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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, 25 April 2022

18th to 24th April – A classic spring week with plenty of new arrivals

The start of the week was sunny with a moderate westerly winds. The wind picked up towards the end of the week and was blowing from the east. On some days the wind died down in the afternoon

A Collared Dove was seen in the Village and Millcombe on 18th and another on 23rd and 24th. A Stock Dove was seen over South West Field on the 22nd. The highest count of Woodpigeon this week was nine on the 22nd.

The first real movement of waders was logged this week with two Whimbrel on Rat Island on the 20th. Five species of wader were then recorded on the 23rd. Along with the usual Oystercatchers around the island, a Ringed Plover was seen on the track by South West Field and was heard calling around the area for most of the morning. A total of four Whimbrel were seen with two in off Benjamin’s Chair, one in the Landing Bay and one landing in front of Stoneycroft. A Snipe flew over Barton Field and a Common Sandpiper was seen down on the Landing Beach. Another Snipe was seen on the 24th up by John O’Groats house.

Common Sandpiper, Landing Beach © Stuart Cossey

Ringed Plover, South West Field © Stuart Cossey

Counts of seabirds have been increasing throughout the week approximately 10,000 Guillemots, 3000 Razorbill, 124 Puffin, 45 Fulmar, 68 Shag and 90 Kittiwake recorded during a full count on the 24th. With the dark evenings, large numbers of Manx Shearwater have been coming to land. Nine new birds were ringed during a short session on the 22nd and another ten were retrapped. The oldest bird caught was ringed in 2012 so quite young compared to the oldest ever found which was 50.

Razorbill, Jenny's Cove © Stuart Cossey

Puffin, Jenny's Cove © Stuart Cossey

A number of birds of prey have been sticking around this week. A pair of Kestrel have been seen along the East Coast and Castle Hill and may well be breeding on the island. A Sparrowhawk has been seen on the 19th, 22nd and 24th and a female Merlin has been recorded on 19th, 21st and 24th. A Hen Harrier was reported on the 18th over Quarter Wall.

A Rook was seen flying in over Castle Hill on the 19th and a high count of 20 Carrion Crows were seen on the 23rd.

The number of hirundines moving through has been gradually increasingly with many seen heading south rather than north during the easterly winds towards the end of the week. High counts of Sand Martins were nine on 19th and 24th and there were 18 House Martin counted on the 24th. Steady passage of Swallows was seen with 75 on the 18th, 46 on 20th and 91 on 24th.

The number of Willow Warblers and Blackcaps has reduced from last week’s high counts of 60 and 150. This week the most Willow Warblers seen was 10 and only 15 Blackcaps. A very grey tristis type Chiffchaff was seen on the Terrace on the 20th. Although there were lower numbers, new birds have started to arrive with Sedge Warblers seen on the 23rd and 24th, Lesser Whitethroat on the 20th and one singing on the 24th, two Common Whitethroats were seen on the 22nd and 24th and a Reed Warbler was by Pondsbury on the 24th. A Grasshopper Warbler was ringed in Millcombe on the 23rd.

Common Whitethroat, Pondsbury © Stuart Cossey

Lesser Whitethroat, Millcombe © Stuart Cossey

A female Ring Ouzel was seen by the Pig Sties on the 21st and the male Song Thrush continues to sing in Millcombe. A male Common Redstart was on the wall by South West Field on the 18th and a female was above Benjamin’s Chair on the 23rd. The first Whinchat of the year was seen on the 14th foraging along Quarter Wall. Stonechats appear to be doing well with this year with at least eight pairs on the island. A female with food was seen on the East Side meaning it won’t be long before the first chicks fledge. It has been increasingly busy with Wheatear all across the island in the last few days. At least 93 were seen on the 24th with 14 just on Pointless Wall. Many of these were of the larger and brighter Greenland race which will continue north to breed in Greenland and Canada before heading back to Sub-Saharan Africa in autumn.  

Female Ring Ouzel, Pig Sty © Stuart Cossey

Whinchat, Quarter Wall © Stuart Cossey

Wheatears, Pointless Wall © Stuart Cossey

Meadow Pipits are mostly now on territory and singing across the island with only a few small flocks likely to be continuing north to breed. A Tree Pipit was seen in Millcombe on 19th and a stunning male Blue-headed Yellow Wagtail was foraging around the Lundy Ponies on Barton Field on the afternoon of the 24th. A White Wagtail was also seen on the 24th.

Blue-headed Wagtail, Barton Field © Stuart Cossey

Blue-headed Wagtail, Barton Field © Stuart Cossey

The highlight of the week in terms of finches was a female Hawfinch ringed in Millcombe on the 18th and seen again on the 21st. Goldfinches were still passing through the island with 34 counted on the 18th. Linnets are showing signs of breeding with singing males in a few locations and females collecting nesting material. Others are still migrating though with counts of 49 on the 19th, 62 on 22nd and 79 on 24th. A male Siskin was seen on the 19th and 21st. At least two breeding pairs of Chaffinch are in Millcombe.

Female Hawfinch, Millcombe © Chris Dee

Contributors: S Cossey, C Dee, R Ellis, Z Wait, L Pirateque, R Duncan, K Annison, D Dowding, P Bullock, J Cox and M and J Webber.

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