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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.

Monday, 13 December 2021

6th to 12th Dec – Another storm hits Lundy!

6th December

Low cloud and rain to start the day before strong westerlies left blue skies.

It was a fairly standard winter day on Lundy with very few new birds around. A Fieldfare and 26 Redwings were with some 150 Starlings in Barton and Tillage Fields. Three Goldcrests were seen,  including one making its way up Millcombe. A Skylark was seen South of Old Light and a Kestrel was briefly hovering along the Upper East Side.

Birds were still moving out at sea with a brief scan producing 2,500 Kittiwakes.

7th December

Strong gusts of over 60mph from the south in the morning with heavy rain. Winds staying strong but changing to the north-west in the afternoon.

With very poor visibility and strong winds very few birds were recorded. Large gulls continued to congregate in the fields above the East Side, with 40 Herring Gulls, five Lesser Black-backed Gulls and three Great Black-backed Gulls. The only passerines seen were a Goldfinch sheltering in Millcombe and a Redwing and two Blackbirds in Barton Field.

8th December

Continued strong winds from the north and west but dry and clear.

A small flurry of migration was recorded today with a Pied Wagtail outside the Marisco Tavern first thing, and late morning a Snow Bunting was briefly on the track in front of St Helen’s Church. Other passerines recorded included six Chaffinch, 10 Redwing and three Song Thrush. The number of gulls in Tillage Field has increased, including 170 Herring Gulls and four Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

It was busy off the East Side with a fishing vessel taking shelter from the strong winds. There were four Shags and a Great Northern Diver in the Landing Bay, with a further two Shags out at sea. Around 1,000 Kittiwakes, 20 Gannets and 70 auks were recorded flying past 400m offshore.

There are quite a few pipits in the wet fields at the moment but with the strong winds it has been near impossible to hear them or get good views or photographs! Many are likely to be Rock Pipits that have moved south from further afield or are part of the local breeding population moving away from the rough seas.

9th December

Finally some calm weather with less wind and only a few showers.

Another excellent day of winter migration with a large flock of 50 Chaffinches in Millcombe in the morning along with nine Bramblings and a Siskin. A further 15 Chaffinches flew south over Rocket Pole later on. Four Woodpigeons were also in Millcombe. Also of interest were three Fieldfare and a Pied Wagtail which flew over the East Side.

A Merlin gave excellent views as it sat on the wall above Ackland's Moor. The few Rock and Meadow Pipits that were around kept a low profile!
 
Merlin, Ackland's Moor, 9Dec © Stuart Cossey
 
10th December

The wind picked up again today with 40mph gusts from the north-west.

It was a lot quieter today with only six Chaffinches in Millcombe. A pair of Goldcrests were in Quarter Wall Copse and there were 10 Blackbirds and three Song Thrushes along the Lower East Side. The most interesting sighting was a large male Grey Seal off Quarry Beach with a 1m-long Skate in its mouth.
 
Grey Seal with a Skate off Quarry Beach, 10 Dec © Stuart Cossey
 
A walk down to Pondsbury revealed the female Reed Bunting is still clinging on despite the recent high winds. There were also 159 Herring Gulls in Tillage Field in company with six Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

11th December

The island was covered in a thick fog, visibility dropping to only 20m in the afternoon.

Millcombe was quiet first thing with two Chaffinches and a Woodpigeon amongst the possible migrants. Two Water Rails were heard squealing from the dense vegetation. Down at the Landing Bay, visibility improved and a Great Northern Diver was seen along with five Shags and four Oystercatchers.

12th December

The fog lifted today thanks to a moderate wind coming in from the west.

This weekend we had a visit from RSPB Biosecurity Officer Jacklyn. The Conservation Team and a few of the other islanders learnt more about what to do in case of a rat sighting. On a trip down to the North End today she recorded a Redshank on one of the West Side pools, and a Little Egret flying past North Light.

Down in the Landing Bay the Great Northern Diver was around for another day. A Merlin was also seen bombing around the southern end of the island. There was a big movement of Redwing off the island, with only two left in Barton Field.
 
Update by Stuart Cossey, Assistant Warden
 

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