in with some House Sparrows © Eleanor Grover

10th November

Barely a breath of wind disturbed an otherwise overcast day.

A good day for birds with a nice variety of species logged. Seawatching was conducted near Montagu Steps instead of the regular haunt of The Ugly. Thirty Common Scoters, three Great Black-backed Gulls, 14 Herring Gulls, a Great Northern Diver, three Fulmars, a Gannet, four Shags and two Cormorants were recorded. The star bird, however, was a Sooty Shearwater that flew south towards Hartland Point. Another individual was seen later but it is unknown if it was a different bird or the same individual that had looped back around.

Two wader species were seen, two Oystercatchers and a Curlew heard calling in the late afternoon over Tillage Field. A Sparrowhawk and a Merlin added some raptor variety to the usual Peregrines. Warblers and crests stood at a Chiffchaff, two female Blackcaps, a Firecrest and two Goldcrests, while thrush totals for the day were nine Blackbirds, 63 Fieldfares, 78 Redwings and three Song Thrushes. Finch counts included 43 Chaffinches, two Goldfinches, 20 Siskins, and it was a delight to see a flock of 41 Bramblings flying low over Government House.

Other species logged included seven Mallards, a Stock Dove, two Water Rails, 11 Carrion Crows, four Skylarks, 12 Wrens, c.200 Starlings, seven Robins, four Stonechats, five Dunnocks, a Pied Wagtail, 18 Meadow Pipits and one Rock Pipit.

11th November

Grey overhead but remaining dry and warm, with the winds determinedly picking up throughout the day.

For the first time this autumn, Fieldfares outnumbered Redwings, with counts of 67 and 49 logged respectively. On the finch front, 72 Chaffinches, nine Bramblings, one Goldfinch and three Siskins were noted. Uncounted numbers of finches and thrushes were streaming south above Benjamin’s Chair, being hunted by five Peregrines. A high count of 23 Ravens were an exciting addition to the day.
A dapper Fieldfare grubs around in Barton Field © Eleanor Grover
The day’s Stock Dove was joined by a Woodpigeon, and another Woodcock yet again erupted from the undergrowth at the last possible moment. A Black Redstart was sighted, along with the more regular species: a Merlin, two Skylarks, a Firecrest, a Goldcrest, nine Blackbirds, a Pied Wagtail and two Meadow Pipits.

Seabird sightings included two Shags, a Great Black-backed Gull, 20 Herring Gulls, eight Gannets and a Great Northern Diver.

Another very successful Fungi Foray was led by John Hedger, this time with 45 species being found. The species composition was much the same as last week, missing a few but gaining new ones, namely Giant Puffball, Shaggy Parasol, Pink Waxcap, Pleated Inkcap, Rootlet Brittlestem, Brownedge Bonnet, Gallerina vittiformis and Agaricus macrosporus. On top of this, one Mycena species and three pinkgills are yet to be identified.

12th November

Strong gusts of wind throughout the day – first light was overcast, quickly developing into rain showers.

Records were rather sparse, many birds no doubt hiding away from the rain. Counts included seven Mallards, three Stonechats, a Pied Wagtail, one Great Black-backed Gull, eight Gannets and four Shags. Millcombe Valley once again saw most of the action, with a Woodcock, one Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest, nine Blackbirds, six Fieldfares, 13 Redwings, a Song Thrush, a Meadow Pipit, 23 Chaffinches, two Bramblings and a Goldfinch logged.
This ringed Chaffinch refused to allow his ring to be read... © Eleanor Grover

Records from Eleanor Grover, John Hedger and Martin Thorne.

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