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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.
If you have news to report, please consider signing up as a contributor or send in your sightings here.
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.

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

1st to 5th December – An interesting pipit and farewell to Eleanor

Stuart Cossey summarises the start of December.

1st December

40mph winds from the north-west.

A relatively quiet day with an influx of large gulls in Tillage and Brick fields with 114 Herring Gulls, seven Lesser Black-backed Gulls and three Great Black-backed Gulls. Two Oystrecatchers were hanging around the Landing Beach, a Skylark was seen at Rocket Pole and a Merlin was still hunting thrushes around the East Side.

2nd December

Continued high winds from the north-west.

On a brief seawatch from the Ugly, a large flock of 160 Kittiwakes was seen feeding just off Rat Island. The female Reed Bunting remains around Pondsbury and there was a small influx of 56 Redwing, 16 Fieldfare and three Skylark. A Stock Dove was seen again in Barton Field.

Whilst out ringing House Sparrows, Jamie Dunning and Eleanor Grover heard an interesting pipit fly east over the Lodge Garden. From the description in the logbook, the call was “slightly drawn out, almost tree pipit/olive-backed”. It was located in Barton Field and seen through binoculars at 50m. “Nape and mantle greyish with no streaking, wing as upper parts but with pale/buffish wing bars on the greater and lesser coverts and fringes of tertials. Subtle streaking on breast but absent on belly which was clean whitish. Size was larger than Meadow Pipit but the behaviour was similar.” It has been identified as a probable Buff-bellied Pipit, which if accepted will be the first for Lundy.

3rd December

Calm and overcast.

After several checks during the day there was no sign of yesterday’s putative Buff-bellied Pipit. A good number of thrushes were still in Barton Field, including 28 Redwings and five Fieldfares. A Goldcrest was seen feeding along Quarter Wall and a Chiffchaff was in the Lodge Garden.

Sadly it was time to say goodbye to our long-term volunteer, Eleanor Grover. After arriving in April to monitor the seabirds, she stayed on and has been amazing, helping out with all sorts of tasks. She has also found some excellent birds during her stay.

4th December

More winds from north-west with some heavy showers.

With the flooding in Lower Lighthouse Field it was unsurprising that a Teal and Snipe were flushed out during the morning census. The Stock Dove was still in Barton Field, along with 25 Redwing and a Fieldfare.

A Brambling was calling in Millcombe at dawn and a visitor reported a Snow Bunting on the cliff below South Light.

An afternoon seawatch from the Ugly included over 3,000 Kittiwakes heading north, 219 Herring Gulls, 300 auks and 36 Gannets. An Oystercatcher was heard calling in the Landing Bay.

5th December

Continued strong winds from the north-west with rain and hail in the morning.

There were still large numbers of Kittiwakes moving north along the east coast, with approximately 1,500 along the tide line. A walk along the East Side produced four Woodpigeons in St Helen’s Copse and a Goldcrest and Chiffchaff in Quarter Wall Copse.

The best bird of the day was a Corn Bunting seen taking shelter in the lee of the Tillage Field wall before flying off, calling, towards the Upper East Side Path.

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