"Much of the excitement of ringing on an island is derived from the rarities but these are, almost by definition, individuals which are atypical in their migration behaviour; it is the everyday ringing of common species in large numbers which is most valuable in providing information about bird movements and life histories." Tony Taylor, LFS Annual Report 1981

By the end of 2013, an impressive 106,818 birds of 175 species had been ringed on Lundy. The highest number of species caught in any one year is 70 in 1966, while the highest annual total of birds ringed to date is 4,924 in 2009. Willow Warbler is the most commonly caught species, numbering 15,071 (14% of all birds ringed on the island), while 39 species have just one ring to their name. These include Lundy vagrants such as Little Grebe, unusual visitors like Moorhen , nationally scarce migrants such as Spotted Crake, and national rarities such as Citrine Wagtail, Red-flanked Bluetail, Rüppell’s Warbler and Blyth’s Reed Warbler. The latter was caught and ringed in 2013 and was the first record of this species for both Lundy and Devon. Another 'first' for Lundy, a Booted Warbler had been ringed just a few days' previously. A complete list of species ringed and ringing totals can be seen here.

Ringing of birds on Lundy has certainly revealed much about their life-cycles and seasonal movements, as can be seen from the details given in the species accounts in The Birds of Lundy. Among many fascinating and sometimes astonishing controls and recoveries of birds ringed on the island are a Woodcock found almost 3,000 kilometres away in Russia and two Sedge Warblers trapped 4,000 kilometres from Lundy in Djoudj National Park, Senegal, West Africa. Coming in the other direction, a Chiffchaff ringed in that same National Park was controlled on Lundy two months later during its spring migration. Among the resident birds, a Raven ringed as a chick on the island in 1965 was still going strong 13 years later, while a Lundy-ringed Dunnock that was controlled in Merseyside proves that not all ‘residents’ are quite as resident as they seem!

In recent years, large numbers of Lundy’s breeding Wheatears have been fitted with individually unique combinations of colour rings to help provide information about population size and year-to-year survival. Special attention has also been given to the ringing of Manx Shearwaters, part of the effort to monitor the spectacular post-rat-eradication growth of the Lundy breeding colony.

Ringing on Lundy, which takes place mainly during the spring and autumn migration periods, is coordinated by Tony Taylor on behalf of Lundy Field Society (LFS). Bird ringers interested in ringing on the island should contact Tony by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The yearly summaries below were written by Tony and originally published in the corresponding LFS Annual Reports.

Up to the end of 2013 a total of 106,818 birds had been ringed on Lundy. Read more...

Ringing coverage was the most extensive since 2000, with ringers on the island for two and a half weeks in spring and five and a half in autumn. For ten days in early autumn the focus was on Manx Shearwaters but at other times migrants dominated the catches. Despite the increased coverage, the year's total of 2,430 birds ringed was unexceptional, with poor weather limiting bird and ringer activity in some weeks. Read more...

Ringers primarily targeting migrants were on Lundy for three and a half weeks in spring and nine weeks in autumn, while a further four weeks were spent carrying out work on Manx Shearwaters and Storm Petrels in summer and early autumn. This is the highest level of coverage achieved since there were ringers resident on the island in the 1970s, and the number of birds ringed in 2009 was the highest ever: a remarkable 4,924. Read more...

After 2009’s exceptional ringing coverage and numbers of birds ringed, 2010 saw a return to more normal levels. The most remarkable feature of the year was the variety of birds caught: 62 species, making it the best since 1997. Migrant birds were ringed during one week in spring and five in autumn. There was additional coverage of one week in February and one in June, and Manx Shearwaters were the focus of attention during two weeks in early autumn. In all, 2,494 birds were ringed. Read more...

Ringers focusing on catching migrants were on the island for 11 days in spring and six weeks in autumn. Work on Manx Shearwaters was carried out over two weeks in late August and early September, with another 10 days at the beginning of August spent fitting tracking devices to shearwaters and recovering data from them. The total number of birds ringed in the year was 2,604. Read more...

In spring, 18 days were spent ringing migrants in April and early May. During 12 days in late May and beginning of June, there was more ringing of migrants, as well as some work on Manx Shearwaters and Wheatears. After some shearwater tracking work in mid August, chicks and adults were ringed during 17 days from late August to mid September. Small numbers of migrants were also ringed at this time, with the main autumn migrant work taking place for a week in late September and three weeks in October. Read more...

Bird ringers visiting Lundy focused on three different projects in 2013: studying migrants, Manx Shearwaters and Wheatears. In April three weeks were spent ringing spring migrants on their way north. Then for a week at the beginning of June, Wheatears were intensively studied by day and Manx Shearwaters by night. In late August and early September, two and a half weeks were spent ringing Manx Shearwater chicks emerging from their burrows, as well as some adult shearwaters. Small numbers of migrants were also ringed during the day. In late September and October, there were a further four and a half weeks of coverage, focused on returning migrants. Read more...

Ruppell's Warbler by Mike Langman from The Birds of Lundy

 

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