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twenty fourth to thirtieth January – The ultimate week of January and a whole circumnavigation of the island


24
January

Overcast and calm

The week
started slowly with the Millcombe Valley Bullfinch
the only bird of note. The usual wintering species seen included a Water Rail, two Stonechat and
13 Redwing.

25
January

Cloudy and cold.

A Great Northern Diver was seen in the
Landing Bay this morning. Also off the East Coast, three Harbour Porpoise were
seen moving south and then spotted again off Benjamin’s Chair. A small flock of
12 Golden Plover flew south over Ackland’s Moor calling. A high count of
three Water Rail were heard squealing in Millcombe.

26
January

Mostly overcast with cold winds from the
southwest.

One of the
first birds of the day was a Stock Dove flying from behind St Helen’s
Church down into Millcombe Valley. A total of five species of wader were
recorded today with four Oystercatchers
down in the Landing Bay, a Golden Plover calling over Brick Field, a Jack Snipe and two Snipe by
Quarter Wall and a Lapwing in Barton
Field. 

 

Lapwing, Barton Field ©Stuart Cossey

 27
January

Mild with fog until 13:30 when it completely
cleared to blue skies.

Few birds
were around in the morning fog but Song
Thrush, Wren, Robin and Dunnock were singing in Millcombe
Valley in the afternoon sunshine. A Chiffchaff
was also seen flycatching at the bottom of Millcombe Valley.

A large
feeding flock of 1600 Kittiwakes
were counted off the East Coast in the afternoon and 13 Lesser Blackbacked Gulls were on Miller’s Cake.

28
January

Overcast in the morning with fog from
midday. Strong winds from the west.

Another
varied day on Lundy, the most interesting sighting of the day was a Woodcock roosting in the Casbah in
Millcombe Valley. Also in Millcombe was the Stock Dove, and
yesterday’s Chiffchaff was by Millcombe
Pond feeding with a Goldcrest. Two Great Northern Divers were off
the Jetty and Oystercatchers are
starting to find territories with 3 pairs seen in the Landing Bay. Eight Lesser Black-backed Gulls were
with 17 Herring Gulls on Miller’s Cake. The Lapwing
was still in Barton Field and 13 Golden
Plover flew over Ackland’s
Moor.  Up at Quarter Wall Pond, a Water Rail and Linnet were
calling and a female Reed Bunting, female Teal and Snipe were also seen.

With fog
rolling in in the afternoon, the helicopter was cancelled with the rest of the
visitors arriving tomorrow.

 

Woodcock, Casbah © Stuart Cossey

Great Northern Diver, Landing Bay © Stuart Cossey

29
January

Fog in the morning but clearing in the
afternoon.

After issues
with the fog yesterday afternoon, the morning did not look good for getting the
rest of the visitors off the island. Fortunately there was a short clear spell
in the late morning and a full changeover was able to take place.

Tim Davis
and Tim Jones have arrived for a week and will be able to contribute further
sightings. The Stock Dove is still in Millcombe as well as
two Chiffchaffs. There was a count
of 11 Teal and seven Mallard at Pondsbury. Off the east
coast were 1500 Kittiwakes, 130 unidentified Auks and a Great Northern Diver. The
first Red-throated Diver of the year
was off Rat Island.

 

Chiffchaff, Smelly Gully, Millcombe © Stuart Cossey

30
January

Overcast with strong winds from the north.

Today Tim
Davis, Tim Jones and Stuart Cossey walked a complete circuit of the coast,
counting the wintering and early returning seabirds. The final counts included 58
Oystercatchers, 786 Herring Gulls, 75 Great Black-backed Gulls, 1150 Guillemots,
660 Razorbills, 465 Fulmar and 48 Shags.

Other
species seen include the Lapwing in
Barton Field, a Golden Plover, six Peregrines, 12 Skylarks,
a Chiffchaff still in Millcombe,
five Goldcrests and 51 Rock Pipit.

 Observations contributed by Stuart Cossey, Tim Davis and Tim Jones.

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