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Tuesday 15 November 2022

7th to 13th November – First Barn Owl record since 1981

Strong winds continued from the southwest all week with calmer winds from the southeast on the 12th.

The Wigeon remained on Pondsbury until the 8th with three Teal seen on the 8th and 12th. At least 16 Mallard are present on the island with flocks at Rocket Pole Pond and Pondsbury. A single Woodpigeon was seen in Millcombe on the 8th, 9th and 12th. A flock of 10 Oystercatcher were at the North End on the 12th and a Lapwing was seen over the Village and in Tillage Field on the same date. Snipe were recorded on the 10th, 12th and 13th. The Little Egret was seen again in Millcombe Pond on the 8th. A Purple Sandpiper was seen on Rat Island on the 8th. It is likely that Purple Sandpiper are quite common on Lundy in winter but are difficult to see as the spend most of their time around the back of Rat and Mouse Island.

Flocks of feeding gulls were seen off the East Side on the 9th, 10th and 12th. These mostly comprised of Kittiwakes with 600 counted on the 9th. A single flock of 54 Herring Gulls were on Miller’s Cake on the 13th. Three Manx Shearwaters and a Balearic Shearwater flew past Rat Island on the 10th along with 70 unidentified Auks.

Two Sparrowhawk remain on the island, occasionally being seen together over Millcombe hunting exhausted migrant Redwing and Chaffinch. Two Kestrel have also been seen. The juvenile Hen Harrier has been seen hunting over the Quarter Wall area all week, occasionally flushing up Snipe and thrushes. The Jackdaw has also been seen all this week. Most surprising this week was a Barn Owl, which was heard screeching over the Village at 17:30 on the 13th. This comprises the 10th island record and first since 1981. Most records have been in November and most likely involve young birds dispersing to find new territories.

Hen Harrier, Tillage Field © Stuart Cossey

Single figure counts of Skylark were seen most days with a high count of 20 on the 12th. A Swallow was recorded around Jenny’s Cove and the Earthquake on the 12th and 13th. Blackcap are still being recorded with 10 counted on the 12th. Two were recorded on the 7th, singles on the 8th and 9th and four on the 13th. Single Chiffchaff were recorded on the 7th, 8th and 9th, then four and five were counted on the 12th and 13th respectively. Low numbers of Goldcrest continue to be recorded in Millcombe and Quarter Wall Copse. A Yellow-browed Warbler was seen near the Terrace on the 12th.

There has been a noticeable increase in migrant thrushes, though still not the large numbers expected at this time of year. The highest counts were on the 12th and 13th. 23 Blackbird and 65 Redwing were recorded on the 12th. 160 Redwing were recorded on the 13th along with two Mistle Thrush and 11 Fieldfare. The highest count of Song Thrush was three on the 8th.

Single Black Redstart were recorded on the 8th and 13th. A total of four were seen around North Light on the 12th. A Grey Wagtail was seen at Millcombe Pond on the 12th. A White Wagtail was in Barton Field from the 7th to the 9th. On the 13th, three Pied Wagtails were seen in Barton Field.

Black Redstart, Landing Bay © Stuart Cossey

Finch migration has been steady all week with a big movement on the 12th including 1036 Chaffinch, four Brambling, 178 Siskin and 24 Linnet. Around 100 Chaffinch were counted the rest of the week. A small flock of three Lesser Redpoll were seen on the 9th. A Reed Bunting was by Pondsbury on the 8th.

Siskin, Millcombe © Stuart Cossey

In non-avian news, a Small White butterfly was seen in Millcombe on the 12th and a Hummingbird Hawk-moth was in the same area on the 13th. Grey Seals continue to haul out on Landing Bay Beach, allowing good views from the road, if you remain quiet.

Grey Seal, Landing Bay © Stuart Cossey

Contributors: Stuart Cossey, Matt Stritch, Ruth Turner, Paul Godwin

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