About this page...

You're now viewing the old Lundy Bird Observatory blogspot. Explore the new website for all your favourite island news and wildlife updates. If you have sightings to report, please consider sharing your observations or photographs with the Bird Obs team here.

Monday 28 February 2022

21st to 27th February – Meadow Pipits on the move

Strong winds still from the west at the beginning of the week. Dry and bright on the 25th, 26th and 27th.

Two quiet days with the strong westerly winds continuing from last week. Two Great Northern Divers were seen together in the Landing Bay with 25 Shags on the 22nd. A Chiffchaff was still in Millcombe on 22nd, 23rd and 24th. Four Redwing were seen on 22nd and 23rd but no visible migration has been observed yet.

The first Black Redstart of the year was seen below Benjamin’s Chair on the 25th. It was low down on the slope but the red tail was easily visible. Pied Wagtails were recorded on five days with a maximum of two on the 25th. Meadow Pipit migration started slow on the 23rd with 11 recorded but soon increased with 52 and 66 recorded on the 26th and 27th respectively. The numbers of Skylark and Linnets migrating were also up on these dates. A maximum of 23 Skylarks and 26 Linnets were seen or heard flying over on the 26th.Singles of Goldfinch were also recorded on the 26th and 27th.

Non-avian news included a Peacock butterfly on the 25th and a Red Admiral on the 27th.

14th February to 20th February – Three storms in one week

High winds all week with maximum gusts of 86mph.

With warnings of high winds all islanders were requested to stay indoors to avoid any flying debris during Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin. There are a few limited sightings from this week. Snipe were recorded on the 14th, 15th and 17th with a Jack Snipe recorded by Rocket Pole on the 17th. A Merlin was seen on the 14th to the 17th. In Millcombe there were three Chiffchaff and two Goldfinches on the 15th, a Siskin on the 17th. Out to sea a Red-throated Diver was in the Landing Bay in the 17th and at least one Great Northern Diver was present all week with a maximum count of three on the 19th.

There was one storm blown rarity with visiting birder Martin Thorne seeing a 2nd calendar year Iceland Gull on Ackland’s Moor.

Contributors: Rosie Ellis, M Thorne, N Trout

Monday 14 February 2022

7th February to 13th February – A few calm days for migration to start

7 February

Overcast with dense fog from 10am

With lighter winds there was a noticeable passage of Linnet through the island with a flock of six in Millcombe and another 4 heard over Ackland’s Moor and South West Fields.  The two Chiffchaffs remained in Smelly Gully and two Great Northern Divers off the East Coast. A total of 19 Mallards were recorded during a full coverage of all the ponds on the island. Also of note was the second Woodcock of the year flushed along Quarter Wall.

8 February

Overcast with strong westerly winds

The female Bullfinch was seen briefly in the Blackthorn below the Ugly by visiting birder Tim Jones before leaving the island after yesterday’s helicopter cancelation. A single Great Northern Diver was still off the East Coast, this time by White Beach. One Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest were in Smelly Gully at the bottom of Millcombe. At Pondsbury, ten Teal were counted and two Reed Buntings were in the Gorse to the south.

Teal, Pondsbury © Stuart Cossey

9 February

Fog and rain clearing slightly in the late afternoon

The morning census was quiet with few species seen in the fog. The Song Thrush, Chaffinch and Goldfinch are still singing in Millcombe and a Chiffchaff was in Smelly Gully. Once the cloud lifted in the afternoon a Merlin was seen chasing a Skylark through the trees in Quarter Wall Copse. They were then lost to view as the Skylark disappeared below the cliff. A single Linnet was heard over Quarter Wall.

10 February

Bright and sunny but with strong westerly winds

A few signs of migration were seen today with two Meadow Pipits flying high over Quarter Wall and a total of six Linnets calling as they flew over. The Merlin was seen again, this time chasing Starlings over the Village. In Millcombe two Goldcrests were in the Sitka Spruce by the Ugly and a Chiffchaff was still in  Smelly Gully.

Sightings during an hour seawatch at 1pm included 1400 Kittiwakes, a Great Northern Diver in the Landing Bay and a Red-throated Diver swimming north.

11 February

Bright with light southerly winds.

It was an excellent day for finch migration due to the calm morning. A total of 73 Linnets were seen, most were flying over but a flock of 30 were briefly in Millcombe. Also on the move were four Brambling which went north along the East Coast and 12 Chaffinches that went south off Benjamin’s Chair. A Greenfinch was heard calling as it flew low over the Village from the west. Meadow Pipits and Skylark were also flying overhead today with totals of nine and 17 seen or heard.

Another highlight was more close views of the Merlin hunting a Skylark, this time low over the top of Millcombe Valley.

Meadow Pipit, Paradise Row © Stuart Cossey

Linnet, Lambing Shed © Stuart Cossey

12 February

Mostly cloudy with strong south-westerly winds

A complete change to yesterday’s calm weather with 40mph winds battering the island. Very few passerines were recorded, a Woodpigeon and Goldcrest were in Millcombe. Only four Blackbirds were seen, ten lower than the 11th. Two Peregrines were speeding around above Benjamin’s Chair whilst a Merlin was sticking low over South West Field.

13 February

Rain all day with a few hours of light showers

A short census was completed late morning once the rain was slightly lighter. Only 15 species were recorded including eight Chaffinch, three Redwing and a Goldcrest in Millcombe.

Monday 7 February 2022

31st January to 6th February – An excellent week for seawatching

31 January

30mph winds from the northwest, overcast but dry

Three Woodpigeon continue to be seen around Millcombe with a Water Rail, Chiffchaff and two Goldcrests in Smelly Gully. After almost two weeks of absence a Merlin was seen hunting Skylark over South West Field. Further up the island 10 Teal were on Pondsbury. Off the East Coast were 2000 Kittiwakes with two Mediterranean Gulls and 15 Common Gulls. The Red-throated Diver was still present off Rat Island.

1 February

Bright with moderate winds continuing from the west

The Lapwing continues to be seen in Barton Field and an amazing 14 Snipe were seen across the island, the majority in a wet flush in South West Field. Kittiwake numbers are still high with an estimated 3500 off the East Coast. Only a single Common Gull was picked out amongst them though. A Great Northern Diver and Red-throated Diver were also off the East Coast.

Two Chiffchaff continue to be seen in Smelly Gully at the bottom of Millcombe Valley, one ringed and one unringed.

Lapwing, Barton Field © Stuart Cossey

2 February

Mostly cloudy with moderate winds from the north

It was a busy morning in Millcombe with Song Thrush, Robin, Dunnock, Wren and Chaffinch all singing. Two Chiffchaffs and five Goldcrest were also recorded. The first Snow Bunting of the year was seen up past Threequarter Wall in the late morning.

Song Thrush, Millcombe Valley © Stuart Cossey

There was an obvious passage of gulls off the East Side and North End today with seven Black-headed Gulls, five Mediterranean Gulls, 44 Common Gulls and a Little Gull seen with an estimated 3350 Kittiwakes.

3 February

Dry and mild with continued 20mph winds from the northwest

A slight change was noted off the East Coast with only 2000 Kittiwakes, one Black-headed Gull, one Mediterranean Gull and six Common Gulls. The Merlin was seen off Castle Hill flying high south to chase migrating Skylark back towards the island. The Merlin was unsuccessful this time but was seen amongst the Starlings in Tillage Field later in the day. There was no sign of the Lapwing in Barton Field despite multiple visits.

4 February

Bright with strong winds continuing from the west

The Kittiwake flock remains off the East Coast with an estimated 3500 present along with three Common Gulls. Back on land, a Jack Snipe and a Snipe were in a wet flush in Southwest Field.  Also of note was a Merlin and ten Skylarks.

5 February

Overcast with winds from the west gusting at 40mph

The female Bullfinch that was last seen on the 24 January was back in Millcombe Valley. It remains elusive with only a brief sighting before disappearing into dense scrub. Also in Milcombe were two Chiffchaffs, 16 Chaffinches including a small flock if 13 and a singing male.

At the edge of the Landing Bay 3000+ Kittiwakes were joined by one 1st winter Black-headed Gull, three Common Gulls and two 1st winter Little Gulls. A Great Northern Diver and 66 Shag were also recorded.  

6 February

Overcast with some rain showers. Strong winds continue from the west

Really strong winds meant that there were few birds on the plateau. A total of six Water Rail were recorded, four in Millcombe and two in St Helens Copse. Also in Millcombe were 13 Chaffinch and a Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were in Smelly Gully.

The 3200 Kittiwake were still off the East Coast, though even with close views and amazing light only two Common Gulls were seen with them. The two Great Northern Divers are still in the Landing Bay.

Kittiwakes, East Coast © Stuart Cossey