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.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

19th and 20th March

Alan and Sandra Rowland report two Canada Geese on 19th. Tim Davis and Tim Jones arrived on the island on 20th, despite a weather delay, and saw Red-necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver in the Landing Bay. There was a Merlin along the Upper East Side path and a Black Redstart at the Earthquake. Other notable sightings included 1 Wheatear, 1 Chiffchaff, 8 Woodpigeon, 10 Pied Wagtail, 1 Redwing and the first Linnet record of the year (just one).

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Tue 14 to Fri 17 Mar – First Puffins and a flurry of other migrants

Spring migration is really beginning to get going in earnest with some great sightings over the past few days. In an update to the previous post, there was a notable arrival of 20 House Martins on 14 March (followed by single birds on 15th & 16th), in line with observations from elsewhere in the country that bear witness to an unusually big influx for so early in the month. This has been linked to a spell of strong southerly and south-westerly winds bringing birds further north, earlier in the season than normal, conditions also consistent with this year's very early records of Tree Pipit and Willow Warbler on Lundy.

The first 7 Puffins of the season were rafting in Jenny's Cove on 16th, and on the same date the first Sand Martin, Willow Warbler and Ring Ouzel of the year were found (the latter a "stunning male" near the Timekeeper's Hut above the Terrace), whilst a Red-necked Grebe was on the sea off the Ugly on 15th (possibly the same individual as recorded earlier in the winter). There was a small fall of 21 Chiffchaffs and 13 Goldcrests on 16th, adding volume to the increasing diversity of migrants being logged. Also recorded were: Great Northern Diver (1 on 16th), Cormorant (8 on 16th), Water Rail (2 on 16th), Woodpigeon (3 on 16th & 17th), Grey Wagtail (1 on 16th), Pied Wagtail (9 on 16th – the first significant influx of the spring), Robin (max 4 on 16th), Wheatear (1 on 15th – the second of the spring), Blackbird (max 5 on 16th), Song Thrush (1 on 16th), Redwing (2 on 17th), Chaffinch (4 on 16th & 17th) and Goldfinch (2 on 16th & 17th).

Based on information provided by Dean Jones, Lundy Warden – thanks Dean!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Wed 8 to Tue 14 Mar – First Wheatear, Swallow, Chiffchaffs & Firecrest and a very early Tree Pipit

Highlights from the LFS logboook for the last week, kindly forwarded by Lundy Warden Dean Jones, include the first arriving summer migrants, with single Wheatear (near Tibbetts) and Swallow on 13th and three Chiffchaffs, a Firecrest and an exceptionally early Tree Pipit seen by Dean on the side of the Ugly on 14th. Other records of interest include:
Teal 7 on 9th, Great Northern Diver 1 on 14th, Kestrel 1 on 14th, Merlin 1 on 9th, Snipe 2 on 9th, Kittiwake 17 on 9th, Lesser Black-backed Gull max 66 on 9th, Herring Gull max 268 on 9th, Great Black-backed Gull max 22 on 9th, Guillemot max 1,124 on 9th, Woodpigeon max 3 on 14th, Grey Wagtail singles on 10th & 14th, Pied Wagtail 1 on 13th, Meadow Pipit max 31 on 14th, Dunnock max 2 on 14th, Robin max 4 on 9th, Stonechat 8 on 9th, Blackbird max 8 on 14th, Redwing 1 on 13th, Goldcrest 1 on 14th, Starling max 79 on 9th, Goldfinch max 3 on 9th and Chaffinch max 9 on 14th.

Tue 14 Mar – First Lundy colour-ringed Wheatear seen elsewhere...

A Lundy colour-ringed Wheatear was seen on Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, yesterday, 13 March (note it was not the bird in the photo below). Photos can be found on the Lundy Wheatear Study Facebook page and on the Twitter feed of the observer on Guernsey. This is the first time that one of the birds from the Lundy study, coordinated by Tony Taylor & Richard Taylor, has been reported away from the island since the project began in 2013. The bird involved was ringed as a breeding male near the Earthquake, on the West Side, on 3 June 2015. Since Wheatears show high breeding-site fidelity, there is every chance that the bird seen on Guernsey will be back on Lundy, around the Earthquake, in the next day or two – if it's not already there today!

This exciting news makes it timely to renew the request for all visiting birdwatchers to submit details of any colour-ringed Wheatears they may see during 2017. Colour-marked birds are most likely to be encountered in the main study area, which runs from the Castle, around South West Point, to the Battery and on to Halfway Wall, including adjoining areas of the plateau, but could be encountered elsewhere.

Lundy colour-ringed Wheatear © Elisabeth Price

Each bird has a standard BTO metal ring plus a striped ring (which signifies the Lundy project) on one leg, and two colour rings on the other leg. Please take care to note which rings are on which leg and make sure you specify the order of rings on each leg. The bird in the photo above, for example, would be recorded as: "Left leg, striped over metal; Right leg, yellow over green". Please record sightings in the Tavern logbook, via the Lundy Wheatear Study Facebook page, or send them to Tony Taylor using the link here. In addition to the ring sequence, date, time and specific location, the bird's sex and any notable activity (e.g. singing, mating, nest-building, feeding young) would also be useful. Photos are particularly welcome.

In 2016, there were resightings (on Lundy) of 29 Wheatears marked during the three previous seasons (2013–2015), whilst 48 new birds were colour-ringed. Many thanks from Tony and Richard to all those who contributed records.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Thu 2 to Tue 7 Mar – No summer migrants just yet

Latest news from Dean is of 1–2 Great Northern Divers in the Landing Bay on 6th & 7th, a count of 103 Fulmars on 4th, 1–2 Gannets on 4th & 7th, 3 Cormorants on 4th, a single Kestrel on 4th & 5th, a Water Rail on 6th, 10 Oystercatchers on 4th, a Redwing on 7th, single Pied Wagtails on 4th & 5th and 18 Meadow Pipits on 4th.

Conditions here on the mainland near Ilfracombe were often quite wet, or very windy, or both (!) during the first week of the month, so hardly ideal for either spring migrants or anyone out trying to look for them. Although the first Wheatear has yet to put in an appearance on Lundy, blooming Primroses at both South Light and Quarter Wall Copse since the last week of February hold out the promise of the season to come. 21 Grey Seals were between Quarry Cottages and Gannets' Rock on 4 March.

Monday, 6 March 2017

A quiet start to March

Dean Jones reports the following on 1st March: Great Northern Diver 1, Snipe 6, Lesser Black-backed Gull 19, Stonechat 5, Blackbird 12, Redwing 10, Goldcrest 3 and Goldfinch 2.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Fri 24 to Tue 28 Feb – Some good birds to close out the month

Martin Thorne was over on the island 24th–27th Feb, though his trip was curtailed by persistent clag, which prevented the helicopter from flying on four previous attempts last week and played havoc with plans for a week-long Lundy Field Society conservation work party.

In spite of having only two full days and further rough weather to contend with, Martin notched up some good birds, reporting two Red-throated Divers off Mouse Island and a Black-throated Diver and two Common Scoters in the Landing Bay, as well as a 'white-winged gull' (there has been a significant UK-wide arrival of both Glaucous and Iceland Gulls in recent weeks) around the Airfield. There was also a noticeable arrival of passage Stonechats, with four on Ackland's Moor and up to 20 along the East Side. Dean Jones (Lundy Warden) also picked up the Stonechat influx, seeing seven below Quarry Cottages on 27th and 11 around the Rocket Pole area on 28th. Both Martin and Dean also detected a small passage of Redwings, including 20+ on 27th.

A pukka Lundy vagrant to end the month, and the first since Sep 2003, was a Great Crested Grebe in full breeding plumage, found by Dean in the Landing Bay this morning (28th); a bird he describes as "quite the treat". And so say all of us!

We now look forward to the first half of March, with its promise of the first migrant Wheatears, Chiffchaffs and Sand Martins – and who knows what else?