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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, 5 December 2021

21st to 30th Nov – Feeling wintry and Storm Arwen

The Lundy birds blog welcomes newly appointed Assistant Warden Stuart Cossey who rounds ups the last ten days of November birding on the island.

21st November

A calm day, remaining mild.

The majority of interest was over on the East Side with a Merlin, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk seen hunting amongst the copses. A Woodcock and Mistle Thrush were also flushed. An Oystercatcher also flew along at sea level.

At Pondsbury there were two Teal, a Water Rail and two Snipe. A Grey Heron was also seen in the mist-net ride below Government House. Two Bramblings were very confiding along the main track near Quarter Wall.

22nd November

Another calm and clear day with northerly winds.

It was an excellent day for migration with large numbers of birds on the move: 73 Blackbirds, the majority likely to be from northern Europe, 41 Redwing, 37 Fieldfare and a Mistle Thrush were counted across the island. Finches were also on the move with 78 Chaffinch, 23 Brambling, 26 Goldfinch and six Siskin recorded.

The Oystercatcher was still present and a small group of three Lapwing flew over Airfield. Two Woodcock were flushed along the East Side. The housekeeping team saw a Snow Bunting on the track below Old Light during the morning.

23rd November

A more overcast day but cold winds remained from the north.

After the big movement of birds yesterday it had quietened slightly, with only 35 Blackbirds and 154 Redwing seen. The Mistle Thrush was seen again, this time in Millcombe Valley. Four Bramblings were seen along with 34 Chaffinches and 12 Siskins, and a surprisingly high count of five Chiffchaffs was made.

Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls were seen off the Landing Bay, the first since the 18th. The Woodcock and Sparrowhawk were still along the East Side.

24th November

A mild day with some showers.

A day off meant that Stuart was able to walk up to the North End of the island. At Jenny’s Cove 30 Fulmars were gliding around the clifftops and 17 Guillemots were resting on the ledges. A short seawatch from the North End produced three Puffins, 35 Kittiwakes and 14 Gannets. An unfortunate Guillemot fell prey to one of the five Peregrines seen today. Also on one Peregrine's menu was a Woodcock along the East Side which managed to escape by diving into clifftop scrub.
 
A Peregrine on the look out for prey along the East Side © Stuart Cossey
 
A Pied Wagtail was heard flying north and three Skylarks were seen beyond Halfway Wall. Numbers of Redwing were still high with 122 seen across the island.

Also of note was a Small Tortoiseshell seen in VC Quarry.

25th November

Strong winds from the Northwest with low cloud and rain.

The highlight of the day was a pair of Reed Buntings at Pondsbury – the sixth record of the year. Four Teal were also seen on the pond. It was otherwise quiet with two Woodpigeon in Millcombe along with the Mistle Thrush. A Chiffchaff and a Blackcap were seen around the Village, and the Merlin remains around the East Side.

26th November
 
The calm before the storm, with moderate winds from the north.

A quiet day, with three Teal on the scrape by Rocket Pole and a female Blackcap in Millcombe Valley being the highlights. A single Fieldfare, seven Redwing and six Blackbirds were the only thrushes seen.

Four of the Lundy Sparrow research team arrived today and will spend the week trapping House Sparrows. After the Galapagos Finches, the Lundy House Sparrows are probably the most intensely researched group of birds in the world!

27th November

Storm Arwen hits with 40mph winds through most of the day.

Very few birds were noted given the strong winds. The only species recorded were five Jack Snipe and three Snipe which were seen by Jamie Dunning in Lower Lighthouse field in the evening by torchlight.

28th November

A calmer day with winds of 20mph and showers.

It was time to see what the storm had left, with many branches off the trees in Millcombe. Two Woodpigeons were seen in the Valley as well as five Water Rails and a Brambling. A Great Northern Diver was in the Landing Bay, at times only 100m off the Jetty. A friendly Pied Wagtail was at Quarry Pond and another Brambling was along the track with a male Chaffinch. Six Snipe were flushed off Lower Lighthouse field in the evening.
 
The friendly Pied Wagtail near Quarry Pond © Stuart Cossey
 
29th November

A calm, dry day with winds picking up in the afternoon.

An excellent day to be out on the island, with several scarce species being recorded. At around 10:00hrs at the North End, Jamie Dunning watched a Whooper Swan fly in. This was later seen at Pondsbury and then over the Village. A Snow Bunting was heard at Brazen Ward. The female Reed Bunting was still present during a trip to Pondsbury in the afternoon. Five Teal, a Jack Snipe and three Snipe were also seen. A Stock Dove was in Barton Field and two Chiffchaffs were noted. Two flocks of Siskin totalling 35 birds were seen along the East Side.

 
A female Reed Bunting at Pondsbury © Stuart Cossey
 
30th November

Moderate winds from the west.

Another quiet day to finish off the month, with the Great Northern Diver heard calling all the way up to the top of Millcombe Valley during the early morning. Other sightings of note were a Brambling heard in the Lodge garden and small flock of six Siskin.

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