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Monday 4 September 2023

Lundy Bird Observatory Update - 1st - 4th September

Clear skies and bright, dry days meant that despite consistent easterlies the first two days of September started fairly quietly, with common migrants trickling through and morning censuses fairly low on numbers. However, working the lower east in the afternoon produced superb results on Sunday 3rd, with a memorable day including highlights of a Western Bonelli's Warbler, Melodious Warbler and Wryneck on the Terrace (along with Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher and 2 Common Redstart). Millcombe wasn't to be left out, with the first Whinchats of the season just above around Barton's Field, a Firecrest in the pines, and a juv Rose-Coloured Starling flying from the church to below Government early evening. Wryneck, 2x Firecrest and Rose-Coloured Starling all present for a second day on the 4th.

Western Bonelli's Warbler, St Helen's Copse © Luke Marriner

Wryneck, Terrace © Angus Croudace

Ringed Plover singles were heard by quarter wall on census on the 2nd and 3rd, with a second heard moving over Gannets Bay on the 3rd. Single Golden Plover heard on the 2nd, and single Dunlin over the village on 3rd and 'in-off' at the Ugly on the 4th. Common Snipe flushed from Rocket Pole on 1st, flying over Quarter wall on 2nd, and flushed from Pondsbury on 4th. A Pintail has been seen every day since the 1st, moving between fresh water bodies and the Landing Bay, most memorably on Millcombe pond, and shortly after in the top shelf of a Secret Garden mist net (albeit too briefly to retrieve)!

Black-headed Gull flew north along the west on the 2nd. Grey Herons have been seen on 1st (adult at Barton's Field) and 3rd (juv at Pondsbury). Ringtail Hen Harrier moving north of Quarter Wall on 2nd, but has not been seen since.

Firecrest, Millcombe © Luke Marriner

Pied Flycatcher © Luke Marriner
Skylark picked up on the 3rd and 3 on the 4th, and a small hirundine movement with 2 each of Sand and House Martin and 71 Swallow on the 3rd and 4 House Martin, 39 Swallow on 4th. Birds appeared to drop in throughout the day on Sunday 3rd, with a final total of 82 Willow Warblers after just a couple on census in early morning and totals of 7 on the previous 2 days. Also recorded on Sunday 3rd were 10 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, 8 Goldcrest, 7 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Common Redstart and 2 Whinchat. The first Yellow Wagtail of the season was recorded on census on the 3rd and 4th and 10 alba Wagtails were also recorded on the 3rd and 4th. 2 Tree Pipit singles over Millcombe on 3rd and another two on the 4th. Monday the 4th was very busy with Spotted Flycatchers, with 23 recorded, and one Pied Flycatcher.

Nets were open in Millcombe for all of Friday and several hours on Saturday/Sunday before winds increased, although capture rate was fairly slow, with about 60 common migrants and local breeders ringed. A group of visiting ringers have been putting some effort into the Manx Shearwaters, with a couple of dozen chicks ringed each night.

Spotted Flycatcher © Luke Marriner

First-year Rose-Coloured Starling, Millcombe © Luke Marriner

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