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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, 19 September 2022

12th to 18th September – A busy week on the island including three Wrynecks

Strong easterly winds on Tuesday. Dry with light winds from the north for the remainder of the week.

Teal have been seen sporadically through the week with records of one on the 13th and 17th. Single Common Swift were recorded on the 15th and 17th.

Common Swift © Tom Wright

A few waders continue to pass through the island. A Lapwing was seen over Lighthouse Field on the 17th. Three Golden Plover were seen on the 12th and 15th with one ‘lamped’ and ringed in the evening. Single Golden Plover were heard on the 16th and 17th. Ringed Plover flew over on the 12th, 13th and 15th and a Curlew was seen on the 17th. Dunlin were recorded every day this week with two birds on 13th and 15th and the rest single birds. Snipe were also recorded every day this week with a max count of five on the 17th.

An Arctic Skua was seen flying over the island at Quarter Wall on the 15th. Seven Cormorant were logged on the 13th with a single also seen on the 17th. A Grey Heron was recorded on the 14th.

A Short-eared Owl was flushed from by the Stonecrusher and then seen low over South West Field before heading south by Benjamin’s Chair. On the 13th, an Osprey recorded heading south over Pennard Cliffs on the Gower at 10:30 was seen by the Castle on Lundy just 2 hours later. Three Sparrowhawks were recorded on the 15th and at least one has been seen every day this week, usually hunting around Millcombe and the Village. A Merlin was seen on the 14th and the Kestrels are also still present.

Short-eared Owl, South West Field © Stuart Cossey

Osprey, MS Oldenburg © Tom Wright

 There has been a noticeable increase in Skylark migration with high counts of eight on the 12th and 14th, including birds heard flying south. Hirundine passage has also peaked with high counts of 500 Swallows battling into the easterly winds on the 13th with 80 then roosting in the Black Shed overnight. At least 300 and 200 were counted on the 14th and 17th respectively. High counts of 30 Sand Martins and 20 House Martin were seen on the 13th with much lower numbers the rest of the week.

Swallows, Black Shed © Stuart Cossey

A big fall of warblers occurred on the 14th with a slight northerly wind following the strong easterly wind. Counts included 30 Willow Warblers, 45 Chiffchaff, 200 Blackcaps, four Garden Warblers, one Sedge Warbler, two Grasshopper Warblers, 30 Whitethroat, 10 Goldcrests, a Firecrest and a Yellow-browed Warbler.  The number of Blackcaps remained high for the rest of the week with 33 on the 15th, 29 on the 16th and 34 on the 17th. A Lesser Whitethroat was seen on the 15th. Another Yellow-browed Warbler was seen on the Terrace on the 18th.

A juvenile Rosy Starling was first seen roosting in the Black Shed with the local Starlings on the 15th. It was then seen around the Village and on the Church Tower on the rest of the week. Ring Ouzel are now moving through in larger numbers with two on the 14th and one on the 15th. A Song Thrush was seen on the 16th. Three Wryneck were seen this week. The first was on the Terrace on the 12th, another seen by Pondsbury on the 14th and the third was in Smelly Gully on the 18th. A Treecreeper was ringed in Millcombe on the 17th and seen again on the 18th.

Rosy Starling, High Street Field © Tom Wright

Ring Ouzel, Terrace © Paul Dean

Wryneck, Terrace © Stuart Cossey

Wryneck, Pondsbury © Tom Wright

Wryneck, Millcombe© Tom Wright

A high count of 20 Spotted Flycatcher were counted on the 14th with 11 on the 15th. Four were recorded on the 16th and three in the 17th. Pied Flycatcher were seen in lower numbers with four on the 12th, two on the 18th and singles on the 14th and 15th. A Common Redstart was seen on the 12th. A high count of 12 Whinchat were seen on the 14th, four on the 12th , two on the 15th and one on the 13th and 16th. An impressive 63 Wheatear, mostly Greenland race, were counted on the 14th with around 20 seen the rest of the week.

Pied Flycatcher, Millcombe © Paul Dean

Wagtails and pipits continue to be recorded flying over in the mornings. Two Yellow Wagtails were recorded on the 12th and 14th with singles on the 13th, 15th and 18th. Two flyover Grey Wagtails were heard on the 12th, 14th, 15th and 16th.  A high count of 16 Pied/White Wagtails flew over on the 15th. Three Tree Pipits flew over on the 18th, two on the 14th and 15th and ones on the 12th and 16th. A high count of 140 Meadow Pipits were counted moving over the island on the 14th.

Finch migration is slowly starting to pick up with four Chaffinches heard flying south over Millcombe on the 18th, part of eight seen. A single Lesser Redpoll was also heard over Millcombe on the 18th. An Ortolan Bunting was briefly seen with Linnets at the Stonecrusher before flying northwest and not seen again.

This week we welcomed two new volunteers, Tom Wright and Angus Croudace. Their main roles will be completing the morning bird census and monitoring the Grey Seal pups. Despite not arriving on the 13th due to rough conditions in the Landing Bay, they did enjoy views of Arctic Skua and Osprey on the crossing.

Tom and Angus trying to get to Lundy. So close yet so far...

Contributors: S Cossey, R Ellis, C Dee, B Rousseau, P Dean, T Wright, A Croudace

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