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Monday 4 July 2022

27th June to 3rd July – More signs of breeding success

The weather was mild and overcast all week with rain on most days. Wind was from the west averaging at around 20mph.   

A high count of 10 female, three male and a large juvenile Mallard were on Pondsbury on the 3rd. Low numbers of Swift were seen all week with three on the 30th and 3rd, two on 28th and 1st and singles on 29th and 2nd. A Cuckoo was seen in Millcombe on the 27th and 28th.

The Racing Pigeons are still hanging around the Camping Field. A total of 11 were seen on the 2nd but only 10 on the 3rd after one of the South End juvenile Peregrines was seen over the Village. A Collared Dove was singing in Millcombe on the 2nd.

A Black-headed Gull flew over the Landing Bay whilst waiting for the MS Oldenburg on the 30th. During a boat trip up the East Side on the 1st, 19 adult and four juvenile Oystercatchers were counted. There were also high numbers of juvenile Shags with at least 30 seen. Many of the Guillemots, Razorbills and Puffins have now successfully fledged young and it won't be long before they all head back out to sea and the cliffs are quiet.

Two Grey Heron were seen flying in by Quarry Beach on the 29th and another was over the Landing Bay on the 2nd. The Kestrel pair have successfully raised two chicks with the fledglings seen practicing their flying near the Battery, much to the dislike of the Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gull colony. Many of the Peregrine pairs have also got fledged young. Young birds of prey usually stay with their parents for a few weeks learning the hunting techniques they will need to survive.

A Sand Martin was reported on the 3rd and the first returning Willow Warblers were recorded on the 1st and 2nd. Breeding has finally been confirmed for the Millcombe Chiffchaff pairs. A young bird was seen on the 1st by the Gas Store, meanwhile another pair are busy feeding young in Millcombe Wood. Whitethroat are still being seen around Millcombe with four juveniles counted below Millcombe House on the 27th.

Meadow Pipit and juvenile Wheatear appear to be everywhere at the moment, particularly along the West Coast. Linnets are also forming into flocks with 20 regularly seen feeding on the Pineappleweed by the Pig Sty. A Siskin was heard in Millcombe on the 1st.

Juvenile Wheatear, Benjamin's Chair © Stuart Cossey

The Manx Shearwater nest boxes were checked on the 29th. Of the 12 that contained an egg in May, nine have hatched, two are still being incubated and unfortunately one has been abandoned. 

Manx Shearwater chick © Stuart Cossey

Fewer butterflies and moths were seen during the overcast days. Single Hummingbird Hawk-moths were seen on the 30th and the 1st. A Speckled Wood was reported on the 29th and 1st, a scarce butterfly on Lundy. Painted Ladies were seen on the 29th and 30th and  Grayling on 29th and 1st. Meadow Brown are the most common butterfly at the moment with 30+ being recorded each day. The first Common Darter and Blue-tailed Damselflies were seen by Pondsbury on the 3rd. 

Snorkel safaris were led by the conservation team on the 1st and 3rd. Highlights included Ballen Wrasse, Spiny Starfish, Lightbulb Sea Squirt and Spider Crabs.

Due to the increased risk of Avian Influenza in seabirds we have decided to stop all seabird ringing activities. We are taking extra care during any monitoring work and keeping an eye out for any dead birds. Whilst on Lundy please report any dead seabirds to a member of staff. If you see a dead or dying bird anywhere in the UK call DEFRA on 03459 335577. Do not touch any dead or dying birds.

Contributors: S Cossey, R Ellis, Z Wait, A Rowland, P and L Chapman.

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