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fifth to eleventh September – The primary rarity of Autumn


Continued strong southwesterlies and rain until
Thursday. Warm, calm and overcast from Friday.

Starting
with wading birds, single Ringed Plover were heard flying over on the 9th and
10th and a Curlew on the 11th. Redshank and Turnstone were heard flying over on
the 9th. A flock of 12 Dunlin were seen flying over Pondsbury on the 11th, two
were on Pondsbury on the 9th and one flew over on the 10th. Snipe are getting
more common in the wet areas of the island with three seen on the 11th and two
on the 5th and 6th.

A 1st-year
Black-headed Gull was in the Landing Bay from the 8th to the 11th. On the 8th,
a pale morph Arctic Skua was seen from the MS Oldenburg approximately 10
minutes from Lundy. A Guillemot flew past the North End on the 5th along with
57 Gannets. Two Cormorant flew past Rat Island on the 6th and three flew over
the Village on the 10th. Most Lesser Black-backed Gulls have now left the
island, however 26 were seen around Rocket Pole Pond on the 11th.

A Merlin
was recorded on the 5th and 6th. Two Kestrel and two Sparrowhawk are still
present this week. Swallows continue to trickle south with no big flocks seen
so far. 20 were counted on the 11th and a Sand Martin was also seen heading
south.

Willow
Warblers
are getting less common as the majority have already reached Europe.
The highest count this week was five on the 9th. 17 Blackcaps were seen on the
9th and 10 on the 10th. Single Whitethroat were seen on the 5th and 6th.
Goldcrests  have been heard in Millcombe all
week with the highest count of nine on the 9th. Firecrest have also been seen
with one on the 5th, 6th and 8th and three on the 9th.

The
Starling flock has been spectacular this week with a high count of 210 swirling
over the Lambing Shed together on the 11th. Single Spotted Flycatchers were
seen on the 9th and 10th and single Pied Flycatchers were seen on the 6th and
9th with at least six on the 11th. Three Whinchat were seen on the 5th and 6th,
presumably the same birds remaining on the island during the strong winds. A
single Whinchat was seen on the 10th. A Redstart was present on the 11th.
Wheatear continue to move through the island, with most appearing to be of the
larger Greenland race which breed in Greenland and Northern Canada.

Whinchat, Rocket Pole © Stuart Cossey

Single Yellow
Wagtail
have been recorded on the 6th, 9th and 11th, with two seen flying over
on the 10th. Grey Wagtail were heard flying over the island on the 10th and
11th. The highest counts of migrating Pied/White Wagtails were 16 on the 10th,
eight on the 11th and six on the 9th. Five Tree Pipits flew south on the 9th,
three on the 10th and two on the 11th. The highest count of Meadow Pipits was
38 on the 11th.

There has
been a small arrival of Chaffinches with seven seen around Millcombe on the
10th. Several large flocks of Linnets have been seen with a total of 90 counted
on the 5th and 70 on the 10th. The bird of the week has to be a juvenile Common
Rosefinch
which was seen in the bottom of Millcombe Valley on the 9th.

The best of
the non-avian news was a Convolvulus Hawk-moth, which was in the moth trap on
the 6th. Holly Blues were seen on the 5th, 6th and 10th and two Hummingbird
Hawk-moths
were seen in Millcombe on the 9th and 11th. Grey Seal pups are now being born so when visiting the island please be aware around all beaches. Keep quiet and do not approach or linger by any hauled out seals or pups. 

This week
we also said farewell to our long-term volunteer Zach. He has been on the
island since April assisting with monitoring our seabirds and welcoming
visitors at the top of Jenny’s Cove. 

Contributors:
S Cossey, R Ellis, Z Wait, C Dee, B Rousseau, M and P Saul

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