About this page...

This page is run by volunteer contributors as a source of news for everyone interested in the birds of Lundy, in the Bristol Channel, UK.
If you have news to report, please consider signing up as a contributor or send in your sightings here.
See also the companion website The Birds of Lundy for comprehensive updates to the 2007 book of the same name.
Bird recording and ringing on Lundy are coordinated by the Lundy Field Society and general information about visiting the island can be found here.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Black-browed Albatross reported for Monday 17 Oct

A report of a Black-browed Albatross off the Landing Bay on Monday 17 October has been posted on the Devon Birds sightings page here. We do not have any further details at the moment. If accepted by the British Birds Rarities Committee, this would be the first for Lundy and would fit into a pattern of recent sightings elsewhere in Britain.

If anyone reading this has any additional Lundy bird news to report for the last two weeks – whether of rare or common species – it would be very gratefully received! We can only post what comes in and so far it seems to have been a quiet month in terms of the number of birdwatchers visiting the island, which is a shame given that it has been an excellent October for migration...

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Sun 2 Oct – Calm conditions favour strong hirundine passage

After a week of often windy, wet and/or foggy days, a change in the weather on Sunday (just as most LFS members had returned home!) to sunny skies and virtually calm conditions brought a rush of hirundines heading south. Alan & Sandra Rowland saw at least 200 in the space of 15-20 minutes between Tibbetts and Gannets' Combe, then 242 in a timed 15-minute count at North End. Clearly there were likely to have been several thousand passing through during the day. Alan & Sandra picked out a few House Martins among the Swallows but they were greatly outnumbered, by an estimated ratio of 50:1. Also migrating south were good numbers of Red Admirals, whilst a Lapwing was seen and heard coming in to the North End. A Sparrowhawk skimmed the top of the bracken as it flew from one of the main track marker stones near Pondsbury.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Thu 29 Sep to Sat 1 Oct – Dipper, Red-breasted Flycatcher, probable Hoopoe and strong migration

Thursday 29th brought a stiff westerly that made for a lively crossing on MS Oldenburg, although the largely sunny skies gave excellent visibility and resulted in some beautiful seascapes. The same clear conditions gave a boost to migrating Swallows, which were the most abundant bird species seen, with small flocks flying over the boat whilst still close to land, but hugging the waves out in the open ocean. A smattering of seabirds included single Fulmar and Manx Shearwater, whilst a small flock of 5 Dunlins, well out to sea, were the most unusual species seen. It was quiet for birds on the island, with small numbers of Swallow, House Martin, Goldcrest, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, StonechatWheatear and Spotted Flycatcher amongst the migrants seen.

Friday 30th was a day of real movement, with another notable arrival of Goldcrests (60+), Blackcaps (20+), and small numbers of Chiffchaffs. There was strong diurnal passage of Meadow Pipits (450+), Linnets (160+), alba wagtails and Swallows (300), whilst two flocks of 25 and 12 migrating Cormorants overflew the island at lunchtime. Also recorded were 1 Dunlin (over Castle Hill during the early morning), 1 Snipe, 1 Treecreeper (wearing a ring so presumed the individual trapped recently), a Yellow Wagtail, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Pied Flycatcher. The undoubted highlights were a Dipper (only the second for the island!), seen briefly by two lucky observers mid-morning in the leat running through Millcombe walled gardens, and a probable Hoopoe that was flushed from the side of Rat Island and flew across the Landing Bay.

Saturday 1st October saw frequent blustery showers swept in on a westerly wind that veered increasingly towards the north-west, then north by mid-afternoon. So it was something of a surprise when a species more usually associated with easterly winds, a Red-breasted Flycatcher, popped up in Millcombe during the afternoon. An overnight arrival brought the first Blackbirds of the autumn, with around 20 in Millcombe. Other species included 1 Golden Plover, 1 Snipe, small numbers of Chiffchaffs, Goldcrests and Blackcaps, a Garden Warbler, 2 Wheatears, 2 Spotted Flycatchers and a Yellow Wagtail.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wed 28 Sep – Goldcrest fall

Wednesday 28th brought a significant fall of Goldcrests, but for much of the day the island was shrouded in fog and drizzle making birding almost impossible. Among the rather few notable birds  were a Water Rail, a Golden Plover, 3 House Martins, a handful of Swallows, 6 Robins in Millcombe, perhaps suggesting a small influx of migrants, and 2 Pied Wagtails.

Tue 27 Sep – Major movement of Swallows

A major movement of Swallows started up during the late morning, with Tim Davis counting 1,000 flying south at Brazen Ward in just 35 minutes.

Among birds ringed were a Sedge Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher.

Also recorded were 30 Gannets (off North End), 2 Water Rails, an Oystercatcher, a Golden Plover, 6 Woodpigeons, 6 Goldcrests, a dozen or so Blackcaps, 2 Stonechats, 80 Meadow Pipits and 2 Pied Wagtails.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Sun 25 & Mon 26 Sep – Blustery and wet weather dominates

Sunday 25th was a day of blustery westerlies and scattered showers. Among the species recorded were a single Snipe near Pondsbury, 2 female Teal on Pondsbury, 6 Woodpigeons, 50 Swallows, a Redstart, and a Tree Pipit. Operating three nets for a time during the afternoon, the ringers trapped a male and female Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaffs and a Spotted Flycatcher.

Sunday also saw the first full day of a week-long programme of indoor and outdoor activities covering virtually every conceivable aspects of Lundy's natural history and archaeology. The second LFS 'Discover Lundy' event includes demonstrations of bird ringing, night-time visits to shearwater colonies, bird walks by day and a variety of bird-related talks.

A thoroughly soggy day on Monday 26th brought predictably thin pickings for those birdwatchers who did venture out. The highlight was a Pied Flycatcher in the Terrace Trap willows and the Rook was still present. Also of note, an apparent small arrival of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, together wth a few Goldcrests, a continued light passage of Swallows and good numbers of Goldfinches and Linnets.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Sat 24 Sep – First Balearic Shearwaters of the autumn

The same strong winds (and, by late afternoon, bucketing rain) that led to the cancellation of Saturday's sailing of MS Oldenburg, brought the autumn's first Balearic Shearwaters, when two (plus a single Manx Shearwater) were seen by Andy Jayne during an early seawatch from the Castle.

Tim Davis reports that migrant landbirds were few and far between (or wisely hunkering down), with 1 Wheatear, a Spotted Flycatcher, a couple of Goldcrests and 2 Pied Wagtails. Tony Taylor saw two Water Rails in Millcombe.