Lundy 20–29 October

Richard Campey, James Diamond, Tim Davis and myself are just back from Lundy, where our arrival on 20th coincided with the change of weather from fast-moving Atlantic lows to a mainly dry easterly flow. We enjoyed some excellent visible migration, with major movements of thrushes in particular. On 25th, for example, 900 Chaffinches, 900 Redwings, 525 Starlings, 60 Meadow Pipits, 39 Blackbirds, 35 Siskin, 27 Song Thrushes and 9 Bramblings flew over Castle Hill between 07.30 & 09.30. The island was almost literally covered with thrushes on 24th & 25th, with over 2,500 Redwings, up to 80 Song Thrushes and more than 150 Blackbirds, in just the relatively limited areas thoroughly counted.

Highest day-counts of scarcer migrants included 2 Jack Snipe, 3 Firecrests, 12 Black Redstarts, 5 Ring Ouzels, 8 Woodcocks, 3 Snow Buntings, and 4 Crossbills. At least two Coal Tits and a rather forlorn Long-tailed Tit also count as scarce migrants by Lundy standards.

There was a slow trickle of Swallows (though no House Martins), with a light smattering of Wheatears, Whinchats, and Common Redstarts still going through, but apart from the expected Chiffs and Blackcaps, no lingering warblers other than a single Garden Warbler on 20th. A probable tristis Chiffchaff was trapped and ringed by Tony Taylor et al. on 23rd.

Strong winds from between NE and NW at the end of last week and on Saturday brought an unusual variety of wildfowl to the island, including a female Tufted Duck, 3 ad Brent Geese, up to 13 Wigeon and a 1-w Whooper Swan that turned up yesterday (29th). Also up to 26 Common Scoter, 14 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Pomarine Skua and a Bonxie offshore.

The only real rarity of the week was an elusive Little Bunting found by James and seen at three different locations between Pondsbury and the Church on 24th (only). Richard managed to photograph it sitting on the rope around the helipad (the bunting, not Richard) in the afternoon.

Posted October 30th, 2012 at 4:17 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News