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Monday 7 November 2022

31st October to 6th November – A brief window of calm amidst strong winds

Strong winds from the southwest all week until lessening on the 4th and turning northerly on the 5th. Quickly back to strong southwesterlies on the 6th. Rain, sometimes heavy, on most days but usually passing through quickly.

The Wigeon remained at Pondsbury again this week, being seen on the 31st and the 4th. A single Teal was also present on the 4th. Despite the many thousands of Woodpigeon migrating across the country only one was recorded from the 2nd to the 4th. A Stock Dove was seen flying over Ackland’s Moor on the 4th. Also on the 4th, a Lapwing flew over the Village and a Golden Plover was calling over High Street Field. At least two Water Rail continue to be heard in Millcombe Valley. The Jackdaw was still being seen up to the 6th.

216 Kittiwakes were counted during a seawatch on the 2nd along with one Manx Shearwater and 59 Gannet. A Great Northern Diver arrived in the Landing Bay on the 2nd and has been seen up to the 6th, often right under the Jetty. A Little Egret, only the second of the year, was seen roosting in Millcombe on the evening of the 5th and then again in multiple locations on the 6th.

Three Sparrowhawk were noted on the 3rd with two or one the rest of the week. At least two Kestrel were present all week. The juvenile Hen Harrier was seen on the 31st and then again over Pondsbury on the 3rd.

Sparrowhawk, Millcombe © Stuart Cossey

Kestrel, Millcombe © Stuart Cossey

A single Swallow was seen on the 31st and again on the 1st around Quarter Wall. Sadly it seemed to be struggling in the strong winds and was feeding on the ground with a flock of Starlings. Two Chiffchaff were present on the 3rd with singles on the 31st, 1st and 4th. Blackcap are still trickling through, the highest count being nine on the 3rd. Fewer Goldcrest are being seen with high counts of eight on the 31st and the 3rd. The bird of the week has to be the somewhat surprising Pallas’s Warbler which turned up in the mist nets in Millcombe on the 3rd. This 6.2g bird would have come all the way from Siberia and is only the 7th record for Lundy.

Pallas's Warbler, Millcombe © Stuart Cossey

With the winds turning northerly on the 4th, thrushes started pushing south. 166 Redwing, 39 Fieldfare, seven Song Thrush, 30 Blackbird, two Mistle Thrush and a Ring Ouzel were counted. Lower counts were had the rest of the week. A Ring Ouzel was also recorded on the 31st. Black Redstart were a common theme of the week with three on the 1st, two on the 3rd and 6th and one on the 2nd.

Redwing, Quarter Wall © Stuart Cossey

Black Redstart, Benjamin's Chair © Stuart Cossey

Four White Wagtails were recorded in Barton’s Field on the 31st and one remained on the 1st. Grey Wagtails were seen on the 3rd and 4th. Chaffinch are still on the island in big numbers though they are slowly leaving. 772 on the 31st became 378 on the 1st and then dropped to 76 on the 5th. Flocks were moving through in before a rain front on the 6th resulting in a count of 305. Numbers of other finches are still shockingly low. Single Brambling were recorded from the 1st with two on the 5th. The high count of Goldfinch was eight on the 31st and similarly only two Linnet were seen on the 31st and then the 4th. 25 Siskin were recorded on the 31st but numbers in November have so far peaked at seven on the 3rd. One Lesser Redpoll was seen on the 31st and another on the 1st. A Reed Bunting was seen at Pondsbury on the 31st and again on the 3rd and 4th. A Snow Bunting was on the main track towards the North End on the 3th.

In non-avian news, two Painted Lady were seen on the 31st and singles on the 1st and 4th. A Vagrant Emporer Dragonfly was seen at Pondsbury on the 31st. A single Harbour Porpoise was off the South Light on the 1st.

John Hedger and Mandy Dee have been over on the island this week and led a fungus foray on the 3rd with 39 species found including Meadow Puffball, Scarlet Waxcap, Orange Waxcap, Snowy Waxcap and Yellow Club. They have also identified seven new species for the island during their stay.

Contributors: Stuart Cossey, Chris Baillie, Chris Dee, Mandy Dee, John Sealy, John Hedger

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