CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO - www.birdsoflundy.org.uk

  2012
Dec
We have now moved to a Blog site in order that people may upload their own sightings and photographs. This will result in the site having more immediate information.

I hope you have enjoyed the Lundy Birds website up to now and my very many thanks to you for sending in all your information over the past years, it has certainly helped me feel in touch with the island birdlife.

If you wish to submit your information in the usual way I will convert it to a blog comment for you.

So just log on www.lundybirds.blogspot.co.uk and you can add comments via the "add comment" pencil icon or send me an e mail so that I can make you an author for regular contributors.

Thank you once again for all your support

Richard Campey

Nov
Highlights
Black-headed Gull
Manx Shearwater (late record)
Chough

Andrew Cleave was on the island from the 5th to the 13th of the month and sends in the following report:
"There were not many observers on the island this week, but Grant Sherman had been doing seabird counts and finding good numbers of Guillemots on the ledges - over 700 at times. There were about 30 Fulmars on nest sites in Jenny's Cove on Nov 10th. Amongst the Herring Gulls and Great Black-backs there was a single Lesser Black-backed and a single Black-headed Gull seen on most days on the east side. A flock of six Cormorants flew over on the 9th and single Gannets were seen every day".

A most unusual record was Manx Shearwater calling at night.
Andrew set a number of moth traps and when checking them had a single Manx Shearwater calling over Millcombe on the 5th at about 11.45 pm and again on the 8th just before midnight. The bird flew right over Millcombe House calling very loudly.

On the 5th, 6th and 7th there were large flocks of thrushes on the island, with Redwings being the most abundant - counts of 400+ on two occasions. Fieldfares were also common with counts of 100+ at times and they were mostly found on top of the island and in the fields around the pig pen. Blackbirds (mostly males) were common along the Terraces and in Millcombe, and there were also good counts of Robins in the same area, with some being found feeding on the shore in Quarry Bay. Flocks of around 500 Starlings arrived in the middle of the week. Chaffinches were present in good numbers as well and one of the Merlins was seen to catch one near the pig pens on the 7th.

A single Snow Bunting was present near Half-way Wall, and it was also seen on the main track at times. There were at least two female Blackcaps in Millcombe, two Chiffchaffs and a scattering of Goldcrests there as well, with singles being seen in the gorse along the east side. A single Coal Tit was present in Millcombe around the Walled Gardens. A Water Rail showed well on most days in the stream below the Walled Gardens.

A Merlin was seen every day around Quarter Wall, and on the 12th two were seen below Millcombe and at other sites around the south of the island. A female Kestrel was watched catching a Blackbird below the Castle on the 10th.

On Pondsbury there were two Wigeon and a single Teal. Woodcock were flushed on several occasions whilst walking along the east side or through Molinia on top of the island, and there was at least one Snipe near Three-quarter Wall in the wet area where it was flushed on a couple of occasions.


On the 15th James Leonard saw a Chough by the Rocket Pole Pond. It was seen later that day near Benson's Cave and the next day at the Rocket Pole again. James also reports at least two Merlins a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel. Also hundreds of Blackbirds and Chaffinches.

Oct
Highlights
Red-backed Shrike
Yellow-browed Warbler
Red-breasted Flycatcher
Snow Bunting
Lapland Bunting
Olive-backed Pipit
Litte Bunting
Great Skua
Pomarine Skua
Whooper Swan
Chough

News from the island log book that on the 7th there were: two Yellow-browed Warblers, a juvenile Red-backed Shrike, two Lapland Buntings two Snow Buntings and an Olive-backed Pipit. We hope to get more details.

Tony Taylor and his team caught and ringed five Yellow-browed Warblers on the 14th. The following day a Red-breasted Flycatcher was caught and ringed.

Richard Campey, Tim Davis, James Diamond and Tim Jones were on the island from 20th to 29th and enjoyed a period of mainly dry, easterly weather Ė though it was often quite windy Ė after weeks of Atlantic storms. On 20th, there was a Great Northern Diver in the Landing Bay. Small numbers of warblers in Millcombe included a Garden Warbler, while a Stock Dove flew over the Lighthouse Field. A Black Redstart, a Common Redstart, a Stonechat, a Snow Bunting and four Golden Plovers were all in the Airfield area.

During the following couple of days, up to three Firecrests were seen on the Terrace and single Coal Tits were in Millcombe and along the East Side/Terrace. A Grey Heron flew over Stoneycroft on 21st, while 22nd brought single Mistle Thrush (Millcombe), Jack Snipe (Pondsbury) and Whinchat (St Helenís Field).

Visible migration was recorded daily on Castle Hill from dawn (07.30) to at least 09.00, with good numbers of thrushes, finches and Starlings on most days, including peaks of 986 Chaffinches on 21st, 913 Redwings on 23rd and 525 Starlings on 25th. Smaller numbers of many other species were seen and heard, including Grey & Pied Wagtails, Skylark, Blackbird, Ring Ouzel, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, Brambling and, on 27th, four Crossbills.

The 24th brought arrivals of new birds including a female Tufted Duck in flight near Rocket Pole Pond, and the first of eight Woodcocks during the day was flushed in the same area. James found a Little Bunting near Quarter Wall and what was presumably the same bird was seen by Tim D. close to Pondsbury, then relocated by Richard near the helipad in the afternoon, enabling good views by the whole group and other birdwatchers on the island.

A period of east-north-easterly gales on 25th & 26th brought an influx of wildfowl and waders, including three adult Brent Geese in the Lighthouse Field on 25th (still present on 27th), a fly-over Pink-footed Goose the same day, 13 Wigeon and 26 Common Scoter on 26th, 29 Lapwings on 26th (in Airfield area) and two Bar-tailed Godwits over South West Field on 25th, with 14 off North End the following day. There was also a Great Skua and a late Manx Shearwater off North End on 26th.

The same winds that brought the waterbirds also resulted in a major arrival of thrushes, with 2,500 Redwings estimated on 25th, along with exceptional numbers of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes. In just one example, 13 Blackbirds were flushed from Stoneycroft garden! There were at least 12 Black Redstarts (mainly along the West Side) and five Ring Ouzels (at Benjaminís Chair) on 25th.

A blast of Arctic air on 27th brought clear skies and sunshine, but icy winds, but was accompanied by an influx of 120 Goldfinches and eight Swallows Ė the first for several days, as well as a Short-eared Owl seen near Quarter Wall at dusk.

A Long-tailed Tit was in Millcombe on 28th and the Pondsbury Wigeon count had risen from one to nine. The next day an a sea watch from the Castle produced a Pomarine Skua , fist seen by Tim Jones which was watched for at least ten minutes as it harried and attempted to predate a Kittiwake.

On the 30th a first winter Whooper Swan was seen flying over the tent field, up to Pondsbury and then into Tillage Field. The three dark-bellied Brent Geese were still on the airfield.

Grant Sherman reports 762 Guillemots already back on their breeding ledges on the west side.

On the last day of the month there are reports of the first year Whooper Swan still on Lundy. and a Great Northern Diver in Landing Bay

An adult Chough was seen at Shutter Point at 4pm by Paul Barrett.Paul reports "I was walking along the clifftop to find a Chough scratching around digging up the path . It really did not appear concerned about me and let me get quite close ( 20 feet approx ) before keeping that kind of distance as I walked down the path . The bird sStayed at the point for a good 10 mins .





Sep
Highlights:
Short-toed Lark
Buzzard
Ringed Plover
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Melodious Warbler
Ortolan Bunting
Common Rosefinch
Long eared Owl
Twite


Richard and Tony Taylor were on Lundy 6-13 of the month, mainly to ring Manx Shearwaters. They found 145 chicks, and with David Price and co's earlier visit, that brings the year's total to 251, well up on the 167 in 2011.

Other highlights for their week : Richard Taylor found an Ortolan Bunting in Millcombe on 7th, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was at various sites from 9th to 12th, and an elusive Melodious Warbler was in Millcombe on 10th, then caught and ringed there on 13th. Richard found a Short-toed Lark in the Stonecrusher area on the evening of 12th, giving excellent views as it fed along the tracks. It was there again early on 13th.

They report that it was generally a quiet week for migrants, with some strong westerlies. Hirundines - mainly Swallows with a few House and Sand Martins - were moving through at the beginning and end of the week, and there were a few Wheatears, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, Pied and Spotted Flycatchers about. Also up to 4 Yellow Wagtails, one or two Whinchat, Redstart, Grasshopper, Reed and Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, a few Goldcrests and up to 3 Firecrests. Non-passerines included Buzzard, Ringed Plover, Curlew and Collared Dove.

The sea was exceptionally quiet, with just a few Gannets, Shags and gulls around in general, though a sunfish close to the jetty on 6th was a nice bonus.

Andy Jayne found a Melodious Warbler in Millcombe Valley, near to Government House on 20th.

On the afternoon of the 21st Andy Jayne found an Ortolan Bunting in Millcombe. The Bird Ringing group trapped and ringed a Common Rosefinch in the morning and a Melodious Warbler the same afternoon.

On the 25th Andy Jayne reports the Common Rosefinch, Melodious Warbler and Ortolan Bunting all still present. Andy also adds that there has been a good variety of common migrants, including Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Grasshopper Warbler , and Whinchat.

With winds turning north east the next day Andy Jayne decided on some sea watching and saw a single Great Skua, and four Arctic Skuas. On land there was a Jack Snipe and Firecrest. The ringing group trapped and ring a Yellow-browed Warbler.

On the morning of the 28th, Andy found a Long eared Owl in Millcombe.

The next day Paul Sterry reported seeing a Twite feeding on the track up to Old Light



Aug
Highlights
Marsh Harrier

The Marsh Harrier present last month was still around until at least the 3rd of August.
Jul
Highlights
Short-toed Lark
Marsh Harrier
Redshank

Derren Fox, the island warden has sent in the following sightings for the month:

Highlights for July include the Short-toed Lark that has been present all month. We havenít had the 2 birds seen together since mid-June. Last known sighting of the single bird was on 21st July near Halfway Wall.
22nd July saw a female Marsh Harrier appear on the island, still present at the end of the month.

Puffins have had a fantastic year, with 125 on 1st July, 132 on 11th and 127 on 15th. Seen in new areas around current breeding colonies and also prospecting in new areas around the Battery and North Light which is very encouraging. These charismatic birds have now left the island for the winter, along with the other members of the auk family, the Guillemots and Razorbills. The last known sighting of Puffins from the island was of 5 birds on 27th July.

A Kestrel on 6th, quartering around the Castle and again on 9th near Tibbetts.
Juvenile Cuckoo seen around Tibbetts on 9th and 11th of the month, in association with a Meadow Pipit.
Juvenille Peregrines started to make an appearance towards the end of the month around the whole island, giving good sightings to many visitors.

Good numbers of Manx Shearwaters have been regularly seen around the coasts and making themselves heard throughout the night around the island.
Oystercatchers breed in a number of locations around the coast and a pair of downy juveniles were sighted on 2nd at the north end. Other waders have been thin on the ground, but a Dunlin was noted on 8th and a Redshank on 12th.
Kittiwakes are still present at their breeding colonies and appear to have had a good season, with many of the nests having fledged 2 chicks, a sure sign of a healthy food supply.

A small group of Swifts made an appearance early in the month, with 2 on 6th and 12 noted the next day.
Skylarks quietened off towards the end of the month and were very thin on the ground in early august, with very few singing birds about.
A single Song Thrush was noted on 17th.

Wheatears were in abundance throughout the month, with many juveniles around the island. Linnets also seem to have had a good season, with many young around the place. One Mealy Redpoll was sighted on 5th.

Jun
Highlights
Short-toed Larks
Black Guillemot
Sub alpine Warbler
Red-backed Shrike
171 Puffins

On the first day of the month Chris Baillie found two Short-toed larks on the main track just south of Half Way Wall.

Tim Jones saw a Black Guillemot in flight off the East Side of the island. A Sub alpine Warbler was still present in Millcombe Valley and a single Reed Warbler.

On the 2nd at 07.10 Tim Jones and Tim Davis saw a male Red-backed Shrike just west of Quarter Wall Gate. They also report both Short-toed Larks still present by Half Way Wall gate.

Two Black Guillemots were seen from The Oldenburg, near Rat Island, and then flying past the boat, as it left the island on the 2nd

On the 19th Tim Jones and Tim Davis report a Grey Heron flying over Rat Island. In Millcombe there were breeding Chiffchaff,and Willow Warbler . Also a singing .Blackcap. On the crossing a Sunfish was seen from the Oldenburg.

Other fledged birds included Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Linnet and Robin. Collared Doves were present and singing in Quarter Wall Copse.

On the 20th there were 171 Puffins counted around the island.
May
Highlights
Golden Orioles
Osprey
Red-rumped Swallow
Richard's Pipit
Short-toed Lark
Hooded Crow
Red Kite
Woodchat Shrike
Sub alpine Warbler (two)
Minke Whale (offshore!)
Slow Worm
Black Guillemot

On the 3rd Derren Fox reports a fine male Golden Oriole in Millcombe (see photo page) and a juvenile Osprey (see photos page).

That evening just outside Brambles, and on the brambles a Red-rumped Swallow settled briefly ( see photos page).

A second Golden Oriole believed to be a female was seen by James Leonard in Millcombe on the 4th.

On the 5th the Richard's Pipit was reported still present on the Airfield.

Ivan Lakin reports the following for the 5th May; Golden Oriole seen up to 11:00. Richard's Pipit still on Airfield but flighty. Sanderling with Dunlin in rushy field behind Tent Field. Yellowammer in Millcombe. Lots of Blackcap, Willow Warblers, Whitethroats, a few Redstarts, Lesser Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatchers, Garden Warbler, and Yellow Wagtails. Ivan also reports the Swallows so tired, on paths, that he could almost pick them up.

A Short-toed Lark was reported on 8 May Reported at Quarry
Cottages by Ian Serle.

Other news includes the following on the 12th;
male and female Siskin in Millcombe
a Red Kite seen flying across island from east to west and a
male and female Golden Oriole oriole still present.

The Hooded Crow was still present on the 19th seen between the Village and Old Light.

Also a Woodchat Shrike on the 19th (see photographs page).

On the 26th Andrew Cleave and Paul Sterry saw two Black Guillemots from the Oldenburg at it came into the Landing bay.

On the 27th Brian Craven and Mark Warden saw a Hooded Crow with at least four Carrion Crows in the Tillage Field. The same day they saw a Minke Whale off Jenny's Cove, and again from the Oldenburg (see photos page), with sightings of up to one hundred Common Dolphins.

On the 28th and 29th a Minke Whale was seen off the east coast of the island.

On the 29th a female Golden Oriole (new individual) and Treecreeper in Millcombe. Also a Cuckoo, Short-eared Owl and a singing Firecrest in Millcombe. Other birds include Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, and male Yellow Wagtail.

On the crossing on the 29th some two hundred plus were seen, two Storm Petrels and fifteen Puffins.

Report From Christine Crowther and Raymond Avards also for the 29th......
many Manx Shearwaters from the Oldenburg on both crossings plus a Gannet near the island on the outward journey. Also Common Dolphins on both sailings.
Wheatears were much in evidence on the West Side and a Short-toed Lark near Quarter Wall . Other sightings included Meadow Pipit, Oystercatcher, Razorbill, Guillemot and Goldfinch and Skylark

On the 30th Tim Jones watched the female Golden Oriole in Quarter Wall Copse. The ringing group (Paul James, Rob Skeates et al) caught and ringed two Sub alpine Warblers, one an adult male and an immature male. Latest on the Sub alpine Warblers is that they are both immature males. One bird was seen later that afternoon in Millcombe Valley.

A Slow Worm was seen at the bottom of Millcombe Valley (these reptiles are believed to have been accidentally introduced with compost delivery to the island a few years ago).

On the last day of the month Tim Jones reports seeing twenty Puffins at Jenny's Cove, the majority on land.




Apr
Highlights
Pink-footed Goose
Glaucous Gull
Richard's Pipit
Great Spotted Woodpecker

Chris and Mandy Dee were on the island from 10th to 14th and reported good numbers of Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. Ringing activities showed that most were moving through with new birds arriving each day. On 12th April, the 100,000th bird ringed on LFS rings was a Willow Warbler, one of over 180 Willow Warblers ringed during the four days. A large movement of hirundines was noted on 13th, with at estimated 2000 Swallows and 200 Sand Martins passing low over the island in two hours in the afternoon. Three White Wagtails were seen on the same day. A brood of Mallard on Pondsbury appear to be the first of the year. Manx Shearwaters were heard calling at night off the east side and south end but not apparently coming ashore. Ahead of strengthening north-easterlies two Grasshopper Warblers and a Sedge Warbler were in Millcombe on the morning of 14th.

Kevin Rylands visited on the 21st and sends in the following sightings:

On arrival it was obvious there were numbers of migrants around although it turned out they were all Willow Warblers and Blackcaps with 250+and 50+ respectively. The island LFS log book also revealed a Pink-footed Goose on the airfield from the 19th and it was still present. Other sightings for the day included a Whimbrel on Rat Island, a white Wagtail over Millcombe, two Woodpigeons in Quarter wall copse, 40+ Swallows, five House and two Sand Martins.

On the 22nd the Pink-footed Goose was on the Airfield with a Whimbrel and a Grasshopper Warbler was along Quarter wall but other warbler numbers had decreased to 40 Willow Warblers and 10 Blackcaps. A winter plumaged Great Northern Diver was on the sea off the Terrace. During the sea watch a first winter Glaucous Gull flew in distantly from the SE and eventually headed north up the east side!

There were improved numbers of Manx Shearwaterscalling on a darker night below the Castle but no sign of the Baroli.

The next day strong winds had shifted to the SE with even fewer migrants just 20 Willow Warblers and 8 Blackcaps. The highlight was a Little Ringed Plover initially near Pondsbury, then on the main track by halfway wall. Also at Halfway a Merlin with the Pink-footed Goose still present.

Other records included 3 Puffins, 120+ Meadow Pipits, a Sparrowhawk and a Cormorant high north.

The 24th showed an increase in warblers again with 100+ Willow Warblers and 20+ Blackcaps, although one of the latter trapped in Millcombe had been on the island at least 13 days...The Pink-footed Goose flew north over Millcombe and hirundine passage picked up late morning with a one hour count along the east side giving 1687 Swallows, 42 House and 17 Sand Martins. 60+ Goldfinches also headed north earlier in the day.

Both crossings were very quiet until within 30 minutes of the island when rafts of several hundred Manx Shearwaters were a feature.

On the 26 - 28 John Duffy and Bill O'Keefe were on the island and send in the following report:
Highlights were 3 Redstart (2m1f), 3 Pied Flycatcher (1m2f), 2 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpiper, 1 Great Northern Diver, a massive fall of Blackcap and Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff, White Wagtail and Pied Wagtail, Sparrowhawk, Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, 8 Puffin, 1 Water Rail, 1 Whitethroat, lots of Wheatear Skylark and Meadow Pipit, a few Rock Pipit sightings of Swift, Sand Martin, House Martin and Swallow, and good numbers of Shag. We witnessed Manx Shearwaters coming in to land in their burrows late on the Friday night by torchlight.

On the last day of the month Colin McShane, Scott Petrek and Dave Clifton were at the top of St John's Valley when they heard what they considered to be a Richard's Pipit. Despite prolonged searching they were unable to view the bird on the ground, but each time the "large, almost wagtail like bird" flew it called and all observers confirmed it as a Richard's Pipit.

The same day Derren Fox (island warden) estimated 1000 plusSwifts moving through the island. Also a Great Spotted Woodpecker in Millcombe.

Derren Fox has kindly sent in the following for sightings in the latter part of April:

Pink-footed goose was still present, but last seen on 24th April.

A pair of Wigeon on Pondsbury on 27th and 28th Great Northern Diver on 22nd and 26th, good numbers of Manx Shearwaters around the island and calling at night from around the island. No reports yet of the Little Shearwater. Regular sightings of small numbers of Gannets and five Cormorants on 26th. Sightings of single Kestrels, Merlin and Sparrowhawk on 27th and 28th, with up to 4 Peregrines.

At least 2 Water Rails heard calling, one near Quarters and one heard and seen from St. Johnís valley. Up to 17 Oystercatchers seen around the coast on 8th during a whole island seal survey. Three Golden Plovers on 27th and two on 28th and a single Lapwing on 26th and 28th. 2 Dunlin on 19th, followed by an increasing passage of Whimbrel towards the end of the month, with singles on 21st and up to six on 28th, also two Common Sandpipers on 26th and a single in Landing Bay on 28th.

Seabird numbers continue to build in the colonies and Puffins returning to the breeding slopes with up to 11 seen in Jennyís cove so far. A handful of Woodpigeons are frequenting Millcombe Valley. Up to three Swifts have been seen on 26th and 27th. A flock of Carrion Crows has been roving the east coast with up to 25 birds in this flock. Ravens started fledging with the first young seen out of the nest on 16th at Long Roost with three young. At least 4 pairs have bred this season and all are seem to be doing very well, fledging 3-4 young per nest, this is probably helped by the myxomatosis outbreak on the island providing a lot of accessible food for the feeding parents.

Single Goldcrests on 16th and 26th were the only sightings for the latter half of the month. Skylark song continues to fill the sky on calm days with at least 25 active territories. An increasing passage of hirundines towards the end of the month, with peaks of approx 50 Sand Martins on 27th, 3000 plus Swallows on 24th and 55 House Martins on the same day.

Ten Whitethroats were noted on 28th, along with 4 Grasshopper Warblers and 10 Sedge Warblers over the 26th-28th. A couple of sightings of individual Ring Ouzels were noted during the month on 15th and 27th, the early one noted in Jennyís cove, flitting between rocky out crops. A Mistle Thrush was seen on two occasions early in the month and a single Song Thrush on 15th.

A single Spotted Flycatcher was recorded on 19th and Pied Flycatchers were noted later in the month with three on 27th and six the following day. Large numbers of Wheatears are now moving through Lundy. Along with the breeding birds setting up territories, there have been noted in excess of 400 on 27th, with many Greenland birds in the mix. Yellow Wagtail individuals were spotted on 27th and 28th, the latter in St Johnís valley. Pied Wagtails were seen regularly, with up to six birds noted, plus up to 4 White Wagtails. A single Tree Pipit was recorded on 26th Ė 28th, along with large numbers of Meadow Pipits on passage, with estimates of 500 birds on the island on 27th. There are a handful of Rock Pipit sightings around the coast during the month. Good numbers of Goldfinches have been a feature of this month, with up to 30 birds noted on 27th. Linnet flocks have been regularly seen heading north, with 100+ estimated for 27th, along with a single Lesser Redpoll on 24th. The only bunting of the month was a Reed Bunting individual on 25th.


Mar
Highlights
Alpine Swift

Grant Sherman reports that on the 10th there were one thousand seven hundred and six Guillemots on the cliffs, with more than four hundred Razorbills and a hundred plus Fulmars.

Grant has seen the first Puffins of the year, with three birds at Jenny's Cove on the 16th.

On the 18th Sophie Wheatley saw two Black-tailed Godwits on Pondsbury and a single Kestrel by the Old Hospital. Two Peregrines were at The Cheeses, Jenny's Cove and possibly two Black Redstarts now present. Sophie also reports an increase in the numbers of Wheatears.

Tim Jones and Tim Davis made a day trip to the island on the 27th and send in the following sightings:
10 Chiffchaffs (7 Millcombe, 2 Terrace and 1 near Pondsbury)
3 Willow Warblers (Millcombe)
5 Blackcaps (all males; 4 in Millcombe, 1 near Stoneycroft)
2 Sand Martins (whipping N just off the cliff-tops at Jenny's)
1 Swallow ( over SW Field Ė a male judging from its massive tail streamers)
7 Wheatears (4 males and three females, mainly along the West Side between Jenny's Cove and SW Point, but also one in Punchbowl Valley)
1 Bullfinch (a female in upper Millcombe
6 Goldcrests (Millcombe)
1 White Wagtail and 5 Pieds (St Helen's Field)
5 Cormorants (2 + 3, all adults in breeding plumage, heading N over the island)
1 Snipe (Pondsbury)
3 Song Thrushes in Millcombe
6 Robins (of which three were singing males)

40+ Buff-tailed Bumble-bees feeding on willow flowers at the Terrace Trap "thicket". 2 Dumbledors on the Terrace.

Steve the Ranger saw five Puffins in Jenny's Cove.


An Alpine Swift was seen on the 28th over south-west point in the afternoon and again on the 29th over Stoneycroft. See photo by Richard Brown.

We have no definite news of sightings for the 30th yet.

There has been a report of the Alpine Swift being seen over The Rocket Pole on Saturday 31 March. We are hoping to receive more details on this.....


Feb
Highlights
Iceland Gull
Great Northern Diver
Red-throated Diver

On the 2nd Derren Fox found a 2nd Winter Iceland Gull on the East Side. He reports the bird made numerous passes at clifftop height between the Sugar Loaf and Landing Bay. It was first noticed at 13:50, from the Lower East Path, the bird then rose up and caught the easterly wind over to the west. It was lost to sight at about 14:10 when it headed up over the top of the island.

Tony Taylor has sent the following records for the 11-13 of the month:
1 female Wigeon, on Pondsbury 11-13th.
11th: 200 Kittiwakes feeding off E Side.
12th: adult and juvenile Great Northern Diver together, swam to within 25m of the jetty, showing interest rather than alarm.
1 Red-throated Diver flew in and fed in tide-race off South End.
2 Gannet
1 Water Rail
13 Oystercatcher
5 Snipe
1 Goldcrest
50 Skylark: a few singing on territory, plus a flock of c45 on the Airfield, with significant numbers singing together from within the flock.
1 Fieldfare
5 Song Thrush
13th: 1 Woodcock

Grant Sherman saw 4 Lapwing on 12th.


Jan
Highlights
Great Northern Diver
Hen Harrier

The new warden, Derren Fox, has sent in the following records for the latter part of the month.

Highlights of a Great Northern Diver on the 26th, joined by a second bird on the 27th and 28th both at Landing Bay. A Hen Harrier was seen on the 23rd and a Sparrowhawk from 21st until the end of the month. A single Kestrel was on the island from the 22nd.

Oystercatchers were present through the month, with twenty nine on the 21st. Occasional single Snipe towards the end of the month and a Jack Snipe on the 23rd. Lapwings also seen on the 14th and the 31st.

A single Goldcrest on 27th and 28th. Small flocks of Skylarks through the second half of the month, with twenty two on 21st and forty on 28th, some displaying on calm days. Flocks of Starlings were recorded through the month, with forty five on the 21st and thirty on the 27th. Singles and pairs of Blackbirds seen regularly and single Song Thrush on the 27th and the 31st.

Small flocks of House Sparrows with up to twenty birds. Meadow Pipits in small numbers around the island and Rock Pipits around the coast. Chaffinches were seen around the Village and Millcombe, with up to ten on the 28th. Goldfinches made a show around the South End, with up to four seen on the 23rd and 26th.

Fulmar numbers rose to fifty individuals, and Guillemots were seen back on cliffs in good numbers at dawn, with max counts of 1138 on the 8th and 1100 on the 17th by Grant Sherman. Also twenty-one Razorbills on the 17th.

There was a Herring Gull peak on 26th with three hundred birds and Great Black-backed Gulls hit a maximum of just ten birds on the 17th and 21st. Lesser Black-backed Gulls were more evident with twenty on the 17th and 21st and some nine hundred Kittiwakes on the 27th.

Ravens were seen seen tumbling and displaying late in the month, with a maximum count of seven on 26th. Carrion Crows were present in good numbers throughout the month with a maximum of thirty-five on the 27th.


  2011
Dec
Highlights

Snow Bunting
Lapland Bunting
Great Northern Diver

Christmas day provided a Snow Bunting and then on the 28th a Lapland Bunting. In the last few days of the month Nicola Saunders (warden) reports a Great Northern Diver present, a single Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and two Snipe. Three Redwings were seen on the 27th.

Grant Sherman has been making his usual Guillemots counts and had his highest count of eight hundred and thirty-seven on the 10th, sixty on the 16th, with deserted cliffs the following day and then about five hundred were seen on the 18th.

Nov
Highlights

Bullfinch
Firecrest
Brambling
Ring Ouzel
Short-eared Owl

Andy Jayne was on the island for the beginning of the month and sends in these sightings:
1st Lighter winds, no sign of the Yellow-browed Warbler, but an influx of finches including over 900 Chaffinches, two Bramblings, eight Siskins and four Lesser Redpolls. A Fulmar and Black-headed Gull were seen at North Light. Five Swallows were at Gannets Combe, two Merlins ranged widely and two Snow Buntings flew south over the Airfield.
2nd A bit of east in the mostly southerly breeze and some new arrivals. A fine male Merlin was at Quarterwall and a Ring Ouzel nearby at The Terrace. The Millcombe area produced a female Bullfinch, a Brambling, two Firecrests and a Mistle Thrush flew over before briefly alighting on Castle Hill. A late Wheatear was on the west side near Old Light.
3rd A rather uneventful day apart a frustrating brief glimpse of a Acrocephalus warbler at The Terrace. The Bullfinch remained in Millcombe near the 'Blue Bung', a Reed Bunting dropped in briefly just north of the village and a single Firecrest was located in Quaterwall Copse.
4th Settled weather and lots of new birds. In a couple of hours sightings include two Firecrests, four Chiffchaffs, at least ten Blackcaps and a late Garden Warbler in Millcombe. A total of 45 Skylarks pass overhead and also evident are at least 300 Chaffinches, three Bramblings, a Lesser Redpoll and a Reed Bunting.
Other species present throughout the week include the female Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Kestrel, up to four Water Rails (heard only) and a single Blue Tit.

James Leonard has sent in the following sightings for the week beginning 5th of the month:
......in addition to Great Northern Divers on 7/8th, a Greylag Goose on Pondsbury 9th. A Short-eared Owl at North End on 12th plus a Hen Harrier (ringtail) on 12/13th. Weather pretty mild all week and hot on Wed and Sat óBumble Bees. Dragonflies, wasps + Red Admirals all seen. Also five Snow Buntings on 10th, plus two Sparrowhawksand a Kestrel .

Oct
Highlights

Rose-coloured Starling
Wryneck
Ortolan Bunting
Balearic Shearwater
Arctic Skua
Great Skua
Little Egret
Lapland Bunting
Snow Bunting
Yellow-browed Warbler
Common Rosefinch
Hen Harrier
Osprey
Short-eared Owl
Firecrest
Common Scoter

The first day of the month saw unbroken sunshine and temperatures nudging thirty degrees. Chris Dee reports a Grasshopper Warbler and a Garden Warbler present in St John's Valley early in the morning.
A juvenile , ringed,Rose-coloured Starling and Wryneck were present in Millcombe.

James Diamond found two Lapland Buntings near Pondsbury and a Ring Ouzel on the Terraces. A single Willow Warbler was present and fifteen Chiffchaffs. Other passerines included three Spotted Flycatchers, four Pied Flycatchers, ten Whinchats, four Yellow Wagtails and a single Grey Wagtail.
There were record numbers of Wheatears over the island with a minimum of four hundred birds. A Hummingbird Hawk-moth was in Millcombe.

On the 2nd , another glorious day and increased numbers of Meadow Pipits and a few Chaffinch flocks. A possible second Rose-coloured Starling was seen flying towards the High Stree t. An unringed bird, it was later seen and photographed by Richard Campey and Tom Bedford on Barton Cottages. James Diamond relocated the Wryneck on the Terraces. Also on the Terraces a Pied Flycatcher Spotted Flycatcher and a Redstart. Tim Davis watched a Dunlin escaping a Peregrine over the Landing Bay.
In the afternoon Tim Jones and James Diamond saw a singleBalearic Shearwater and three Arctic Skuas off the East Side and a Little Egret by Millerís Cake.

On the 3rd two Rose-coloured Starlings were still present and James Diamond found an Ortolan Bunting on the airfield. At least one Wryneck was present on the Lower East Side Path and a second, different bird seen near the Terraces. A Jack Snipe was flushed near Pondsbury, along with two Common Snipe. Other passerines included a single Garden Warbler, three Spotted and four Pied Flycatchers and ten Siskins. Four Golden Plovers flew south over the Stonecrusher and a Merlin was seen by Tim Davis hurtling through Millcombe. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was first seen at Old Light, then heard in Stoneycroft garden and later seen around Millcombe.

The 4th started with light drizzle and west to south-west winds. Observers on the island all commented that it was dripping with birds and indeed it was. Daily totals of commoner species included one hundred Goldcrests, three hundred Blackcaps, three hundred Chiffchaffs, three Pied Flycatchers and singles of Lesser Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting, Ring Ouzel, and Lesser Redpoll. Swallows were estimated at one thousand moving through the island. Fifty- fiveCormorants (a record count of a single flock) were seen flying off South End.
Scarcer birds included two Yellow-browed Warblers one seen by Tim Jones in St Helenís Copse and the other by Richard Campey by the gas shed in Millcombe. Two Rose-coloured Starlings were seen by the Church, and soon after another in Millcombe, so possibly three different birds. The two Wrynecks were still present on the East Side, in addition to two Snow Buntings. A single Lapland Bunting was near Pondsbury and another three overhead by the Terraces. A single Firecrest was seen by Chris Baillie in St Helenís Copse.

On the morning of the 5th moderate south-westerly winds dominated and saw Tim Jones, James Diamond and Tom Bedford head to North End for a seawatch. This resulted in four Arctic Skuas and four Manx Shearwaters. They also saw seventeen Snow Buntings between North End and Tibbettís, in addition to a single Lapland Bunting on the track by Pondsbury. Carol Baillie found a Snow Bunting outside the shop.

A flock of ten Snow Buntings were seen near John Oí Groats and shortly after up to seventeen birds were counted, with other singles seen throughout the day. Two Lapland Buntings were seen on the track near Pondsbury. One unringed Rose-coloured Starling was seen in the farmyard. The two Wrynecks were still present.

On the next day an early morning seawatch from North End produced two Arctic Skuas and three Great Skuas. Twenty Snow Buntings were still present as was the single Rose-coloured Starling and two Wrynecks. The female Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen in St Helenís Copse. A brief seawatch from the Castle in the late afternoon produced one further Great Skua.

The 7th again started with an early morning seawatch from North End which added a Common Scoter, seven Balearic Shearwaters, two Arctic Skuas and a single Great Skua. There was little change to landbirds with the Rose-coloured Starling still present.

The 8th saw large numbers of Goldfinches, more than four hundred, and several hundred Siskins. A Rose-coloured Starling was still present and a single Yellow-browed Warbler in Millcombe. A Common Rosefinch was caught and ringed in Millcombe by Tim Ball et al. Two Turnstones were seen on Rat Island from the Oldenburg.

On the 9th a south west gale and misty drizzle greeted Tim Davis, Tim Jones, Chris and Carol Baillie, plus the ringers Tim Ball et al. Still present were the Great Spotted Woodpecker, and a single Rose-coloured Starling. Five Snow Buntings were present at Old Light and a Pied Flycatcher in Miilcombe.

The following day started grey and windy. Highlights were the Common Rosefinch in Smelly Gully and a pale-phase Arctic Skua and four Manx Shearwaters on a seawatch off the Castle. The Great Spotted Woodpecker was still in Millcombe but no sign of the Rose-coloured Starling. Tim Jones reports that some of the Swallows that arrived in numbers on saturday are having a hard time and with some deaths. A single Garden Warbler was in Millcombe.

On the 11th it stayed quite windy with the Common Rosefinch and the Great Spotted Woodpecker both still in Millcombe and five Snow Buntings still at Old Light. On a seawatch from the Castle another pale phase Arctic Skua. Tim Jones reports that many of the common migrants were much less in numbers with only one Pied Flycatcher and one Spotted Flycatcher in Millcombe. Chris and Carol Baillie found a Lapland Bunting by the Terrace / Main track area. The main excitement of the day was provided by the Oldenburg which "lost" an engine off Bull Point ! and had to return to Ilfracombe.

Lighter winds greeted the 12th but with very few birds. Tim Jones noted " hardly a bird to be seen on Castle Hill and The Airfield, just a few Meadow Pipits and Carrion Crows" .

The 13th showed the usual suspects of Rose-coloured Starling, Common Rosefinch and Great Spotted Woodpecker all present. There was a single Snow Bunting on Castle Hill and two Reed Buntings over St John's Valley. Tim Jones reports a steady movement of Meadow Pipits, Skylarks , Swallows, Siskins and Golfinches south. In the evening/dusk two Grey Herons flew south along the East Side and there were six Golden Plovers on the Airfield. A single Sparrowhawk and two Ringtail Harriers were in the Pondsbury area. There was a late movement of flocks of Meadow Pipits and twenty-five Chaffinches. A Merlin was seen widely over the island all day.

The next day there was no sign of either the Common Rosefinch or the Rose-coloured Starling. However it was a truly great day for visible migration, with Tim Jones and Tim Davis logging, two-hundred and twenty Redwings, thirty-two Fieldfares, some fifteen Ring Ouzels, with five together on the heather moor by The Earthquake, four hundred Chaffinches, six Lapland Buntings, one Reed Bunting, a single Lapwing, Tree Pipit, Common Redstart and Hobby.
Tim Ball et al caught the first winter Great Spotted Woodpecker. Two Hen Harriers were seen leaving the island early in the morning, one circling up over Tibbetts and the other flying south past Cast Hill.

The 15th again had good visible migration with five-hundred and forty Chaffinches, though far fewer Thrushes. Other sightings included a single Ring Ouzel, twenty-five Redwings, and one Fieldfare. There was a Yellow-browed Warbler in Millcombe. The Rose-coloured Starling that had been ringed a couple of weeks before was found dead and in an emaciated condition outside Brambles.

Highlights of the day were a sighting of Short-eared Owl by Tim Ball et al from the Tea Gardens and an Osprey which came in off the East Side and then returned to the West Side where it flew remarkably close to Tim Jones and Tim Davis as it travelled south past Jenny's Cove. A Firecrest was caught and ringed.

On the return crossing a Sooty Shearwater was seen close to the MS Oldenburg and also a Little Gull.

Tony Taylor et al were on the island from the 15th to the 28th and he sends this report:
Two weeks with plenty of wind and rain...
Other observers: Luke Phillips and Fred Watts first week, Julian Allen and Rob Duncan second week, Richard Taylor both weeks.
15th: 3 Red-breasted Mergansers flew S past the Landing Bay, 3 Lapwing, a Whitethroat and Black Redstart also seen. A Chiffchaff with a Dutch ring was found, unfortunately dead.
16th: some movement, including 4 House Martins, 25 Blackcap, 1 Stonechat, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Common Rosefinch (a new bird, caught and ringed).
17th: very poor weather. 1 Ring Ouzel, 2 Black Redstart in Landing Bay area, 7 Snow Bunting.
18th: very windy. 6 Teal on Pondsbury, 15 Cormorant, 1 Reed Bunting.
19th: slight movement, including 8 Lesser Redpoll - smaller numbers of Redpolls seen on most other days.
20th: more movement. A Blue Tit arrived (joined by a second from 25th). Passing through were 50 Swallow, 2 late Willow Warblers (caught and ringed), 30 Fieldfare, 45 Redwing, 2 Mistle Thrush, 4 Wheatear, 90 Chaffinch.
21st: not a very promising day, but it produced 2 Common Scoter, 45 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest, and a Yellow-browed Warbler that Luke and Fred found by Quarter Wall.
22nd: a few Chaffinches moving, Chiffchaff numbers rose to 6 and Blackcaps to 15. A Pied Flycatcher was caught and ringed in Millcombe.
23rd: more wind and rain. 5 Manx Shearwaters passed and Richard found 25 Snipe round Pondsbury at night.
24th: the bad weather continued. 2 Firecrests were the highlight. At least one very late Manx Shearwater was calling during the nights of 24-26th.
25th: better weather, with thrushes and finches moving south. 13 Blackcap, 14 Fieldfare, 50 Redwing, 850 Chaffinch, 6 Brambling, 4 Greenfinch and 4 Snow Bunting.
26th: a very strong south wind. 600 Kittiwakes were feeding in the tide race off the E side, with a good variety of other species. 4 Manx and a Balearic Shearwater passed (Julian Allen), there were 70 Gannet, 20 Common Gull and an Arctic Tern among the feeding birds, and 2 Arctic Skuas were making a nuisance of themselves. Julian and Rob at the Ugly, and Richard independently on the jetty, had good views of a Pomarine Skua passing close by. In spite of the wind, 660 Chaffinch struggled south. Richard saw 2 Jack Snipe after dark, catching and ringing one.
27th: still windy. 14 Lapwing went south, 2 Arctic Skuas still offshore among the Kittiwakes, 1 Firecrest and a Wheatear still present.
28th: predictably, a fine, calm day of departure. Offshore, 1 Arctic and 1 Great Skua had 200 Kittiwakes in their sights. Most migrants were flying high and pushing straight on to Devon. 4 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs and 15 Goldcrests still present. At least 1000 Chaffinches passed over.
Through the 2 weeks there were up to 2 Sparrowhawks, 4 Kestrels, 2 Merlins and 7 Water Rail present, Woodcocks on 5 days and Short-eared Owl on 4. The ringed Great Spotted Woodpecker remained throughout.

Andy Jayne was present for the last four days of the month and sends these sightings:
28th The only notable sighting on the crossing from Ilfracombe was of three Common Scoters flying south about 1/2 hour before reaching the island. A Woodcock and Merlin were the first birds of note on the island.
29th A strong SW wind was blowing and early morning seawatching from The Ugly produced single Balearic and Manx Shearwaters, three Arctic Skuas and two Great Skuas. A Woodcock was flushed in Millcombe and a fine male Snow Bunting was seen near Tibbets.
30th Still breezy with two Balearic Shearwaters and an Arctic Skua seen from The Ugly. A Great Skua was harrassing Kittiwakes off the east side. Raptors included a Merlin and three Sparrowhawks circling together near the Sugarloaf. A Woodcock was again in Millcombe, but the highlight here was a Yellow-browed Warbler that favoured the ivy around the walled gardens and above the gas store.
31st More seawatching and more Balearic Shearwaters with three seen from the Castle early morning, along with two Arctic Skuas. A Great Skua was again lingering off the east side and there was also an adult Black-headed Gull here. The Yellow-browed Warbler remained and a Lesser Redpoll was also in Millcombe.







Photo
Sep
Highlights
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Little Bunting
Rose-coloured Starling
Pectoral Sandpiper
Greenland race Wheatears

On the 2nd Peter Slader, David and Elisabeth Price were at North End during the evening and whilst looking out over North Light saw three waders flying in from the north. They heard a Turnstone call and as the birds landed on the heather and short turf ,did indeed see two Turnstones, but the third bird was a young Buff-breasted Sandpiper. See photos page for pictures.

James Leonard saw the Buff-breasted Sandpiper again on the 4th by Quarter Wall and reports other birds present as Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Willow Warblers.
Little Bunting, Rose-coloured Starling both trapped and ringed in Millcombe Valley by Chris Dee, more details to follow.

Chris has sent in the following report:

For the third autumn in succession a ringing team more or less tightly associated with the Rye Meads Ringing Group (Chris Dee, John Griffin, Derek Baggott and Andy Turner) spent a week on the island.

A juvenile Rose-coloured Starling was found on the evening of 24th and trapped and ringed the following day. It remained in Millcombe for the entire week, mainly associating with Blackbirds. Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were plentiful at the start of the week but most left the island before the wind switched from SW to SE mid-week and warbler passage dried up. Good numbers of Swallows were seen from mid-morning on 26th, with an estimated 1000 passing through during the day. A Whitethroat was in Millcombe and a Pectoral Sandpiper was at Pondsbury. A Tree Pipit was ringed in St John's on 27th.

On 29th a Little Bunting was trapped and ringed in Lower Millcombe. Calmer conditions on the morning of 30th heralded the start of Meadow Pipit migration and four Pied Flycatchers were seen. Two more Tree Pipits were caught and several Whinchats were present. Six Wheatears were ringed during the week, and all were assigned the the Greenland race (Oenanthe oenanthe leuchorroa) on the basis of measurements.




Aug
Highlights
Great Skua
Manx Shearwater chick return

Tony and Richard Taylor were on the island from the 20th to the 30th of the month and mainly working on Shearwaters. They report that the numbers of adult and young Manx Shearwaters had clearly increased again since last year. Also that for the first time they found birds that had been ringed as chicks on Lundy, returning as adults, two both ringed in 2008. On the 23rd there were some two and a half thousand Manx Shearwaters on the sea off the south west of the island.

On the 27th and the 30th they saw a Great Skua chasing seabirds off the East Side. There was a trickle of waders with up to three Ringed Plovers, two Turnstones, a single Whimbrel fly over, and on Pondsbury a Dunlin and a Green Sandpiper.

There were small numbers of migrants on most days with the 22nd proving the best; one Swift, three hundred Sand Martins, four hundred Swallows, five House Martins, one hundred and twenty Willow Warblers, fifteen Whitethroats, three Sedge Warblers and four Tree Pipits.

Species with peak numbers on other days included, four Spotted and four Pied Flycatchers, a Yellow Wagtail on most days and Redstart, Whinchat and Grasshopper Warbler.

At least three pairs of Swallows were feeding young still in nests. Also Tony noted an adult Blackcap in full moult, and some young birds still moulting out of juvenile plumage, suggested that they may have bred in Millcombe.


Jul
Highlights
Tufted Duck

James Leonard reports two Tufted Ducks on Pondsbury on the 21st of the month.
Jun
Highlights
total 55 Puffins
partial albino Puffin

Jeff Jenkins visited Lundy at the beginning of the month and reports seing fifteen Oystercatchers at Brazen Ward on the 8th and ten Puffins present off the Battery on the 5th. Then on the 9th some eighteen Puffins on the cliffs at Jenny's Cove.

On the 10th Jeff was on a round the island trip aboard the Jessica Hettie and recorded a total of fifty five Puffins an exceptional total.

On the 28th John Tayton saw a partial albino Puffin at Jenny's Cove and the next day Grant Sherman got video of the bird going in and out of a burrow at Jenny's Cove.

Photo
May
Highlights
Little Ringed Plover
Barolos Little Shearwater
Golden Oriole
Dotterel
Trumpeter Finch

The first day of the month started again with strong easterly winds. Richard Campey saw five Dunlin at Pondsbury and two Ringed Plovers were still by Old Light. Some seventy Swallows were recorded passing through. There was a Common Sandpiper seen on the beach by Darin Dowding. Sedge Warblers were still at Pondsbury and Quarter Wall Pond.

The 2nd started with a force 7 easterly, gusting 8 and made for very challenging birding, but by the afternoon the winds had calmed somewhat. Richard reports an increase in Wheatears to at least seventy. A Whinchat was at Quarter Wall and Sedge Warblers singing at Pondsbury and Millcombe. Adult Water Rails were present with chicks at Smelly Gulley, Pondsbury, Brambles and another adult near Quarter Wall. A Snipe was flushed near Pondsbury, Five Dunlin also at Pondsbury.

A Garden Warbler was at the top of Millcombe and about ten Chiffchaffs. A single Whitethroat was on the Terraces. Two Whimbrel were on Rat Island, another on the Beach Road and sixmore were seen late evening by the Church.

Tony John found a Little Ringed Plover at Pondsbury late afternoon, and it was still present when seen by Richard Campey at dusk, feeding around the dam area with six Dunlin. At least two Ringed Plover were also present by Old Light and Pondsbury.

The Barolos Little Shearwater was singing well the next night, but no sign of the Little Ringed Plover during the day.

On the 4th Richard Campey left the island and as the Oldenburgh set sail, he saw a Purple Sandpiper fly round the rocks on rat Island.

Shaun Barnes arrived on the 4th and reports Gannets feeding off Rat Island and two Whimbrel near the Rocket Pole. Also v lots of activity from the Manx Shearwaters during a lightening storm at around 10.30pm.

On the 7th Shaun saw two Turtle Doves and two Yellow Wagtails in Brick Field. Shaun recorded at least twelve Gannets on the water at North End and also ten plus Puffins on the West Side between Half Way Wall and Three Quarter Wall. The birds were carrying nesting material and seen going in and out of burrows regularly. Only one Turtle Dove. Two Swifts and good numbers of Swallows.

News just in of a male Golden Oriole seen by James Leonard in Millcome and stayed from the 8th to the 10th. A sub adult male. Some Whimbrel still present and two Cuckoos in the Quarries on the 11th. More Spotted Flycatchers and Sedge Warblers turning up and on the 12th James Leonard and Shaun Barnes found a Dotterel at Tibbetts. Manx Shearwaters are being heard every night due to the low / half moon.

Latest news of a Trumpeter Finch on the island on the 13th (see photgraphs page) ....It was seen mid afternoon by Steve and Elise O'Donnell James Leonard and Shaun Barnes. Shaun photographed the bird.

Steve O'Donnell notes from the LFS log book:
Recognised from a distance shot taken by Barbara and Colin Canavan of finch
seen on track near Tibbetts. We alerted Shaun Barnes and headed up to
halfway wall. Shaun relocated bird on the ground near halfway wall. General
impression was of a stout finch of a very pink colour. The following are
verbatim notes taken from repeated scope views at ranges as close as 20m
Greyish head - very stout pink red bill a reddish patch on the forehead.
Pale legs either pink or orange a noticeable beady eye, on close views
showing a dull white eye ring- a pink rump, black tail, mantle subtly
mottled brown and grey, a conspicuous black alula?/patch on wing.
Secondaries dark centred and edged pink and median coverts also pink edged.
The bird was seen on short grazed ground, perched on granite walls and on
stony rock. It was seen calling, but the call was not auditable. The bird
was seen by me (Steve O'Donnell), Elise O'Donnell, Shaun Barnes & James
Leonard. - Steve O'Donnell

Steve Pratt (island ranger) saw a reddish bird at Half Way Wall on the 7th of the month, but had no binoculars and was unable to identify it. After subsequent discussions it seems almost certain that this was the Trumpeter Finch.

This is a first record for Lundy.

The Trumpeter Finch has been reported again just north of Half Way Wall on the main track at 09.50 am on the 14th.

It was seen again by Sophie Wheatley (assistant warden) at 10.15 am just north of Half Way Wall on the track. I remained till at least mid afternoon and was watching by many visiting birders. Please see photographs page for pictures of the bird by Shaun Barnes.

Nicola Saunders (island warden) and Shaun Barnes report watching the Trumpeter Finch singing at 2.05pm on the 15th . New picture on photographs page.

The Trumpeter Finch was still present on the 17th and seen by Shaun Barnes and Nicola Saunders in the morning, and then by a group of visiting birders in the afternoon (see photographs page). Shaun also reports seeing eleven Puffins.

Shaun reports that after the fog lifted midday on the 18th the Trumpeter Finch was in it's usual spot at Half Way Wall at 2.30pm.

The bird was seen again the following day (19 May).

Richard Campey writes......." I have never twitched Lundy in thirty four years of visiting the island but the thought of seeing a Trumpeter Finch there was too much to resist. So on thursday 19th I was aboard the Oldenburg, with around a dozen other birders, on a day trip to the island. The moderate north westerlies combined with sunshine were pleasant enough, but the journey was made even more exciting by news from Shaun Barnes (mobile reception mid Channel) that he had been watching the bird at Half Way Wall for the past two hours, it was settled and currently asleep.I passed the news round the boat and everyone eargerly awaited the Jetty ! Not first off the boat but first up past Quarter Wall and I was walking briskly towards Half Way Wall where I expected to find Shaun staking out the bird. When I was past Quarter Wall I saw Shaun walking towards me saying the bird had just flown south from it's usual spot. Almost immediately it landed on the track near us, spent about thirty seconds on the path, got up and flew to one of the standing stones. We were then joined by a couuple of other birders when the bird again flew south towards the oncoming group. It then flew round and settled by the Old Hospital where it stayed and was enjoyed by all for about half an hour. It spent the rest of it's time, up to 3pm at least, around Quarter Wall, favouring Brick Field where it was joined by a Dunlin of all things. As I left at about 2.30pm I was able to get some pictures of it on the wire fence by Quarter Wall (see photographs page) and heard it singing. A great bird and great experience.

Richard also reports seeing a Lesser Redpoll, fifteen House Martins round the south end, looking as though they were prospecting for nest sites on the cliffs and about forty Wheatears. Some twenty Spotted Flycatchers were seen and at least fiveWhitethroats in Millcombe. Two Cormorants found some thermals over the Castle and a Whimbrel was ssen by the Landing Bay.

There is some evidence to suggest, from visitors, over the last couple of days that there "may" be two birds present. More on this to follow.....
On the 20th Shaun Barnes checked the Trumpeter Finch's favourite spot and found it present between 1.15 pm - 1.30 pm. The bird shows a marked preference for the short cropped grass immediately north of the walled enclosure which lies on the north side of Half Way Wall, and is best viewed from the main track looking a short distance west.

Shaun Barnes located the Trumpeter Finch on the 21st at Half Way Way sheltering from the south westerly wind at 9.10am. There are also reports of a Hoopoe in Millcombe yesterday.

There was no sign of the Trumpeter Finch on the 22nd but on the 23rd Shaun Barnes braved the gale force winds and eventually found the bird at it's favourite spot by Half Way Wall at 3.05pm. Also present on the 24th.

The Trumpeter Finch was last seen on the 26th, but there was no sign of it on the 27th despite Shaun Barnes looking for it in all it's usual places. Shaun did however see a Sanderling on the Jetty at 3pm

Continued poor weather meant the Oldenburg had to turn back when attempting to reach the island on the 28th. Still no sign of the Trumpeter Finch on the 29th.











Apr
Highlights
Hoopoe
Northern Wheatear
Golden Oriole
Subalpine Warbler
Barolo's Little Shearwater

On the first day of the month (after 12 noon !) Grant Shetrman and Geof Withers saw one of the remaining Hoopoes on the path south from The Ugly. The second bird, present last month, was not seen. Also no further sign of the Little Owl.

A single Hoopoe was still present in Millcombe from 11am till 5pm

On the 3rd Sophie Wheatley saw a Northern Wheatear ssp Leucorrhoa and reports that two Hoopoes were still present on the island. One bird was present in Millcombe at 6pm

Dave Miller and Clare Tallboys were on the island from the 12th to the 16th of the month. Their sightings included Manx Shearwaters throughout the period with several birds heard calling over the Castle between 3am and 4.30am on the 14th. A single Kestrel on the 13th and 14th and a maximum of three Peregrines. The ever present Water Rails were in St John's Valley. Two Oystercatchers on the 12th and a single Curlew on the top of the island on the 14th.

There were at least six Sand Martins and they report Swallows present in good numbers with a large movement of hundreds heading north on the 14th. House Martins peaked at about thirty birds on the 14th. A White Wagtail was in the village on the 15th and three male Redstarts in Millcombe.

Wheatears present daily with a maximum of thirty on the 14th, while a male Ring Ouzel was in the Quarries on the 12th. Warblers included up to six Grasshopper Warblers by the Old Light, and Millcombe and St John's Valley. Three Whitethroats on the East Side of the island, while Blackcaps were present in small numbers each day with a total of ten birds on the 14th. Willow Warblers outnumbered Chiffchaffs and they record a notable peak of some, one hundred and sixty five birds around the south end of the island on the 15th.

A female Pied Flycatcher was in St John's Valley and a male Golden Oriole on the 12th in Millcombe (also seen the day before). Also in Millcombe a single Greenfinch. Goldfinches . up to five birds and three Lesser Redpolls on the East Side near Millcombe on the 15th, with a single in Millcombe on the 16th.

Andy Robinson saw a Wood Warbler in Millcombe on the 16th.

Chris and Mandy Dee were on the island from 19th to 23rd, doing a little ringing in Millcombe. A perfectly calm crossing from Ilfracombe gave good views of Razorbills, Guillemots and Manx Shearwaters on the sea on the approaches.

On arrival there were plenty of warblers feeding in the blackthorn on the slopes of Millcombe - mainly Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. The south-west field was alive with Meadow Pipits and there were dozens of Wheatears, many of the Greenland race, spread across the top of the island. Winds remained light and in the east for the next three days, but eager anticipation of a rarity was not rewarded. A very confiding Lesser Redpoll was feeding on the ground below the walled gardens and a Water Rail was seen in the nearby "pond". Blackcaps and Willow Warblers continued to be very active, but with a clear night and light winds, numbers dropped significantly overnight into Friday (23rd). Sedge Warblers were heard singing in Millcombe on most mornings with at least 8 present on 20th and Whitethroats were present in small numbers. There were good numbers of auks on the ledges in Jenny's Cove, and up to 15 Puffins ashore and on the water during the week. A raft of 50 Kittiwake was on the sea off Aztec Bay on 20th.

An early Garden Warbler, the first of three Lesser Whitethroats and a Grasshopper Warbler were caught in Millcombe on 21st. A male Pied Flycatcher was seen in the Sycamores below Bramble Villa in the morning and possibly the same bird was at Quarterwall Copse by lunchtime. A Buzzard passed through in the afternoon. The first visit of the season by the Jessica Hettie afforded the opportunity to sail round the island and the very calm conditions allowed early estimates of the seabird numbers to be made - counts of 340 Razorbill and 680 Guillemot excluded the landward facing colonies, such as on St Mark's Stone. There were also at least 165 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, over 200 Herring Gulls and 30 Great Black-backed Gulls ashore.

As the moon rose after midnight towards the end of the week, Manx Shearwaters were very active early in the night around the south end and a Barolo's Little Shearwater was heard above the beach road between 22:50 and 23:05 on 21st. This is almost certainly the bird that was heard last year and was also heard by Kevin Rylands on April 25th at 23.30 hours in the same place as last year, near the small cave by the Trinity House Stone.

Manx Shearwaters were landing on the slopes west of Benjamin's Chair, where two were ringed on 22nd. A squally shower on the afternoon of 22nd probably accounted for a flock of four summer plumage Golden Plover landing in the Brick Field

The wind veered from south-east to north between Friday evening and Saturday morning and a few more warblers were evident in Millcombe in the morning including another Garden Warbler. The return crossing on 23rd was just as calm and once more gave good views of dozens of Manx Sheawaters, but the highlight was a close sighting of a Minke Whale.

On the 24th Kevin Rylands found a male Western Subalpine Warbler at Quarter Wall. He was able to watch it on and off for ten minutes while it fed in the gorsde bushes and he also heard it's sub song. Kevin also saw a female Ring Ouzel in the Quarries area on the 24th and the 26th.

On the 26th Richard Campey was on the island and saw a femalePied Flycatcher, Lesser Redpoll and a Buzzard being mobbed on the East Side. There was a good passge of Swallows , estimated at about two thousand.

That evening Richard went down to the Landing Bay to listen for the Little Shearwater. He heard it at 22.15 from the Beach Path just below Millcombe Gulley. It then was heard again some ten minutes later in it's traditional singing spot.

Guidelines for listening to the Little Shearwater are issued by the island and are on this website under sighting June 2010 Also a sound file of the bird calling/singing from the Beach Road.

On the 27th Richard reports seven Dunlin and a Ringed Plover at Pondsbury. Two Lesser Redpolls were around the Stonecrusher. Colin McShane reported two Whimbrel. Very few Passerines with just four Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers and three Whitethroats.

The Little Shearwater was again calling from 10.30pm
till at least 11.15pm It was calling in flight and from the ground, heard above the Cave on the Beach Road.

The 28th began with a cold easterly wind, then dropping midday to give a sunny and at times almost windless day. Richard reports four Jackdaws on the airfield and a singing Reed Warbler in the gorse at Quarry Pond and two Yellwo Wagtails one by the High Street Gate and another at the top of St John's Valley. At least two White Wagtails were present. Richard saw three Whimbrels at Three Quarter Wall and these were joined by another bird later in the day at the South End. A single Lesser Redpoll was by the Stonecrusher. Tim Jones and Tim Davis arrived on the island and saw two Dunlin at Pondsbury and a Song Thrush at Half Way Wall. Also a single Spotted Flycatcher. Colin McShane et al, were ringing, and caught a Lesser Whitethroat (a more detailed repprt follows on his groups ringing during the week). Some twenty five Sedge Warblers were recorded and four Whitethroats. The long staying Buzzard was again seen on the East Side being mobbed by Gulls.

Tim Davis and Tim Jones went to listen for the Little Shearwater but only heard it briefly at 11.30pm.

The 29th started again with a cold easterly, this time stronger and gusting up to force six. Richard saw two Lesser Redpolls on the track by the Coastguard Shed but noted a drop in the number of Wheatears. By late afternoon the wind dropped and "Royal Wedding Day" was blessed with a fine evening. The two Dunlin were still on Pondsbury and the first Swifts of the year were seen.

Tim Jones et al watched the four Jackdaws for an hour an a half circling up and attempting to leave the island until they finally got the courage to go, and with them three Carrion Crows. They also heard the Water Rail chicks calling at Smelly Gulley. Four sub adult Black-headed Gulls were seen flying past the Battery.

Strong easterly winds on the morning of the 30th made for difficult birdwatching but four Dunlin were still present and two Ringed Plovers by the Old Lighthouse. A Sparrowhawk was seen by Tim Jones and Darin Dowding saw an adult Water Rail with a chick at Pondsbury. A couple of Swifts were over the Village but Hirundine numbers were well down on previous days.

Colin McShane had been ringing during the last week of April and has sent the following report:

After the superb weather for ringing over the previous 4 weeks, we landed on Lundy with very low expectations based on a forecast of NE winds during the coming week. Unfortunately our low expectations were exceeded during what was our worst ringing week for landbirds in 31 years. In essence the wind built up during the night ( very odd) which stopped any nocturnal migration, and meant that we could not open the nets anyway until around midday. This was the pattern--with minor variations-- all week resulting in paltry numbers of warlbers, eg fourteen Willow Warblers compared to over three hundred in most years. The only highlight was a Sedge Warbler carrying a French scheme ring. Details will come later but it is almost certain to have been ringed during August 2010/09 at one of the concentrated ringing sites in northern France established to monitor Aquatic Warbler passage in particular.
In contrast, Manx Shearwater ringing was the best for many years. Increased breeding numbers of course helped--but so did the late rising moon which meant that even though the sky was clear, it was very dark and many different calling birds were heard. We netted at Pilot's Quay for the first time ( although Tony Taylor regularly used this site in the past). We also caught a single Storm Petrel but this was using a tape which casts doubt on it being a breeding bird--no others were caught when no tape was used--even when we set a net with a tape by a likley looking breeding site at the top of the Pilot's slope.











Photo
Mar
Highlights:
Buzzard
Bullfinch
Hoopoe
Little Owl

On the 22nd of the month Mike and Paul Hopes arrived on the island and while walking through Millcombe saw a Goldcrest and Willow Warbler.

The next day their sightings included a pair of displaying Peregrines and in Millcombe, single Firecrest, Chiffchaff and Redwing. Their walk along the Lower East Side Path produced a pair of Willow Warblers. In the Lighthouse Field two Golden Plover were seen and photographed.

On the 24th their trip to the North End produced two Redwings near Three Quarter Wall and they noted an influx of some twenty Wheatears into the island.

On the 25th two Peregrines were still present as was a Buzzard which was seen flying and being mobbed over The Landing Bay. Millcombe held three Redwings, some twelve Fieldfares and a single Blackcap. By the walled gardens in Millcombe Mike saw a male Bullfinch and another visitor reported seeing a female.

On the morning of the 25th Grant Sherman saw the fist Puffin return to the island.

On the 27th a Hoopoe was seen by Kevin, the island farmer, around the village and then later on Roger, the island engineer, saw two by the watertanks. One bird spent much of it's time in St John's Valley, (by Brambles and on the track leading to the castle), where it was photographed by Nigel Dalby.

A single Hoopoe was reported still present on the 28th, and also aLittle Owl was seen in VC Quarries, 10:30-11:00 am. It was perched on a rock, facing the sea, then diving down behind a rock and towards the sea. A few moments later it was seen circling above the island and then flew out of view.

On the 29th Heather Child saw a pair of Wheatears, a single Peregrine and a Chiffchaff.



Feb
Highlights:
Slavonian Grebe
Treecreeper

James Leonard was present up to the 4th and reports the Treecreeper still present.

Steve Wing, Mary Gade and Anne-Marie Alford were on the island from the 4th to the 12th and saw a Slavonian Grebe on the 5th in the Landing Bay. A second bird joined it the following day. Further sightings then of a single bird on the 7th and the 9th. Up to four Great Northern Divers were also present in the Landing Bay.

A single Buzzard was present throughout the week, three Peregrines and a Kestrel. Steve reports that there was a significant influx of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes on the 12th.


Jan
Highlight:
Treecreeper

James leonard reports Treecreeper present from the 28th. Also two Great Northern Divers and two Jack Snipe.

  2010
Dec
November 2010 :
Highlights
Great northern Diver
Merlin
Lapland Bunting
Treecreeper
Long tailed Tit

Great norther Diver two on the 12th-15th and
Fulmars a maximum of seventy four on 14th.

Very few Gannets reported with just two on 11th and three on 28th.
Cormorants nine on 9th, and one 12th - 14th. This bird ,stayed around for a few days, on rocket pole pond to start then moved up to Quarry pond

The maximun count of Shags was twenty one on 12th and a single
Sparrowhawk on 10th, two on 13th and one male on 14th. At least one Kestrel from the 8th to the end of the month. A singleMerlin was present from the 8th to the 15th ,and six reported on 10th with a further four on 13th. Peregrine up to three birds.

Four Water Rails on the 10th, a single seen on 11th then two on 13th and 14th.A maximum count of ten Oystercatchers on 10th and two Golden plovers on 10th and twenty seen on 28th with an additional two on the 29th.

Icy mainland conditions allowed for a few Lapwings to visit the island with one, very confiding bird on the 9th and five birds on the 28th. The next day a flock of sixty three arrived. Nicola Saunders, the warden, reports seeing a group of fifty take flight and leave. Other birds remained so this is a conservative estimate. there were also some fifteen Snipe on 9th two on the 13th, also a single Woodcock on the 14th.

Gull counts for the month consisted of eight Lesser Black-backed Gullson the 11th, twenty five Herring Gulls and fifteen Great Black-backed Gulls on the 14th.

Other seabirds;
Kittiwake a maximum of twelve on the 10th and 13th.
Guillemotsone hundred and fifty seven on 8th,thirty nine on 9th, two hundred and four on 10th, three hundred and sixty three 363 on the 13th culminating with six hundred and seventy five on the 14th. All birds counted
all on the cliffs . There was a single Razorbill on the 13th in the landing bay.

An unusually high number of forty six Woodpigeons were reported on the 15th and maximum Skylark numbers reached only four.
Perhaps a sign of the extra cold weather, with one dead bird by Quarry steps.

Other totals/maximums included the following:
Max 5 Meadow Pipits on 14th
2 Rock Pipitson 10th and 1 on 14th
Wren max 3 on 14th
2 Dunnock on 10th and again on 14th
Robin - present, max 6 on 10th
1 Wheatear on 7th
Blackbird max 35 on 10th
Fieldfare max 12 on 15th
Song Thrush max 12 on 10th
Redwing present max 60 on 15th
Blackcap 2 male & female on 8th, male on 10th one on 11th and 2 on 15th
Chiffchaff 1 on 10th; 2 on 14th
Firecrest 1 on 11th; 2 on 13th; 1 on 14th and 2 on 15th
Long tailed Tit 7 on 20th (Millcombe valley) 3 on 27th by quarters
1 Treecreeper on 22nd
Carrion Crow max 20
Raven max 12
Starling influx 13th - 15th max of 400
Chaffinch max 150 on 15th
Brambling 1 on 11th; 1 on 14th & 6 on 15th
Greenfinch 1 11th - 14th with 6 on 13th
Goldfinch present max 12 on 10th
Linnet very few, max of just 6 on 10th
Lapland Bunting 1 on 13th; 2 on 15th
Yellowhammer on 14th


James Leonard reports for the week 23-30Dec Snipe and Lapwing present on the sunny south facing banks outside the Tavern with maximums of seventy of each. James also reports that they were predated by the island Peregrines. Many Blackbirds and Song Thrushes present with counts of up to twenty of each anda single Mistle Thrush, Redwing and Fieldfare. Other sightings included Jack Snipe, Woodcock, Buzzard, Kestrel and Merlin.

On the 25th James saw five Great Northern Divers in the Landing Bay.

Water Rails were much evident and five Teal and six Wigeon.
Photo
Oct
Highlights
Lapland Bunting influx
Yellow-browed Warbler
Common Rosefinch
Firecrest
Treecreeper
Balearic Shearwater
Great Skua
Sooty Shearwater
Pomarine Skua
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Woodlark
Hawfinch
Red-flanked Bluetail
Hen Harrier


Tom Bedford, Richard Campey, Tim Davis, Tim Jones and Andy Jayne were on the island from the 2nd of the month. On the crossing there was one Great Skua and three Balearic Shearwaters.

Some thirty Blackcaps, eleven Chiffchaffs and seven Greenfinches were in Millcombe. On the airfield there were at least eight Lapland Buntings and Tim Jones found a Yellow-browed Warbler by the Secret Garden. A single Treecreeper was still present in Lower Millcombe and Richard Campey found a Firecrest in Millcombe Wood. A Common Rosefinch was also still present in Millcombe. A femaleSparrowhawk was being mobbed by a Blackbird at Quarter Wall.

On the 3rd a seawatch produced five Balearic Shearwaters and Tom Bedford saw a single Great Skua. There were five Kestrels in Middle Park all in the air at once. Tim Davis saw a Whimbrel flying down the West Side. A Ring Ouzel was present in Millcombe feeding on berries below the Ugly. A single Lesser Redpoll was seen at the top of Millcombe Valley. The Yellow-browed Warbler was still present. Three Siskins were feeding with by the High Street Gate.

The next day saw an influx of at least fifty Blackcaps , the Firecrestand Ring Ouzelwere still present. Lapland Bunting numbers peaked at an estimated twenty with one particularly confiding individual being viewed for two meters. Andy Jayne found a Richardís Pipit on the west side of Quarter Wall in addition to a Grasshopper Warbler and Reed Bunting. Tim Jones and Tim Davis saw a Ringed Plover at North End. Ten Cormorants were recorded with one bird seen in Rocket Pole Pond. A Willow Warbler was in Gannetís Coombe and Lesser Redpolls had increased to three.

On the 5th seawatch totals by Tim Jones, Andy Jayne and Tom Bedford totalled five hundred Manx Shearwaters, five Great Skuas two and ten Balearic Shearwaters. But most excitingly Tim Jones saw a Sooty Shearwater with a group of Manx Shearwaters, sitting on the water and in flight On his arrival James Diamond saw an Arctic Skua in he Landing Bay area and later a Merlin sitting on a post in Tillage Field plus a Yellow-browed Warbler in St Helens Copse. There were four Snow Buntings at the North End. Lapland Buntings had dropped to just five birds, with the confiding individual still on the track by Tillage Field.

Strong south westerly winds on the 6th had most observers out seawatching. Totals were six hundred Manx Shearwaters, five hundred Kittiwakes, twelveBalearic Shearwaters and Tim Jones and Tom Bedford found an adult pale morph Pomarine Skua a Lundy first, when seawatching from North End. Other skuua included four Great and at least five Arctic Skuas.

A Ring Ouzel was present in the end quarry on the Terraces.

On Thursday 7th a female Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen in Millcombe Valley. Also present were a Spotted Flycatcher, two Firecrests and a Treecreeper. On top of the island counts of Lapland Buntings totalled at least thirty three birds, a Lundy day record.

The next day a male Crossbill was first seen by Tim Jones in Millcombe, it was then flushed from the clutches of a Sparrowhawk by Andy Jayne on the terraces. Having survived this encounter with the loss of some head feathers, the bird then returned to Millcombe. Other birds of prey included six Kestrels and Peregrine sightings. Blackbirds had increased to twenty and there were two Pied Flycatchers , three Lesser Redpolls and a single Willow Warbler present in Millcombe. The autumnís first Redwing was also seen.

Seawatching produced a Sandwich Tern, twelve , a single Arctic and Great Skua, and five Balearic Shearwaters.

On Saturday the 9th the weather deteriorated with winds changing to easterlies, and a single Woodlark was heard calling over Castle Hill. At Tibbets there was a Redstart, Pied Flycatcher and Snow Bunting.

Tony Taylor, Richard taylor, Steve Hales, Jonny Taylor and Fred Watts were on the island for the week from the 16th and joined by Rob Duncan, Tony Palmer, Ollie Slessor and Chris Taylor during the second week. Tony Taylor sends in the following notes;

On the 16th five Mistle Thrushes and two Treecreepers. The next day, with fine North Easterly winds, one Short-eared Owl, a Redstart, some fifty Blackbirds, sixty Redwings, thirty Blackcaps, and single Spotted and Pied Flycatcher. Chaffinches were estimated at fifteen hundred with ten Bramblings and a Hawfinch

On the 18th Fred watts found a Red-flanked Bluetail and watched it fly into a mist-net in the trees just below Brambles. After ringing the bird it was seen briefly twice later in the morning and in the evening, near Millcombe gate. Other records that day included a Belgian-ringed Blackcap, five Redpolss and a Yellow-browed Warbler

Thrushes increased on the 21st with three hundred Fieldfares, and two hundred Redwings. There were twelve Bramblings. The next day saw a huge movement of five thousand seven hundredChaffinches. Also two Snow Buntings. A male Great Spotted Woodpecker was present from the 23rd to the 26th.

On the 24th four Black Redstarts were seen. The following day had birds streaming through the island again and visible migration counts included: four hundred and fifty Woodpigeons, mainly in one big flock, twenty three Song Thrushes, eleven hundred Redwings, seven hundred Starlings, eight thousand Chaffinches, fifteen Bramblings, four Greenfinches and a single Hawfinch. There was also a Hen Harrier.

In spite of poor weather on the 28th a thousand Chaffinches were seen heading south. Other birds present during the trip were two Merlins on most days, a maximum of just ten Goldcrests (surprisingly few, given the good breeding conditions last summer), one or two Firecrests on most days, five records of Lapland Buntings and fourReed Buntings.





Photo
Sep
Highlights
Western Bonelli's Warbler
Melodious Warbler
Common Rosefinch
Wrynecks
Lapland Buntings
Treecreeper
Common Rosefinch
Firecrest
Grest Spotted Woodpecker


1st September: The 2 juvenile Dotterel found on 31st August are still present, with a Whinchat, a Yellow Wagtail and 5 Kestrel at Tibbett's.
Lundy Warden Nicola Saunders has provided this report from the Log of late August/early September sightings: "Shag numbers have been high with a maximum of 78 on 6th August and counts of 51 & 68 in early September. Spotted Flycatcher have been passing through with 10 on 27th August and a maximum of 12 on 5th September. Linnet numbers peaked at 120 on the 1st September, with 60 Willow Warblers, 35 Pied Wagtail and 25 Blackcaps reported".

2nd September: Bob Parker reports calm seas and about one hour from the island some two to three hundred Manx Shearwaters feeding with four Common Terns, between one hundred and a hundred and fifty Razorbills. Also a single Swan but too distant to verify which species. Near the Ugly a Kestrel was seen and in St John's Valley some thirty Willow Warblers present. In the Pine Trees near the Blue Bung some fifteen to twenty Spotted Flycatchers. A family group of Sedge Warblers were again around Brambles. In Millcombe gardens there was a pair of Linnets and several Willow Warblers and three juvenile Robins. A pair of Jackdaws were also present in the trees and Swallows were still feeding young in the Gas Store.

2nd September: Tony Taylor found 2 Lapland Bunting by the lambing shed, one of which was ringed.

4th September: Tony Taylor reports a Melodious Warbler and a Western Bonelli's Warbler:

Melodious Warbler:"On the Quarry Terrace, seen for 2 minutes at 8-10m. A large bright warbler. Underparts very yellow, deep tone not lemoney. Upperparts olive green. Bill broad based and lower mandible quite bright yellow. Legs brown grey. No pale wing panel and primary projection short c 1/2 tertials. Significantly larger and more heavy built than nearby Willow Warbler and Western Bonelli's Warbler."

Western Bonelli's Warbler:"On the Terrace. Found by RJ Taylor at 14:30. Watched from 15:00 - 17:50. Actively feeding in the sallows, watched mainly from 8-10m, sometimes 3-4m. Eventually caught and ringed, photographed and wing formula taken, confirming species".

If accepted, this will be the second record of Western Bonelli's Warbler on Lundy, the first being on 9th April 1976. A "Bonelli's Warbler" was trapped and ringed on a similar date to this years bird, on 1st September 1954. However, this bird could not be assigned to either form when the species was split into Eastern and Western species in 1997. There is a single record of Eastern Bonelli's Warbler on 26th April 2004.

Tony has also provided a summary from the Manx Shearwater Ringing Programme: "28th August to 5th September: David Price & co, then Richard & Tony Taylor, have ringed about 120 Manx Shearwater at night so far. With another week to go, we are already close to last years total, and we are finding them at greater densities and more extensive areas than in 2009; their numbers continue to rapidly increase". By the end of the week a total of 169 Manx Shearwater chicks and 18 adults had been found and ringed, some away from known colonies on the island, further testament to the success of the rat eradication programme. Tony has also submitted the following records:

7th September: 35 Pied/White Wagtails were reported moving through the island.

8th September: A Common Rosefinch, 150 Meadow Pipits, 5 Yellow Wagtails and 3 Whinchats were present.

9th September: 2 Wrynecks were briefly seen, one at the top of Milcombe Valley, the other at the head of Gannet's Combe. Also present were 40 Sand Martin, 50 Swallows, 400 Meadow Pipits, 30 Wheatears, 25 Blackcaps, 80 Willow Warblers and 8 Chiffchaffs. 3 Firecrest, 12 Spotted Flycatchers and 3 Pied Flycatchers were present throughout the week. The crossing on 9th September also produced 100s Manx Shearwaters feeding near the island, with a single Arctic Skua, plus one Great Skua and a Black Tern.

James Leonard was on the island for a week beginning on the 12th and reports many Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs and a single Whitethroat, Garden Warbler and single Sedge Warbler. Also a Common Rosefinch was trapped and ringed. James also recorded Swallows passing through in their thousands.

Chris Baillie found six Lapland Buntings near the Heinkel wreck at Half Way Wall and James saw four the following day just north of Three Quarter Wall on the track and a further twelve on the track just south of Half Way Wall. On the 18th Chris Baillie found nineteen Lapland Buntings in the same area. A Sparrowhawk was also seen at the end of this week.

Chris Dee, John Griffin, Derek Baggott and Andy Turner were all over ringing for the week 18th to 25th September and send the following; they caught and ringed the second Common Rosefinch of the autumn on 18th, and, although elusive, the bird remained until at least the 23rd. A Garden Warbler, a Firecrest and a Treecreeper were ringed in Millcombe on 20th and a Grasshopper Warbler was in St Johns.

The flock of Lapland Buntings had increased to twenty four birds, feeding mainly in the pony tracks in the grass between Pondsbury and Halfway Wall. There was a Reed Warbler in Millcombe on 22nd and another the following day. Up until 23rd passage had been light with only a few new birds arriving and many Blackcaps remaining on the island Ė some from the previous week. After heavy rain on the afternoon of 22nd cleared overnight there were fresh arrivals of Blackcaps each day until 25th and Chiffchaffs arrived on 25th. Swallow passage also picked up in the northerly breeze.

On the 22nd Trevor Dobie saw two Ringed Plovers on the west side near the Devil's Slide and on the 25th some two hundred Common Dolphins off the Montagu Steps area.

Andrew Cleave et al were on the island for the 25-30th and sent in the following sightings:

There was a large concentration of Common Dolphins off the SW point on the 25th with more joining the feeding group during the day. On subsequent days we had separate pods of up to twenty five, mostly off the south and west sides of the island, but on the 30th a larger pod of at least fifty Common Dolphins seemed to be following the Oldenburg as it arrived at around mid-day. Singles of Harbour Porpoise every day, but six were seen of the SE point/Benson's Cave area on the 27th.

We also had good sightings of Lapland Buntings at sites from Marsisco Castle and Rocket Pole, the Village and Church, all the way to the North End, with a few very confiding individuals. Good numbers of Wheatears, especially between Quarter Wall and Tibbets, again with some good photo opportunities. On the 27th there were at least fifty House Martins on the East Side over Belle Vue Cottages.

Two Grey Wagtails were in the village area on the 27th and 28th, and a Teal was flushed from Quarter Wall pond on the 27th but could not be re-located - at least two Snipe were in that area as well, plus a single Curlew. A single Black-headed Gull flew past the Battery on the 28th and a single Sandwich Tern was seen flying over the top of the island. Also that day we had several sightings of the Treecreeper in Millcombe but had a suspicion that there may have been two birds present because of the timing and location of some of the sightings. Most interesting was the frequent sightings of Great Spotted Woodpecker, seen regularly from Government House and even flying over the village calling on one occasion. We had one sighting at Smith's Point Quarry which we were able to confirm as female, but again had the suspicion that there was more than one bird present.

Five Kestrels were the maximum count on the 28th, and there was a single Sparrowhawk present on the Terraces on the same date. One Firecrest and three or four Goldcrests in Millcombe on 27th onwards, plus a few very active Spotted Flycatchers in the 'plantation' areas below Government House.

There was a winter-plumage Razorbill in the Landing Bay on the 28th, and we had a few distant sightings of other winter auks on most days.

Jeremy Barker also saw the Great Spotted Woodpecker in Millcombe dring a day visit to the island.




Aug

James Leonard was on the island during the second week of the month and reports large numbers of Manx Shearwaters daily. Also a maximum count of twenty two Willow Warblers, a single Garden Warbler and Whitethroat. Sedge Warblers still present with young.



Jul
On the 14th Bob Parker watched a group of Sedge Warblers feeding young in St John's Valley, a total of six birds.

Jun
Highlights:
Bee-eater
Little Shearwater - Barolo's
(aka Macaronesian Shearwater)
Sub alpine Warbler
Hen Harrier
Quail


Guidelines for visitors wanting to experience the Little Shearwater


On the second of the month a singing Lesser Whitethroat on the East Side.

On the 5th of June Tim Jones and Tim Davis were on the island carrying out a breeding bird survey and send the following report; a summer plumage Great Northern Diver off the East Side and a single Jackdaw present. They report two singing Whitethroats, a Willow Warbler , four Chiffchaffs and two Spotted Flycatchers. In addition there were two House Martins.

The following day on the 6th Tim Jones heard a Bee-eater flying over Millcombe and a few minutes later they found themselves watching looking at this fantastic bird through the telescope. The bird stayed for about half an hour. Other sightings during the day include some sixteen Puffins, fourteen at Jenny's Cove and two at St Philip's Stone. A trickle of hirundines and hundreds of five spot Burnet moth caterpillars on Middle Park. A single Sedge Warbler was singing in Millcombe and Water Rail chicks were heard calling in Smelly Gully.

We have heard from the island that Chris Townend and Helen Booker, while doing a survey of Manx Shearwaters and Storm Petrels on the island heard an unusual Shearwater calling by the Landing Bay on the night of the 4th/5th. Subsequent analysis by them and Killian Mullarney of the call/song identifies it as a Barolo's form of Little Shearwater (now renamed as Macaronesian Shearwater).

Click on this link to hear the recording made on Lundy. Manx Shearwaters plus the singing (higher pitched than the surrounding manx) Little Shearwater :

Sound file

Also on the 6th Tim Jones reports that there were two Herons flying over the island over Barton Cottages, going south and a female Yellow Wagtail in Barton Field. Tim Jones and Tim Davis were later treated to the calling Little Shearwater by the Landing Bay which they listened to from midnight till 1am (on the 7th). Ten Puffins were seen off the East Side.

On the evening of the 7th and early morning of the 8th the Little Shearwater was again heard calling by the Landing Bay. It was heard by some visiting birdwatchers from 11.30pm and subsequently by Tim Jones till 1.30pm who reports it calling and he could hear it flying overhead but not see the bird.

In consultation with the RSPB and Natural England, Nicola Saunders the island warden has produced a set of guidelines for visiting birdwatchers keen to listen to the Shearwater, which strictly forbid the use of torches and climbing around the cliff. Please respect these guidelines, available on the island, to ensure the breeding manx Shearwaters are not disturbed.

For the maximum chance of hearing the Little Shearwater well, do not make unnecessary noise or movement and mobile phones must not be used.

The Shearwater was again heard on the night of the 8th / 9th
On the 8th a male Yellow Wagtail was seen in St Helen's Field.

Weather report for the 10th hints at a cancelled boat and the helicopter on standby for people staying on the island. Please phone the shore office for further details 01271 863636

Chris Townend and Helen Booker sent in the following report of their find:

Little shearwater record, night of 4-5 June 2010, Lundy.

A night visit to the jetty to listen for storm petrels that may be occupying Rat Island, as part of a whole island survey for the species, was conducted on the night of 4-5 June 2010.
We walked down to the jetty along the beach road at around 11.30pm and remained on the jetty until 12.35am. On the way to the jetty we heard an oystercatcher calling at beach level. While waiting at the jetty, we heard an unfamiliar piping call from behind us on the steep slope. The bird continued to give calls somewhat muffled from our position. Chris somewhat disbelievingly thought it sounded similar to little shearwater, but we both thought this was so unlikely, and it must be an odd wader call, due to its high pitched piping and aware that oystercatchers had been quite vocal on our way down to the jetty.
On leaving the jetty we walked back up the beach road and still hearing the call, we stopped just above the canoe cave on the beach road. Manx shearwaters were constantly calling, flying around the slope above us and passing through the gap between the South Light and the main island. We were both very familiar with Manx Shearwater calls and it gave us a good comparison for the unfamiliar call.
We had some recording equipment with us, as part of the storm petrel survey, and recorded the piping call that was repeated continually during the next few minutes, convincing us that this was not just an unusual Manx call nor a wader, particularly as it was calling from a very steep bracken slope. The call was recorded along with Manx shearwater and the fog horn! The recording was taken between approximately 12.40 and 12.50am and as we left the site, the bird was still calling and little shearwater seemed a distinct possibility, despite being aware of the magnitude of the record!
The next morning, Chris turned on his laptop and went straight to his itunes account where he had recordings of little shearwater and played the first call as we watched each otherís jaws drop! Once at home and having managed to get the recording digitised very quickly due to Darryl Spittleís technical expertise, we checked Helenís recording against those in the Petrels Night & Day book and it showed a distinct similarity to that of a little (Baroloís) shearwater. After some discussion with friends and colleagues, it was subsequently sent to experts Killian Mullarney and Magnus Robb for confirmation.
Final confirmation was received on the morning of 7 June that it was indeed a little shearwater believed to be of the form baroli. At the time of writing, the bird is still audible and a number of birders have made the journey to enjoy the amazing experience of hearing both Manx and Little Shearwater together in the UK!

Chris Townend and Helen Booker

On the 8th Tim Jones reports that the summer plumage Great Northern Diver was still present off VC Quarry, and a trickle of Swallows moving through along with two Sand Martins. Tim also reports an excellent year for breeding Wheatears with estimates of some thirty to forty pairs, while conversely a dramatic decline in Wren numbers, due to the harsh winter.

Darryl Spittle found a second calendar year female Sub alpine Warbler on the afternoon of the 9th, which spent most of it's time in the gorse bushes, west of the track along Quarter Wall. See photographs page. Darryl also reports the summer plumage Great Northern Diver still present and a second calendar year male Hen Harrier and singing Yellow Wagtail.

Also on the 9th Jeff Jenkins saw some fifty Gannets feeding in the Landing bay.

The Little Shearwater was still present on the evening of 9th / 10th and again on the 11th /12th but nothing reported since then.

On Saturday the 12th Colin McShane recovered a Storm Petrel on the mainland south coast that had been ringed on Lundy last year.

Nicola Saunders reports that counts of Puffins have been unusually high. Paul James and James Leonard counted twenty seven birds on the sea at Gannets Combe on the 13th along with four at Brazen Ward and seven on the sea at St Philip's Stone. The same day Grant Sherman counted thirty three at Jenny's Cove and St Philip's Stone, mostly out at sea. An additional ten were seen off the south end.

On Monday the 14th there were twenty at St Philip's Stone, three on the land and seventeen at sea, with a further twenty five in Jenny's Cove and Sue James saw fifteen birds from Benjamin's Chair. Nicola also reported six birds on the land at a new site in Jenny's Cove.

The 15th held forty six birds.

On the 28th Andrew Cleave tracked down a Quail which had been calling from the Helicopter Field. The bird had been heard from Staff Quarters and the Tavern.




May
Highlights:
Nightingale
Bluethroat
Nightjar
probable Tawny Pipit
Red-backed Shrike
Woodchat Shrike

On the first day of the month Colin McShane and party caught and ringed Lundy's 9th ever Nightingale in Millcombe.

On the 4th Shaun Barnes and Ken Ebsworthy saw aTurtle Dove in the Camping Field. They reported it nervously feeding near to their tents , and that it was very flighty. It was still present on the 7th.

On the 5th Richard Campey was on the island and reports a Wood Warbler in Quarter Wall Copse and a Water Rail in Barton Field. Also a Lesser Redpoll on the main track by Pondsbury.

On the 6th Paul and Sue Metcalfe saw two Lesser Redpolls near Gannet's Combe. Eight Puffins were seen going in and out of burrows in Jenny' Cove , plus a further four birds seen by Grant Sherman at St Philip's Stone. There were two Golden Plover near Tibbets and a Wood Warbler on the Terraces. There were three Spotted Flycatchers in Quarter Wall Copse. Two Golden Plovers were seen near Tibbets and a Wood Warbler was present on the Terraces. Richard also saw a Stonechat near Quarter Wall.

On the 7th Richard Campey saw a Black-headed Gull in the Landing Bay. There were threeSedge Warblers at Pondsbury. The following day there were four Dunlin on Pondsbury in the morning. A Merlin was still present hunting over the top of the island. Richard Campey counted eighty seven Wheatears south of Quarter Wall.

On the 9th by the afternoon the easterly gale force wind from the previous day had abated. Some nine Dunlin were feeding on Pondsbury and Swifts had increased to twenty plus. While walking through the Juncus just north of the Water Tanks Rihard Campey flushed a female Bluethroat. The bird was incredibly elusive and only showed a few times. It was looked for, for nearly two hours but not relocated. While walking back to Hamners Richard's mind was occupied by this recent find when he nearly trod on a Nightjar by the track on Castle Hill. The bird shot off down towards Millcombe, but could not be relocated.

Also on the 9th Roger and Patrizia Fursden saw a Cuckoo on the East Side Path. The Turtle Dove was still being seen around the High Street but still very flighty.

On the 10th there was no further sign of the Bluethroat or the Nightjar but there were still six Dunlin in the wet flash in south west field. Water Rails were present by Millcombe Pond, in St John's Valley,Barton Field plus one bird at first light seen by Richard Campey walking up the steps at the top of Millcombe ! Also a Grey Wagtail flew over Millcombe and by the lower gardens and smelly corner there were six Blaxkcaps, a single Grasshopper Warbler, about ten Sedge Warblers and a single Reed Warbler. Shaun Barnes and Ken Ebsworthy saw two Ringed Plover and reported six Sedge Warblers around Pondsbury and a single Dunlin.

There were some twenty five Whitethroats with birds singing in St John's Valley.The Merlin was still present and a Hobby was seen near Pondsbury.

Richard Campey saw a Rook in Brick Field and a Mistle Thrush near Stoneycroft.

On the 11th Richard Campey had a Pipit fly overhead in the South West Field which had an unusual call, it appeared to fly over towards castle Hill, but may have just gone straight over to the mainland. Richard describes it as large with bouncy flight, but no other details as it was quite high up. The call was a bit Sparrow like but not as harsh as a Richard's Pipit. After returning to the mainland and listening to calls on CD Richard concluded it was probably a Tawny Pipit. There were still five Dunlin present.

Andy Jayne arrived on the 11th and saw a Cuckoo, two Whinchats, a single Wood Warbler in St Helens Copse, and ten Spotted Flycatchers. The Reed Warbler was still present in Millcombe. On leaving Richard commented that it was a fantastic day with Swallows resting on wires all over the island and some one hundred and twen seven Swifts flew past him on the east side in just fifteen minutes.

The following day Andy saw twoYellow Wagtails, a White Wagtail, a female Whinchat and a female Pied Flycatcher. On the 13th another Black-headed Gull appeared, in addition to a female Redstart, ten Whitethroats and a Garden Warbler. There were nine Sedge Warblers present.

On the 13th a Jackdaw was seen

On the 14th is was wader day, and Andy recorded singles of Dunlinat Quarter Wall Pond, Common Sandpiper, and Whimbrel. Also the Jackdaw was still present and some twenty Spotted Flycatchers. The Jackdaw was still present on the 15th. A large unidentified Raptor was seen which from the description appears to have been a Marsh Harrier.

Shaun Barnes saw a Red-backed Shrike on the 18th and there are also reports of a Woodchat Shrike on the 17th - we await more news on that. A single Cuckoo on the 17th and Golden Plover. Shaun also reports some twenty Dolphins riding alongside the Oldenburg on the return crossing.

On the 29th and 30th there was a Hooded Crow in the Tent Field.
Apr
Highlights
Water Pipit
possible female Blue Rock Thrush
Wryneck
Osprey
Black Kite


On the 10th Bob Parker saw what he considered to be a Water Pipit on the Lower East Side Path, a description has been submitted.

There has been a report of a female Blue Rock Thrush on the island, but so far no further details. More follows as soon as we hear. Initial sighting was by James Leonard who saw the bird on the 16th up by Gannet's Combe - more details to follow.....

There has been a further report (different observer) on the morning of 19th of a possible sighting of the Blue Rock Thrush, though it should be stressed the observer could not be sure, as it was only for a few seconds, on the west side of the island near the Battery. - more details will follow as soon as we receive any information.

On the 19th in Millcombe Valley there was a Ring Ousel and up to five Grasshopper Warblers. On the 20th there was a Wryneck in Millcombe Valley.

On the 27th Bob Parker saw a Water Pipit on the Lower Battlements and again on the Upper East Side Path.

The long staying, now departed, Red Kite was seen on the 17th of the month on Bardsey Island.

On the 28th Nigel Dalby and Sophie Wheatley saw a Whimbrel fly over the Beer Garden and a day later there was a Turtle Dove on the roof of Pig's Staff property.

Colin McShane and a party of ringers were on the island for the last week of the month and Colin sends in the following reports; week consisted of quite a lot of fog but on the 25th they caught and ringed a Ring Oozel and the following day during a brief lift in the fog saw an Osprey from Brambles, being mobbed by gulls and crows.

On the 27th Colin and another from his party saw a Black Kite being mobbed by gulls off the Ugly before it drifted off towards Braunton.



Mar
Highlights
Red Kite
Tawny Owl
Puffins return

On the 13th Nigel Dalby (see photographs section) and Sophie Wheatley saw a Red Kite soaring over the landing strip. Sophie has subsequently identified the wing tags revealing this bird was probably from Northern Scotland, or possibly the Republic of Ireland.

Nigel and Sophie report the Red Kite still present on the 17th roaming between quarter wall and the village.

The first Puffins were seen by Grant Sherman on the 22nd with three birds on the water in Jenny's Cove. Also reports of a Tawny Owl heard in Millcombe .....more details on this follow soon hopefully.

The Red Kite was still present on the 23rd, being seen by many people on the island and favouring the east side.

On the 25th Nicola Saunders saw her first Swallow of the year, though the LFS log book records two seen the day before and possibly an earlier sighting. The Red Kite was still present and Kevin the farmer reported a Hooded Crow.

On the 27th Tim Davis and Tim Jones visited the island on a day trip and report some ten Wheatears, three Chiffchaffs, a single Sand Martin, Black Redstart and a Stock Dove. The long staying Red Kite was seen later in the evening near the Old Light.


Feb
Highlights:
Merlin
Lesser Redpoll
Little Bunting

A Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk were present on the 3rd. On the 4th James Leonard reports seeing a Merlin in the farmyard sitting on top of a log pile, and then later perched on top of Quarters. Kevin the farmer also saw the Merlin around the farmyard area.

A Sparrowhawk was seen by James making attempts on the finches and the Redpoll in the Laundry/Tea garden area. Also seen and photographed by Nigel Dalby (see photos section).

Latest news from Nicola, the warden, is of a Little Bunting seen by John Horton, on the 22nd and again by Neil Trout on the 24th and 25th, first in the camping field and then by the staff allotments and in the Tea Gardens. The Lesser Redpoll was still present.



Photo
Jan
Highlights:
Lesser Redpoll
Wigeon
Jack Snipe

First records of the New Year come from Nicola Saunders with twenty four Lapwings on the 5th and then the next day twenty six. Also some fifty Golden Plovers all in the aero generator field.

A male Wigeon was seen on Quarters Pond on the 11th and stayed till the 17th, also two female Teal the same day, and then four reported also on the 17th.

Seabirds included a maximum count of sixty Fulmarson the 16th, a thousand Kittiwakes on the first day of the month and Guillemots present all month with more than a hundred and fifty birds present on ledges. Great Black-backed Gulls managed a total of thirty on the 17th and two hundred plus Herring Gulls. Shag numbers increased through the month with fifteen birds by the 31st.

A single Kestrel has been seen on many days and was joined by a Sparrowhawk on the last day. The ever present Water Rails were seen with two birds on the 20th. Oystercatcher numbers varied with three on the 1st, two on the 16th, five on the 18th, seven on the 29th and eight on the 30th. A Golden Plover was present on the fifth and then a flock of fifty birds on the 6th. Lapwings were well represented with twenty on the 4th rising to twenty six the next day and then forty four birds on the 7th. On the 9th a flock of sixty four birds was seen with fifty of them leaving the island that day. However there were still thirty seven birds present on the 17th.

Snipe were present form the 5th with a maximum count of five on the 9th. Jack Snipe were seen, with four on the 17th and two on the 26th. And another winter favourite the Woodcock was present throughout with a maximum count of eight on the 9th.

An unusually high number of Common Sandpipers were seen on the 9th totaling nine birds. Redwings and Fieldfares all month with a maximum count for Redwings of a hundred and fifteen on the 2nd, but neither seen on the 31st.

The Lesser Redpoll present since the 1st of the month was present throughout and on the 11th a male Reed Bunting was in Millcombe.
  2009
Dec
An invitation to add some pictures to round off the year, photos do not have to have been taken in 2009, just Lundy wildlife that you may wish to put on the site. They will go up in order as received and then be placed chronologically in the previous years section after April next year.

Also wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and many thanks for all the sightings and photos that have been sent in - the site wouldn't work without you all - thanks again........ Richard


Highlights
11 Lapwings
Great Northern Diver

The first day of December was celebrated by some eleven Lapwings which were seen by Kevin the island farmer, as they flew from Acklands Moor towards the Old Light.

On the 2nd Nicola Saunders saw some forty Guillemots on the ledges at Jenny's Cove, the first to be seen on ledges since breeding.

Tim Davis and Tim Jones were on the island on the 7th for five days and report the first two with gales force winds and either rain or fog, however they did manage to see a Great Northern Diver in the Landing Bay. Then on the 9th the weather improved and their sightings included; two Sparrowhawks, and single Merlin and Kestrel, also four Water Rails. Ducks were represented with nineteen Mallards and two Teal. Some twenty five Rock Pipits were counted and seven Snipe.

On the 10th they found a Black Redstart at Puffin Slope and a Snow Bunting on the main track by Gannets Coombe. In Millcombe there was a male Greenfinch and a Lesser Redpoll flew over Middle Park. On the cliffs they counted one thousand, one hundred and fifteen Guillemots and two hundred and fifty one Fulmars. The change to warm, calm and sunny conditions tempted out some Bumblebees in Millcombe and a Red Admiral at North End.

Nicola Saunders reports that eight Snipe were seen on the 8th and then singles on the 16th and 19th.

A group of Kittiwakes seen feeding off the east coast on the 21st numbered some four hundred birds, a hundred more than seen previously on the 10th. Guillemots were still active following the count on the 10th visiting breeding ledges with thirty on the 13th, one humdred on the 15th, and a hundred and eighty on the 21st, all in breeding plumage except one bird.

On the 22nd five Golden Plover were present in addition to two Lapwings.




Nov
Highlights
Lesser Whitethroat
Whooper Swans
Hobby

November sightings include a Lesser Whitethroat on the 3rd and the next day a Ring Ouzel, this also being the last day that the Whooper Swans were present. On the 6th a late Hobby and some three hundred Fieldfares and two hundred and fifty Redwings. The following day a Black Redstart.

A smattering of Swallows and House Martins were also seen early in the month.

James Leonard reported high winds all week from the 13th and a Great Northern Diver in the landing bay. Andy Jayne arrived on the 16th fro a few days. Further sightings were of two Merlins, two Sparrowhawks and a single Kestrel. On the 19th with winds gusting force eight a Brambling was seen with the Chaffinches. Also a count of four Chiffchaffs, and the Water Rails present and audible as ever.

Photo
Oct
Highlights
Snow Bunting
Lapland Buntings
Great Skua
Common Scoter
Barn Owl
Ring Ousel
Yellow-browed Warbler
Whooper Swan
Olive-backed Pipit
Richard's Pipit
Balearic Shearwater

The month started with north west winds and overcast skies. Tom Bedford, Richard Campey, Tim Davis and Tim Jones were still on the island and while the Swallow passage had peaked late last month there were still significant numbers moving through. Five Wheatears were seen south of Quarter Wall and Merlin numbers had increased to at least three birds. Tim Jones saw two Willow Warblers in the nettles near Old Light and a single Pied Flycatcher and Spotted Flycatcher were in Millcombe feeding together. Richard Campey saw an amazing display of aerobatics as near Rocket Pole a Peregrine made a concerted effort to stoop and pursue one of the Merlins, contact was within a few inches!

Tim Davis and Tim Jones saw two Lapland Buntings by Tibbets which then flew south calling. They were later heard over Government House and around Barton Field area. The Snow Bunting was still present in Barton Field and at the top of the High Street.

On the 2nd Tim Jones found a Yellow-browed Warbler in MIllcombe but it was incredibly elusive and while seen by the rest of the group it only showed very briefly.

Saturday the 3rd heralded a change in the weather with winds picking up to a force seven with some light drizzle. A quick seawatch from the Castle at first light, before the helicopter flights produced very little, but Tom Bedford found a Great Skua flying east and managed to get everyone onto it. Millcombe Wood was the only sheltered area and again the Yellow-browed Warbler was seen briefly.

On the 4th a Barn Owl was reported from Quarter Wall, more details of this sighting hopefully follow in due course.

David Kightley continued ringing for another week on the island and reports two Lesser Redpolls, Grasshopper Warbler and in the Landing Bay a Common Scoter.

James Leonard was on the island for two weeks from the 3rd and reprots continued movement of Swallows through the island and after a couple of days of mist, migration started again with three Ring Ousels, one of which was trapped and ringed, Brambling and two Redpolls. More Firecrests were seen than Goldcrests though they remained difficult to see unlike a large flock of one hundred and twenty Siskins which stayed for just one day. Two Sparrowhawks were present, one was ringed and a single Merlin. Dolphins were seen on several days, including a pod of about thirty north east of the Landing Bay under a group of sixty feeding Gannets.

When James left the island he reports an influx of Blackbirds, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. Also some Redwings and Fieldfares arriving.

Tim Ball sends in the following highlights/snippets from his ringing week; an immature female Sparrowhawk caught on the 10th and then an immature male the next day. The male Sparrowhawk was a control bird, one that had been previously ringed elsewhere in Britain, and had also been caught by David Knightley the week before.

On the 13th Tim caught and ringed a Ring Ouzel and a Lesser Whitethroat which showed characteristics of an eastern race bird, also a Yellow-browed Warbler.

The next day aTree Pipit was caught as was a Common Redstart, and then on the 15th a Grey Wagtail which formed part of a small passage of at least six birds that day. Another Yellow-browed Warbler was ringed in addition to a single Brambling.

On the 16th two Lesser Redpolls were ringed and the following day three of six Firecrests during the week. Just a single Goldcrest caught and ringed all week, which compares with the total of one hundred and seventy seven birds in the same week last year.

On the 18th Shaun Barnes was watching from the Castle when eight Whooper Swans flew in over Rat Island and headed north towards Tibbetts. Shaun followed the birds north but on approaching Tibbetts saw them fly overhead and land on Pondsury. The next day (19th) three Whooper Swans were seen flying over the village in the morning and later on all eight were back on Pondsbury. Shaun also reports a group of some fifty Dolphins in the Landing Bay.

On the 20th Shaun Barnes was walking back from Pondsbury in the late afternoon and reports a single Curlew, single Snipe, two Merlins and seven Whooper Swans on Pondsbury.

On the 23rd James Leonard found the Whooper Swans a bit more dispersed with two on Brick Field and six on Pondsbury.

Andy Jayne was on Lundy from the 20th to the 27th and on the 22nd found a Cetti's Warbler on the Terraces, which Richard Taylor caught and ringed later that day. Andy's highlight was the Olive-backed Pipit which he found in St John's Valley on the 23rd (which stayed another day and was not seen after). Also on the 23rd a calling Richard's Pipit which flew south out over Castle Hill (Richard Taylor saw it a few moments earlier over the East Side0. On the 24th a Balearic Shearwater flew slowly south-west past Rat Island and on the 26th a Turnstone was flying round the south of the island with a Golden Plover.

Andy also reports that there was at least two Yellow-browed Warblers during the week, plus two Sparrowhawks, two Merlins. two Black Redstarts, three Mistle Thrushes, up to four Firecrests and several Bramblings.

Chris Baillie was also present on the island and reports the Yellow-browed Warblers being incredibly elusive.

Tony Taylor and Richard Taylor, were on Lundy for the last two weeks of the month, accompanied by Jonny and Mary Taylor during their first week and Rob Duncan and Tony Palmer for the last week. Tony sends the following notes:

strong winds for much of the fortnight but they did manage to catch and ring some one hundred and sixty one Chaffinches as well as good numbers of Redwings, Somg Thrushes, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Goldfinches. Thier ringing highliughts were the Cetti's Warbler , four Yellow-browed Warblers, two Ring Ouzels and a Firecrest.

Tony's group also saw the Whooper Swans with eight adults on the 18th which stayed till the 23rd , then six birds stayed till the 29th. Richard Taylor saw a Woodlark flying over Millcombe, St John's valley and the Church area on the 22nd. Other migrants included fifty Fieldfares and a single Reed Warbler on the 17th, also a Willow Warbler that day. On the following day three Ring Ouzels a hundred Redwings, twenty Song Thrushes fifteen Blackcaps, tweny Chiffchaffs, six Firecrests and seventy Siskins. On the 19th a single Woodcock was present and on the 21st there were five Firecrests. Siskin numbers had increased to a hundred and forty by the 22nd. The last Swallows some eighteen birds were seen on the 26th, and on the 28th thirteen Black Redstarts appeared with a single Ring Ouzel, thirty Fieldfares seventeen Song Thrushes and six Bramblings. The Lesser Whitethroat that was ringed on the 13th was still present in Millcombe.





Photo
Sep
Highlights
Wryneck
Manx Shearwater chicks - record number ringedSooty Shearwater
Great Skua
Montagu's Harrier
Common Rosefinch
Sooty Shearwater
Red-breasted Flycatcher
Snow Bunting

Tony Taylor, Richard Taylor and Peter Giovannini were on the island from the 3rd to the 12th of the month, mainly to ring Manx Shearwaters. Tony reports that his ringing plus that of David Price's team the week before, totalled some one hundred and forty four Manx Shearwater chicks ringed, which is exactly double the number ringed last year. A hundred of the birds were in the main colony north of Old Light and the remainder in seven other areas scattered round the island. It seems they are increasing and spreading very fast - excellent news.

Also during the week Tony's group caught a Wryneck on the Terraces on the 4th and another one in Quarter Wall Copse on the 10th. In general there were few migrants moving until the 10th when the wind changed to north east. That day about five thousand Swallows moved south through the island with small numbers of Sand and House Martins and a single Swift. Also that day six White Wagtails two Tree Pipits, three Whinchats and a scattering of Slyvia warblers, Willows Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Spotted and Pied Flycatchers.

The seabird highlight was a Great Skua seen off the East Side on two days, otherwise quite with just a few passing Manx Shearwaters early in the week and the usual Gannets, Shags, Fulmars and Gulls.

Tony reports Water Rails with chicks calling from three areas in Millcombe and St John's Valley. Two pairs of late nesting Swallows were having a hard time feeding their chicks, with only two surviving young in each nest.

Other wildlife sightings included thirty plus Common Dolphins and five Porpoises seen on several days. Butterflies included Red Admirals, Painted Ladies and also some Silver Y moths and two Humming Bird Hawk moths. And finally a single , presumed migrant, Golden-ringed Dragonfly.

Colin McShane and party followed on from Tony Taylor and reports a very mixed week which started with a gentle north easterly breeze which gradually increased all week until by wednesday it had reached a strong 5-6 force wind. They did find a very downy Manx Shearwater chick which was found in the Black Shed, presumably having fledged perhaps a bit early the night before. On the 13th and 14th Colin et al found a juvenile Montagu's Harrier which was seen mostly between Halfway Wall and Three Quarter Wall but was roaming over most parts of the island including at one stage a flight over the Tennis Court and seen by the assembled mass having a Tea break.

On the 18th a juvenile Common Rosefinch was trapped in Millcombe in addition to a Firecrest , two of which had been present all week. As ever with such weeks, the last day was the best with lots of phylloscopus warblers around, filtering down the East Side into Millcombe all day. As they were leaving a Yellow-browed Warbler was seen in the bottom gardens in Millcombe.

Ivan Lakin was over from the 19th to the 26th and reports many Phyloscopus warblers on his first day with a conservative estimate of one hundred and fifty birds, also the Yellow-browed Warbler still present in Millcombe in addition to two Firecrests. Ivan also saw two Grasshopper Warblers, some fourteen Whinchats and ten Spotted Flycatchers.

The next day started with a significant movement of Swallows, some two and a half thousands in just three hours. Other sightings included four Grasshopper Warblers, three Redstarts and forty five Blackcaps. Outside of Millcombe there was a single Teal and a Merlin.

On the 21st, members of the Rye Meads ringing group, caught a Helsinki ringed immature Kestrel and later in the trees by Brambles Andy Turner and Derek Baggott found a Red-breasted Flycatcher.

Ivan reports the 22nd as being virtually unbirdable in the late morning, with westerly drizzle and increasing winds. His two hour seawatch turned up a Sooty Shearwater heading west, a single Manx Shearwater, fifteen Razorbills and a handful of Common Dolphins and Porpoise. The Red-breasted Flycatcher was showing well and very mobile in Millcombe. The following day the Red-breasted Flycatcherwas trapped and ringed. A Golden Plover was still present on the island.

On the 24th two new birds for the month were Turtle Dove briefly in Millcombe, the first of the year, and a Reed Bunting at Pondsbury. Then a day later Ivan found an Ortolan Bunting at Three Quarter Wall which was very mobile but called frequently. Good numbers of other Passerines included, three hundred and fifty Meadow Pipits, three hundred and thirty Linnets and some twelve hundred Swallows. Birds of prey recorded were Sparrowhawk, Hobby and a Short eared Owl passing high over the island. A Heron dropped into Pondsbury and in the early evening there was a Snow Bunting at the Stonecrusher.

On his last day Ivan recorded a Common Rosefinch briefly at the top of Millcombe and the Snow Bunting was still present at the Stonecrusher. Some one hundred and fifty Swallows were ringed. Ivan's parting shot was a sighting of five Risso's Dolphins from the Jetty, close in to the island.

Chris Dee and party followed on from Colin McShane also on the 19th for a week and sent the following notes:They continued to catch good numbers of warblers in Millcombe and St John's for the next couple of days, but most birds seemed to leave overnight on Sunday. Strengthening westerlies early in the week prompted excursions to the Terraces to operate the heligoland trap try and spring-trap Whinchats and Wheatears .
In a lull on the afternoon of 21st whilst baiting for Chaffinches at the bottom of Millcombe they caught a Kestrel carrying a Finnish ring. That evening a Red-breasted Flycatcher was located in Millcombe and what is assumed to be the same first-year bird was trapped and ringed in St John's on 23rd. With winds reduced to a light northerly on Wednesday, warbler passage was again
apparent,especially Blackcap and Chiffchaff, and Swallows started to pass through in the afternoon. The next three days (24th-26th) were dominated by strong hirundine passage starting from around 10:30, continuing most of the day with a few birds remaining to roost on the island. The team managed to catch and ring 563 Swallows, mostly in St John's. Meadow Pipits were present in good, but variable, numbers all week and also responded well to tape-luring. An excellent week
produced a spectacular finale as a pod of at least nine Risso's Dolphins were seen offshore whilst waiting on the quay to depart."

As Ivan and members of the ringing group left, Tom Bedford, Richard Campey, Tim Davis and Tim Jones arrived for a week's birdwatching and David Kightley to do some ringing. On the crossing Tim Jones had identified a second year Mediterranean Gull flying past the Oldenburgh. On arrival in Millcombe the group were greeting by the usual squealing of Water Rails in Smelly Gully and breifly saw one bird in flight. A single Spottted Flycatcher and Golcrest were present in the Lower Gardens along with a handful of Blackcaps. Thirteen Cormorants flew over the island and a single Teal was present at Pondsbury. The Snow Bunting was still present at the Stonecrusher late afternoon. Meadow Pipit numbers were recorded at five hundred birds.

The following day, there was a significant passage of Swallows. A nice surprise was the approachability of six Ravens by Quarters. These birds were continually foraging for potato skins in the Pig enclosure, unusual to see two Gloucester Old Spot pigs next to a group of Ravens! Other birds that day included a single Whitethroat in Millcombe, and two Spotted Flycatchers, but the highlight was undoubtably the massive movements of Swallows streaming through the island, which was estimate at some five thousand birds, similar to the numbers passing through on the 10th.

The 28th started with slight north to north westerly winds and a Redpoll calling near Quarter Wall, and a Golden Plover overhead. The Swallow passage started again at about 10am. The Snow Bunting was still present.

The rest of the month continued with light north west winds and reasonably fine conditions. The Snow Bunting remained being seen mostlly by the Stonecrusher area and the Farmyard at the top of the High Street. Bids of Prey were represented by at least three Kestrels, a male and female Sparrowhawk and a single Merlin.
Aug
Tim Jones was on the island at the beginning of the month and sends the following information and sightings.
Grey Herons continued into the month with singles on the 1st and the 6th. Also four Curlew flew south over the Landing Bay on the 6th, with one bird present over the top of the island on the 7th and 8th. A single Sand Martin and two on the 6th and 7th respectively. The first autumn migrant Sedge Warblers arrived on the 6th with two birds and then five birds the following day. Full grown adult single Whitethroats ,so possible migrants,(one without a tail) were present in Millcombe on the 7th and 8th.

Tim also saw a Common Scoter on his outward crossing to Lundy, about forty minutes out from Ilfracombe, and some thirty Commic Terns,one of which came close enough to be identified as a Common Tern about half way to the island. Then within fifteen minutes of arrival in the Landing bay a Storm Petrel. On the return crossing Tim saw about five hundred Manx Shearwaters including a raft of three hundred off the East Side, and finally a single Great Skua very close to land near Bull Point.


James Leonard made a trip to the island between the 8th and the 15th. James reports juvenuile Goldfinches and Chaffinches. Also adult Willow Warblers but only a few and most birds were in and out the following day. On the 14th four Whimbrel was present.

Other sightings included Common Dolphin from the Ugly with one pod of a dozen animals present for some ninety minutes. Also a fresh batch of Painted Lady butterflies through the island.

Bob and Jan Parker were on the island over the bank holiday weekend 29 August to 1 September (with strong westerlies and rain), and on their arrival saw six Redpolls bathing in the stream in Millcombe gardens. A single Sand Martin was on the East Side and fifteen Gannets seen off the Sugar Loaf. Down on the Landing Beach there were some eight Rock Pipits and a single Wheatear feeding round the rocks on sandhoppers. Water Rails still present in Lower Millcombe and two Song Thrushes, and some twenty Chaffinches. Round Quarry Cottages they recorded sixty Linnets.

John Walshe was on the island for a week of ringing from the 22nd to the 29th, his report follows shortly........
Jul
On the first day of the month Roger, the island engineer, saw a Puffin sitting on Gannet's Rock and another bird was seen on land just south of Devil's Slide. Also at the beginning of the month birds were observed feeding at three burrows in Jenny's Cove and breeding at St Philip's Stone. On the 12th two Puffins were seen at Long Roost going in and out of burrows and collecting nesting materials. Nicola Saunders and Sophie Wheatley report that maximum numbers seen on land total some twenty two birds, an extremely encouraging number and the most seen for many years, recently.

James Leonard was on the island from the 11th to the 18th and sends the following report;
lots of Manx Shearwaters and Gannets present offshore. A count of Oystercatchers by James and Andrew Cleave recorded some thirty two birds just below the Ugly and a Grey Heron was seen flying from Pondsburt pursued by Gulls. Chris Flowers saw a Dunlin.

A Little Egret was seen flying from the Sugar Loaf towards the Rocket Pole area.

James reports lots of juvenile, Chaffinches, Wheatears, Swallows, Linnets, Blackbirds, Pied Wagtails, and Wrens but despite masses of eviscerated snails no sign of any Song Thrushes. The highlight was a male Crossbill in Millcombe on the pines near the Ugly and then a female Crossbill seen by Chris Flowers near Halfway Wall. Later in the week two males were seen near Three Quater Wall.

Herons continued to be seen throughout the month with two birds on the 21st above North Light which landed and took off from low rocks twice. A single bird was seen the next day at the Quarries.

The first migrant Sand Martins were singles seen on the 27th. Linnets were well recorded with flocks oif two hundred birds in Middle Park and a further fifty in the South West Field.

A total of twenty nine Storm Petrels were ringed between the 25th and the 28th

The last Puffins of the season was seen on the 27th, with sevens birds.



Jun
James Leonard was on the island for two weeks in June and reports the following: Manx Shearwaters were very active and seen most evenings. Often about two hundred and fifty birds could be seen from the Tavern.

Water Rails numbered seven individuals including at least one adult and two chicks together in Smelly Gully. Young Song Thrushes were also present in Millcombe in addition to adult Chaffinches and Goldfinches.

On the cliffs in Jenny's Cove ten Puffins were regularly seen and during a boat trip round the island thirteen Puffins were counted. There was also an interesting sighting of seven birds in Gannet's Bay, a very unusual place for them.

James notes that there were plentiful juveniles of Meadow Pipits, Skylarks and Wheatears.

In common with the mainland there was a big movement of Painted Lady butterflies in addition to Meadow Browns and Small Heaths. Other sightings include up to fifty Common Dolphins and also some Basking Sharks.

On the 27th a Woodchat Shrike was seen near Quarter Wall and a more remarkable record, the first in ten years, was of a KIngfisher at North End between Puffin Gully and the Landing Steps. The bird flew into Puffin Gully Cave and straight back out again in bright sunlight. Quite a sight.

The next day Andrew Cleave tracked down a Quail which had been calling from the Helicopter Field. The bird had been heard from Staff Quarters and the Tavern.

May
James Leonard was on the island from the 9th to the 16th and sends the following notes; Manx Shearwaters heard loudly on dark nights, but also counts of some three hundred birds off the south end from the Castle. Very few Gannets recorded until the 15th when twenty five were seen moving north.

Waders were represented by an injured Dunlin near Quarter Wall and a Whimbrel. A Kestrel and Merlin were reported. There was still some large movements of Swallows with fifteen hundred on the 9th and some eighteen hundred on the 10th with a much smaller passage of House Martins and Sand Martins . A maximum count of twelve Swifts. James also reports two female Redpolls and warblers inculding, Sedge and Reed Warbler ,Wood Warbler,two Blackcaps and two Garden Warblers. Plus the usual smattering of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs. Two Yellow Wagtails were seen, one in Jennys Cove and one with the Ponies in Barton Field. A total of nine Spotted Flycatchers were present.

On the 15th a Pink footed Goose was found on Pondsbury, which moved the following day to the Tillage Field.

On the 21st, just for two days, Bob and Janet Parker were staying on the island and saw two Twite on the lawn by Quarters, showing bold stripes and pink rumps, the birds were later seen by Roger Fursdon near Stoneycroft. Bob and Janet also saw a Ringed Plover, Whimbrel and the Pink footed Goose was still present. Down on the Quarries they heard and saw a Cuckoo which was being mobbed by Linnets.

The National Rare Bird Alert pager reported a male Red breasted Flycatcher on the island but Nicola Saunders (warden) had no reprorts on this and there were no entries in the LFS log book, so currently it remains a mystery.........if anyone has any details please let us know.
Apr
Following a report of a sighting of Black Wheatear in the Lundy Field Society log book in March, several islanders have been out to see if they could find the bird. Up till now no further sightings have been made.

However we have recently been sent details from a sighting made by Shaun Barnes and Ken Ebsworthy on the 1st of the month (though we believe certainly not an April's Fool).

This is of great interest and while it must be stressed that Shaun and Ken are not fully certain of the identity of this bird, a summary of their description is copied below.

After returning from Jenny's cove from a days birdwatching we came
through quarter wall gate at west side of Old Light. It was approx 6pm
and good weather. As we walked along the gates path past the Old Light-
all of a sudden a Blackbird seemed to come off of the Old Light wall.
It was smaller than a blackbird and it shot fast down towards the
rocky outcrops near Pilots Quay. It was definitely smaller than a Blackbird,
with a sort of charcoal type colour with a flash of white around the
undertail coverts.

It was definatley a smaller bird than a blackbird, with
white undertail coverts and a black beak,but it would be hard for us
to give any more detail because it happened so quick!

We rushed down to the rocky outcrops to look for the bird and saw a number of male
and female Wheatears but no sign of the possible Black Wheatear.

Shaun Barnes Ken Ebsworthy

There have been no further sightings of this bird but we eagerly await any more news.

James Leonard reports from the period 11th - 18th April: wind was mostly east and/or south-east during the week. On the 11th James saw some forty five Willow Warblers, two Blackcaps and two Chiffchaffs in Millcombe. Puffins were present in Jenny's Cove and by St Philip's Stone with a maximum count of fourteen birds on the 17th. A male Sparrowhawk turned up on the 16th and 17th. The usual migrants were supplemented by a count of thirteen hundred Swallows on the 12th, with a few Sand Martins and House Martins.

On the 17th an east wind encouraged the following to the island: ninety Willow Warblers, nine Blackcaps, a single Whitethroat, four Goldcrests and some fifteen Wheatears.

Chris Flowers reported a Grasshopper Warbler reeling in Millcombe and on the 18th Colin McShane and party had seen and ringed some Sedge and Reed Warblers.

Colin reports for the week 18th to 25th ;
that he had his second best spring ringing week for numbers ever. On the wednesday Colin reports a good fall of Willow Warblers in the morning, followed by a massive movement of Swallows throuhgh the island. His party caught and ringed some one hundred and twenty seven of these at the top of Millcombe. His estimate, a conservative one, was of some fifteen thousand birds having moved through.

A Honey Buzzard was seen being mobbed by Crows above Quarter Wall.

And more good news for Water Rails with sightings of a small party of chicks sunbathing in Millcombe and a tight sitting adult on seven eggs in a tussock right outside Brambles Villa. A Cuckoo was present for a couple of days as was a Ring Ousel.

On Colin's last day, the 25th, birds seen included Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, and Whinchat.

Richard Campey arrived on the 25th, the ringing party changed over to Paul James and Neil Orton, with other birdwatchers arriving, Andrew Cleeve and others.





Photo
Mar
Mike Langman was on the island mid month and reports three Snow Buntings around Quarter Wall from the 13th to the 16th, which were mostly feeding around the sheep feeding trough and also basking in the sun on top of the nearby wall. Mike also saw a Redwing which he considers may be of the Icelandic race due to the very dense blotching around the sides of the breast and at the rear of the red flank. The bird fed in the walled gardens outside Staff Quarters.

On the 14th there was quite a movement of Sand Martins totally thirty six plus and two Swallows. In Millcombe the long staying Long tailed Tit was still present as were two Water Rails. Also Mike saw four Jackdaws.

The following day Sand Martins had increased to fifty birds and there was a ring-tailed Hen Harrier at Pondsbury.

On the 16th Mike saw some sixteen Goldcrests and four Chiffchaffs in Millcombe in addition to single Brambling, Siskin, Redwing, Fieldfare and Wheatear.

James Leonard also reports for the period 13th to the 20th a single Great Northern Diver and only one Gannet. Two Golden Plover were present and a single Snipe and single Curlew.

Passerines included forty Sand Martins on three days with a few Swallows and eight Pied Wagtails. On the 19th there were six Wheatears and the previous day three Black Redstarts and some five Ring Ouzels. James increased the Goldcrest count to twenty seven and six Chiffchaffs. Toward the end of the week there was a single Willow Warbler and a female Reed Bunting at Quarter Wall. In Millcombe there were Peacok butterlies around the Lower Gardens.

Grant Sherman has seen the first Puffin of the year with two birds on the water off St Philip's Stone at 7.30am on the 23rd. The Puffins were with a raft of Razorbills, Guillemots and Kittiwakes. Grant also reports at least one thousand four hundred Guillemots on ledges from St Marks Stone to Needle Rock and six hundred plus Razorbills on land and on the water.

Latest news is an intriguing report for the 24th of a Black Wheatear ! however this was simply an entry in the LFS log book with no description or details, so perhaps just a visitor seeing a Black Redstart ?? Unless we hear to the contrary. More information is becoming available on this and a description has been made in the island log book. As soon as further details emerge more will be posted.......................


Photo
Feb
Tim Jones, Tim Davis and Sheelagh Darling were on the island at the beginning of the month and sent in the following reports:
Nine Mallards present on Rocket Pole Pond with the injured male still at Pig's Paradise Pond. Two Great Northern Divers were in the Landing bay on the 2nd and one still the following day. Two Cormorants were seen around Rat Island on the 3rd and Grant Sherman reported about thirty Fulmars on the west side mainly around Jenny's Cove. Water Rails were still present with one bird seen scuttling up the bank away from the small pond under the trees by the Blue Door. The immature Moorhen was still present by Pig's Paradise.

Waders were represented by twenty two Lapwings mostly over South West Field and one in the Lighthouse Field on the 3rd. A single Golden Plover was present on the 1st and singles of Snipe on the 2nd and 3rd along with a Woodcock flushed from the grass tussocks on the southern slope of Castle Hill.

A first winter Common Gull was seen off rat island on the 3rd. and some fifteen hundred Kittiwakes off the East Side also on the 3rd.

Passerines included a maximum count of just three Dunnocks in Millcombe, seen displaying and in song on the 3rd. Up to seven Robins mostly in Millcombe and along the East Side, but with two birds around the village. A maximum count of forty one Redwings on the 3rd and a small cold weather influx of eleven Song Thrushes.

A male Firecrest was in Millcombe on the 2nd and two Long tailed Tits in Quarter Wall Copse on the 3rd made for the most interesting record of the first three days of February.

On the 4th Tim Jones reported a biting north easterly wind reaching gale force. They managed four Stonechats, ten Rock Pipits , seventy one Fulmars, three hundred and twenty four Herring Gulls, fifty nine Great Black backed Gulls and twenty one Lesser Black backed Gulls. On the ledges at Jenny's Cove there were nine Guillemots. Just offshore from the North Light there were some forty plus Razorbills feeding actively, with a flock of fifty Kittiwakes circling over them picking from the surface water.. There was one first winter Common Gulll amongst them.

A Woodcock was glimpsed near Gannet's Coombe. On their way back they saw two Cormorants in flight and also seen feeding off the West Side and then four more birds sitting on Gannet's Rock. Most of them appeared to be adults either already in, or coming into breeding plumage. Bird of the day however was a Black-throated Diver seen off the Terraces. Millcombe was blasted with gale force winds.

On the 5th there was just one Long tailed Tit still present feeding among grass tussocks on the edge of the field between the Tavern and Millcombe. The Landing Bay held two Great Northern Divers and on Pondsbury two Teal, a male and a female. A single Rook was present with the Carrion Crows in Lighthouse Field. The Moorhen was still present on Pig's Paradise Pond and a Fieldfare in Brick Field. Four Snipe were recorded.

Grant Sherman reported that on the 8th there was a change in wind direction which encouraged Auks to the island. In the morning he counted a thousand and eighty seven Guillemots and nine Razorbills on the ledges on the West Side and notes that these were the first Razorbills he had seen this year, actually on ledges. Also some eighty seven Fulmars on ledges and another forty Razorbills in the sea in Jenny's Cove. Most of the Razorbills were in full breeding plumage. Other sightings for Grant on the 8th include two Razorbills and six Shags in the Landing Bay and a single Water Rail in Lower Millcombe.

On the 10th Grant saw only a hundred and seventeen Guillemots on ledges and seventy eight Fulmars, but no Razorbills, presumably due to the strong north westerly winds.

James Leonard reports from the week 13th to 20th, of lovely weather with little or no win, which no doubt encouraged the snowdrops in Millcombe to burst forth and some twenty five Skylarks many in full song flights. In the Landing Bay the Great Northern Diver was seen every day.A Bottle nosed Dolphin was seen well from the Ugly one day.

On Pondsbury there were two Teal and a couple of Snipe. Water Rails were present in both Lower Millcombe and St John's Valley but James reports a most curious incident was of a juvenile/immature captured in a mist net in the Lambing Shed by Ian Cleasby. Ian and his Sparrow research team report an increase in numbers of juvenile surviving Sparrows.

A single Long tailed Tit was present in Smelly Gulley despite a lack of reports during the cold snap in early February. Chaffinch numbers reached fifteen and three Goldfinches spent much of their time near the Castle. Two Pied Wagtails also present.

On the cliffs and out to sea there were large flocks of Kittiwakes and a maximum count of eighty three Fulmars made by Grant Sherman, one thousand two hundred and eighty eight Guillemots and some eighty Razorbills.

Megan Taylor and her daughter saw six Snow Buntings drinking from the puddles in the gateway at Three Quarter Wall on the 19th. From her photographs Megan identified three as males and three females.




Jan
A Happy New year to everyone and my thanks for all the records and photographs received during 2008. Richard Campey


Three Great Northern Divers were present on the 4th and one still in the Landing Bay on the 11th. Also up to one thousand Kittiwakes recorded on the 13th and a count of eight hundred and fourteen Guillemots on the 9th.

On dry land a Moorhen was seen by Sophie on the 8th and was still present on the small pond by Staff Quarters until the 14th at least. Snipe and Woodcock both present on the island and Lapwings have been recorded since the 7th of the month with a maximum count of fourteen on the 10th, with a recent count of seven on the 13th. A single Golden Plover since the 2nd and an influx of fourteen on the 9th, but no sightings since.

Redwings around the village area number about eighty, dropping to some forty birds on the 14th, though Nicola reports that others are present over the rest of the island. Two Long tailed Tits remain with the most recent sighting of them on the 7th. A Snow Bunting was present on the 9th and a smattering of Goldfinches still present.

Additional sightings for the month include:
Three Great Northern Divers on the 24th and a single record of Gannet on the 22nd. A maximum of twenty four Shags on the 25th and Fulmars reached forty on the 29th. The Moorhen was seen regularly until the end of the month and a Water Rail on the 22nd and 24th. A maximum count of five Oystercatchers during the month, two Snipe, three Woodcocks, and Kittiwake numbers reaching twelve hundred and fifty. Two Long tailed Tits were seen on seven dates until the end of the month.

An interesting report of three Shearwaters was recorded on the 19th, with a further six on the 22nd and three more on the 25th. The unusual date would indicate Balearic Shearwaters, and there had been regular sightings of Balearics off the Devon coast.

James Leonard reported a couple of Woodcocks in Millcombe on the 20th and the Firecrest in Smelly Gully. James also reports seeing the Moorhen eating chicken food in Pig's Paradise. A couple of Great Northern Divers in the Landing Bay but on the 24th he saw three birds together.

Guillemot counts from Grant Sherman include eight hundred and fourteen with some forty Razorbills and thirty Fulmars.
Also Grant reported seeing up to two hundred and fifty Kittiwakes surface feeding in a dispersed flock around the moorings in the Landing Bay on the 28th. The birds flew off north before returning a couple of times. Grants notes that about half of the flock were first winter birds.


  2008
Dec

The Rough legged Buzzard was seen by Peter Hamlyn up till the 7th of the month.

Grant Sherman reported some nine hundred and fifteen Guillemots between Jenny's Cove and St Mark's Stone on the 16th

James Leonard reports for the period 22 - 29 December, that the first few days of the week had mild weather and then it turned easterly and the wind increased making for difficult viewing. There were two Great Northern Divers present in the Landing Bay. On land there were two Firecrests and a Chiffchaff in and around Smelly Gully in Lower Millcombe.

At North End there was a Black Redstart and also one reported at South Light. A Snow Bunting was feeding around the Rocket Pole. On Rat Island two Purple Sandpipers were seen.

Other records include, ten Chaffinches, two Goldfinches and a single Greenfinch. Chris Flower regularly saw a few Long tailed Tits on the Lower East Side. Water Rails were still being seen and heard by many visitors.

By the end of the week James reports more than one thousand Kittiwakes off the East Side, a few Gannets and rafts of up to fifty auks. Late in the week a Golden Plover and a Lapwing were seen. Grant Sherman reports many Guillemots back on breeding ledges.

Photo
Nov
A Great Northern Diver was present in the Landing Bay at the start of the month and still present on the morning of the 18th, seen by James Leonard. James reports that the bird is still in almost full summer plumage.

At least two Merlins and a single Kestrel present, but the highlight has been a Rough legged Buzzard that has been present for the first two weeks of November and still present on the morning of the 18th when photographed by Stuart Leavy.

Two Woodcock and a single Lapwing reported with a late sighting of four Swallows on the 13th. A Black Redstart and several Stonechats also reported.

James continues that there was a maximum count of fifteen Gannets and two hundred and fifty Kittiwakes offshore. Grant Sherman counted forty three Fulmars on ledges and up to four hundred and fifty Guillemots.

Thrushes were represented by a few Redwings and a Fieldfare in Millcombe on the 18th. Also in Millcombe two Blackcaps. Neil Trout saw nine Long tailed Tits on the 12th which later reduced to seven birds seen by Chris Flower near the Gas Shed. On the 14th there were about thirty Chaffinches, some fifteen Goldcrests and a single Brambling.

The Rough legged Buzzard was last seen on the 26th.



Photo
Oct
The first day of the month started with Ernie Davies finding a first year winter female Bluethroat at Quarter Wall, which was possibly a different bird to the one seen at Pondsbury. Nigel Warren reports that there were still a few Firecrests around and a Merlin had been present for the last few days. The Common Rosefinch was still present.

On the 3rd Brian Heasman found a Snow Bunting by the end Quarry on the Terraces.

On the 4th an Osprey was seen by Ernie Davis et al along the East side of the island, and at one stage the bird landed briefly in a tree in St Helens Copse before being mobbed by Crows. It eventually soared high and headed for the mainland. With winds increasing to force eight in the afternoon few additional sightings were made.

Richard Campey reports from the 5th that winds gusting force nine the previous evening, dropped to a mild force seven ! in the morning but with misty rain few birds were around, not surprisingly. Conditions cleared during the day and Richard saw some seven Siskins, a single Firecrest, three Redwings, a Curlew, Golden Plover and a significant increase in Meadow Pipits. A Grey Wagtail was present in Millcombe and three Redpolls were in a flock of some sixty Goldfinches. There was a maximum of seven Chiffchaffs.

The next day was grey and grizzly with winds from the south west and although Millcombe was quiet a surprise sighting was a female Bullfinch in the Lower Gardens. The Firecrest was still present in Upper Millcombe. Then while watching a Water Rail by Smelly Corner, someone returning from the Landing Bay told Richard that they had just seen a small Grebe. With detiorating weather Richard hastened to the Landing Bay and eventually found himself watching, very excitedly, a Grey Phalarope in between the Landing Stage and Rat Island. A walk by Richard along the Terraces further revealed a Yellow browed Warbler in the Sallows behind the Terrace Heligoland Trap. The Merlin that had been present the previous week was still very active over the top of the island.

On the 7th the winds picked up again to around force seven, still from the south west and invariably brought rain, but did clear by mid day, though no significant additional sightings were made. The next day dawned with dropping winds and broken sunshine. By midday Swallow numbers had increased (along with increased sunshine) to about two hundred and fifty and about fifty House Martins were drifting along the East Side by the Terraces. Siskin numbers had incresaed to sixteen, with seven Redpolls and Jamie McMillan found the first Spotted Flycatcher of the week. Richard found a Lapland Bunting on the track opposite Pondsbury.

The next day, presumably the same Lapland Bunting was near the Stonecrusher. Two Yellow Wagtails were present in Barton Field along with seventeen Pied Wagtails. One of the Yellow Wagtails which was a first year female type did show characteristics of Grey headed Wagtail but did not stay long enough for any detailed field notes. A Tree Pipit was in Millcombe.

On the 9th Bob and Janet Parker saw a juvenile Hobby sitting outside their property.

From the 9th Yellow-browed Warblers were present till the 13th in Millcombe, the East side and Gannets Coombe. On the 12th Ade Cooper saw a Eastern Chiffchaff of the race abietinus at Gannets Coombe on the afternoon. Steve later saw a female/juvenile type Crossbill at Castle Hill. On the 13th in the same area Richard Patient saw a Richardís Pipit, which flew along the East side and ended up by Castle Hill.

The next day a Pied Flycatcher was seen which stayed for four days.

On the 14th Sam Forest saw a Ring Ouzel in the bushes above Millcombe House. The next day Richard Patient and Ade Cooper saw a Lapland Bunting flying southwest over the Terraces heading towards Old Light. Richard Patient also saw a Balearic Shearwater off the East Side north of St Helenís Copse, with Kittiwakes. On the same day seven hours of sea watching by Steve Cooper produced more than a hundred Kittiwakes and seven Arctic Skuas , four pale phase adult, two pale phase juveniles and one dark phase juvenile. Also two Great Skuas, and three Balearic Shearwaters, and twelve Manx Shearwaters. There was also Richardís Pipitpresent at the Castle.

On the 16th there were some two hundred Goldcrests and four Firecrests the day before. Some twenty Blackcaps were present. Richard Campey and Tom Bedford saw a CoalTit in Lower Millcombe and just a single Firecrest. Two Coal Tits were seen the next day.

By the 17th of the month Chris Baillie and other observers had recorded at least seven Yellow-browed Warblers of which five were ringed.

Tom Bedford and others saw a female/immature type Black Redstart also another Ring Ouzel was reported.

On the 19th Tim Davis and Tim Jones saw a winter plumaged Great Northern Diver from the East side whilst the next day a magnificent summer plumaged bird was present in the Landing Bay, seen by Richard Campey and James Leonard. Ivan Lakin and Kevin Rylands found two Yellow-browed Warblers, one at Gannetís Coombe and one on the East Side. Kevin and Ivan also found a Hawfinch flying across Upper Millcombe, which later, re located on seed outside Brambles.

On the 20th strong south westerly winds inspired some seawatching. The Northern (based at North Light) group of James Diamond, Tom Bedford and Tim Jones observed one dark phase Arctic Skua three Balearic Shearwaters, ten Manx Shearwaters and a couple of Merlins. The Southern Group (by the Castle) consisting of Tim Davis and Richard Campey saw a single Arctic Skua , two Manx Shearwaters, a Great Northern Diver and a single Balearic Shearwater. A Millcombe and East Side Group, of Ivan Lakin and Kevin Rylands added three Balearic Shearwaters and a Great Skua.

Tony Taylor et al went out searching for Manx Shearwaters in the evening and found two birds in the main colony just south of the Battery. The Hawfinch was seen on and off again feeding on seed outside Brambles. In Millcombe a Woodcock was seen in the area around the Gas Shed.

Over Millcombe Kevin and Ivan had a Snow Bunting flying over. Charlie Holt, Steve and Alan saw a Black Redstart in Millcombe.

On the 21st Ivan and Kevin saw a Yellow-browed Warbler in Millcombe and James Diamond saw probably what was the same bird on the Terraces. Also a Willow Warbler. Tom Bedford and Richard Campey found possibly two Lapland Buntings, one on Castle Hill and one by the Stonecrusher which flew west, and a Firecrest in Millcombe. The Hawfinch was still present and coming down to feed on seed outside Brambles. Also a fine male Brambling there and two other birds seen.

Additional sightings for the 21st included four Merlins, six Golden Plover, five Cormorants, three Snipe and a Dunlin over the East Side. One Arctic Skua from the South End and more than two hundred Kittiwakes. Swallows reached a total count of ten birds. Robin numbers had increase to eighteen birds and Stonechats totalled eight individuals. Six Redwings seen at the top of Millcombe. A single Garden Warbler was also in Millcombe. The total count for Chiffchaffs was fifteen. There were more Goldcrests than the previous day, with thirty-two birds recorded. A single Coal Tit ,presumably the same bird as the last few days was still present in Millcombe.Chaffinch numbers were recorded at some seven hundred birds. Flying over the island during the day sixty Siskins were seen. Three Redpolls with one bird caught and ringed. In Quarter Wall Copse a Bullfinch was heard heading North.

In the evening there was an astounding experience of a Great Northern Diver wailing in flight as it past over the village at 10.30pm

Other sightings for the 21st include one Teal still on Pondsbury. A total of eight Cormorants were reported from various sites over the island. Merlins were still very apparent hunting over the island with at least four individuals present. Grant Sherman saw fifteenOystercatchers at North End flying south.

There was an increase in Skylarks to eight birds. A count of Wrens reached some seventy three birds. Blackcapnumbers had halved from the previous day to seven birds. One Willow Warbler was still present on the East side including about fifteen Chiffchaffs. A female Firecrest was still in Millcombe. A female Black Redstart was in Millcombe again, around the Ugly area and Lower Millcombe. Chaffinch numbers still around seven hundred birds, many flying over and leaving the island, with at least one Brambling in Millcombe and five birds flying over the island. Some five Greenfinches were present in Millcombe. Five Redpolls were heard and seen flying overhead.

One Lapland Bunting over the East side and another through Millcombe. Grant saw a single Snow Bunting at North End.

Kevin Rylands and Ivan Lakin saw a near Quarter Wall and a Yellow-browed Warbler was seen by James Diamond from the Upper East side path above St Helens Copse.

In the late afternoon Tim Davis and Tim Jones saw a Red-throated Pipit fly over the Upper East Side Path towards Quarter Wall gate, the bird called twice.

An early morning sea watch from the castle produced three Balearic Shearwaters and a movement of some seven hundred Chaffinches. A Brambling was heard outside Government House.

Later on the 23rd at least two Merlins were still present and a single Kestrel. Three Curlew were seen at North End. With south-westerly winds increasing to force eight few other sightings were made. The total number of Chaffinches for the day numbered one thousand five hundred with most flying (or trying to) off over Rat Island heading for the mainland. Two Rissoís Dolphins were seen off the East Side.

On the 24th one Cormorant flew down the East Side and over Castle Hill in the morning. Two Sparrowhawks were present and at least two Merlins still on the island. Visible migration counts between Millcombe and Quarter Wall recorded twelve Swallows, twenty Skylarks, fifty Meadow Pipits, two thousand Chaffinches between 9am and 10am. Also another thousnad birds at different places on the island heading North est. Some nine Bramblings and four Greenfinches and eighty Siskins recorded. A Common Rosefinch was seen in Millcombe in the morning briefly.

The next day Andy Jayne saw a winter plumage or juvenile Great Northern Diver in the Landing Bay

On the 27th Grant Sherman reports that he saw some fifty plus Guillemots on their breeding ledges in Jenny's Cove. This appears to be the earliest record of their return, the previous earliest date being the 7th of November when forty birds returned. Also Andy Jayne saw a female/immature Black Redstart at Old Light and a Garden Warbler in Millcombe.

On the 29th a Paddyfield Warbler was first seen and identified by John Smith two hundred yards north of St Helen's Copse. John watched the bird for at least ten minutes and managed to photograph and video it. John then alerted the other birdwatchers on the island to his find and it was watched for a further thirty minutes by all, before being trapped and ringed by Rob Duncan and team. It was aged as an adult due to heavy wear on the remiges and retrices. Rob reported that all the plumage looked bleached and worn.

Also present, but somewhat overshadowed, were two Yellow-browed Warblers which were trapped and ringed. Andy saw another unringed bird in St Helen's Copse mid-afternoon. Also he heard a Crossbill flying south along the East Side of the island. .

Unfortunately the next day there were no further sightings of the Paddyfield Warbler but a Richard's Pipit was found by Andy Jayne in the south-east corner of the Lighthouse Field near 'Pig's Paradise' . It was seen briefly on the campsite and then showed quite well in windy conditions for up to two hours back in the Lighthouse Filed.

On the 31st a ringtail Hen Harrier was present, first seen by Tony Palmer.







Sep
Tony Taylor, Richard Taylor and Neil Croton were on the island for the first week of September primarily to ring Manx Shearwaters and report that they managed to trap and ring some sixty nine birds, including thirty nine chicks.

On the 4th Richard Taylor saw an Osprey moving south and the next day, the group were watching a juvenile Common Crossbill also flying south down the island, but this bird stopped in Millcombe, before making repeated trips flying off the island and returning. On one return trip it spent a while perched on the ridge of the church roof.

Tony reports a downy Water Rail chick as well as a full grown juvenile in Millcombe and also a chick calling at Pondsbury. Other breeding birds included four young Swallows which fledged during the week from the Church porch, while a very late brood of Swallows had only just hatched above the fire truck.

Andy Jayne was also on the island from the 2nd to the 6th of September and adds, a Sanderling flying past the boat just a few miles from the island, on his arrival. Also a Firecrest in the Rhododendrons near Quarterwall Copse on the 4th. On his departure Andy saw a juvenile Puffin on the sea, only eight minutes after leaving the Landing Bay.

Highest counts for migrants were as follows; three Whimbrel, two Swifts, four Sand Martins, some sixty Swallows and eight House Martins. There were six Tree Pipits, six Yellow Wagtails , two Whinchats and twenty Wheatears. Warblers were represented by a single Sedge Warbler, single Blackcap and three Whitethroats and twenty Willow Warblers. In addition there were up to ten Spotted Flycatchers, seven Pied Flycatchers, and seven Goldcrests .

On the 10th of the month a Pectoral Sandpiper was seen by Grant Sherman, Stuart Levy and Chris Flowers feeding on the pool by the main track
south of Quarter Wall.

On the 14th Arfon Willams saw a Western Bonellis Warbler in the small Oak tree by the walled gardens in Millcombe and a Tawny Pipit on the turf at North End which he watched for some thirty minutes. The Wryneck was still present in Millcombe on the 15th. Arfon also saw an Icterine Warbler in the bracken along the path on the East coast half way between Millcombe and the Heligoland trap. This bird remained till the 20th and moved to Millcombe Valley.

On the 16th Arfon saw an Ortolan Bunting in the bramble scrub below Millcombe House, and a Dotterel at North End.

On the 25th Ivan Lakin was on Lundy and reports a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Redwings,Firecrests and three Redpolls. He also saw a Lapland Bunting. The next day a Merlin was present along with Tree Pipit, Grasshopper Warbler, and Crossbill. The Lapland Bunting was also present. On the 27th what he presumed, was a Marsh Warbler, which was present in St John's Valley for an hour and a half. Despite extensive and detailed field notes Ivan reports he cannot one hundred percent confirm it's identity as Marsh Warbler due to the difficulties of identifying this species at that time of year. Also present were Reed Warblers, two Grasshopper Warblers, three Firecrests and two Redpolls. The Great Spotted Woodpecker was also present and a Treecreeper.

Also on the 27th Nigel Warren, Ernie Davies et al were travelling to the island and during their croosing saw what they considered to be a Killer Whale. They also saw on the island a Common Rosefinch, two Lapland Buntings, two Firecrests, two Pied Flycatchers, two juvenile Reed Warblers and a Grasshopper Warbler.

On the 28th there were two Yellow browed Warblers a Bluethroat,eleven Redpolls four Crossbills and a possible Booted Warbler. Both the Bluethroat and the possible Booted Warbler were seen at Pondsbury, but the Warbler was extremely elusive and only gave brief flight views to begin with. After a few hours of continued searching and some better views it was confirmed as a Booted Warbler.

The Booted Warbler was found after Phil Abbott saw a passerine skulking around Pondsbury which with the help of the rest of his group turned out to be a Bluethroat. It was while searching for this that Ernie Davis and Brian Heaseman saw another similarly skulking passerine which they tentatively thought to be a possible Booted Warbler. It was only after several hours of viewing that the group, joined by Ivan Lakin, finally got good enough views to confirm it's identity.

The Common Rosefinch was also present today and an increase in Firecrests with up to four individuals.

On the 29th, after clear skies and strengthening winds there was no sign of either the Booted Warbler or the Bluethroat. Still present however were the Common Rosefinch, some fourteen Redpolls and a single Yellow browed Warbler.Ivan Lakin reports an Arctic Skua and Nigel Warren commented that the island was heaving with Goldcrests, with some sixty birds ringed in just one day.

And finally on the last day of the month Nigel reports some very windy conditions with just the Common Rosefinch and two Firecrests present.










Photo
Aug
The month started with the last sighting of a Puffin from the island. On the 26th a juvenile Knot(see photos page) was seen, and this stayed till the end of the month and became a very confiding individual, spending much of it's time around the Tavern !

Tony Taylor, Richard Taylor and Neil Corton were travelling over on the 30th and from the Oldenburgh saw twenty Common Terns and two Black Terns just one kilometer from the island. The birds were fishing close to a large floating log and using it as a perch.

A Wryneck was seen on the wall along Tillage Field where it was trapped and ringed by Tony Taylor et al (see photos page).
Jul
In the first two weeks of the month there were regular sightings of a Great Spotted Woodpecker and then on the 25th a juvenile bird was also seen. A couple of days later the juvenile was seen again with a suspected broken wing and finally on the last day of July, feathers from a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker were found on the Upper East Side Path.

On the 12th and 13th Robert Hurrell reports from the Great Lundy Row 2008; on the 12th a small group of Common Dolphins near Rat Island. Good numbers of Manx Shearwaters heard calling over the campsite and towards Seal's Hole cliff and the Old Light. On the 13th two Tufted Ducks, male and female, on Pondsbury and two female Mallards. A single Puffin seen on the water in Jenny's Cove and another bird flying out of sight under the cliff. Robert also reports seeing several juvenile Wheatears, a Swallow brrod being fed in buildings near the shop and Peregrine over the church.

Mid month two Tufted Ducks were present on Pondsbury and remained for two days. Liz Cleary reports seeing a male and a female Tufted Duck on the 16th to the 18th, presumably the same birds. A Black headed Gull was recorded on the 23rd and there were regular sightings of Kestrel during the month.

Puffins appear to have fared well with six chicks, four at St Philip's Stone area and two at Jenny's Cove. These figures are based on fish deliveries into burrows and sightings of two different chicks at St Philips. See photos page for Puffin video grabs by Grant Sherman.Grant reports that some birds were still present in late July but only returning to feed their chicks. By this time all the Guillemots and Razorbills had left the cliffs.





Jun
Andy Jayne was on the island from the 3rd to the 10th and reports the following; on his first day Andy and Kevin Rylands had brief flight views of a probable Short toed Lark, but it was not seen again. A Cuckoo was present in St Helen's Copse the next day and then on the 6th there were two Spotted Flycatchers in Millcombe and a Sparrowhawk along the east side.

The lack of migrants turned Andy's attention to the breedings birds, the highlight of which was the successful breeding of Water Rails in lower Millcombe. An adult and at least two chicks were seen on the 4th and another Water Rail was heard up at Pondsbury. Up to sixteen Puffins were recorded during the week, mainly by Grant Sherman, with most sightings from the St Philip's Stone area and Jenny's Cove, but also from North Light and more surprisingly on the sea south of the Rocket Pole.

Two Oystercatcher chicks were at Miller's Cake and two pairs of House Martins were prospecting around Old House, the Tavern and the Barn. A fledgling Song Thrush was seen in Millcombe, where there was also a Chiffchaff regularly singing. A Sedge Warbler was holding territory in typically vociferous fashion at Pondsbury throughout the week.

Andy's highlight of the week was a drab Common Rosefinch that he found near Governmnet House on the morning of the 9th. He didn't see it again until the following afternoon when it proved to be a first summer male, and was heard singing from various points around Millcombe.
May
A Little Egret was reported on the first day of the month.

On the 3rd a Honey Buzzard was seen which stayed the following day and then on the 5th a Golden Oriole. A male and female Tufted Duck present on Pondsbury arrived on the 9th and still present on the 13th.

Other usual migrants through in the first week include Yellow Wagtail, Grasshopper Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Redstart, Sedge and Reed Warblers and Wood Warbler.

The ringed Turtle Dove still on the island on the 8th and the following day produced Siskins , Lesser Redpoll and a male Bullfinch.

recent news from the island however is of a male Collared Flycatcher seen yesterday, the 12th, at the Quarries.

Nicoal Saunders, the island warden, reports " that a male Collared Flycatcher was seen by Louise Jones at 10.30am while walking along the lower east coast path. Louise was absolutely convinced of it's identification, is familiar with Pied Flycatcher and has seen Collared Flycatcher before in Poland."

she continues that " as she neared the Heligoland trap on the lower east path she saw a black and white bird fly over her which she instinctively thought was a Pied Flycatcher, it landed on a rock above the path about 25 yards from her and her heart nearly missed a beat when she saw a pure white complete collar !"

On the 13 th nine Common Terns were seen on the crossing to Lundy. Strong north easterly winds meant the boat waiting for the sea to subside, while five Puffins were seen in Jenny's Cove, but had to return to Devon without landing.

Tim Jones, Tim Davis and James Diamond arrived on the island on the 14th and report that on Pondsbury there were Mallard ducklings and the pair Tufted Ducks still present, including a Dunlin. Migrants include a Cuckoo, Whinchat three Spotted Flycatchers two Whitethroats two Willow Warblers and a single Chiffchaff.

An immature Great Northern Diver still in the landing Bay is presumably the long staying individual. Unfortunately however there was no sign of the male Collared Flycatcher reported two days ago.

The pair of Tufted Ducks stayed until the 14th and were seen by many observers. Another Honey Buzzard was seen by Tim Davis, Tim Jones and James Diamond on the 20th as they walked down the Beach Road to catch the boat. The bird flew in over the landing bay, flapped overhead, did a couple of turns around Millcombe and was then chased off northwards by a Herring Gull / Ten minutes later it was seen flying off south east over the South Lightheading for the mainland of Devon/Cornwall.

Another exciting record for the island was of a Nightjar seen resting on a rock in part of the remaining Rhododendron clumps alonside Lower East path between Quarter Wall and the Terraces. The bird was seen by James Diamond at 11am on the 17th but flew off as soon as he approached, though it was seen again at dusk flying alongside the Rhododendrons below the Time Keeper's cottage by Tim Jones.

On the 19th Tim Davis, Tim Jones and James Diamond saw a very pale Short toed Lark which they watched for some forty five minutes by the main track at North End between John O'Groats and the head of Gannet's Combe. They report that the bird was regularly disturbed by walkers and each time it flew off into areas od scattered heather and lichen covered granite, but always returned to the main track.

Other reports from the month include female Bullfinch on the 9th with up to eight Redpolls on the same day. Also that day Pied Flycatchers reached a maximum of three different birds. There was a small fall of forty five Spotted Flycatchers on the 17th and two Wood Warblers also pesent that day. Very few reports of Stonecahts with just a single pair breeding on the west side between the Old Light and Battery Point. During the 19th and 20th several thousand Swallows were seen moving through the island but not the impressive count of three thousands six hundred House Martins seen by Tim Davis, Tim Jones and James Diamond on the 20th - a Lundy record. Seabirds had maximum counts of five hundred Razorbills and two hundred Guillemots. A single Sanderling was seen on the 16th. Other waders included a flock of ten Dunlin in flight near Pondsbury and a maximum of fifteen birds on the 16th. Whimbrel was also reported but only single birds.

Finally the first House Sparrow chicks fledged on the 16th - an unusually early date. The adult population is now estimated at between eighty and a hundred individulas.




Photo
Apr
At the beginning of the month Nicola Saunders reports nesting Shags
in Jenny's Cove on the 4th and on the 10th a pair nesting north of St Phillip's Stone.The first Manx Shearwater was seen from the Oldenburg on the 2nd and again on the 8th. Other seabirds included counts of some two hundred Kittiwakes, five hundred Guillemots and a hundred Razorbills on the 8th.There was a maximum count of forty Fulmars on the 9th.

On the 5th a Woodcock was recorded and two days later a Black Redstart. Swallow numbers were around twenty birds with two Sand Martins and up to fifty Meadow Pipits and ten Skylarks.

On the 8th of April Grant Sherman saw a Puffin on the sea and then briefly on land on the west coast.

James Leonard was on the DBWPS day trip to the island ( 27th ) and reports a few Manx Shearwaters seen on the way out to the island and three Storm Petrels. Colin McShane was ringing on the island and caught some seven Grasshopper Warblers and Reed Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat. Their hightlight was a Turtle Dove.

A Ring Ousel was seen near Quarter Wall and a Blue headed Wagtail was also present on the 27th along with Merlin and Swift. Some three thousand Swallows passed through the island that day.

John Connolly also reports from the trip on the 27th, that the Turtle Dove, a juvenile was trapped and ringed and shown to the visiting birdwatchers by the ringing group. John further reports seeing the Blue headed Wagtail, two White Wagtails and many Wheateras. The Ring Ousel was seen by many peole in the fields south of Quarter Wall. There was a constant stream of Swallows with good numbers of House Martins and a few Swifts and Sand Martins. Seabirds were well represented with the usual sightings including several Puffins and off North End some Manx Shearwaters.

Recent news from the end of the month include a Golden Oriole seen by Sophie Wheatley and caught the following day by Colin McShane.

On the 29th a Ringtail Harrier was reported and on the last day of the month a Dotterel and a Whimbrel just north of Quarter Wall.




Photo
Mar
Richard Campey was on the island from the 3rd to the 7th of March and reports that during some mixed weather of bright and windy days bird movements were fairly quiet.

Two Stonechats were present in Millcombe and the Great Northern Diver was still around the landing bay area, and stayed throughout. A small group of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were on the airfield along with nineteen Carrion Crows. Richard also noted many Minotaur Beetles along the east side, all of them males. A few days later there were still many of these beetles but this time all females, with a few males present digging in burrows.

On the 4th the wind turned north easterly and it was a bright day with Meadow Pipit numbers increasing. Most surprising was a Grey Wagtail flying over Jenny's Cove, which then later on was seen, more typically, around the Lower Millcombe Pond. A Rock Pipit was also seen around the top part of Jenny's. Carrion Crows had increased to thirty one birds.

The next day with the wind staying largely north easterly there was a discernable increase in Meadow Pipits up to about a hundred and fifty. Three Stonechats were present in Millcombe along with two Pied Wagtails and a Grey Wagtail .

On the 6th it was overcast and cold with no significant changes in bird numbers. The following day a Kestrel was seen.

Trevor Dobie reports that the following week was domniated by strong north westerly winds and there was a record of Sand Martin on the 13th and at least four Goldcrests were present in Millcombe. He also noted an increase in Chaffinch numbers and Pied Wagtails .

James Leonard arrived on the island on the 15th and he reports that a south east wind had brought in at least fifty Chiffchaffs the next day, a single Sand Martin and a few Swallows. Grant Sherman saw a Black Redstart.

Chaffinches topped a count of twenty five, with four Goldcrests and two Bramblings. Birds of Prey were represented by a singles of Merlin, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, in addition to the usual abundance of Peregrines. The long staying Great Northern Diver was still present and Oystercatchers reached seventeen. James also reports that Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Fulmars were in and on their nest ledges.

A Water Rail was seen by Roger Furzedon outside Barton Cottages.

There was a maximum count of fifty Fulmars on the 25th and Sophie Wheatley (assistant warden) saw eight Cormorants the same day and then Nicola Saunders (warden) saw a fuurther six birds on the 27th heading north along the west coast. It appears the long staying Great Northern Diver has finally left.

At the end of the month maximum numbers of Guillemots were five hundred, with fifty Razorbills ten Skylarks, some fifty Meadow Pipits, five Pied Wagtails and eight Wheatears.

On the 27th there were twenty Swallows at Pondsbury. Cormorants rounded off the month with five birds seen from Millcombe on the 27th and singles on the last two days of March.





Photo
Feb
The long staying Great Northern Diver was still very attached to the Landing Bay. On the cliffs James reports Fulmars visiting their nest sites, as are Guillemots with more than one hundred and fifty in Jenny's Cove and some twenty Razorbills sat on the water. There was a maximum count of four hundred Kittiwakes off shore and around Pondsbury nine Snipe. Also of note were singles of Fieldfare and Redwing.

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Photo
Jan
A Great Northern Diver was present for most of the month and showed daily in the Landing Bay for the last two weeks of January.

Seabird activity on the west coast around Jenny's Cove, St Phillips Stone and St Mark's Stone had maximum counts of three hundred Guillemots and some five hundred Kittiwakes feeding off the east coast for a few hours on the 24th.

A guided walk by the warden Nicola Saunders on the 22nd produced a fleeting view of a Short eared Owl just south of Pondsbury.

At the end of the month James Leonard reports a few Chaffinches and Goldfinches around Millcombe and further afield three Snipe two Teal and single Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and a Golden Plover. At sea rafts of auks with up to a hundred birds and gull numbers increasing to one hundred and fifty Herring Gulls , some forty Great Black backed Gulls, twenty four Lesser Black backed Gulls and more than nine hundred Kittiwakes. At the North End there were sixty Fulmars.

On the last day of the month, and present all month, the Great Northern Diver was still present in the Landing Bay.




  2007
Dec
James Leonard reports that on the day he arrived on the island for the last week of the month a Grey Heron landed on the 22nd but was soon harassed by Gulls and quickly disappeared out to sea. A Great Northern Diver was present in the Landing Bay for five days and was seen actively feeding on fish.

Birds of prey included several Peregrines one Kestrel and one Merlin. James had a maximum count of six Water Rails two of which were seen scuttling around outside Millcombe House. Other sightings included six Oystercatchers, five Lapwings and a Snipe near Quarter Wall.

Gull numbers peaked at three hundred and twenty Herring Gulls on the west coast, about fifteen Greater Black backed Gulls and just a single Lesser Black backed Gull. Auks were represented by some two hundred and fifty Guillemots.

Passerines were understandably scare but did include a wintering Blackcap, two Stonechats, two Fieldfares and twelve Redwings in addition to about fifteen Chaffinches and some twenty or so Goldfinches.

Other sightings in the log book recorded a Little Egret and a single Snow Bunting.



Photo
Nov
The first day of the month held the final prize for Andy Jayne's two week stay on the island in the form of a Little Bunting which he found in Millcombe but sadly only had brief views of. Also in the valley he saw a very striking nothern/eastern Chiffchaff - not tristis as it had a "normal" Chiffchaff call. There was a good movement of Chaffinches and other birds included a ringtail Hen Harrier and a couple of Firecrests. Also in Millcombe a Lesser Whitethroat, one of the latest ever, but still some way off the 19th November 1954 record. A Manx Shearwater was again heard calling at night.

On the 5th Pete Davies found a stunning adult male Red breasted Flycatcher in Millcombe. The bird showed all afternon.

For the week beginning on the 9th James Leonard reports a largely rain free week with good weather and still plenty of Chaffinches around with numbers up to one hundred. Some eleven Goldfinches two Greenfinches and, although decreasing during the week, a maximum of twenty Siskins. A couple of Bramblings were also present.

Thrushes were still evident with the best day on the thursady including thirty four Blackbirds, six Song Thrushes with Redwings and Fieldfares present all week.

Other passerines included one Blackcap, three Chiffchaffs, and a single Goldcrest. Three Water Rails present in Millcombe. ther highlights included a Woodcock and up atb Long Roost a Black Redstart .

James counted up to two hundred Herring Gulls in Jenny's Cove and three hundred and fifty Auks far out to sea along with a single Manx Shearwater.

Birds of prey were reasonably numerous with at least two Merlins, two Kestrels, one Sparrowhawk and enough Peregrines to keep the two hundred and fifty Starlings on their toes.

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Photo
Oct
The island re opened on the 4th. Tim Jones and Tim Davis were among the first birders to visit, arriving on the 6th. They report a fairly quiet start to the month with their best birds being two Mistle Thrushes and two Firecrests on 6th and a Lapland Bunting and the first Brambling of the year on 7th.

On the night of the 7th Kate and Liza Cole heard a Manx Shearwater calling near Hanmers.

The following day in Millcombe there was a Red breasted Flycatcher and two Yellow browed Warblers. Nine Golden Plovers passed through on 9th and there was a Yelllow-browed Warbler in the small quarry just south of VC Quarry. This bird was still present on 10th and possibly a different Red-breasted Flycatcher to that seen on 8th was watched at close range in Millcombe. A Grey Plover and a Lapland Bunting flew over the main track at the head of Gannetsí Combe on 10th. Other birds present on the island in small numbers between 8th and 10th were Woodcock, Ring Ouzel, and Merlin and Firecrest.

On the evening of the 9th Chris and Carol Baillie found a Manx Shearwater on the ground near Brambles. Chris commented that the pectoral muscles seemed a bit on the meagre side but otherwise it appeared in good health (see photos page).

Richard Patient, Ade and Steve Coopper arrived on the 11th, which also brought quite an influx with up to eight different Yellow browed Warblers. This in addition to two Yellow Wagtails and a Black Redstart. At least eighty Siskins were present, some three hundred Chaffinches a single Brambling and a Firecrest.

On the 12th a Great Northern Diver flew south at cliff-top height just off the West Side! Richard Patient found a female Common Scoter off the South End. Richard, Steve and Ade found up to three Balearic Shearwaters off the East Side between Quarter Wall and the Landing Bay.

On the 13th Richard Campey, Tom Bedford and James Diamond arrived on the island in addition to Kevin Rylands and Ivan Lakin. A quiet crossing, had a few birds but some twenty Common Porpoise. Before the boat arrived on the island Tim Jones had seen an Arctic Skua resting on floating debris; which it used as a perch from which to launch itself and parasitise a group of Kittiwakes. A Balearic Shearwater was again seen off the East Side. Later in the day Ade Cooper saw a Richard's Pipit near Half Way Wall and also by Pondsbury a Short Eared Owl. There were record numbers of Yellow browed Warblers in Millcombe with up to at least eight different birds. Siskins appeared almost everywhere south of the Quarter Wall and made assessing numbers very difficult but around four hundred was a conservative estimate. Other sightings included Merlin, Sparrowhawk and hundreds of Chaffinches.

On the 14th Siskin numbers had increased to a staggering one thousand on the island. A Richard's Pipit was seen again at the Old Light and on Castle Hill by Richard Patient while Ade Cooper again saw a Richard's Pipit near Halfway Wall. There were some seven Yellow browed Warblers still present in Millcombe Valley and at least five Black Redstarts on the island. Out to sea two Balearic Shearwaters and a light phase Arctic Skua were present. Steve Cooper recorded up to sixteen Snipe, and a Firecrest was seen near Rocket Pole by James Diamond who also flushed a Lapland Bunting in South West Field. There was a record number of eighty Robins. A female Common Scoter was seen off Rat Island in the evening.

On the 15th a Richard's Pipit was present on Castle Hill although very elusive. More on this to follow from Richard Patient. Four Yellow browed Warbler and a Tree Pipit in Millcombe. A Lapland Bunting flew over the terraces. The first south-west winds for over a week brought a significant movement of seabirds early and late in the day, with large numbers feeding off the East Side in the middle of the day. There were hundreds of Kittiwakes and Gannets offshore with at least three Balearic Shearwaters and record numbers of Arctic Skuas (at least eleven) and Great Skuas (at least six). Other species included two Common Scoters, four Manx Shearwaters, a Black-headed Gull, ten Common Gulls and two Common Terns. Single Snow Buntings were seen at Castle Hill and by the main-track gate in Quarter Wall. Richard Campey found a Water Rail chick in lower Millcombe Ė the second confirmation of breeding this year.

The next morning (16th) the elusive Richard's Pipit was again seen briefly on Castle Hill before it joined a group of passing Meadow Pipts and flew high south off the end of the island. At least two Yellow browed Warblers remained in Millcombe and one more in St Helen's Copse. A Firecrest was seen in the Sycamores by Millcombe House. There were still several hundred Siskins on the island, though many had left overnight. Blackcaps had increased and there were two Pied Flycatchers on the east side. Off the South end a single Balearic Shearwater, Arctic and Great Skuas were seen. In the afternoon another Richard's Pipit was seen on the airfield, possibly the bird seen two days earlier. It flew down to the south west corner. One or two Pied Flycatchers were seen around Quarter wall, the Lower East Side path and Quarter Wall Copse.

On 17th two Yellow browed Warblers were seen, one in Millcombe and one in St Helens Copse and Merlins were still very active over the top of the island. Two different Richard's Pipits were present and a Firecrest in Millcombe. Siskins were still all over the place although numbers had dropped to around four hundred, and there was an influx of Stonechats with up to 30 present. Tim Jones heard a Lapland Bunting over South West Field. Tim Davis glimpsed the Water Rail chick again in lower Millcombe.

On the 18th light south easterlies provided a very impressive first few hours of visible migration. which included thousands of Chaffinches, Ivan Lakin and Kevin Rylands carried out detailed counts of birds flying overhead and recorded some five thousand Chaffinches between 08.30 and 09.30 am in addition to at least thirteen Bramblings and sixty Fieldfares a hundred and fifty five Redwings. Over the top of the island up to four Merlins were present and most unusual for Lundy a flock of corvids which included some thirty-one Jackdaws and eighteen Rooks. Three Yellow browed Warblers and four Firecrests were present and in the southwest corner of the island at least seven Lapland Buntings. One Richard's Pipit was still present, being seen and heard over Quarter Wall and Ė a few moments later Ė over Castle Hill. James Diamond found a male Great Spotted Woodpecker on the Terrace, which Tim Jones and Tim Davis relocated in the late afternoon in the small copse below Hanmers. It was not seen the following day.

On 19th a Richardís Pipit was well watched on Castle Hill and a Lapland Bunting flew over Old Light. There was an even more impressive visible migration between sunrise and mid-morning, including near record numbers of Fieldfares (1,180 estimated), along with nearly 10,000 Chaffinches and smaller numbers of Redwings (650), Blackbirds (80), Song Thrushes (80) and Ring Ouzels (7). Three Lapwings put in an appearance over the south of the island.

A lively discussion in the Tavern on the evening of the 19th concluded that all in all, at least three different Richardís Pipits, plus a large unidentified pipit, had been seen between 13th and 19th October.

Richard patient writes........... " on the 14th I recorded a Richard's Pipit flying around the Old Light calling in the morning - presumably yesterday's bird - and then in the afternoon at the Castle I saw and heard a large Pipit. Initially assuming it to be the Richard's Pipit I gradually became convinced that it was in fact a Blyth's. This conclusion was based upon the bird's structure and particularly the vocalisations given - identical to those I have heard uttered by many hundreds of Blyth's in China. However when Steve Cooper and others were summoned it could not be relocated during several hours of searching. The next day four further observers also saw and heard the bird but it remained incredibly elusive, and it wa sfinally seen flyiny strongly south out to sea with Meadow Pipits at 10830am by James Diamond...."

On 20th, there was another early morning movement of thrushes and finches, though numbers of both were lower than on the previous day, with a mere 5,000 Chaffinches passing through! Mixed in with the finch flocks around 9.00am the distinctive flight calls of a Woodlark and a Corn Bunting were heard by those standing rooted to the spot on Castle Hill. Richard Campey and Tom Bedford found a Richard's Pipit by Quarter Wall and a Lapland Bunting on the Airfield. Two Lapwings were seen flying over the Brick Field and a Turnstone was sitting on the shore of Rat Island as Oldenburg pulled out from the jetty.

A Brent Goose was seen on the 21st by Grant Sherman in the Landing Bay. It was still present on the 25th on the sea off St Helens Copse and confirmed by Andy Jayne as a Dark bellied Brent.

Andy Jayne also reports two Lapland Buntings present on the 23rd, with Merlin, Woodcock and Grasshopper Warbler. The next day two Woodcock were present, four Black Redstarts and a single Brambling.

On the 25th Andy saw three Golden Plovers a Merlin, Woodcock, Brambling and five Lesser Redpolls.

On the evenings of the 25th and 26th a Long eared Owl was seen by the ringers and they caught and ringed a Treecreeper. Andy reports for the 26th sightings of Mistle Thrush, House Martin and Reed Bunting.

James Leonard and others saw an adult Water Rail fly out of Millcombe pond and then James watched a juvenile in Smelly Gully for ten minutes. James has paid particular attention to the Water Rails on Lundy this year and has suggested the following conclusion; The Water Rail chick found in August by a visitor at Quarter Wall indicates a breeding success in this area. The further sightings in Millcombe, including Richard Campey's sighting of a chick in Millcombe (also seen later in the week by Tim Davis) suggests at least two broods from Millcombe, while the Quarter Wall "find" confirms that they have bred in at least two sites. There is no evidence of Water Rails having bred on the island for over a hundred years ! Richard Campey has wondered if the rat erradication programme has contributed to the birds successful breeding.

On Saturday the 27th thick fog limited observations to just a single Woodcock . The nest day Andy Jayne saw the Brent Goose flying past Rat Island.

Tony Taylor was on the island for the week 20 - 27th October with a group of ringers and has sent in the following, Tony notes that Thrush and Finch passage was good but not on the scale of the previous week. Tony, Rob Duncan and a small team of ringers worked from Dawn to Dusk throughout the week and caught some 1115 birds. This involved a smaller percentage of Chaffinches and Blackcaps than usual for the time of year, but more Blackbirds and record numbers of Redwings and Siskins. There were no major rarities but some interesting insights into the origins of migrants.

Unusually Fieldfares outnumbered Redwings on most days, in terms of birds seen, though as usual the Fieldfares were much harder to catch. Also very few Goldcrests seen, with a maximum day count of just three, but they caught one bird which was noticeably large and greyish, indicating continental origin. They caught six Continental Song Thrushes in the week, along with some British ones for direct comparison, and most of the Robins looked like paler, greyer continental birds. Most of the Chaffinches were big North European birds too.

Another nice comparison was of Redpolls. They ringed eight Lesser Redpolls on the 25th (the previous best ringing total was five for a whole year) and then another two on the 26th, when they also caught a Mealy Redpoll and were able to watch it in the field with the Lessers. The Grasshopper Warbler on the 23rd is the latest ever Lundy record and turned up in a net sited in St John's Valley. This bird's measurements and it's colder colouration pointed to the subspecies straminea from Eastern Russia and Asia.

Other birds caught and ringed included a Water Rail in the Terrace Trap and Ring Ouzel, Firecrest and a female Sparrowhawk in Millcombe. Sightings included two Stock Doves on the 25th and 26th, twenty Swallows on the 25th and four Reed Buntings on the 26th.

Andy Jayne reported a Firecrest in Millcombe and a small influx of Blackcaps, Thrushes and Finches including six Brambling on the last day of the month. Most perculiar sighting or rather noise may be the Manx Shearwater Andy heard calling sevearl times on the West Side near Old Light, and along with the one heard calling earlier in the month these constitute very late dates indeed.



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Sep
In the first two weeks of the month a total of fifty five young and fifteen adult Manx Shearwaters were caught and ringed on the west side of the island, south of the Battery by David Price, Adrian Plant and Tony Taylor. A single Storm Petrel was also caught.

There was a trickle of migrants with maximum counts of six Tree Pipits, two Grasshopper Warblers, twenty Willow Warblers, eight Spotted Flycatchers and
six Pied Flycatchers.

Water Rails were heard frequently and one was rescued by Tony Taylor from a drain at Brambles.

On the 12th a juvenile Rose coloured Starling was seen around the village and a Barred Warbler was caught and ringed by David Kightly in St John's valley.


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Aug
James Leonard was on the island from 11 - 18th of the month and reports:Birds of prey present included a Buzzard two Kestrels and a Merlin . Water Rails were still calling in Lower Millcombe and around the pond area. North Westerlies in the middle of the week produced four Spotted Flycatchers some thirty Willow Warblers three Chiffchaffs a Whitethroat and a Goldcrest.

Two Serbian birdwatchers on the island reported two Whimbrel, two Snipe and a Ruff . They also reported several Twite in a flock of eighty Linnets and a Great Tit heard but not seen.

Most of these birds had disappeared by the friday but there were recently fledged Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Robins and Wrens .

James saw a Storm Petrel on the return boat crossing.

On the 25 August Tim Jones and Tim Davis visited the island and they report a millpond like crossing but only three Manx Shearwaters and a couple of auks . They also saw Sand Martins migrating over the sea and three Meadow Pipits tried to land on the Oldenburg. On the island there were some hundred Sand Martins feeding round the mouth of Millcombe. Other migrants were five Pied Flycatchers two Spotted Flycatchers a Whitethroat and a few Willow Warblers with just a single Chiffchaff. Juvenilles of Swallow, Goldfinch, Stonechat and Wheatear were present.

At the end of the month a well meaning visitor found a small bird at Quarter Wall and took it to the warden. It turned out to be a Water Rail chick which has confirmed all the reports of strange Water Rail noises akin to those made while breeding. See photos page. The chick was successfully returned to where it came from. Water Rails become independant from the nest at a very early age and given the vocal nature of the species it is most probable that it was re united with it's parents very quickly.

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Photo
Jul
At least one Puffin chick has been seen one the west coast near St Philip's Stone. Photographed by Grant Sherman - please see photos page.

James Leonard, Grant Sherman and Nicola Saunders saw a male Scaup on the 18th which was still present on the 20th on Pondsbury. This is only the fifth record of this species for the island, and, the first since 1994 which was also a male on Pondsbury - see photos page. James also reports Water Rails at both Millcombe Pond and Pondsbury. A Sedge Warbler was also seen at Pondsbury.

While kayaking round the island Stuart Leavy managed a superb photograph of a Puffin adult on the water off the North East point just up from Gannets Bay.
Photo
Jun
On the 11th Andy Jayne found a male Red backed Shrike on the Quarry Terraces. Grant Sherman also saw the bird briefly in the morning the next day at the east end of Quarter Wall.

Andy also reports, other late migrants included a Turtle Dove in Millcombe valley on the 7th and 8th and a Whinchat by the Rocket Pole on the 8th. There was at least one Spotted Flycatcher present till the 10th and a Hobby along the East Side on the 10th and 11th. However Andy says that his most intriguing record occured in the early hours of the 12th while listening to manx Shearwaters, he heard a Water Rail calling from the small pond just south west of Quarters (by the Lifeguard shed).It was not the familiar squealing sound but a much softer call that Andy recognised the birds make during the breeding season. He listened to a recording when he got home just to confirm it. He summarises that it's a very late date for a migrant but breeding seems even more unlikely!

Also on the 11th Steve Rosser reports some fifty Starlings.
On the 12th of the month Steve saw a Spotted Flycatchers with two juvenilles in the rhododendrons just south of the heligoland trap on the east side terraces. The next day he witnessed a feeding frenzy off the North End which had forty Gannets and more than one thousand Manx Shearwaters .

On the 14th a male Cuckoo was present.

On 21st Adrian Foss saw at least seven Storm Petrels following the Oldenburg on the crossing and possibly even more in the wake of the boat.


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Photo
May
Tim Davis, Tim Jones and James Diamond were still on the island, and, on the 1st of the month saw Osprey and, Hobby. They report a large passage of Wheatears, up to some eighty birds, and twenty Swifts passing through. Corvids were now represented with a count of fifty five Carrion Crows. James Diamond saw the Osprey flying over the church and it was also seen by Tim Davis as it flew over Millcombe and then continued to drift north along the east side of the island.

James Diamond found an Ashy headed Wagtail.

A Hooded Crow was seen by James Diamond in the Tillage Field on 4th of the month and spent most of itís time in the Brick and Tillage Fields, Acklands Moor and the Airfield. It was still present on the 12th and always in the company of a flock of fifteen Carrion Crows . Also on the 4th Jamesíattention was drawn by gulls calling around the south end of the island and he then saw an Osprey cruising down the east side of the island. He watched it from the Terraces and within less than a minute it had passed him and headed off north.

The next day a Long eared Owl was found in Millcombe. The bird was very pale in the face (see photographs page) and underparts. It spent the whole day sat in the depths of a Sycamore tree just above the Battlements and was seen by several hundred people as they made their way to the boat. It was present until early evening but not seen again the next day.

Richard Campey was on the island from the 5th to the 12th and reports that continuous gales and rain made observations difficult, in addition to three days of fog! However a Wood Warbler was present until the 6th and spent the mornings singing in Millcombe. A female Ring Ouzel was calling around VC Quarry. The island was virtually devoid of warblers with only a handful of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers, the occasional Blackcap and Sedge Warbler.

On the 7th Richard saw two Dunlin just north of half way wall. On the 8th he saw a flock of thirty seven Oystercatchers from the lower east side path just north of St Helens Copse. With an additional twelve extra birds seen this gave a total of 49 birds present Ė a maximum count ever on the island. There was a small passage of Swallows with a maximum of three hundred on the 11th. Two Cuckoos were seen in St Helen's Copse with one of the birds singing all day (in the rain ).At sea Manx Shearwaters were seen most days and Richard saw three Puffins at St Philips, while Sophie Wheatley, the assistant warden, found five in the same area standing by burrows. Five Cormorants flew over the island heading North and a separate bird was sat on the water off North End.

Richard commented that there were very few birds for the middle of May on Lundy and it was probably the worst continuous Spring birdwatching weather he has encountered in thirty years.

James Leonard was on the island the following week and reports that it was much the same as Richard's previous week with little movement of Passerines. A total of just three Willow Warblers , one Sedge Warbler, a single Chiffchaff and three Spotted Flycatchers . The Hooded Crow was still present and a Whooper Swan turned up on Pondsbury on the 16th, but was not seen after the 17th. A Yellow Wagtail was present all week. James reports a big passage of Manx Shearwaters usuallly seen after 4pm daily and on the 17th some fifteen hundred Swallows. James did manage to increase the Puffin count to six.

On the 19th Maurice Clements saw a Red rumped Swallow off the east sidelands. It was jsut before 3pm when Maurice was making his way from Pondsbury to the east side, via the slope above the Terrace Heligoland trap. As he looked down there were many Swallows around and then he spotted a Red rumped Swallow in amongst them. He commented that it was just like seeing them back in Spain.


Latest news from the island on the 25th by Grant Sherman is of two European Bee-eaters seen on wires behind the Marisco Tavern. Sarah Dalrymple also reports that the two birds were seen by some thirty visitors and islanders between 10.15 and 10.40 am and her photos will appear on the website shortly.

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Photo
Apr
The Whooper Swan was still present on Pondsbury up to the 5th of April.

Grant Sherman also reports seeing Puffins on the morning of the 5th. Two birds were seen, both on land, coming out of burrows at St Philip's Stone. Encouraging news.

Roger Fursden, the island engineer, saw a Wheatear which he believed to be a Black eared Wheatear on the 8th. He commented that the bird first appeared near his window and he saw that the back and mantle were an obvious orangy colour. He breiflty relocated the bird but unfortunately it didn't stay long. Roger will be submitting a rarities description.

A male Sub alpine Warbler was seen in the lower gardens in Millcombe on the 10th.

Andy Jayne was on the island from the 11th till the 14th and reports that on his arrival he found the south of the island alive with Willow Warblers. He estimated a minimum of two hundred individuals along with up to forty Blackcaps. In the area between Quarter Wall and Pondsbury he saw a Short eared Owl and a male Redstart. Hirundines were much in evidence with a steady passage of Swallows heading north, totalling hundreds of birds during the afternoon. Among them were some hundred Sand Martins and two House Martins.
Mid afternoon Andy heard that a male Sub alpine Warbler had been seen in Millcombe. He spent the afternon looking for it and eventually found it at 5.50pm in the short vegetation on the bank above the walled gardens where it showed very well down to five yards for about twenty five minutes. He also found two Grasshopper Warblers.

The next day Andy went out early to look for Puffins and saw at least four on the sea just north of Jenny's Cove. Many of the previous day's Willow Warblers had moved on, though there were still about a hundred present, along with at least ten Blackcaps. There was no further sign of the Sub alpine Warbler and the passage of hirundines had almost dried up with just twenty Swallows and eleven Sand Martins during the day. The Redstart was still present and a female Ring Ouzel just north of Quarter Wall. A female Merlin was along the West Side and a female Sparrowhawk and single Fieldfare were in Millcombe.

On the 13th Andy reports that it was even quieter with just a handful of Willow Warblers left. An early walk to the North Light was rather unproductive with just twenty or so Manx Shearwaters over the sea and the usual sightings of Peregrines. A female Kestrel was seen over Millcombe. The afternoon saw a flock of ten House Martins, a Grasshopper Warbler by the Blue Bung and three White Wagtails arrived to join the eight Pied Wagtails that were already present. A Chiffchaff in the "secret garden" showed cahracters of the abientus race. Andy managed to photograph the bird but was experiencing some technical difficulties with his camera.

On his last day the female Ring Ouzel was still just north of Quarter Wall and the female Sparrowhawk along the East Side. The male Redstart was at the top of Millcombe.

One interesting observation was a total lack of Dunncoks.

On the 16th a Black Redstart was reported.

Three Whimbrel were seen on the 19th and two days later a Common Sandpiper. Also on the 19th were five Ring Ouzels.

On the 20th James leonard saw what could well be a second male Sub alpine Warbler. On the 21st James found a Canada Goose in the Landing bay.

A Wood Warbler was seen on the 26th.

On the 28th of the month Tim Davis, Tim Jones and James Diamond visited the island for a week. Their reports are as follows: In the last few days of the month they saw a few Pied Flycatchers and four Tree Pipits in addition to a pair of Garganey which were seen on Quarter Wall pond and also Pondsbury. They also had a Great Northern Diver flying high over the island. Up to four Whimbrel were seen, and, on the last day of the month a wader roost on rat island included three different species ! Curlew, Whimbrel and Bar tailed Godwit. One Water Rail was present in Millcombe.


Corvids were well represented with three Rooks on the 28th and a single Jackdaw, down to one Rook the next day and Jackdaw still present.



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Photo
Mar
James Leonard was on the island from the 16th to the 24th and reports; a Great Northern Diver was present in the landing bay. With some fresh easterlies viewing was difficult in Millcombe but two Goldcrests and two Chiffchaffs were putting up with the windy conditions. A Merlin and female Sparrowhawk were also present.

A Whooper Swan arrived on Pondsbury on the 25th of the month. It stayed for the rest of the month and was also seen using the Rocket Pole area. This is the first spring record of this species on Lundy, all others having been in October, November and December.

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Feb
No reports for February.

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Photo
Jan
The beginning of the year brought with it some returning Fulmars to the island with up to twenty on the 14th and ten at the end of the month.

A wader Survey was carried out by Peter Leavy, Nicola Saunders, Grant Sherman and James Leonard. The only waders recorded were Oystercatchers with nine different birds surveyed on the 19th and 20th and six on the 22nd. All these birds were on the east coast and in the southern half of the island. However on the 24th a survey was carried out between the Cheeses and North Light and some seventeen different birds were seen.

Other sightings during the month included a Water Rail on the 12th with up to three present on the 23rd and 25th. There were ten Lapwing on the 25th following some harsh weather on the mainland. Up to eleven Meadow Pipits and eight Rock Pipits recorded on the 21st. Wrens were present throughtout with a maximum of four on the 25th.

Seabirds included small numbers of and Razorbills seen visiting the cliffs and a maximum of four hundred at sea on the 21st and 25th. Highlight for the year so far was a Little Auk seen by Nicola and Sophie on the 16th, the second year running for this species which is extremely rare in the south west. A Great Skua was reported on the 20th.

A hanfull of Redwings and Fieldfares towards the end of the month, and three Goldcrests.

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  2006
Dec
James Leonard has sent in the following sightings; the eight Pink footed Geese were last reported present on the island up to the 5th. At least one Merlin was present since October and right through December, with two birds a male and female together on the 28th. As usual Water Rails were present in Millcombe. A single Manx Shearwater was seen from the North End on the 28th with at least forty Razorbills and thirty five Guillemots . The day before a mixed flock of Razorbills and Guillemots were seen off North End. Kittiwakes were reported of the East Side on most days with a maximum of seven hundred on the 28th.

A flock of twenty Lapwings were seen on the 20th and four Golden Plovers on the 26th.

Thrushes were represented by eight Fieldfares and two Redwings on the 23rd but only one Redwing was seen after that. At least six Goldcrests were present with two in Millcombe Valley on Christmas Day and four on the Quarries on the 28th. Chaffinches reached double figures at the end of the month and Goldfinches managed eight individuals.

Many thanks to all who have sent in sightings and photographs to the site and wishing you a Happy New Year from Richard Campey

Photo
Nov
James Diamond was on the island at the beginning of the month and has sent the following highlights: the Pink footed Geese were still present with nine individuals, down from ten birds on the 26th of October. James reports that they were very elusive being seen only at dusk and dawn and they appeared to be leaving the island during the daytime.

A Snow Bunting was seen by Ernie Davis near Pondsbury. A Blackcap was present on the 6th.

Three Balearic Shearwaters seen by James were amongst a seabird feeding frenzy off the east side of the island on the 7th and the 8th. A Hen Harrier , ringtail, was much in evidence between the 6th and the 8th and roosted at Pondsbury. Also at Pondsbury was a Short eared Owl .

On the 10th there were single Firecrest, Black Redstart and Great Northern Diver. At least two Merlins were present daily and James recorded some six hundred Redwings and Fieldfares seven hundred Chaffinches and five Bramblings all on the 10th.

Sophie Wheatley, the Assistant Warden has sent in the following reports; on the 16th Guillemots and some eighty Razorbills were still present and five hundred plus Kittiwakes the next day dropping to about two hundred on the 26th. There were six Purple Sandpipers at Brazen Ward on the 18th and a Great Northern Diver still hanging around on the 17th.

On the 20th of the month James Leonard reports that there are still nine Pink footed Geese still present.

At the end of the month Redwings and Fieldfares were still being reported in small numbers

On the 26th Nicola Saunders repoted the Pink footed Geese still present, though their numbers had dropped to eight. Still present on the 28th and still eight in number.

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Photo
Oct
News of a Red breasted Flycatcer in Millcombe on the 5 th 6th and 7th seen by Joshua MaCallum Stewart and Jane Gooden near Brambles .

From the 7th to the 14 th Steve and Ade Cooper, John Oates and Richard Patient have sent in the following notes:

The Red breasted Flycatcher was still present on the 7th and it remained until the 10th when it was ringed. Otherwise, they report, seawatching was the order of the day as groups of seabirds gathered off the protected east side of the island and included fifty Kittiwakes an Arctic Skua , five Sandwich Terns, three Acric Terns three Common Terns and a Manx Shearwater, but their highlight was a group of up to five Balearic Shearwaters, though there may have been at least eight birds present.

The next day they found a Yellow browed Warber with a small group of Goldcrests in St Helen's Copse and unable to resist more seawatching they saw at least four more Balearic Shearwaters and a Common Tern. Turning back to Millcombe a Redpoll was causing some interest as the bird showed some of the characteristics of the north western form. The bird was first heard calling, and seen, as it flew over Quarter Wall Copse. Later it settled in Millcombe.

On the 9th the Common Redpoll had gone but three Lesser Redpolls were present in addition to Reed, Snow and Lapland Buntings all of which remained till at least the next day. Some Willow Warblers were present and a along with a hundred Goldcrests. Some fifty five Skylarks passed through and a Whinchat was present which stayed for a couple of weeks.

The group describe the 10th as the day with the best variety.Peter Rothwell was making his way down the zig zag path to Quarry Beach when he heard a rustling in the grass and dead bracken in the area just below where the Rhodendrons have been recently cleared, and saw a bird trying to get into some cover. Peter reports that as the bank is very steep at this point it wasn't having much success and did appear quite weak. He photographed the bird as best he could ( see photographs page ). After looking at the photographs and consulting a few other people he was fairly sure the bird was a Spotted Crake . It certainly was !

Visible migration was excellent and indicated by a passage of one thousand, three hundred and fifty Meadow Pipits during a co-ordinated count. In addition there were twenty three alba Wagtails , six Firecrests , four of these together in Millcombe and two near Quarter Wall, up to forty Siskins and a Pied Flycatcher . At sea they recorded one hundred and thirty Gannets and an Arctic Skua off the south west.

A Subalpine Warbler was trapped and ringed in Millcombe by John Walshe. The bird was also re caught two days later and John reports that it had put on a gram of weight in the two days between capture from 10.5 to 11.5 grams. John concludes that assuming it incresed weight at the same rate it would have weighed 15 grams when it was last seen on the 20th, which is the maximun weight for this species. John also considers the bird to be an Eastern Subalpine Warbler due to it's wing length being 65mm but he does make the point that other measurements show considerable overlap and therefore the evidence for it being this race is only slight.

Also on the 10th Matt Twiggs, Ian Moore and Malcolm Shakespeare had a Pomarine Skua on the crossing and in addition to other sightings in Millcombe a Red breasted Flycatcher a Spotted Flycatcher and Pied Flycatcher , a Lesser Redpoll also a Lapland Bunting near Pondsbury.

On the 11th a Wryneck was present in Millcombe Valley and two Acrocephalus warblers also, one an obvious Reed Warbler but the other which was seen by two observers was steadily making it's way up Millcombe Valley and showed features of Blyth's Reed Warbler . This bird managed to evade any ringing nets and also it's identity. Some eleven Chiffchaffs were seen and two Pied Flycatchers . At sea two Arctic Terns were recorded.

The next day seawatching produced three Common Scoter , thirty Guillemots seventy Razorbills thirty five Kittiwakes and another Balearic Shearwater . John Walshe retrapped the first winter Subalpine Warbler .

The 13 th was again good for visible migration with more than two hundred Chaffinches and twenty Siskins . The Subalpine Warbler decided to show itself to those who had previously missed it in the hand.

On their final day the winds increased making observations difficult and their only birds of note were a Mistle Thrush, Reed Warbler and three Firecrests in Millcombe.

On the 14th Tom Bedford, Richard Campey, Tim Davis, James Diamond and Tim Jones were on the island for a week in addition to Ivan Lakin and Kevin Rowlands. On the crossing to the island a Sunfish was seen. Bird highlights for this week started with a Snow Bunting above Pilots Quay found by Ivan and a Lapland Bunting heard in south west field by Richard Campey. Merlins were present on top of the island in addition to Golden Plover and a handfull of Swallows . A Pied Flycatcher took up residence at Quarter Wall and became regular there for several days, then later two were regular in Quarter Wall Copse. A number of Firecrests were still present in Millcombe and the East side path. The number of Ring Ouzels in Millcombe rose to at least five individuals and with other sightings by Quarter Wall the maximum number of birds recorded were eight.

On the 14th James Diamond saw a Short eared Owl being mobbed by crows over the airfield and on the 18th another or possibly the same bird was seen by Kevin Rowlands and Ian Lakin at night on the track to Castle Hill.

An Osprey was seen off the east side fishing by Ivan Lakin and Kevin Rowlands and watched for quite a while moving up an down the east side. Ivan also reported seeing a Sooty Shearwater off the east side.

On thursday the presumably thought departed Sub alpine Warbler reappeared in the lower gully of Millcombe Valley and showed on and off for the next couple of days.
Then James Diamond found a Cetti's Warbler in the same spot on friday.

Tim Davis was the first to see a group of seven Pink footed Geese flying off the east coast. The birds eventually settled up by Pondsbury and then made their way to feed in Brick and Tillage fields. They roosted overnight at the south end of the island and were still present on saturday.

On their last day a Richard's Pipit was heard calling and seen flying over the field east of the shop by Tim Davis et al, and heading south. Despite searching over Castle Hill it couldn't be re located. At least two Lapland Buntings were with Skylarks on the village side of the airfield.

The following week Tony and Jonathon Taylor, Rob Duncan et al were on the island. Tony reports that the Pink footed Geese numbers rose to ten early on with nine birds still present on the 28th. A Balearic Shearwater was seen off the east side by Mike James, Julian Allen and Alex Lea. The Cetti's Warbler was ringed on the 23rd and Yellow browed Warbers also ringed on the 24th and 28th.

Late summer migrants included two Pied Flycatchers on the 24th and one or two Willow Warblers through the week with Whinchat still much in evidence till the end of the month. Unlike most years, there were no Swallows.

During the week Tony reports that a hundred Blackcaps were ringed. On the 27th there was a big movement of birds dominated by some eleven thousand Chaffinches but surprisingly small numbers of other species which normally tend to move together such as Goldcrests, Firecrests and Siskins . Tony expected to see many more thrushes and finches with so many Chaffinches , though they did record hundreds of Starlings and Redwings but very few Fieldfares . There was a noticeable increase in Song Thrushes and a few Skylarks . Clouded Yellow and Humming bird Hawk Moths were still present.

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Photo
Sep
The Swallows nesting in the church and pig shed still present at the beginning of the month and on the 1st a Ringed Plover, two Swifts and a Blackcap.

From the 8th till the 10th a Common Buzzard was present and several sightings of Sparrowhawks and up to six Kestrels.

Helen Booker found at least fifteen unfledged Manx Shearwaters in burrows on the west side by the Old Light on the 12th and 13th of the month.

Two Dunlin were seen on the 1st and the 17th and a single Lapwing and two Snipe on the 9th. Guillemots were seen regularly from the boat with occasional Storm Petrels. Shaun Barnes found the remains of a Corncrake on the 9th.

A late Swift was seen on the 10th with up to five hundred Swallows and counts of one hundred Sand Martins. Yellow Wagtails reached a maximum of eight. With the winds changing north westerly a fall of seventeen Wheaters dropped in on the 14th along with a few Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs . Also during this period up to six Pied Flycatchers and seven Spotted Flycatchers.

On the 12th and 13th Redstarts were on the island along with second or even maybe even third broods of Stonechats with a maximum of of twelve individuals.

A juvenile Woodchat Shrike was seen in St John's Valley and upper Millcombe by M. Shakespeare and M. Twiggs and again in St John's by James Leonard and Grant Sherman.

Non bird sightings for the first two weeks included up to twelve Hummingbird Hawk Moths on the Fuchsia in Millcombe and both Common and Bottlenose Dolphins plus a few Basking Sharks.

LATEST NEWS is of Yellow browed Warbler on the 17th and a Woodchat Shrike , Common Rosefinch , Dotterel and one thousand plus Meadow Pipits all on the 26th. More details follow soon.
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Aug
Two Dunlin were seen early in the month.They did however managed to evade a couple of Sparrowhawks present on the island, one of them a juvenile, clearly taking lessons from it's parent, as the adult took a House Sparrow from the bushes by Government House.

Juvenile Wheatears were seen down below Benjamin's Chair along with other young of Meadow Pipits, Song Thrushes, Goldfinches and some Mallards on Pondsbury.

While there were still large rafts of Manx Shearwaters off shore. A pair of Swallows started a new nest in the farm yard.

Tony and Ann Taylor were on the island at the end of the month ringing Shearwaters. They report that just three chicks were found, two still very downy, but there was lots of adult Manx Shearwater activity suggesting a late breeding season with most chicks still under the ground as the adults stop coming to feed the chicks in the later stages.

Not many migrants, though they did see three flocks of Cormornats heading south and a Redpoll was around most days. Sand Martins present most days and a few Willow Warblers, a couple of Sedge Warblers and Tree Pipit. On the 26th there was a Cuckoo and two Grasshopper Warblers. The next day a Sparrowhawk and one Whinchat. A Yellow Wagtail appeared on the 27th. Breeding birds included two Swallow nests with young in the church and the pig shed. There was also a pair of Goldfinches with fledged young.Interestingly there were no Dunnocks seen all week.

Other sightings included good numbers of Painted Ladies a few Clouded Yellows and some Hummingbird Hawkmoths on quarry beach which Tony reports hovered in front of his sister's wristwatch and tried to inset their tongue into a balck circular shape on the watch ! (obvoiusly had time on their hands - eds) . Three Basking Sharks and thirty Common Dolphins off the east side.

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Jul
Peter Clabburn sailed to Lundy from Milford Haven at the beginning of the month and reports an encouraging sighting of two Puffins on the east side of the island, a location not often frequented by them. During his crossing he saw two Swifts and a Wheatear flying south and large numbers of auks, with Manx Shearwaters and a few Storm Petrels. Cetacean sightings were good too and included numerous Common Dolphns two Minke Whales and a Sunfish.

On the island a few Swifts, Swallows and Wheatears were present and a Common Sandpiper in the Landing bay on the 2nd. Also a Hummingbird Hawk Moth on the thrift at Jenny's Cove.

On the 16th three Lapwings were seen from the south end and flew up to Ackland's Moor and five Swifts seen at sea the same day. A single Spotted Flycatcher was present in Millcombe with two Goldfinches. The Oystercatcher chicks on the Miller's Cake were ready to fledge and again both Common and Bottlenosed Dolphins were seen. During the period from the 15th to the 22nd the Manx Shearwaters were hardly visible from the land due to the light easterly winds but as usual were heard on the moonless and dark nights. The winds then changed to westerlies and the Shearwaters returned in multiple rafts off the west side, estimating some five thousand birds.

Highlights during this period were a Great Skua seen by James Leonard just east off Rat Island and some seven Storm Petrels on the crossing, but closer to Morte Point than Lundy!

Humming Bird Hawk Moths arrived at their favourite feeding area on the Valerian by Millcombe gates.

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Jun
Dave Smith has sent in reports for June of a Grey Heron flying over the island and at least two pairs of Wheatears feeding chicks. On the crossing he saw some hundred plus Manx Shearwaters and up to five Storm Petrels.

James Leonard sent in some interesting breeding information for the month which includes; Wheatears breeding under Benjamin's Chair, two pairs in the South West corner and at least five pairs around the North End, all with juvenilles. He also notes juvenille Meadow Pipits and Skylarks as widespread over the top of the island especially. At least two pairs of Oystercatchers bred, one at the Miller's Cake and one in Gannet's Bay, both pairs having two young.

The highest numbers of Puffins recorded in one day was fifteen with eight being at North End, three on the East Side north of Gannet's Rock and four by St Philips Stone. Puffins were also sighted off the South End under the incinerator with two present on one occasion. Greenfincheshave been seen regularly in Millcombe along with some Goldfinches.

On the 14th a Grey Heron was present on Pondsbury eyeing up the young Mallard chicks and the same day four more Herons flew over.

Also during the month large rafts of Manx Shearwaters were seen off both the east and west side on most days and guestimates put the numbers around three thousand birds. There were sightings of at least twelve Bottle nosed Dolphins from the Ugly on the 18th and towards the end of that week at least thirty Common Dolphins seen from the Tavern by many people for over an hour.

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May
The month starts with sightings from Peter Clabburn of a Whimbrel, male Cuckoo and Bullfinch.

Latest news is of a Green winged Teal on Pondsbury since the 7th and still present on the 10th. It was originally identified as a Teal but on the 9th with the aid of a scope Tony John was able to identify it as a Green winged Teal see picture on photographs page.

There was a steady passage of Manx Shearwaters most days during the month and a Little Egret by Quarter Wall for two days on 10th and 11th. The Green winged Teal stayed on Pondsbury until the 14th. Raptors were well represented with Sparrowhahk , Buzzard , Kestrel and Merlin all seen on a regular basis up to the 18th. More unusually there were sightings of at least one Hen Harrier on five days.

Two Turnstones were frequenting the beech on the 14th. Occasional Whimbrel were sighted as were large numbers of Guillemots and Razorbills on the cliffs.

Turtle Dove numbers reached a peak of five birds present in Millcombe. A pair of Stonechats were breeding in the Quarries. Other regular migrants such as Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Sedge Warblers, Willow Warblers all present during the month. Spotted Flycatchers came through in dribs and drabs with a peak of seventeen on the 13th. The long staying Great spotted Woodpecker continued to enjoy Lundy and male and female Black Redstarts were seen at Jenny's Cove. An unusual sighting of Red rumped Swallow was recorded on the 18th in the Gannets Coombe area and a Red throated Diver near the Landing Beech on the 19th.

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Apr
The first day of the month started with a Willow Warbler and a sighting of Skua sp. A Snow Bunting was still present on the 5th but this time at North Light and on the same day fifteen Swallows.

Also at the beginning of the month Jane Cowin reported Skylarks in full song.

A Puffin was seen on the 7th but no more reports till at least the 11th.

Colin McShane et al were on the island from the 22nd to the 29th and reported the following: Millcombe had two Coal Tits which left on the wednesday and two pairs of Bullfinches of which Colin managed to ring all four. There was a bit of a fall on the sunday with 201 Willow Warblers ringed and two Reed Warblers, one Garden Warbler, several Sedge Warblers numerous Blackcaps, two Tree Pipits and a female Redstart. A Common Buzzard was seen on the tuesday and a Honey Buzzard seen flying in off at the south end on the wednesday. It was mobbed by Gulls and Ravens and left after about three minutes of continual mobbing. A few Whimbrel were present throughout the week, with one at Jenny's Cave on the friday which seemed surprisingly reluctant to fly.

A Water Rail was heard in the bottom of Millcombe till thursday and Swift numbers reached a maximum of 10 birds on the friday.The Great Spotted Woodpecker was still very evident in Millcombe. No Puffins were seen during this period by Colin's party.

As ever on Lundy there is often something to set the pulse racing and Colin had ones of those moments many of us have had of a brief sighting of a bird that never showed itself sufficiently well for identification. It was a pale Lark, with a strong bouncy flight and showed translucent wings - despite much searching Colin was unable to locate it further, but his hunch was a possible Shorelark.

Peter Clabburn was visiting over the bank holiday and reports; Reed Warbler on the 29th, and a Swift. Also Manx Shearwaters calling from the Ugly the same evening and the next day. Also on the 30th a good passage of Hirundinnes off the North End and during the night he heard two Whimbrels from the Ugly.






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Mar
Andy Jayne spent time on the island from the 13th to the 18th of the month and reported some harsh easterly winds but on the 14th a reasonably pleasant day provided him with and almost certain Black-throated Diver, in transitional plumage off North Light,unfortunately Andy writes that he would have liked to get better views to be one hundred percent certain. His notes would indicate this to definitely be a Black throated Diver (eds). An early Manx Shearwater was a surprise and he also saw a male Merlin and an influx of Stonechats and Redwings on the 15th.

Andy also reports for the 14th a female Great Spotted Woodpecker with a ring on it's left leg, still present in Millcombe, and a male Wheatear on the east side top path. A Brambling was present in Millcombe. The next day three Peregrines, Merlin and a female Kestrel. The Castle provided him with a White Wagtail and Thurshes were represented by eighty Redwings and four Fieldfares. Two Chiffchaffs the first for the year. On the 16th two Red throated Divers from North Light and 120 Razorbills. A Black headed gull adult flew east past the North Light and a first winter Common Gull off the South end. Stonechats had risen to fourteen.

On his last day Andy saw three Red throated Divers from the North End to supplement the Black throated Diver and two first winter Common Gulls. A single Manx Shearwater flew north east past North Light.

James Leonard spent a full week on the island and adds the following sightings to those made by Andy: two Black Redstarts a Great Northern Diver off South End.

During this period there were also reports of a Short eared owl on the 17th, and a Curlew Sandpiper on the 13th.

The first of the Hirundines, a House Martin was seen on the 21st followed by a Sand Martin on the 27th and two Swallows on the 28th.

The month ended with a winter plumage Snow Bunting at South Light.


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Feb
Nicola Saunders, the island warden, reports that during the first two weeks of February there were regular sightings of Oystercatchers, Peregrine and increasing numbers of Fulmars and Shags. A Kestrel was present daily. On the 1st nine Golden Plovers were seen and on the 7th and 8th a couple of Lapwings present, a much declined species on Lundy in the last twenty years. Kittiwake numbers increased with thirty five on the 8th to two hundred on the 10th and 11th. Auks were also on the increase with a count of 465 Guillemots on the 2nd, hundreds on the 7th and 150 and 70 on the 11th and 12th respectively. A Small number of Razorbills were seen on the 2nd, 4th and 5th with numbers rising to 150 on the 11th.

James Leonard saw a Wigeon near the shop on the 13th and Charlie Kilgour saw two Purple Sandpipers and a very early Ringed Plover on the 15th on the east point of rat island.

Dave Penny visied from the 10th to the 13th and saw twenty seven different species, notable highlights were Peregrine, Kestrel, Stonechat, Snipe, Razorbills near the Devil's Chimney and a Fulmar on rat island. The now famous domestic duck a hybrid of Indian Runner ( we think ) was still present. Reluctantly (eds) there will be a photograph of this on the photos page soon.

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Jan
The year started with a batch of raptors including two Kestrels a Merlin and Peregrines. Charlie Kilgour reports that at least two Water Rails were still present in Millcombe Valley and on the 5th there was a Snipe and Dunlin present. The next day four Goldfinches and on the 7th a Fieldfare and Woodcock.

Richard Campey reports that during an extended weekend trip to the island late in the month on the 27th there was a single Water Rail in Millcombe, three Snipe by Pondsbury, a Woodcock behind the church, two Goldfinches below the battlements and six Rock Pipits on the top of the island around Tibbets. The next day was bright and sunny but with a fierce ENE wind. Song Thrushes had increased to seven and Robins along the east side path numbered thirteen. A first winter Common Gull was seen, not common on Lundy, and good numbers of Guillemots and Razorbills off the north west point. Stonechats were present round Tibbets and a single Goldcrest was singing in Millcombe. On Sunday the wind was still blowing ENE about force eight and observations were difficult but towards the end of the day Richard notice two small blobs in the water around Hell's Kitchen. Telescope views in wind battered conditions from the battlements, and the birds looked like very small auks, either that or lumps of wood bobbing about. In fading light Richard made his way down to the landing bay and round the back of the divers beach to be confronted by two Little Auks. Extremely unusual on the west coast of Britain and even more so on Lundy, they are about the sixth island record to date.
 
2005
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Dec
On the 3rd of the month Charlie Kilgour saw four Whooper Swans which stayed on the island until the 9th, also during this period a Merlin was present for two days. A Great Spotted Woodpecker showed for much of the month.

On Christmas Eve James Leonard reported seeing a Blue Tit firstly above Millcombe House and then again by Brambles, also two Goldcrests a wintering Chiffchaff, two Water Rails, a Merlin, Snipe and two Teal. Out to sea there were some two hundred and fifty and Razorbills.

During the period between Christmas and New year James Leonard has been braving the weather and tells us that it has been very cold with predominent easterlies, he reports the following; Peregrine and Merlin, at least four Water Rails and four Oystercatchers. A Dunlin in Punchbowl Valley and several sightings of Snipe. Ten Lapwings turned up on the 28th and still a few Redwings and Fieldfares present. On the 29th the Blue Tit was still present in Millcombe along with two Goldfinches, one Blackcap and one Chiffchaff and at least five Chaffinches and two Goldcrests.


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Nov
James Leonard reports that at the beginning of the month at least two Merlins were present along with Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Snow Bunting and two Black Redstarts. However his main news is of a sighting of Laughing Gull. Ben Sampson also reports that the first winter Laughing Gull is till around on 13th in the area between the church and the Tavern, feeding on earthworms. Ben had heard rumours that there were two birds together a week prior and this was confirmed when Roger Fursdon found the corpse of an adult Laughing Gull in St John's Valley.

Ben reports that mid month there are still lots of Thrushes, Finches and Starlings around with raptors being represented by Peregrine, Merlin and Kestrel all present on the 13th.

An intriguing report of Avocet in the Lower Aerogenerator Field was entered in the LFS log for the 15th. It was an unsigned entry and the only description was that the bird had an "turned up bill and light undercarriage", clearly this is not enough to have such a rarity for Lundy to be accepted, but nonetheless it's an intriguing record.

The last sighting of the first winter Laughing Gull was on the 17th when it was seen near to the church. A male Hen Harrier was seen flying south towards hartland Point and a single Lapwing visited the island on the 25th. Ben reports that snow and wind and a lack of birders mean there has been little coverage in the last two weeks of the month, though a Grey Heron was seen on and off in mid November.

Charlie Kilgour, the assistant warden, saw a Hen Harrier on the 20th and two days later a female Eider was reported, though this was again an unsigned entry in the LFS log book.

On the last day of the month a Grey Plover was recorded.


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Oct
The first day of the month and the Barred Warbler was still present in Stoneycroft gardens and the Common Rosefinch also in Millcombe. A Greenfinch was seen in the "wood" in Millcombe.

In the first week the ringers caught two Common Rosefinches. A Red eyed Vireo was also caught and ringed in Millcombe on the 6th. It is impossible to say if this was a second bird to that seen at the beginning of the month, though the first bird wasn't seen for several days before this one was was caught.

On the 13th an unusual sighting for Lundy of a Great Spotted Woodpecker (see photos page) was seen which stayed in the Millcobe area until the 19th.

On the 14th a Red flanked Bluetail was caught and ringed in Millcombe (see photos page), this, if accepted by the British Birds Rarities Committee, and it would be hard to refute given the photographs, will be a first for Lundy.It was briefly relocated by Tony Blunden on the same day shortly after it's release.

The following reports are from Gareth Knass who was on the island with friends, Tony, Jenny and Joshua Blunden from the 13th to 19th October.
On the 15th three Hawfinches were seen in Millcombe and stayed till the 19th. A Lapand Bunting was recorded as a flyover on the 16th and the next day a Little Bunting seen by the Stonecrusher. Two Richard's Pipits found on the 17th and stayed till the 19th and a probable Rose coloured Starling though it could not be relocated. Snow Buntings were present during this week with one bird by the Rocket Pole pond and four at John O'Groats. A Firecrest was present in Millcombe. Gareth reports that the visible migration was good throughout the week and they had especially good numbers of Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Siskins, and Bramblings. Also towards the end of the week there were double numbers of Ring Ousels.

The following reports are from John Walshe who was also present on the island ringing from 15th - 22nd October. John followed a ringing fortnight by Richard Castle who's team caught some 1200 birds. Howerever John managed to catch and ring some 499 birds, his highlights being Yellow-browed Warbler, Hawfinch (only the 4th ever ringed on Lundy) and nominate race Great Spotted Woodpecker (only the second ever ringed on the island). The Hawfinch was a huge male, with a wing length exceeding the normal for British Hawfinch, so this is possibly a bird from Western Siberia or even a Scandinavian individual. This monster was coming down to seed put down under the trees below Brambles. Dave Flumm reported that the bird was trapped several times and each time it was the only bird in the net, he reckons other birds thought it was a raptor it looked so big! The Great Spotted Woodpecker was a first year female that was trapped in the secret gardens in Millcombe. It's measurements and the juvenille body feathers indicated a later fledging bird from more northern populations. The Yellow browed Warbler was a male and was aged as a first year bird. Photos will be on the website of some of these birds soon.

John caught and ringed some 21 different species which included an amazing eighty one Goldfinches, an exceptional number for Lundy and some one hundred and sixteen Siskins.

A Dartford Warbler was seen by Lucy James on the west side above Pilot's Quay.

James Leonard also reports exceptional numbers of migrants during the week included large numbers of Goldfinches plusBramblings, two Reed Buntings, Firecrest and Black Redstart.

Two Yellow browed Warblers were found on the 18th by Paul St Pierre and Dave Flumm, more details and photos follow. Both birds were present the next day.

Dave Flumm, Paul St Pierre and Alan Kitson were on the island during the 15th-22nd October, and Andy Jewels and Ian Kendall also present. Most notable records from Dave include up to 100 Siskins on the 15th. The next day four Snow Buntings, Firecrest, Lapland Bunting, Short eared Owl, some 200 Siskins and a Mistle Thrush which stayed for four days.

On the 18th two Woodcocks, a Redpoll and Yellow browed Warbler and Richard's Pipit. Then on the 19th with southerly winds reaching force 8 a Balearic Shearwater was seen by Ian Kendal (only the second record for Lundy). Dave and Paul found two Yellow browed Warblers in St Helens. On the 20th in west south west winds blowing force 4 the third record of Balearic Shearwater was found by Dave and later a Jack Snipe near Pondsbury. Crossbills were present in Millcombe and a Meadow Pipit with a yellow head and signs of albinism by the rock crusher.
A Yellow browed Warbler was present in St Helens and another Richard's Pipit seen by Andy Jewels and Ian Kendal. Dave et al added another three Balearic Shearwaters the next day and twenty Manx Shearwaters, two Puffins, and still present was Andy and Ian's Richard's Pipit from the day before.

On the 22nd there were four Yellow browed Warblers present and two Richard's Pipits still, some forty Blackcaps and Dave Flumm had an "acredula" Willow Warbler near St Helens. Other birds present included Snow Bunting, Lapland Bunting and three Reed Buntings and an incredible eleven Black Redstarts. On their last day Dave found an Arctic Tern off the east coast and two Coal Tits seen by Dave, Paul and Alan were identified by Alan as belonging to the Continental race. And finally from the Oldenburg Dave and his team continued to pull in the birds with an Arctic Skua.

Tony Taylor, Rob Duncan and Richard Taylor were ringing on the island from 22 - 29 October and ringed 618 birds, Tony reports that it was mainly Finches with Chaffinches dominating but also good numbers of Bramblings and Siskins.Two more Yellow browed Warblers were caught on the 22nd, in addition to the two caught by John Walshe in the morning, then a further two ringed on the 23rd.A Chaffinch with a Russian ring was caught on the 27th. Rob Duncan reports that this is the first Chaffinch with a Russian ring to be found in the UK despite about a million ringed in the UK. Rob continues that although more than 4000 Chaffinches have been ringed on Lundy since 1989 that in their week they did not catch any others with rings on. Rob believes that the birds are coming from more northerly populations as they are very big birds on average and passing down the west coast into South West Britain for the winter. This is further supported by recoveries of birds ringed on Lundy and subsequently recovered elsewhere. Chaffinches move north to south in big numbers on Lundy at the end of October, indicating that they are not passing west to Ireland as the literature suggests.

Ohter sightings during the week included a Corncrake found by Mike James behind the hotel on the 29th and a Red breasted Flycatcher by Quater Wall Copse on the 23rd to 25th by MJ and Julian Allen. There was a Richard's Pipit present most of the week and two Snow Buntings. MJ and Julian Allen tried seawatching from the Ugly and saw a few Manx Shearwaters and a Grey Phalarope on the 27th. The Great Spotted Woodpecker was present all week and a Bullfinch weas trapped on the 27th. A Hawfinch was seen briefly in Millcombe on the 29th.

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Sep
One Common Crossbill was still present to the 3rd September. Three Black headed Gulls were seen on the first of the month and eight Commic Terns also reported. A Ringed Plover on the 1st was joined by a second bird on the 2nd. Up to four Whimbrel were seen on the 4th with a female Black Redstart the same day.Buzzards made an appearence with individual sightings on the 5th, 14th and two on the 17th. There was an intriguing record of Bullfinch on the 5th, this being an unusual bird on Lundy, though no other details were supplied. Spotted Flycatchers peaked at twenty on the 6th and 7th with singles for the rest of the month. Also on the 7th, sixteen Cormorants flew over Jenny's Cove. A female Merlin stayed from the 18th to the 24th. Water Rail numbers increased to 3 on the 17th while Pied Wagtails also increased from seventeen birds at the beginning of the month to twenty on the 14th. Sixteen White Wagtails were confidently seperated from Albas on the 22nd. Siskins were recorded towards the end of the month with two birds on several days, while a single Redpoll was present on the 19th and 20th.

James Diamond arrived on the island on the 17th September and by the 18th had found Icterine Warbler,Yellow browed Warbler, and Wryneck. The Yellow browed Warbler was in the sycamores at the bottom of Millcombe Valley and while looking at this, James then had an Icterine Warbler fly into the same sycamores. On the 26th Tim Jones had three Shelducks fly past him heading north-west over the airfiled. On the 27th a Lapland Bunting was found feeding in the tractor ruts next to the Heinkel ruins by Tim Jones and James Diamond and a few hours later two more Lapland Buntings were seen by Richard Campey in St Helens Field. The next day Richard found a Barred Warbler in Stoneycroft gardens, during what he describes as some of the worst birding conditions ever, a force 8 south-westerly with driving rain, not surprisingly only brief flight views were seen. The next day the wind had dropped significantly so Richard, Tim and James returned to Stoneycroft and re-located the bird in the garden, this time getting better views than the day before, though the bird was still incredibly elusive and skulking. Later that morning Tim Jones found a Red eyed Vireo in the Turkey Oaks in Millcombe Valley. The bird showed on and off for most of the day, though this too could be elusive at times, hiding high up in the Oaks. Tim Davis found a Common Rosefinch at the top of Millcombe Valley.

On the 30th both the Red eyed Vireo and the Common Rosefinch were present in the lower part of Millcombe Valley during a rainy and totally fog-bound day.


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Aug
Reports for August are of a Bee-eater on the 17th, we await further details on this.

Tony Taylor was on the island from the 27 August and was out every night for the following week looking for Manx Shearwaters and Storm Petrels, though he reports that only one night was dark enough to be ideal for Shearwaters. He found seven Manx Shearwater chicks - this is the first time young have ever been ringed on Lundy and while over the past five years there has been building evidence of breeding of Shearwaters on Lundy, the ringing of chicks is a fairly momentous event and indeed testimony to Tony's hard work on this bird species over the past thirty years. He also caught and ringed 10 adult birds, four of them retraps from July 2004.Three Storm Petrels were also caught, one of them a control (bird ringed originally elsewhere to Lundy) and at least one of the birds had a brood patch. It has long been thought by some that Lundy provides good breeding requirements for Storm Petrels and the area favoured by Nick Dymond some forty years ago was the Earthquakes. Perhaps we are in for more exciting news in the years to come.

Other highlights were two Ortolan Buntings seen together in the Quarter Wall Pond / Quarry Cottages area on the 28th August. A Melodious Warbler was caught and ringed in St John's Valley on 29th August. There were noticeable movements, south, of Cormorants with a maximum count of 49, and small numbers of waders on the move, including Green Sandpiper and small flocks of Curlew and Whimbrel. Small numbers of hirundines all well, mainly Sand Martins and Swallows with a number of Yellow Wagtails. One individual had the heart beating a little faster as it was completely lacking yellow/brown/olive colours and had a harsh call, after close inspection was not a Citrine. Whincaht, Spotted and Pied Flycatchers aslo present during the week.

Latest news from the British Rarities Committee is that the Bonelli's Warbler seen last Spring on the island has been accepted as an Eastern Bonelli's Warbler. This constitutes the firt ever record for this species to be accepted in Britain without calling. We are unsure of excatly how many British records have been accepted, but it is olnly a few. It is also a first for Devon.

Three Little Egrets were seen on the East side, and up to eight Common Crossbills were present towards the end of the month.
Jul
Ben Sampson, the warden, reported that at first light on 13th July he saw a Puffin chick at the entrance of one of the burrows at St Phillips Stone, it was closely guarded by its parent. According to Lundy Field Society reports this is the first chick to be recorded on the island and the only evidence of breeding since 1972 when an adult was seen carrying food into a burrow.

Five Swifts were seen heading south on the 13th and the Swallows nesting in the Pig shed are on the point of fledging.
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Jun
June started with four singing Chiffchaffs in Millcombe Valley.On the 2nd a single Puffin was seen with counts at the beginning of the month reaching at least six individuals and a possible sighting of ten birds on the 11th. A Cuckoo was singing in Millcombe Valley on the 8th and two birds were present the following day.Two Tree Pipits were recorded on the 7th and a few days later four Spotted Flycatchers seen. Hirundines were present throuhout the month with thirty Swallows seen on the 13th.

Robert Hurrell reports that during his stay from the 14th to the 18th of June he had proven breeding records with adult birds feeding young of Oystercatcher in both Gannets Cove and below Millcombe, and Pied Wagtail in Millcombe Valley,. Birds seen with fledged young included Linnet,Chaffinch,Starling,Blackbird,Stonechat,Wheatear and Raven. Swallows were seen nest building. He further reports that the evening of the 17th was cloudy with virtually no wind, ideal conditions for Manx Shearwaters which were heard calling at several locations including Millcombe, over the camping field and around Old Light. The following day just after dawn, at about 6am a huge, long raft of Shearwaters were sighted south of the island and he estimated between 1500 - 2000 Manx Shearwaters,including some Kittiwakes and twenty five Gannnets.More Shearwaters were seen over the tide race off Rat Island.

Again on the 17th Robert and his father had brief views of an unusual warbler in Millcombe Valley, by the derelict walled gardens in blackthorn bushes. The same bird was relocated by his father the following day in the early morning in one of the larger Sycamore trees and this time showing well. It was a male Subalpine Warbler.

Ben Sampson reports that the Swallows nesting in the pig shed were sitting on eggs and Chiffchaffs nesting in Millcombe, St Helens and Quarter Wall Valleys. Plus the encouraging news of up to six pairs of Puffins, all at the St Phillips Stone site. The only other notable sighting was of a female Red backed Shrike reported by the Devon Birdwatching and Preservation Society in St Helens Valley but no entry to the log book was made. If anyone reading this saw the bird could you jot a few notes down and send to Ben on the island.
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May
The first day of May illustrated the unique nature of Lundy birding, that is, there were no sightings - presumably no birdwatchers present on the Island. However recordings started again on the 3rd with 3 Golden Plovers and 2 Ring Ouzels.At least 2 Whimbrels were present from the 5th to the 9th, Wheatear numbers reached 50 on the 8th and the first Sedge Warbler along with Whitethroat, Blackcap and Cuckoo for the month arrived on the 5th. A Golden Oriole was seen briefly in Millcombe Valley and St Johns Valley. The bird was extremeley elusive and continued to be for it's brief sightings during the following week.


On the 7th Tim Jones and Andrew Coughlan found a Nightingale in St Johns valley at 5pm. It was seen feeding in the open on rabbit grazed turf and flying to the gorse bushes and hopping round in low campion cover, they saw the bird for a good 40 minutes. Some 5 minutes later as Tim Davis and Richard Campey arrived it had disappeared! Despite watching for some time after it was not seen again. The following day Tim Davis saw a Blue-headed Wagtail feeding around the sheep in St Helens field. The same day saw an influx of at least 20 Sedge Warblers, 10 Whitethroats, 15 Blackcaps and 3 Spotted Flycatchers

On the 9th Tom Bedford and Richard Campey saw 2 very large birds from the terraces heading West, they were a long way out to sea and significantly larger than the Cormorants which had drawn their attention flying North. The large birds were soaring on flat wings and appeared to have pale underparts but due to the distance involved of some 2 miles, identification was not possible, though when pushed Tom and Richard felt these birds were either Cranes or Storks. Somewhat closer on the 11th was an Arctic Skua, an adult dark morph, flying South over Millcombe at 7.20am seen by Tom Bedford.

On the 11th Swallow numbers were counted at 1000 and up to 60 Gannets seen offshore. The following morning Tom Bedford and Richard Campey flushed a Quail from juncus near the helipad at 7am. Up to 6 Dunlin were present and the previous day a Black -headed Gull was seen in the landing bay.

The first Puffin records in May started on the 5th with 3 birds and then at least one bird was seen flying from the Island off North End out to sea daily at the same time. Another individual was seen regularly in Jenny's Cove.

Breeding birds include the first juvenille Song Thrush seen on the 7th in Millcombe and Andy Mabbett and Sandra Oxley reported recently fledged Robins on the 21st. They also reported at least 2 Spotted Flycatchers in Millcombe Valley still present on the 21st, a peak count of 8 were reported on the 12th.

Jeremy Squire and Martin McGill arrived on the island on 24th May, accompanied by a srtong south westerly wind which they report made for a "rough" crossing. On their arrival and the next day a few Chiffchaffsand Spotted Flycatchers were the only migrants. Winds swung a little more to the east and Sedge Warblers were singing in Millcombe and they saw their first Hummingbird Hawk Moth on the East side. on the morning of the 27th the wind had shifted to the east but an early morning search of Millcombe was thwarted by dense fog. At around 10 am they headed for Quarter wall and the fog suddenly cleared to full sunshine. After a few Whitethroats and Stonechats Martin picked up a Woodcaht Shrike in the gorse just north of Qauter wall.It was an adult female and they mananged some photos. To accompany this a Turtle Dove flew overhead and then settled on the gorse by Quater wall. Returning via the Lighthouse garden ( John O's old garden ) they found a Garden warbler. A good day and as they report they deserved a pint of Experience , they returned via the Stone Crusher, and on doing so flushed a small sandy coloured bird which they realised was a Short toed Lark. Both the Short toed Lark and the Woodcaht Shrikewere present the next day. Jeremy and Martin report a "great few days, great birding, a few pints, and an opportiunity to view the football!
Photo
Apr
Six Cormorants flew past the island on the first day of the month while those deciding to spend some time on Lundy included Sand Martins, Swallows, House Martins, Wheatears and at least six Willow Warblers.
A Hen Harrier was present on the 2nd, a Snipe was flushed and on the same day Ben Sampson saw a Jackdaw about five miles off the island from the Oldenburgh. The next day a Jackdaw was sat on the Tavern Chimney ! A Fieldfare was still present on the 5th and three Chiffchaffs in Millcombe. A handful of Blackcaps have been present in Millcombe.
On the 18th 14 Cormorants were recorded going north and 1500 Swallows. Meadow Pipit numbers peaked at 100+ on the 20th with 60 Linnets recorded that day and a maximum count for the year so far of 50 Willow Warblers. Towards the end of the month 200 Manx Shearwaters were seen off the Island, 4 Golden Plover, a maximum count of 370 Guillemots and still large numbers of Swallows peaking at 1000 seen on the last day of the month. However the real prize came on the 26th when John Walshe saw 2 Serins feeding with a small flock of Linnets on the upper East side path near quarter wall at 7pm. One bird was clarly seen by John as a male with it's bright yellow breast and rump, though the 2nd bird which was feeding on the ground with the Linnets was identified on call. By the last day of the month there were 40 Wheatears present.
Mar
Throughout the month there were sightings of Great Northern Divers with four together on the 28th. On the same day Manx Shearwaters were seen from the Oldenburg and heard calling that night. Stonechats were seen most days, with an influx of at least ten on the 12th and twelve seen the following day. Two Snow Buntings were present on the 14th as was a female Teal on Pondsbury. Grey Wagtails turned up on the 7th and two were present regularly till the 18th at least. A maximum count of ten Pied Wagtails was recorded on the 13th.

Thrush movements were most evident during the middle of the month. Twenty Blackbirds on the 13th and Fieldfares between the 11th and 18th. Several Song Thrushes were present, two Redwings on the 9th and a Mistle Thrush on the 7th. The first Ring Ouzel appeared on the 21st. The first Wheatears, seven of them, arrived on the 18th and have incresed in numbers since. Snipe, Woodcock and Water Rail were all recorded around mid month.

The first of the ďrealĒ summer migrants occured on the 18th , with three Sand Martins, when Ben reports a spell of the first good weather following some prolonged northerlies and thick fog. The first Swallow was seen the next day and two House Martins.
Ten Chiffchaffs recorded on the 18th and twenty on the 19th with several most days since then. The first Willows Warblers were seen on the 27th and a singing male on the 30th.

Goldcrest movements from mid month included one on the 12th, twelve on the 18th and twenty five on the 19th. The large flock of Starlings had reduced from three hundred plus on the 18th to about sixty by the 28th. Towards the end of the month a Brambling was present on the 28th as were two Greenfinches. A Siskin and some Linnets finished off the month's sightings on the 30th.

Photo
Feb
The month started with intriguing sightings by several observers of a possible Cirl Bunting on the 2nd and the 4th. A Slavonian Grebe was seen on the 4th and stayed till at least the 6th, which may have been the Grebe sp. that Ben Sampson saw in January which was too distant to identify.

Other sightings include two Golden Plover on the 2nd and two Great Northern Divers and a Common Scoter. Another Snow Bunting on the 5th with a small influx of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes in addition to a Black headed Gull , two Stonechats, a Goldfinch and a Greenfinch the following day. A Merlin was still present on the 8th seen harassing the Starlings.
Photo
Jan
Ben Sampson managed a walk on New Yearís day but reported that sightings were very limited due to gale force winds, fog and rain, however he did see the following to start off the year; Mallard, Merlin, Peregrine, Oystercatcher, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Meadow Pipit, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Redwing, Carrion Crow, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow and Chicken !

Later in the month a Waxwing was seen by James Leonard in the Privet near the Tavern. A Snow Bunting was found at South Light on the 16th.

Guillemots started checking out their nesting ledges during January and Ben Sampson reports good feeding groups of Kittiwakes, other Gulls and Auks close inshore. Other sightings from Ben include a female Merlin and reports of the Ravens getting frisky.

2004
Dec
The month started with three Snow Buntings on the 1st and a Goldfinch on the 8th.

On the 14th Ben Sampson saw three Dark-bellied Brent Geese in the afternoon flying south along the East Side before landing (appropriately enough) in the Landing Bay.

Other sightings have included the ever long staying Hen Harrier on the 9th, a Sparrowhawk on the 10th, one Merlin which has been seen regularly, and, which James Leonard had fantastic prolonged and close views of for nearly half an hour. Occasional Lapwings have been sighted and a few Snipe along with some Redwings and Fieldfares.

On the 30th the three Dark-bellied Brent Geese were still present and favouring the old aerogenerator field. A Merlin was still on the island and Redwings still present.
Nov
On the 1st of November Ben Sampson carried out his regular North End walk and saw a female Hen Harrier, probably the same bird present last month, also two Snow Buntings by North Light, a Merlin on the west side and a Woodcock flushed near the Battery. Notable non-sightings were rats, and although it will take another 18 months to be certain, early signs appear encouraging for the Seabird Recovery Programme.


On the 5th of November Ben Sampson watched a Little Egret feeding on the shore directly below Millcombe and the ringtail Hen Harrier still showing well, quartering the fields in the southern half of the island. Elsewhere still several Black Redstarts, with the area round the Castle being a favoured spot.

On 25th of November Ben was again at the North end and reports that close to a flock of Oystercatchers on the rocks was a small grebe fishing. On closer inspection this turned out to ba a winter plumage Slavonian Grebe . Also offshore he noted occasional Auks and Gannets, with Fulmar numbers building up again after a brief absence. On the top of the island two Merlins were following the large Starling flocks with intent, and, the long staying Hen Harrier was still present. .
Oct
The month started with a great sighting on Saturday the 2nd when Ernie Davis and Phil Abbot found a Blackpoll Warbler on the East Side, fine reward for a dreadful crossing that morning. Ernie reports: ďthe east side was the only place to watch birds that day due to the high winds, so we made our way along the lower east side path to the Heligoland trap and then back along the top path. There were lots of Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs about and then at 5.30pm we saw a small bird disappear into the bracken which we first thought might be a Siskin. However as we watched the area out crept a welcome surprise in the form of a Blackpoll Warbler. It stayed for about fifteen minutes before flying down to the Rhododendrons and the lower east side path.Ē ( Oct 2005 - this record has been rejected by BBRC).

The next day the first bird seen by them was a Common Rosefinch in St Johnís Valley and then the rain set in for a very unpleasant few days. With winds turning north to north east on the Thursday their efforts were rewarded in ďLundy termsĒ by a Bean Goose which was seen from The Blue Bung and flew, struggling, up to the Water Tanks where it settled and started to feed.

Into the second half of October and Martin McGill, Jeremy Squire, Andy Jayne and Ernie Davis report a Yellow-browed Warbler and Richardís Pipit on the 12th and a first winter Red-breasted flycatcher on the 13th. The Richardís Pipit remained for two days. Another Red-breasted Flycatcher arrived on the 19th, this time, a cracking male which frequented Millcomble, but only stayed a day. Also present on the 19th in Millcombe was a Great Spotted Woodpecker and Yellow-browed Warbler. Kinder weather meant the previously reported Bean Goose allowed for closer investigation and was re identified as a Pink-footed Goose. To round off the day a Little Egret flew west near the castle.

Buntings were well represented the next day with three Lapland Buntings, three Reed Buntings, and a Snow Bunting. Also seen were two Black Redstarts, a Firecrest , a Short-eared Owl and a Hen Harrier. Gale force south west winds with their predictable weather conditions, rain that is, added no new sightings the next day, although the Hen Harrier and Pink-footed Goose were still present.

Heralding the arrival of a mini Waxwing invasion on the mainland, a single bird was reported, albeit with a very sketchy description, on the island on the 22nd of October (perhaps a tentative suggestion rather than a secure record).

Tony Taylor on his annual autumn ringing trip reports that the week was not typical for the end of October. Very few Thrushes and Finches but more Goldcrests and Robins than usual. Many of the Robins were pale and greyish compard to the island resident population, which were very obvious side by side in the hand, with most Lundy birds being retraps. The long staying Great Spotted Woodpecker was trapped and measurements suggest one of the continental subspecies, perhaps D.m.major, the bird stayed till at least the 29th of October frequenting St Johnís valley, Millcombe and Quarry Terrace. On the 26th two Yellow-browed Warblers were trapped and ringed. The next day a Blackcap with a Belgian ring was trapped and on the 29th a Reed Warbler with a Swedish ring was also trapped, the bird had yellower colouration than a typical British bird. A second Reed Warber, with similar colour , was trapped later that day. Another or possibly the same Richardís Pipit was seen on the 27th. Perhaps the best record for the month (debatable of course) was found by Mike James and Jon Smith, a Dartford Warbler, also seen by Tony Taylor in the Juncus at Quarter Wall. Ben Sampson, the island warden further reports thirteen Black Redstarts on the 28th and a first winter Yellow Wagtail in front of Staff Quarters on the last day of the month. He also had good numbers of Auks rafting off the East Side during the month.

Sep
Latest news from the island from Ben Sampson includes another Woodchat Shrike on the 4th, a juvenille Rose coloured Starling associating with the starling flock and Wryneck. For the first time ever Manx Shearwater fledgelings were seen at Old Light and Tibbets colonies on the nights of 7th, 8th and 10th, totalling 13 birds. This is indeed very exciting news and constitutes the first concrete evidence of successful breeding of Manxies on the island and perhaps a tentative early sign of success for the Seabird recovery Programme.

During the last week there was quite a bagfull of unusual sightings including; Pectoral Samndpiper, Red breasted Flycatcher, two Dotterel, two Wrynecks, six Grasshopper Warblers, a Yellow browed Warbler an Icterine Warbler and a Common Rosefinch. All of these birds had left by the end of the month.
Aug
Notable hightlights during the month included Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Melodious Warbler, Hoopoe and Wryneck.
PHOTO
Jul
The month started with a small flock of Crossbills on the 4th and a higher count than the previous month of Puffins on the 11th of eleven birds. A count of 25 Puffins on the 25th has yet to be substantiated but if genuine is great news for the beleagured Puffin population of Lundy. Manx Shearwaters were reported all month but a huge raft was seen offshore on the 15th totalling up to 100,000 birds which must have looked more like an oil slick than a group of birds.
Jun
Unsurprisingly, a quiet month with a peak count of 9 Puffins. The only unusual bird was a Woodchat Shrike which was present from the 16th to the 19th.
PHOTO
May
May started with a fall, huge numbers of migrants with some hundred Whitethroats, five hundred Willow Warblers, more than two hundred Sedge Warblers, thousands of Swallows and just about every bush full of birds. Tim Davis and Tim Jones were still on the island the next day and their report follows:"Sunday 2 May was one of those magical days that happen only rarely. Gentle south-easterlies for much of Saturday and into the night, with mist and drizzle descending overnight, giving way to a warm, still, sunny morning. In all our combined 50 years of going to Lundy we have never experienced a day like it. Our own records of what we actually saw and counted (getting no further than Middle Park, and not really touching the West Side) show 120+ Blackcaps, 20+ Garden Warblers, 350+ Whitethroats, 200+ Sedge Warblers, 20+ Grasshopper Warblers, 300+ Willow Warblers, 30+ Whinchats, 20+ Redstarts, 300+ Wheatears and 60+ Spotted Flycatchers, plus a smattering of Ring Ouzels (2), Fieldfares (5), Lesser Whitethroats (10) and Pied Flycatchers (10). We also counted over 1000 Swallows on the day, though Ben (the island warden) reports double this number on 26 May and 7 June. The Lundy log for 2 May recorded 500 Sedge Warblers and 500 Whitethroats, which might well be an under-estimate. More than 90% of these birds left that night, with just 30 Whitethroats counted on the following day, for example. One sign of the times is that we didn't see a single Turtle Dove or Lapwing during our two weeks, the latter now apparently extinct as a breeding species on the island."

Other sightings included a Mistle Thrush from the 1st to 3rd of May and an immature Black headed Gull from 4th to the 7th. Two Great Northern Divers were present in the Landing Bay on the 5th and 6th and on the same days a superb male Snow Bunting in full breeding plumage around the Castle.

PHOTO
Apr
The first unusual sighting for April was in the form of a female Great Spotted Woodpecker on the 6th which stayed till the 11th.

The first Puffins were seen on the 9th with two birds till the 11th but after that hardly any more sightings during the month. Ben Sampson, the island warden, reports that the first Cuckoo was seen on the 20th April, the first Swallow on the 3rd, the first House Martin on the 9th, Sand Martins on the 10th and Swifts on the 24th.

Mid April was the fist reported sightings of Manx Shearwaters but it was to be a great month for waders with 5 Dotterel on the 25th, three females and two males (see photographs on the photos page) found near Tibbetts by Tim Jones and Tim Davies. Also that day Golden Plover, Snipe and Whimbrel were present. The next day the wader tally increased with five Dunlin, two Snipe, two Whimbrel, one Curlew, three Common Sandpipers and a Turnstone. An additional wader species, a Knot, was found by Richard Campey on the 29th and six Whimbrel were present on the last day of the month.

James Diamond reported a Harbour Porpoise in the Landing Bay on the 24th and thirty Common Dolphins. Two days later he saw another fifteen Harbour Porpoise from the North End and a "swarm" of Heather Beetles actually at North End.

Tim Davies and Tim Jones found a first summer Iceland Gull on the 25th which turned out to be a long stayer and became very fond of Middle Park and trips to Pondsbury (see photographs of this bird on the photos page). A Fieldfare was around the village on the same day. The next day Richard Campey had a second year male Montagu's Harrier flash past him by the Water Tanks and Airfiled. Up to three different female Marsh Harriers were seen on and off during the last week of the month.

The 26th of the month was turning out to be a good day for Lundy and although the Dotterel had left more migrants were on the island with increased numbers of Swallows, Willow Warblers, Whitethroats , Blackcaps and Sedge Warblers. Richard Campey had just flushed a Common Sandpiper from Rocket Pole and was walking towards the Tavern for a well earned beer and stopped to look at a small group of Willow Warblers by Benjamin's Chair. Among them another Phylloscopus warbler kept flitting onto the wires by the wall, this wasn't a Willow Warbler, it was a Bonelli's Warbler. The bird stayed in the area for a couple of hours and allowed Richard to get some photographs (see photographs of this bird on the photos page). A little later Richard Campey, Tim Jones, Tim Davis and James Diamond discussed the possibility of it being an Eastern Bonelli's Warbler due to its greyish and long winged appearance, but, were aware that up till now this split had to be heard to be accepted. Despite much encouragement the bird never called and was gone the next day. Subsequent analysis of the photographs support the identification of it as an Eastern Bonelli's Warbler and if accepted this will be the third or fourth British record and first Spring record, also a first for Lundy as the previous Bonelli's was a western race (now species).
Mar
At the end of the month on the 25th a Whooper Swan arrived on Pondsbury. It spent the rest of the month on Pondsbury and sometimes moving to the Rocjet Pole area.

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PHOTO
Feb
Fulmars made their return during the first part of the month and by mid month were being seen regularly. Small movements of Cormorants were seen by mid month. Ravens were beginning to rebuild nests on the 9th.
Jan
A Great Northern Diver arrived off the East Side on the 19th and was joined by 3 more birds on the 21st. A Hen Harrier was seen on the 20th.

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