About this page...

This page is run by Lundy Bird Observatory (LBO) as a source of news for everyone interested in the birds and wildlife of Lundy, situated 12 miles out in the Bristol Channel, UK. If you have sightings to report, please consider sharing your observations or photographs with the Bird Obs team here. While you're here, check out the companion website The Birds of Lundy for comprehensive updates to the book of the same name (Davis & Jones, 2007). All bird recording and ringing activities on Lundy are coordinated by LBO and general information about visiting the island can be found here.

Monday, 18 July 2022

11th to 17th July – The Lundy Marine Festival 2022

Marine Festival Volunteers Daisy Laing and Tara McEvoy-Wilding bring us a marine sighting special to coincide with the start of the Lundy Marine Festival.

It was really hot this week with a red-warning heatwave. Temperatures reached 27.8° on the 17th. There was very little wind making it seem even hotter.  

This week saw the start of Lundy’s much anticipated marine festival, celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Marine Protected area. The long weekend kicked off on Thursday with the arrival of some of our fantastic supporters: The Porcupine Marine Natural History Society, The Marine Biological Association, The Blue Marine Foundation, MARINElife, Sea Watch Foundation and The Natural History Museum.

Activities began immediately with the arrival of the marine experts who jumped straight into a BioBlitz of Lundy’s extensive rocky shore, focusing on a location known as Devils Kitchen. Members of the Marine Biological Association and the Natural History Museum collected samples for the Darwin Tree of Life Project, aiming to sequence the genome of the specimens obtained. The Porcupine Society compiled a list of organisms, many of which required microscopic study in the St Helens pop up marine biology lab. Alongside this visitors were able to join in with cetacean watches directed by the Sea Watch Foundation, occurring on the southwest coast of Lundy. Harbour Porpoises were seen frequently.

The BioBlitz continued into Friday, which saw two snorkel safaris led by the Islands warden Rosie Ellis. The snorkelers spotted some fantastic species including Spiny Starfish, Star Ascidians, Dead-man’s Fingers and Plumose Anemones, not to mention the large school of sand eels, or as Rosie calls them “puffin food”. On Friday evening our Marine expert talk was hosted by Dr Keith Hiscock about why Lundy’s marine life is so special, as well as the development of conservation and changes to marine life over the past 50 years.

Data collection on the rocky shore continued into Saturday with the discovery of the non-native marine algae species Green Sea Fingers (Codium fragilis), commonly mistaken with native Velvet Horn Seaweed (Codium tomentosum). Further microscopic examination revealed the specimen to be C. fragilis, identified by a small triangular point at the end of each frond. The St Helens centre pop up lab also had virtual reality headsets used to experience diving with Lundy’s curious seals, as well as interesting exhibitions which were praised by the public.

The marine experts continued identifying specimens throughout Sunday. During the afternoon, a rockpool ramble was held by wardens at Devils kitchen, for the public to explore Lundy’s marine life up close. Some interesting species were spotted Including a Worm Pipefish, Velvet Swimmer Crabs and a whopping 56 Celtic Sea Slugs.

On to the birds and Swifts are continuing to be seen every day. A high count of 12 were seen on the 11th. A few more Curlew were seen with singles flying over on the 13th and 14th. A Cormorant flew past the Terrace on the 13th and Grey Heron flew past Jenny’s Cove being mobbed by all the gulls on the 16th.

The cliffs are getting quiet with most seabirds now headed out to sea. A max count of 485 Puffins were on the sea at Jenny’s Cove. The Kittiwake chicks at our study plot are growing well with most near to fledging.

Most surprisingly this week was a Merlin which flew over Quarter Wall during the morning census. This is only the 3rd July record on the island with the last being in 2002.

The Swallows have fledged from the church porch and a new pair have made a new nest above the entrance. Meanwhile individuals from further north have started to pass through with a high count of 16 on the 17th. 

The male Song Thrush that has been singing in Millcombe since April has finally stopped after unsuccessfully finding a mate. A Grey Wagtail flew over Millcombe on the 11th and a Tree Pipit flew over on the 13th.

The first Clouded Yellow of the year was seen on the cliffs below Old Light on the 11th. Two Hummingbird Hawk-moths and a Painted Lady were seen on the 13th.

The moth trap has been busy in Millcombe with species including Devonshire Wainscot, Antler and Common Wave, which is new for the island.

Contributors: S Cossey, R Ellis, Z Wait, D Laing, T McEvoy-Wilding, C Blackmore, S Blackmore, S Bosanquet

No comments:

Post a Comment