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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.

Monday, 18 April 2022

11th to 17th April – Uncommon spring migrants and excellent ringing days

11 April

Overcast with strong easterly winds.

Strong winds in the morning meant that the morning census was quiet but migration picked up in the afternoon with the first Whitethroat of the year seen in Millcombe Valley. Other warblers seen included four Willow Warblers, one Chiffchaff and 13 male and six female Blackcaps.

Other birds seen include a Dunlin at Pondsbury, a female Merlin, five Swallows and 122 Meadow Pipit including a flocks of 46 and 60.

12 April

Overcast and wet in the morning with moderate westerly winds. Warm and bright in the afternoon.

An excellent day for birds on Lundy. The combination of morning rain and sunny afternoon produced some interesting migrants.

Millcombe was fairly quiet first thing with nine Willow Warblers, six Chiffchaff and 11 male and two female Blackcaps seen. A female Ring Ouzel was seen below Government. Further up the island, a Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit flew over Quarter Wall and four Sand Martin, two Swallows and two House Martin were recorded.

Whilst walking up from the Landing Bay with some students a Sandwich Tern was seen close to the shore. The walk then went to Jenny’s Cove where Warden Rosie pointed out a small grey bird rafting with the Kittiwakes. It was distant but scope and flight views confirmed it as a Grey Phalarope. Only the 15th Lundy record and the first April record.

At Pondsbury were a male and two female Teal, two calling Water Rail, a Snipe  and most unusually a Sanderling. A female Merlin was also seen.

Female Merlin, West Coast © Stuart Cossey

To finish of the day a pair of Canada Geese circled over MS Oldenburg as she was departing and a Redwing went in to roost in Gorse above Quarter Wall Copse.

Other migrants seen included 91 Meadow Pipit, 20 Goldfinch and 41 Linnet.

13 April

Poor visibility all day with light southwesterly winds

Very poor visibility reduced the number of migrant birds seen to nine Willow Warbler, three Chiffchaff and eight Blackcaps. A total of 39 Linnet were seen with many of these now likely to be resident birds with a number of male singing amongst the Gorse.

Ringing totals: 6 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 21 Blackcap

14 April

Overcast with light winds from the south

A busier day after yesterday’s fog. Three Grasshopper Warblers were hear ‘reeling’. One was by Rocket Pole, another by Pointless Wall and the third was in Millcombe. Other warblers recorded include 30 Willow Warbler, 20 Chiffchaff and 45 Blackcaps. A male Redstart was new in today and was seen foraging along the wall in South West Field.

Male Redstart, South West Field © Stuart Cossey

Whilst showing guests Puffins at Jenny’s Cove, a Collared Dove landed on one of the Cheeses before heading north tailed by a Peregrine. At the end of the day a Tree Pipit was seen in Millcombe.

Collared Dove, Jenny's Cove © Stuart Cossey

Other birds of note include a Kestrel, 57 Sand Martin, 19 Swallows, 38 Goldfinch and 28 Linnet.

Ringing totals: 15 Willow Warbler, 13 Chiffchaff, 35 Blackcap including one with a Danish ring, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Robin, 1 Linnet

15 April

Warm with continued light winds from the south.

A busy day for warbler migration with totals of 40 Willow Warbler, 15 Chiffchaff, two Grasshopper Warbler and 60 Blackcaps. Other migrating birds included six Sand Martin, five Swallows, seven House Martin and a Yellow Wagtail in Barton Field. Finches were also on the move with 38 Goldfinch, two Siskin and 53 Linnet recorded.

A Great Northern Diver was off the East Coast, a Sparrowhawk flew along the Terrace and a female Merlin and Kestrel were over Ackland’s Moor.

Ringing totals: 24 Willow Warbler, 10 Chiffchaff, 57 Blackcap, 1 Robin, 4 Goldfinch, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Stonechat

Sedge Warbler, Millcombe © Stuart Cossey

16 April

Calm with slight southerly winds. The hottest day of the year so far with temperatures hitting 16°C.

It was a busy day in Millcombe with warblers everywhere. The final counts across the island were 60 Willow Warblers, 30 Chiffchaff and 150 Blackcap. A Whitethroat was also heard calling at Pondsbury.

At Jenny’s Cove the seabird counts are still low with 140 Kittiwake, 700 Guillemot, 200 Razorbill, 51 Puffin and 42 Fulmar. Other birds of note include a Kestrel over Ackland’s Moor, two Sand Martin, three Swallows, a House Martin and 38 Linnet.

Non avian news a Hummingbird Hawkmoth was unfortunately found dead in the Tavern. This typically day-flying species often migrates to the UK from Southern Europe. Usually fast fliers, this gave a good opportunity to see the species up close.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth © Stuart Cossey

Ringing totals: 47 Willow Warbler, 20 Chiffchaff, 104 Blackcap, 3 Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Goldfinch, 1 Song Thrush

17 April

Overcast with moderate winds from the southwest.

On the morning census a female Marsh Harrier was seen flying north towards Pondsbury. It was then seen heading east over Brick Field mobbed by 12 Herring Gulls. A Collared Dove was sitting on Quarter Wall.

Female Marsh Harrier, Quarter Wall  © Stuart Cossey

It was a slow start to the day with the majority warbler arrival picking up in the afternoon. Totals of 50 Willow Warbler, 15 Chiffchaff and 50 Blackcap were recorded. Though the Terrace seemed to be the place to be with Sparrowhawk, Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Goldcrest recorded in the Willows. Other migrants include four Sand Martin, 12 Swallows and 41 Linnets.

Numbers of Wheatear have also picked up today with 20 seen away from breeding areas. There also a few individuals showing traits of the Greenland race. These birds were larger and had brighter chests. Greenland Wheatears have one of the longest migratory routes of any land bird, each year traveling from Sub-Saharan Africa to Greenland or Northern Canada to breed.

Ringing totals: 2 Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 17 Blackcap, 2 Goldfinch

Contributors: S Cossey, C Dee, T Taylor, A Taylor, R Ellis, Z Wait, L Pirateque, S Prettyman, P Murrell, D Dowding, J Cox, P Bullock

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