Lundy Hen Observatory: Lundy Hen Observatory Replace – eleventh


Prevailing south-westerlies carrying heavy rainfall in a single day begin this era. A vivid, nonetheless and heat day on the twelfth performed host to our first massive thrush passage. The winds subsequently swung north-west inflicting the temperature to drop on Saturday 14th earlier than then turning into average easterlies on Fifteenth-Sixteenth.

A single Redshank has been current for the reason that thirteenth and noticed in all types of quirky locations together with the puddle exterior Castles on the highway; the drainage ditch by the Church; in flight low amongst Millcombe; most notably, caught within the cattle grid by the Black Shed! Upon discovery, Lundy regulars Julian and Mark shortly enlisted a close-by plank, offering a ramp for it to ascend out of its predicament safely. It was seen feeding once more on Barton pond on the Sixteenth, and was caught and ringed on the night of the Sixteenth – the primary Redshank ringing file for Lundy. We’re amazed that it hasn’t but met the sharp finish of one in every of our Peregrine Falcons, in contrast to a single Inventory Dove which arrived on the Sixteenth however did not final past lunchtime. 

Redshank Barton Subject © Richard Campey

A feminine Teal has been picked up on Pondsbury every day, with two new in Mallard on the Fifteenth including to our typical rely of 13. A single feminine Frequent Scoter was within the Touchdown Bay on the Sixteenth, with 16 seen on a seawatch on the thirteenth. An arrival of Water Rail on the 14th led to an autumn excessive rely of 5 birds, together with one above Quarry Seashore with the remaining in Millcombe. One Lapwing flew across the village round daybreak on the 14th. A considerable amount of Golden Plover arrived with a max rely of 29 on the twelfth, with one flock joined by a Whimbrel on the thirteenth on the airfield. A number of Jack Snipe arrived on the thirteenth and have been recorded every day since.

Frequent flocks of Frequent Snipe have been an uncommon sight for Lundy, seen all around the island throughout this reporting interval, with a most flock measurement of 26 on the twelfth. Singles have been flushed all around the island much more usually than is typical together with in Millcombe Wooden and the Higher East Coast Path, hinting that there is likely to be a considerable enhance in numbers. One other two nights dazzling shone an entire new mild on the dimensions of Snipe passage via Lundy. On the evening of the 14th Joe and Luke ringed an unbelievable 55 Frequent Snipe in addition to single Jack Snipe and 5 Golden Plover. In a single evening, this smashes earlier all-time information for the island of 46 Frequent Snipe ringed 1947-2022 and 5 Golden Plover in the identical timeframe. On the evening of the Fifteenth an extra 20 Frequent Snipe and one other Jack Snipe have been ringed, after which one other 10 Frequent Snipe and a 3rd Jack Snipe on the Sixteenth! These efforts have been all south of Quarter Wall, there have been no retraps on the primary evening and only a couple on the efforts of the following two evenings. Thus, it’s clear that Lundy is totally swimming in Snipe in the meanwhile! Our logbook reads 55 which is already an file breaking autumn day rely, however may numbers even be in extra of 200 in actuality?! The earlier autumn passage file was a flock of 30 birds in November 1985.

Frequent Snipe flock over Airfield © Angus Croudace
Frequent Snipe, Millcombe Drive © Angus Croudace

The thirteenth and 14th noticed a whole lot of seabirds loafing or feeding off of the island, with 2270 Kittiwake on the thirteenth and 1000+ on the 14th. A Mediterranean Gull and 6 Frequent Gull shut in under the Terrace on the Fifteenth. Singles of dark-morph Arctic Skua have been seen off of the east on the 14th and the Sixteenth. A Nice Northern Diver was once more within the Touchdown Bay on the eleventh, thirteenth and Sixteenth,

Nice Northern Diver Touchdown Bay © Angus Croudace

It has change into considerably busier on the raptor entrance, with a number of Merlin people arriving with the Redwing on the twelfth, leading to a day rely of 4 birds and a number of other every day since. Two Brief-eared Owls have been current for the reason that twelfth additionally, though are very unpredictable and elusive, with sightings starting from the bracken on the east, cliffs within the Touchdown Bay, gorse in South-west subject in addition to within the heathland within the north. A ringtail Hen Harrier has been picked up at Quarter Wall/Pondsbury for the reason that thirteenth. So as to add to those headliners are our persevering with supporting forged of three Kestrel, as much as eight Peregrine Falcon and a feminine Sparrowhawk.

Merlin Quarter Wall © Richard Campey
Brief-eared Owl Lighthouse Subject © Tim Jones
Merlin double act on the North Finish © Angus Croudace


Redwing ‘tseeped’ overhead via the evening of the eleventh, with counts ranging from 6.30am leading to a complete of 700 birds recorded through the day throughout the island. 47 Fieldfare have been amongst them. Since, about ten Fieldfare have been recorded every day and small numbers of Redwing (72 on thirteenth, and about 20 every day since). Amongst the thrush arrival on the twelfth have been 16 Ring Ouzel, 22 Track Thrush and one Mistle Thrush.

First-year Male Ring Ouzel in Millcombe (observe the worn tail feathers) © Angus Croudace

Ring Ouzel Jenny’s Cove © Tim Jones

Some Skylark proceed to maneuver overhead with some flocks of as much as 20. Excessive day rely on this interval of 85 on the twelfth, however sometimes 30-50 recorded every day. 530 Meadow Pipit round or over on the twelfth with round 150 file every day since. Swallow have milled round once more with over 100 recorded every day however no actual devotion to pushing ahead. The Home Martins noticed have nearly all been in small flocks which can be extra clearly pushing south, together with a complete of 52 on the 14th.

The primary Yellow-browed Warbler of the autumn was very elusive in Millcombe on the Fifteenth and nearly utterly silent. Chiffchaff day counts sometimes break 20, and now we have loved a late Reed Warbler by Millcombe Home. On the nice day that was the twelfth there was one other arrival of Blackcap, with 45 throughout the island, principally in Millcombe, round a dozen have stayed for a number of days to feed on the now dwindling blackberries. A Lesser Whitethroat confirmed nicely on the gorse by Rocket Pole on the Fifteenth, and a late Frequent Whitethroat was above Smelly Gully on the 14th. A Firecrest was in Millcombe together with two long-staying Noticed Flycatchers. These birds (lastly) left within the clear skies of the 14th to proceed their lengthy journeys, with the likelihood that the flycatchers could be destined so far as South Africa! Goldcrest counts have sometimes been 20 with a peak of 37 on the 14th.

Lesser Whitethroat Rocket Pole © Tim Jones

A Black Redstart was at North Mild on the eleventh. Between one and 6 Wheatear have been recorded every day on this interval. One Gray Wagtail over on the Fifteenth in addition to a White Wagtail in Barton Subject on the 14th.

White Wagtail Barton Subject © Tim Jones

Lastly, the Sixteenth was the primary day of notable Chaffinch passage this season, with 50 rising from roost in Millcombe and departing because the solar rose. All through the day a reasonably fixed stream of small flocks have been transferring south, principally sheltering from the easterlies within the lee of the west coast. The entire determine was c1500 for the day. Amongst have been 4 Brambling (after the primary of the autumn was heard on the eleventh) and two Greenfinch. A bunch of 4 Lesser Redpoll feeding in Millcombe on the twelfth, 11 throughout the island on the Fifteenth and 4 on the Sixteenth. The primary Lapland Bunting of autumn was round Pondsbury on the Sixteenth and a few Reed Bunting have handed via every day, with a excessive rely of 5 on the 14th.

Lesser Redpoll Decrease Backyard, Millcombe © Angus Croudace
Reed Bunting Pondsbury © Richard Campey

A few late Clouded Yellow butterflies, notable Purple Admiral passage with over 100 on the twelfth and a few Painted Women, Small Copper and Hummingbird Hawk-moths every day are the most effective of the Lepidoptera. 

Small Copper butterfly at North Quarry © Tim Jones
Pale Tussock Moth caterpillar meets a migrant Blackbird © Angus Croudace
The race is on, Merlin vs Sika Doe Pondsbury © Angus Croudace

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