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Saturday 24 June 2023

Lundy Bird Observatory long overdue update 29th May-17th June

Firstly, Joe and I would like to apologise for the lack of updates on here lately. We have been really busy with our first Oldenburg sailing happening in early June. We have also had the amazing RSPB visit to help us complete a full-island cliff-nesting seabird and Manx Shearwater census, which has been a wonderful experience, and although we are awaiting final counts, I can tell you it is currently looking very positive for Lundy's seabirds – a huge relief given everything that went on around the UK with avian influenza last season! We have also had some pretty special birds during this time which have been enjoyed by many visiting birders and staff. Here are the maximum counts for the Lundy regulars and more notable sightings at the end:

Mallard 12 adults and 4 young still surviving! Teal we have 2 broods this year on Pondsbury and a loafing female on Bartons pond, Swift 5 on June 1st, Cuckoo 1 bird calling in Milcombe on five occasions, Feral Pigeon we currently have 7 birds around the village feeding on scraps from the beer garden and escaping the hungry Peregrines (including one down in the Tavern as I write!), Woodpigeon 6 on 3 occasions during the month, Collared Dove 4 early in the month dropping down to 1 on the 14th and not seen since (probably Peregrine food as well!), Oystercatcher 19 on the 5th, Dunlin were recorded on the 1st, 3rd and 5th, Kittiwake 500 on the 1st, Greater Black-backed Gull 28th on the 9th, Herring Gull 195 on the 4th, Lesser Black-backed gull 84 on the 9th, Guillemot 2024 on the 5th, Razorbill 1194 on the 5th, Puffin 459 on the 5th, Fulmar 44 on the 4th, Manx Shearwater 88 on the 5th - dark nights on the island are now becoming louder and louder with their calls, a real privilege to hear. Gannet 13 on the 6th; we are seeing lots of 3rd calendar-year birds at the moment rather than adults, which is probably due to Avian Flu hitting our nearest colony, on Grassholm island, last autumn; Shag 46 on the 5th, lots of birds still on nests with eggs or small young, which is very late for this species; Cormorant we have had two separate individuals visiting Pondsbury throughout the month with an immature bird and full adult both seeming to be finding food but never been seen together, a female Sparrowhawk was seen in Millcombe on the 9th; the pair of Kestrels are still being seen and now probably on chicks with food being taken back to the nest site regularly; Peregrine 7 seen the 6th; Carrion Crow 10 and 4 fledglings on the 10th and 11th; Raven 23 on the 9th; Skylark 36 on the 4th; Sand Martin 3 on the 7th; Swallow 26 on the 1st; House Martin 22 on the 1st; Willow Warbler 3 on the 5th; Chiffchaff 4 on the 18th; Blackcap 3 on the 14th; Whitethroat 10 on the 3rd; Goldcrest pair nest-building on the 2nd; Wren 22 on the 4th; Starling 78 on the 15th; Blackbird 18 on the 4th; the lonely male Song thrush has been singing throughout; Spotted Flycatcher 7 on the 1st; Robin 6 on the 5th; Stonechat 28 on the 9th; Wheatear 62 on the 4th, including lots of fledged young; Dunnock 11 on the 5th; House Sparrow 31 on the 4th; Pied Wagtail 7 on the 12th; Meadow Pipit 63 on the 9th; Rock Pipit 17 on the 9th; Chaffinch 12 on the 11th; Goldfinch 25 in the 3rd; Linnet 89 on the 2nd. 

Now onto the more interesting records from the last few weeks: 

Cuckoo Male singing in Millcombe on the 8th of June 

2nd CY Mediterranean Gull feeding off Jennys cove on the 2nd of June

Female Whinchat feeding in Bartons field on the 2nd of June 

White Wagtail 2 in Bartons field on the 4th of June 

Tree Pipit flyover on the 3rd of June

Reed Warbler on the 2nd of June

A Stunning Turtle Dove seen north of Halfway wall, our 3rd of the spring. 

A Male Yellowhammer was seen at Benjamins chair on the 4th June

A Quail was seen on the west coast on the 7th of June

The young male Common Rosefinch has been seen and heard singing on three occasions 4th, 5th and 17th of June.

Good Birding 

Bird Obs Team