Whooper Swan

Cygnus cygnus

(pp.44–45)

All new records

2009

New record

18 Oct to 5 Nov – Eight adults arrived during the afternoon of 18 Oct, when they were seen flying along the East Side and later on Pondsbury (S. Barnes, A.M. Taylor, R.J. Taylor et al.). All eight remained until 23 Oct. Thereafter, six stayed from 24 Oct until they were last seen on 5 Nov. Most sightings were either at Pondsbury or of birds grazing on sheep pasture in the Brick, Tillage and Lighthouse Fields. This is the 14th Lundy record (the last being in May 2007) and the largest group ever seen on the island, following a flock of seven that arrived in Oct 2002. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2012

New record

29 to 31 Oct – A first-winter bird flying north over the Lighthouse Field then resting in the Brick Field on 29th (R.J. Campey, T.J. Davis et al.) remained until 31st and was seen in the Lighthouse Field and close to Quarters Pond. There had been northerly gales prior to its arrival. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder. The 15th LFS record (the 2012 LFS Annual Report incorrectly states it to be the 14th record).

Pink-footed Goose

Anser brachyrhynchus

(pp.45–46)

All new records

 

Photo: Pink-footed Geese, Tillage Field, 20 Oct 2006 © Richard Campey

2009

New record

15 to 29 May – One on Pondsbury and in Brick and Tillage Fields (C. Baillie, J.W. Leonard, G. Sherman et al.). This is the first occurrence in spring and the 7th LFS record. Record accepted by the Devon Bird Recorder, who noted that a lone bird on this late date could have been an escaped or feral individual.

2012

New record

19 to 24 Apr – An adult flushed from Quarter Wall Pond circled over the south of the island and settled on St Helen’s Field. Later the same day it was resighted at Quarter Wall Pond and on the Airfield (P. Clabburn, N. Dalby, D. Fox et al.). It remained on the island until 24th, when it flew north over Millcombe. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder. The 8th LFS record and the second in spring.

25 Oct – One flew south along the East Side and appeared to carry straight on without stopping (James Diamond). This coincided with a period of very strong north-easterly winds associated with the appearance of other scarce wildfowl on the island, including Brent Goose and Wigeon. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder. The 9th LFS record.

2013

New record

19 Dec – One seen and photographed in the upper aero-generator field (G. Sherman, K. Welsh). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder. The 10th LFS record, five of which have been since 2004.

2014

New record

22 Oct – Four flew in from the south-south-east past the Castle at 08.00hrs. The observers, on Castle Hill, watched the geese flying north, just offshore, along the East Side, eventually being lost to view as they rounded Tibbetts Point (Tom Bedford, James Diamond, Tim Jones). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder. This is only the 11th LFS record but the third consecutive year in which Pink-feet have been seen on the island.

White-fronted Goose

Anser albifrons

[Greater White-fronted Goose] (p.46)

All new records

1992

Update

Tony Fox of the Greenland White-fronted Goose Study Group has kindly provided the following additional details concerning the colour-ringed bird seen on Lundy from 23 to 30 October (note that the Lundy individual was marked at Wexford Slobs, Ireland, in November 1991, with an orange neck-collar and a white darvic leg-ring, both bearing the letters OXK):

"0XK was an adult female caught with two other adult females, 0XH and 9XK, which stayed together in winter 1991/92 at Wexford after their capture with four unringed birds that they were clearly related to but which escaped capture. Interestingly, 9XK did not make it back to Wexford in winter 1992/93 (as 0XH did), but it was seen at Hvanneyri in west Iceland in October 1993 and appeared at Wexford in winters 1993/94 to 1995/96, moving to Loch Foyle in Northern Ireland in winter 1996/97, after which it was not seen again on the winter quarters. 9XK was seen at Hvanneyri in spring and autumn 1996, and was last seen in spring 1997 at Borgurtun on the south coast of Iceland in April 1997, before being found long dead at in Vestur Barðastrandar, in the north-west corner of Iceland, on 15 September 1997. 0XH was not seen 1993/94 but was seen on Islay in winters 1994/95 and 1995/96 and was back at Wexford in 1999/2000, not being seen after that. 0XK of course made it back to Wexford in winter 1992/93 but did not associate with 0XH that year (or subsequently), but it had got back together with 9XK when they returned in winter 1993/94 and again in 1994/95. 0XK continued to be seen every winter from then until 1999/2000, apparently returning with a single gosling and its unringed mate in 1997, the only time it was suspected of breeding. Strangely, it was not seen in 2000/2001, and the very last sight record was 31 March 2002 at Wexford before it was reported shot on 22 November 2003 at a farm called Vallnatun, Eyjafjoll in Rangarvallasysla, southern Iceland (63° 33′N, 19° 48′W) - a rather sad end to the story."

2013

New record

3 Nov – A flock of between ten and 15 birds (not seen well-enough to identify to race) flew over the farmyard (G. Sherman et al.). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder. The 20th LFS record and the first since Oct 2003.

Greylag Goose

Anser anser

(p.47)

All new records

2008

New record

8 to 14 Apr – One seen in the Tillage Field and at Pondsbury constitutes the 9th record for Lundy (J.W. Leonard, G. Sherman). Photographs by Grant Sherman are appended to the description in the 2008 LFS logbook.

2011

New record

9 Nov – One on Pondsbury (J.W. Leonard); the 10th Lundy record.

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis

[Greater Canada Goose] (pp.47–48)

All new records

2009

New record

29 Apr – One on Pondsbury (G. Sherman); the 15th LFS record, 11 of which have been in Apr/May.

2014

New record

28 Oct – One heard calling at dusk (Justin Zantboer); the 16th LFS record.

Brent Goose

Branta bernicla

[Brant Goose] (p.53)

All new records

2007

New record

22 Oct – An adult Dark-bellied Brent Goose (B. b. bernicla) in the Landing Bay remained until 28th when it was seen in flight by Rat Island (J. Allen, A. Jayne, R.J. Taylor et al.). This constitutes the 14th LFS record and the 9th in autumn.

2012

New record

25 to 30 Oct – Two adult Dark-bellied Brent Geese (B. b. bernicla) first seen in flight over South West Field in the early afternoon of 25th landed in the Lighthouse Field and were later joined by a third adult (T.J. Davis et al.). Their arrival followed a period of strong north-easterly. The birds were clearly extremely hungry, feeding voraciously on grass and allowing people to approach to within a few metres and showing only mild concern. They remained until 30th and were also seen grazing on the Airfield and near Quarter Wall Pond. The 15th LFS record, ten of which have been in autumn.

2015

New record

26 to 29 Oct – One Dark-bellied Brent Goose (B. b. bernicla) on the sea off the East Side below Quarter Wall on 26th (Martin Kerby, Tim Cleeves) was still present, off the Sugar Loaf, on 29th (Darren Dowding, Ryan Miller et al.). The 16th LFS record, 11 of which have been in autumn.

Shelduck

Tadorna tadorna

[Common Shelduck] (p.49)

All new records

2009

New records

16 Apr – Nine were on the sea off the West Side in the bay between Battery Point and Dead Cow Point (F. Clark).

29 Apr – A pair on Pondsbury (G. Sherman).

These constitute the 20th and 21st LFS records for the island and the first since September 2005. The April dates are typical.

2014

New record

23 Apr – Two at Rocket Pole Pond (Neil Trout); the 22nd LFS record.

2015

New record

15 Apr – A probable first-year male landed briefly on the sea off White Beach on 15 Apr. It flew off northeast after it was harassed by a Great Black-backed Gull but quickly disappeared into thick mist (Tim Jones). The 23rd LFS record.

Wigeon

Anas penelope

[Eurasian Wigeon] (p.50)

Selected new records

2010

New record

27 Dec – A count of six, associated with the period of severe weather in Nov–Dec 2010, was one of the higher counts recorded on Lundy.

2012

New records

Present on the unusually high number of 29 days during the year (in Jan, Feb, Apr, May & Oct–Dec), including record counts in Oct.24 Sep – Six flew north off the East Side.

26 to 28 Oct – Twelve (four males, eight females) flew north-east off Shutter Point, with a single male on pools at the North End on the same date, which relocated to Pondsbury on 27th, where it was joined by eight additional birds (four males and four females) on 28th. The 13 birds on 26th was the highest total ever recorded for Lundy, while nine on Pondsbury on 28th was a record count for birds actually on (as opposed to flying past) the island.

Teal

Anas crecca

[Eurasian Teal] (p.50)

Selected new records

2013

New record

30 Jan – A count of about 25 was one of the highest ever made on the island.

Apr/May – Circumstantial and admittedly slightly flimsy evidence of a possible breeding attempt, with a pair seen regularly in late Apr and early May, then a single male on ten dates from mid-May until last seen on 29th. If the female ‘disappeared’ because she was sitting on a nest, it seems likely that the attempt failed. As far as is known, Teal have never bred on the island, so these records are rather intriguing.

Photo: Teal over Pondsbury, late December 2012 © Neil Thomas.

2014

Additional information

In light of the speculation about a possible breeding attempt in 2013, followed by confirmation of breeding in 2015 & 2016, it is worth noting here that there were no reports of breeding behaviour in 2014. In fact there were no records at all after the second half of Apr until the end of Sep.

2015

Confirmed breeding record

Apr to Jul – A pair was seen on 4 & 16 Apr, but there were no records at all in May and so it came as a huge surprise when a female and four ducklings were found on Pondsbury on 7 Jun (Tim Jones et al.), the first ever confirmation of breeding on Lundy. All five birds were still present in mid Jul, by which time the young had acquired full juvenile plumage (Tony Taylor).

Mallard

Anas platyrhynchos

(p.51)

Selected new records

2008

Breeding confirmed; maximum count, excluding ducklings: 19 in Oct.

2009

Breeding confirmed; maximum count, excluding ducklings: 26 in Sep.

2010

Breeding confirmed; maximum count, excluding ducklings: 23 in Oct.

2011

Breeding confirmed; maximum count, excluding ducklings: 26 in Oct.

2012

Breeding confirmed; maximum count, excluding ducklings: 27 in Oct.

2013

Breeding confirmed; maximum count, excluding ducklings: 27 in Oct.

2014

Breeding confirmed; maximum count, excluding ducklings: 17 in Oct.

2015

Breeding confirmed; maximum count, excluding ducklings: 20 in Oct.

Shoveler

Anas clypeata

[Northern Shoveler] (p.52)

All new records

2010

New record

17 May – One (no location given but presumably Pondsbury). This constitutes the 12th LFS record for the island and the first since July 2000.

Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula

(p.53)

All new records

2008

New record

9 to 14 May – A pair on Pondsbury.

New record

16 to 18 Jul – A pair, entering eclipse plumage, on Pondsbury.

These constitute the 18th and 19th LFS records for the island and the first since February 2004. The late-spring and midsummer timings are typical.

2011

New record

9 to 11 Jul – Two males on Pondsbury (L. Jaggard, J.W. Leonard). The 20th Lundy record.

2012

New record

24 Oct – A female in flight near Rocket Pole Pond (R.J. Campey). The 21st Lundy record.

2014

New records

12 May– A male was on the pond outside Barton Cottages on 12 May (Roger Fursdon, Grant Sherman).

10 to 29 Oct– A female was on Pondsbury (Tony Taylor et al.).

These are the 22nd and 23rd LFS records.

Common Scoter

Melanitta nigra

(p.54)

Selected new records

2012

New record

26 Oct – A total of 25, in three separate flocks, flew north-east off the South End.

2015

New record

25 Jul – A female was in the Landing Bay on 25 Jul (Steve McAusland/MARINElife).

Red-breasted Merganser

Mergus serrator

(p.55)

All new records

2011

New records

30 Jun – One was seen on the boat crossing on 30 Jun by Staffordshire birder Rob Swift, who reported: “The sighting was of a single female, two thirds of the way to the island on the boat trip. I picked it up as I was binocular scanning for Manx Shearwaters. It 'skidded' to a halt on the sea in my field of view about 150 m away. As the boat got nearer, it took flight and flew across the 'front' of the boat at about 30 m distant, in a south-westerly direction, then lost to view.

15 Oct – Three ‘redheads’ flew south past the Landing Bay (A.M. Taylor, R.J. Taylor).

These constitute only the 8th and 9th LFS records.

Quail

Coturnix coturnix

[Common Quail] (pp.56–57)

All new records

2010

New record

30 Jun to 3 Jul – One calling frequently from the Tent Field between 30 Jun & 3 Jul (A.J. Cleave, C. Young et al.).

2014

New record

11 Jun – One flushed near Tibbetts at 09.30hrs and just north of Threequarter Wall at 15.30hrs (Joey Eccles, Laura Hayes, Andy Redford et al.). These records came from separate groups of observers who had no idea of each other's sightings until much later on. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

Red-throated Diver

Gavia stellata

[Red-throated Loon] (p.57)

All new records

2012

New record

12 Feb – One flew in to feed south of Rat Island (A.M. Taylor).

2013

New record

14 Apr – A winter-plumaged bird in the Landing Bay (D. Miller).

2015

New record

4 Mar – A single bird in the Landing Bay (Andy Jayne).

21 Apr – A single bird in the Landing Bay (Malcolm Shakespeare).

Black-throated Diver

Gavia arctica

[Black-throated Loon] (p.58)

All new records

2009

New record

4 Feb – One off the East Side, seen from the Terrace, during a period of extremely cold weather that lasted several days (T.J. Davis & T.A. Jones).

This constitutes the 11th LFS records for the island and the first since spring 2003.

2015

New record

28 & 29 Nov – One in the Landing Bay (Philip & Helen Lymbery). This is the 12th LFS record and the first since Feb 2009. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

Great Northern Diver

Gavia immer

[Great Northern Loon] (p.58)

Selected new records

2010

New record

28 Dec – A count of five, following a prolonged period of severe weather in Nov-Dec, was the highest ever recorded on Lundy.

2015

New record

30 Jun – Three were reported off the Landing Bay on the unusual date of 30 Jun (David Oddy).

Black-browed Albatross

Thalassarche melanophris

Potential addition to the Lundy list

2016

Record under consideration by BBRC

A record of one off the Landing Bay on 17 Oct is currently (April 2017) under consideration by BBRC. If accepted, this would be the first for Lundy.

Cory's Shearwater

Calonectris diomedea

(p.284)

Species added to the Lundy List since The Birds of Lundy was published in 2007; previously included only in the Appendix of ‘Species seen during the boat crossing but not from the island itself’.

All new records

2011

New record

18 Aug – One off the West Side during a round-the-island trip on M.V. Balmoral (B. Hill). Record accepted by DBRC. The first record for Lundy waters and a long-awaited addition to the island list; two previous records in 1992 and 2002 were of sightings during the boat crossing.

Fulmar

Fulmarus glacialis

[Northern Fulmar] (pp.60–61)

Selected new records

2008

New record

30 Jan & 19 Feb – Daily totals of 87 and 90, respectively, were both high counts for outside the breeding season, though few representative counts are made at this time of year.

Breeding census – The census of breeding seabirds, coordinated by the RSPB and Natural England, revealed a total of 170 apparently occupied nest sites, suggesting a small decline from 178 in 2004, but a 12% decline since the population peaked at 203 apparently occupied nest sites in 1996

2009

New records

6 Aug – Several well-grown chicks and attendant adults still on breeding ledges at Jenny’s Cove.

Breeding success – Productivity at Gannets’ Rock colony was 0.47 chicks fledged per breeding attempts (N. Saunders & S. Wheatley).

2012

New record

2 & 21 Dec – High totals of 115 and 135.

2013

New records

15 Jan – A high count of 140.

Breeding census – The RSPB seabird census recorded a total of 209 apparently occupied nest sites, showing a considerable increase since the 2008 census when 170 nest sites were recorded. The Gannets’ Rock colony, the original stronghold for this species on Lundy, held fewer than 40 pairs, whereas sites along the West Side have shown a considerable increase, in particular the section from Jenny’s Cove south to Battery Point which now holds over half the population.

Sooty Shearwater

Puffinus griseus

(p.62)

All new records

2010

New record

5 Oct – One, mixed in with a flock of Manx Shearwaters, seen at rest on the water and in flight off the Castle (T.A. Jones). The fourth Lundy record.

2013

New record

22 Oct – One seen from the Castle (C. Baillie). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder. The fifth Lundy record.

Manx Shearwater

Puffinus puffinus

(pp.62–65)

Selected new records

 

Clarification p.64 second paragraph, eleventh line: the 1987 study site was an area 50m x 50m, i.e. 2,500m².

2007

Breeding season update

From burrows in the colony on the sidelands between the Old Light and Battery Point there were 64 responses to taped calls played in June. During the first two weeks of September David Price, Adrian Plant and Tony Taylor caught and ringed 55 young and 15 adult Manx Shearwaters in the same area, marking the fourth consecutive year of breeding success for this species. There was no monitoring of burrows elsewhere on the island during the 2007 breeding season. There was a series of exceptionally late autumn records: one was heard calling (by Kate and Liza Cole) near Hanmers on the evening of 7 October; one was found on the ground near Brambles on the night of 9 October by Chris and Carol Baillie; four were seen passing offshore on 15 October; and Andy Jayne heard one calling on the West Side near Old Light on the evening of 31 October. Finally, James Leonard saw one off Rat Island on 13 November - the latest Lundy record to date for a Manx Shearwater. The previous record late date (26 October) was set just a year earlier, in 2006, perhaps indicating that more birds are remaining in the vicinity of the breeding grounds much longer into the autumn.

2008

Breeding season update

Breeding census – A survey in late May - based on the responses of chicks in burrows to recordings of adult shearwater calls - resulted in an estimate of around 1,000 apparently occupied burrows, corresponding to a population of about 1,000 pairs (Helen Booker, RSPB, pers. comm.). This compares with an estimated 166 pairs using similar survey methods in 2001 and is the strongest evidence yet of the positive impact that rat eradication has had for breeding shearwaters.

2009

Breeding season update

Tim Guilford and Robin Freeman of the Edward Grey Institute, University of Oxford, spent the first 12 nights of August carrying out fieldwork at the breeding colony between Old Light and Battery Point. During the first five nights, a total of 15 Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices were attached to assumed breeding adult shearwaters to track in detail the birds' movements during feeding trips out at sea. In addition, geolocator devices were attached to 19 birds to record their migration to and from wintering grounds off the coast of South America (for further details of the methods used and results obtained, see the paper on pp. 74–75 of the 2009 LFS Annual Report). During daylight hours, Tim and Robin recorded by far the highest count of shearwaters for the year; some 10,000 seen rafting between two and five km off the west coast on 3 Aug.

Between 27 Aug and 12 Sep, 145 chicks were ringed – twice the number found in 2008. Tony Taylor commented: "Not only a big increase in the main Old Light colony but shearwater nestlings also found on seven other slopes ranging from Puffin Slope to west of Benjamin's Chair."

2010

Breeding season update

GPS tracking studies were conducted between 10 & 24 Jul. Breeding birds were tracked foraging as far north as the Isle of Man and as far as Dartmouth to the south. Most rafting birds were to the south-west of Lundy. Data-loggers were fitted to some birds and should reveal information about migration routes and wintering areas – if the loggers can be retrieved in 2011 (see page 76 of 2010 LFS Annual Report).

High counts involved a large raft estimated at 7,000 birds off South West Point on 8 Aug and 10,000+ mainly north-northwest of the island on 30 Aug.

David & Elisabeth Price, Peter Slader and Richard & Tony Taylor ringed 169 young and 17 adults between 26 Aug and 11 Sep. Many were captured in the colony between Old Light and Battery Point, but others were found along the sidings north of Pyramid Rock, at Puffin Slope, on Castle Hill and at various sites between Benjamin’s Chair and Old Light.

2011

Breeding season update

Four shearwater corpses presumed taken and stripped by Peregrines – with one young Peregrine still feeding on remains – were found at Jenny’s Cove on 21 Jun (S. Barnes).

David & Elisabeth Price, Peter Slader and Tony and Richard Taylor ringed totals of 167 young and 89 adult shearwaters in late Aug and early Sep. On 22 Aug, Tony Taylor wrote: “Manx Shearwaters very active, with much calling last two nights, particularly 20th. Six chicks found so far at Old Light colony. One adult, ringed on Lundy as a chick in 2008, was first known returning Lundy-bred bird since the rat eradication.” (A second such bird was trapped later during Tony and Richard’s visit). On 6 Sep David Price noted: “Our perception was that there were more young birds around than last year, and that there are still plenty more to emerge from their burrows. The last three days (4-6 Sep) were problematic due to rain and strong winds. When the conditions were too difficult on the west coast we tried the colony below Tibbett’s on the East Side, but thanks to head-high bracken were unable to locate any birds”.

2012

Breeding season update

David & Elisabeth Price, Nik Ward and Peter Slader made the following logbook entry for 28 Aug to 6 Sep: “Spent the last 10 days (or more specifically the nights!) out on the sidings catching and ringing Manx Shearwaters. Our target was to ring young shearwaters that have recently emerged from their holes and which will spend several nights out on the slopes losing weight, shedding their fluffy down and exercising their wings before flying out to sea. We managed to ring 106 young birds in total – most of them at the colony between Old Light and Battery, but also north of Dead Cow Point, the sidings north of the Pyramid, and Puffin Slope. The bright full moon hampered our catching somewhat as birds are less likely to emerge on bright nights. This was probably the reason we saw few adults as they are even more reluctant to come in to the sidings unless it is really dark. We saw some evidence of predated juvenile birds, one such looking like a Peregrine kill (prompting the question as to whether Peregrines regularly hunt at night). We caught more birds than in the same period last year, so potentially the population has increased, and we were encouraged to find the Dead Cow Point colony had expanded considerably since our last visit.” Tony Taylor took over the story, adding: “Richard Taylor and I (with help from Derren Fox and Don Malone on a couple of nights) ringed shearwaters on the nights of 6-12 Sep, alternating between the main colony north of Old Light and other sites (from Pilots Quay to the Old Light wall; west of Benjamin's Chair and Castle Hill; Dead Cow Point to Needle Rock). Mainly strong winds, but little rain. Some clear nights, but moonlight was not reaching the western slopes for several hours after nightfall. As David Price wrote, the general impression was of another increase in chick numbers, but compared to the previous few years there was little calling and adults were scarce. We did find one feeding its chick on 8th. Our totals: 145 chicks, and five adults ringed. For the main colony only, between us we ringed 170 chicks (including 1 later by Chris Dee), compared with 118 in 2011.”

For the year as a whole, 252 chicks and 53 adults were ringed.

The Manx Shearwater colony north of Old Light was searched at night on 16/17 Oct; none was seen or heard (Tony Taylor). The last record for the year of birds passing offshore was of four on 28 Oct, while Andrew Cleave reported birds calling over Millcombe during the nights of 5 & 8 Nov.

For a fourth successive year the Oxford University EGI team returned to continue its shearwater tracking project at the breeding colony between Old Light and Battery Point. From 12 to 25 August the team fitted 27 GPS devices to individual birds. A full report on their findings is given on pp. 101–107 of the 2012 LFS Annual Report.

2013

Breeding season update

18 Apr – Some 5,000 passed off the West Side during strong westerlies (Tony Taylor).

Breeding census – The breeding survey coordinated by the RSPB in May/Jun involved checking over 9,000 holes using recorded calls of adult birds. A total of 1,617 birds responded, which (with adjustments for coverage and response rates) translated into a population estimate of 3,451 breeding pairs. This represents a staggering tenfold increase in numbers since the 2001 survey and is considered almost entirely attributable to the rat eradication completed in the winter of 2003/04. because Manx Shearwaters do not breed until they are around five years old, there was a lag between the first successful rearing of young shearwaters post-rat eradication and the return of those birds as nesting adults. The significant increase in breeding numbers already recorded by the last census in 2008 was therefore considered to be due to immigration from other colonies (e.g. of ‘surplus’ birds from the Pembrokeshire islands). Since 2008, growing numbers of breeding-age, Lundy-reared shearwaters have returned, steepening the rate of increase in the colony, such that Lundy now holds almost 1% of the global population. With over 3,000 holes apparently occupied out of the total of over 9,000 checked, this means that every third hole on Lundy now contains a nesting shearwater!

In late Aug and early Sep, Tony Taylor and Richard Taylor, followed by David & Elisabeth Price, Peter Slader and Nik Ward, spent two weeks catching and ringing young Manx Shearwaters as part of the Seabird Recovery Project. Altogether they ringed 337 juveniles outside burrows, a significant increase on the 251 ringed in 2012. Over 1,000 Lundy-hatched shearwaters have now been ringed since rats were eradicated. David Price comments that this year’s high ringing total “reflected the greater abundance of young birds at all sites. Fifty-nine adults were also ringed and 31 were recaptured from previous years. Four of these recaptured adults were birds originally ringed as juveniles on Lundy, reflecting an increasing number of returning ‘home grown’ birds”.

Warden Beccy MacDonald heard shearwaters calling at night over Millcombe on 12 Nov and was able to pick out six individuals. birds were heard again (but not seen) on 13 & 27 Nov (Beccy MacDonald, Michael Williams). Small numbers of calling shearwaters are regularly heard on the Welsh breeding islands in Nov (per Greg Morgan, Ramsey Island RSPB Warden) and are assumed to be late-departing non-breeders or perhaps passage migrants from further north.

The Oxford University EGI research team returned to Lundy during the summer to continue satellite-tracking studies, but a report on that work has not yet been prepared.

2014

Breeding season update

The first of the year were six on 12 Apr. On four nights between 25 May and 2 Jun, Richard Taylor and Tony Taylor caught 159 adult shearwaters, 46 of which had been ringed on Lundy during previous trips, with the remainder being newly ringed birds. Tony commented: “On the two darkest nights, the noise and activity were particularly impressive; the increase in numbers is clearly continuing.” Writing in the log on 23 Aug, Martin Thorne noted: “Manx Shearwaters in epic numbers off North Light. At one point in the afternoon maybe up to 3 or 4 thousand birds”.

During the period 19 Aug to 4 Sep, David Price, Peter Slader, Richard Taylor, Tony Taylor and Nik Ward visited shearwater colonies nightly, weather permitting, to ring both adults and young, to assess the emergence of young from burrows and, especially, to monitor the return as adults of birds originally ringed on Lundy as chicks. Altogether they captured 286 shearwaters, of which 211 were ‘new’ (98 chicks and 113 adults), while 75 were recaptures of birds ringed in previous years. They noted that the breeding season in 2014 appeared to be late in comparison with other years, with very few emerging chicks in evidence until Sep. Nik Ward and Beccy MacDonald undertook further colony visits on the nights of 9 & 10 Sep, ringing a further 24 birds (23 chicks and one adult).

Small numbers continued to be seen offshore well into autumn, including ten on 23 Oct.

2015

Breeding season update

The first record was of birds calling in the Landing Bay on 7 Apr. At least 350 were counted on 3 May (Ian Searle). At the Old Light breeding colony during the night of 22/23 May, 33 new birds were ringed and eight birds from previous years were retrapped. Two of the latter had been ringed as chicks on Lundy, in 2008 and 2013 respectively (Tony Taylor). An estimated 20 per minute were passing north along the East Side during the evening of 29 May (Tony Taylor). During MarineLIFE/RSPB survey work aimed at recording Balearic Shearwaters and Bottlenosed Dolphins on 18 Aug, dense rafts totalling up to an estimated 20,000 birds were off the East Side (Tim Davis & Tim Jones). The last of the year was one on 31 Oct.

Teams of ringers led by David Price and Tony Taylor were again present to ring shearwaters in Sep, with 255 chicks and 126 adults ringed. Three of the chicks ringed were subsequently found dead, among hundreds of unringed birds, in southern Brazil as a result of severe weather (see below for details).

 

Ringing

By the end of 2015, some 3,544 Manx Shearwaters had been ringed on Lundy, more than two-thirds of these since the island was declared 'rat free' in early 2006.  In addition to providing valuable information about the spectacular recovery of Lundy's breeding shearwater population over the last decade or so (as summarised in the annual updates above), the long-term ringing effort continues to add to our knowledge of the birds' movements.

Ringing recovery: A Manx Shearwater ringed as an adult (ring no. FC27294) on Lundy on 22 Jul 2004, was found dead on Lundy 28 May 2007 – a period of 1,040 days (2 years 10 months) between ringing and recovery.

 

Ringing recovery: The ring only of a Manx Shearwater ringed as an adult on Lundy on 29 April 1957 (ring no. AT14936) was found by use of a metal detector at Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales on 29 April 2009, nearly 52 years later! (18,993 days; 59 km; 343°). While shearwaters are long-lived, there must be a suspicion that the bird itself was long dead when the ring was discovered.

 

Ringing control: A Manx Shearwater ringed as an adult on 31 Jul 2005 (ring no. EL68296) on Copeland Island, County Down, Northern Ireland, was controlled on Lundy on 29 Aug 2010 (1,855 days; 395 km; 172°).

 

Ringing recovery: A Manx Shearwater ringed as an adult on Lundy on 7 May 1992 (ring no. FC37697) was retrapped on Lundy on 8 May 1996 and found dead (leg and ring only) on Skokholm, Pembrokeshire on 23 Jun 2011 (6,986 days; 74 km; 325°).

 

Ringing recovery: A Manx Shearwater ringed as an adult on Lundy on 7 Jun 2013 (ring no. EX74477) was found dead (not fresh) on Bardsey Island, Gwynedd on 31 Aug 2013 (85 days; 177 km; 358°).

 

Ringing recovery: A Manx Shearwater ringed as an adult on Lundy on 3 Jun 2013 (ring no. EX74414) was found freshly dead at Freshwater East, Pembrokeshire on 09 Jun 2014 (371 days; 54 km; 346°).

 

Ringing control: A Manx Shearwater ringed as an adult on Bardsey Island, Gwynedd on 18 May 2012 (ring no. FB35848) was controlled on Lundy on 31 Aug 2014 (835 days; 177 km; 178°).

 

Ringing recovery: A Manx Shearwater ringed as a pullus (chick) on Lundy on 4 Sep 2015 (ring no. EY74131) was found freshly dead, after days of storms, at Mongagua, São Paulo, Brazil, on 30 Oct 2015 (56 days; 9,338 km; 207°).

 

Ringing recovery: A Manx Shearwater ringed as a pullus (chick) on Lundy on 9 Sep 2015 (ring no. EZ06320) was found freshly dead, after days of storms, at Praia do Cassino, Rio Grande so Sul, Brazil, on 6 Nov 2015 (58 days; 10,493 km; 207°).

 

Ringing recovery: A Manx Shearwater ringed as a pullus (chick) on Lundy on 6 Sep 2015 (ring no. EY74178) was found  dead at Parque Nacional da Lagoa do Peixe, Rio Grande so Sul, Brazil, on 6 Nov 2015 (61 days; 10,228 km; 207°).

Balearic Shearwater

Puffinus mauretanicus

(p.65)

All new records

2007

New records

12 to 16 Oct – Up to three were seen daily offshore from the south-east of the island: two on 12th & 13th, one on 14th, three on 15th and one on 16th (R.J. Campey, A.L. Cooper, S.L. Cooper, J. Diamond, T. Jones, J.W. Leonard, R.M. Patient et al.). These constitute the 8th to 12th Lundy records. Details submitted to Devon County Recorder.

2008

New records

15 to 23 Oct – At least three and possibly up to five off the East Side on 15 Oct (S.L. Cooper, R.M. Patient); up to six on 20 Oct, with three singles passing South End seen from The Ugly (I. Lakin, K. Rylands) and three singles past North Light (T. Bedford, J.R. Diamond, T.A. Jones); three flew WSW off The Castle on 23 Oct (T. Bedford, J.R. Diamond, T.A. Jones). Records accepted by the Devon Bird Recorder. These constitute the 13th, 14th and 15th Lundy records.

2009

New record

24 & 25 Oct – One seen off the East Side from The Ugly on 24 Oct (A. Jayne), with the same or another individual in the same area on 25 Oct (C. Baillie). Record acccepted by the Devon Bird Recorder. The 16th Lundy record.

2010

New records

3 to 8 Oct – Tom Bedford, Richard Campey, Tim Davis, James Diamond and Tim Jones recorded unprecedented numbers (for Lundy) during the first week of Oct: at least five passing west with a light passage of Manx Shearwaters off the Castle on both 3 & 4 Oct; at least 10 during seawatches from the Castle, Shutter Point and North End on 5 Oct; a record total of 13 during a day of significant seabird movements (involving 600+ Manx Shearwaters and 500+ Kittiwakes) on 6 Oct; one off the East Side on 7 Oct; and five off the East Side on 8 Oct, again feeding with Manx Shearwaters and Kittiwakes. The 17th to 21st records for Lundy. Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

In addition, two were seen on the crossing on 2 October (observers as above).

2011

New records

2 to 31 Oct – One off East Side on 2 Oct (J.R. Diamond, T.A. Jones); two off South West Point on 3 Oct (J.R. Diamond); and seven off North End on 7 Oct (T. Bedford, T.J. Davis, J.R. Diamond, T.A. Jones). One off East Side on 26 Oct (J. Allen). One off Rat Island on 29 Oct, two south in same area on 30th, and three on 31st (A. Jayne). The 22nd to 28th records for Lundy. Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2012

New records

28 Oct – One off Rat Island, seen from the Castle, flew south-west (T.A. Jones et al.). Record accepted by the Devon Bird Recorder.

2013

New records

21 to 27 Oct – A new record count for Lundy was established when at least 26 were seen from North Light on 21 Oct, including a feeding flock of six that gathered with Kittiwakes, Black-headed Gulls, Gannets and Razorbills off the Hen & Chickens towards low tide. One was seen flying past Rat Island on the same date, making a total of 27 (T.J. Davis, T.A. Jones, A.M. Taylor). Two were off Jenny’s Cove on 22 Oct (C. Baillie). On 23 Oct, one was off Lametry, four off North End and one off the East Side (C. Baillie, A.M. Taylor). Finally, nine were seen south-east of Rat Island on 26 Oct (A.M. Taylor), with two in the same general area on 27th. Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2014

New records

17 Sep – Six were off South End (Andy Jayne).

18 to 31 Oct – As has become the norm in recent years, intensive seawatching in October revealed small numbers passing the island but also feeding off the East Side. One flew past North End on 18 Oct; one was off the Castle on 20th; and three off North End again on 21st. From 22nd to 28th, between seven and ten were recorded daily, feeding actively with Kittiwakes and auks off the East Side, while four were off the South End on 26th (Chris Baillie, Tom Bedford, James Diamond, Tim Jones et al.). Finally, 14 were feeding off the East Side on 31 Oct (Rob Duncan et al.). Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2015

New records

15 Sep – One flying west-southwest past the South End was the only record for 2015 (Tim Jones); a poor showing in comprison with recent autumns. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2016

New records – subject to acceptance by Devon Bird Recorder

24 Sep – Two during seawatch from the Castle (Andy Jayne).

19 Oct – 11 off East Side feeding with other seabirds (Mark Darlaston).

28 & 30 Oct – Two during seawatch from the Castle on 28th and one on 30th (Chris Baillie).

Macaronesian Shearwater

Puffinus baroli

[Barolo Shearwater, formerly Little Shearwater]

Species added to the Lundy List since The Birds of Lundy was published in 2007.

All new records

2010

New record

4 to 24 Jun – An apparently territorial male heard calling from the sidings from 4 Jun to at least 24 Jun. First located by Chris Townend and Helen Booker (see p 83 of the 2010 LFS Annual Report for their note on its finding). A recording of the bird’s calls was made by Carl Pimlott on the night of 6 Jun. Record accepted by BBRC; the first for Lundy. Barolo's Shearwater breeds on the North Atlantic islands of Madeira, Cape Verde and the Canaries. It is a vagrant in Britain, with 60 records between 1950 and 2011.

2011

New record

23 Apr to 4 May – The individual heard calling at night in Jun 2010 was heard again in the same area of the Landing Bay on 21 Apr (C. & M. Dee) and nightly from 25 to 28 Apr and again on the nights of 2/3 May and 4/5 May (R.J. Campey et al.), but not subsequently, though it is unclear whether efforts were made to hear the bird later in May or in Jun. Record accepted by BBRC

Storm Petrel

Hydrobates pelagiucus

[European Storm Petrel] (pp. 65–66)

Selected new records

2009

Breeding season update

Jul/Aug – Stuart Brown ringed 29 at night, using a tape lure, on the Terrace between 25 & 28 Jul. None of these birds had brood patches. One found dead on the Landing Beach on 28 Jul showed signs of having a brood patch. A few individuals were seen on four nights between 1 & 8 Aug in the vicinity of the Manx Shearwater colony between Old Light and Battery Point (T. Guilford & R. Freeman). This is potentially significant in that these birds were visiting the island at night and had not been drawn in artificially through the use of tape-lures, which is generally the case for Storm Petrels ringed on Lundy.

2010

Breeding season update

1 to 5 Jun – A survey of likely nesting sites by Helen Booker and Chris Townend found no evidence of breeding birds (see pages 81-84 of the 2010 LFS Annual Report for full details)

2011

New records

25 Apr – One was tape-lured and ringed at Pilot’s Quay.

16 & 17 Jun – Ten reported on the first date and five the following day, but no details of location, circumstances or observer(s) provided, so impossible to assess the reliability of these reports.

2012

Breeding season update

May/Jun – On the nights of 24/25 & 25/26 May two different birds were trapped and ringed at the shearwater colonies north of the Old Light and at Pilot’s Quay, respectively. Both birds had well-developed brood patches (which occur in both male and female Storm Petrels); the first was retrapped in the same area on 28/29 May (A.M. Taylor, R.J. Taylor). In addition, one was seen during the boat crossing on 22 May, with 21 on 26th and two on 29th. Nine reported on 9 Jun also seem likely to have been a crossing record, but this is not made clear in the logbook.

2013

Breeding season update

7 Jun – One was trapped at night, without the use of a tape-lure, in the Manx Shearwater colony north of Old Light.

31 Jul – Twelve reported off North Light, but no supporting information provided.

2014

First confirmed breeding on Lundy

5 Oct – An evening visit by Tony John, Luke Philips and Tony Taylor to the Old Light Manx Shearwater colony, with the aim of ringing late shearwater chicks, revealed something altogether more unexpected, though much anticipated – a Storm Petrel chick! In a text message sent at the time, Tony reported: “Luke noticed the stormy a few m from cliff edge. Ringed and photos. Full grown but some down on belly. On release shuffled down small burrow.” This was the first ever proof of breeding by Storm Petrels on Lundy, though it had long been suspected that Stormies might be nesting (or at least attempting to do so). There must be a strong chance that this development, like the resurgence of shearwaters and Puffins and the island's seemingly burgeoning Wheatear population, is linked to the eradication of rats under the Seabird Recovery Project. A red letter day that will go down in the annals of Lundy ornithology and conservation (a full account is contained in the 2014 LFS Annual Report).

2015

Breeding season update

Jul to Sep – At least one was singing for long periods between 23.00 hrs and 00.30 hrs on the night of 15/16 Jul in the main breeding colony of Manx Shearwaters between Old Light and Battery Point, close to where a well-grown chick was found in Oct 2014 (Beccy MacDonald, Tony Taylor). An adult was tape-lured and ringed in the same area on 9 Sep (Jeremy Barker).

 

Ringing recovery: The LFS received late notification of a Storm Petrel ringed as an adult on Lundy on 29 Jun 1999 (ring no. 2580614) and controlled on Bardsey Island, Gwynedd on 22 Aug 1999 (54 days; 177 km; 358°).

 

Ringing recovery: A Storm Petrel ringed as an adult on 16 Jul 2008 (ring no. 2424876) at Basset’s Cove, Cornwall, was controlled (tape lured) on Lundy, on 26 Jul 2009, 112 km from the place of ringing.

 

Ringing recovery: A Storm Petrel ringed as an adult on Lundy on 25 Jul 2009 (ring no. 2580637) was controlled at Burhou, Alderney, Channel Islands, on 19 Jul 2014 (1,820 days; 235 km; 134°).

Cormorant

Phalocrocorax carbo

[Great Cormorant] (pp.68–69)

Selected new records

2009

New record

Feb – Noted feeding around the island (rather than passing through) in early Feb. Of six seen on 4th, four were sitting on Gannets’ Rock (former Cormorant breeding site). Many of the birds seen in Feb showed signs of breeding plumage. However, these seem to have been winter visitors only, as there was no indication of presence at potential breeding sites during the spring or summer (T.J. Davis & T.A. Jones).

2011

New record

4 Oct – An exceptional 55 passed over Lametor: “After circling for a minute or so, they flew off south, but around 40 returned some minutes later after thick mist set in to the south of Lundy. These 40 then appeared to settle behind Rat Island. Two Grey Herons approached from the east at the same time and flew south under the Cormorants – both herons and cormorants apparently disorientated by the suddenly poor visibility.” (T.J. Davis).

2012

New records

25 Aug – One was feeding in Rocket Pole Pond.

9 & 11 Nov – Migration continued into Nov, with a flock of six on 9th and four flying high over Pondsbury on 11th.

2013

New record

16 Apr – An adult in breeding plumage, first seen on the Sugar Loaf, was watched flying north below cliff-top height, from Quarter Wall Copse area towards the Sugarloaf and disappearing up under the cliffs (T.J. Davis & T.A. Jones), but there were no subsequent sightings suggestive of possible breeding.

Shag

Phalocrocorax aristotelis

[European Shag] (pp.69–71)

Selected new records

2008

New record

Breeding census – The 2008 breeding seabird census found 63 apparently occupied nests, exactly the same number recorded in the previous census in 2004 (D. Price et al./RSPB).

2009

New record

6 Aug – Fledged young were still being fed by adults on at Jenny’s Cove and North West Point.

2011

New record

12 & 25 Aug – Post-breeding flocks of 200 in the Landing Bay on 12th and 300 (location not specified) were by far the highest counts ever recorded on the island.

2012

New records

13 Mar – Birds were already occupying nest sites near Seal’s Hole.

20 Jun – A count covering many (but not all) of the known nesting sites, resulted in totals of 197 adults and 27 juveniles (T.J. Davis & T.A. Jones).

2013

New records

Breeding census – The 2013 breeding seabird census coordinated by the RSPB recorded a total of 112 apparently occupied nests – a huge increase on the average count of 61 pairs for the three previous surveys since 2000. This level has not been recorded since the mid-1950s when figures of 120–130 nests were recorded between 1954 and 1957. Numbers of nesting Shags can vary markedly between years (due to food supply and weather). In 2013, it may be that the cold, late spring concentrated more breeding attempts into the period covered by the survey (information contributed by David Price).

2 May – 142 feeding off the south-west coast, apparently associated with dolphin activity in the same area (Chris Baillie).

7 & 8 Aug – Post-breeding counts of Shags during round-the-island boat trips produced 227 and 301 birds respectively (Ken Josey) – the latter a new record count!

 

Ringing recovery: The ring only of a Shag ringed as a chick on 15 Jun 2008 (ring no. 1396162) on Ynys Gwylan, islands off Aberdaron, Gwynedd was found on Lundy on 15 Sep 2012 (1,553 days; 182 km; 180°).

Night-heron

Nycticorax nycticorax

[Black-crowned Night Heron] (p. 72)

All new records

2017

New record – subject to acceptance by DBRC

13 to 17 Apr – A breeding-plumaged adult was seen in flight over the Landing Bay and later at roost on the south side of Lametor on 13th and reappeared briefly in the Devil's Kitchen on the afternoon of 17th (Dean Jones et al.). The fourth record for Lundy, all of which have been in spring, between mid-Mar and late May, the last in 1990. Record subject to acceptance by Devon Birds Records Committee.

Night Heron Lundy 13April2017 Dean JonesRoosting Night Heron, Lametor, 13 Apr 2017 © Dean Jones

Little Egret

Egretta garzetta

(pp.72–73)

All new records

2007

New record

24 Dec – One (location not recorded by observer).

2008

New records

1 May – One (location not recorded by observer).
30 May – Two (location not recorded by observer).

These represent the 20th, 21st and 22nd records for Lundy.

2009

New records

17 Jul – One by the Sugar Loaf flew over Castle Hill and continued westwards (J.W. Leonard). The 23rd record for Lundy.

2010

New record

17 Oct – Two. The 24th record for Lundy.

2011

New records

24 May – One flying from Pondsbury towards the Logan Stone, settled for a time in Halfway Wall Bay, before circling over Tibbett’s and back to Pondsbury (S. Barnes et al.).

27 Jun – One flying west over Pondsbury (M. & K. Fryer).

16 Sep – One off East Side, south of quarries, (S. Evans); also reported on 17th.

2 Oct – One on the East Side, between the Landing Bay and Miller’s Cake (J.R. Diamond, T.A Jones et al.).

The 25th to 28th records for Lundy.

2013

New records

13 May – An unidentified egret, thought probably to be a Little Egret, at Pondsbury and on rocks in Threequarter Wall Bay.

21 Aug – One in the Landing Bay (R.M. MacDonald). The 29th record for Lundy.

2014

New record

19 May – Two flew low over the sea near the Battery. The 30th LFS record. Two-thirds of the Little Egret records for the island have been from 2000 onwards.

2015

New record

10 to 16 May – There were sightings of ones and twos on at least four dates as follows (though it is unclear how many birds were involved altogether): one on rocks below North Light on 10th; one at Brazen Ward on 11th; two at Jenny’s Cove on 13th; two flying NW away from the island off North End were lost to sight on 16th (Chris Baillie/A Rocha group, Tom Nunn et al.). The 31st LFS record.

Grey Heron

Ardea cinerea

(p.73)

Selected new records

2015

New record

Jul to Oct – There were records of ones and twos on the unusually high total of 35 dates between 1 Jul and 27 Oct, perhaps indicating the presence of one or more long-staying individuals. 

Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus

(p.59)

All new records

2017

New record

27 Feb – One in full breeding plumage was in the Landing Bay (Dean Jones). This is only the sixth record for Lundy and the first since Sep 2003.

Red-necked Grebe

Podiceps grisegena

(p.59)

All new records

2016

New record – subject to acceptance by Devon Bird Recorder

18 Dec – One in the Landing Bay was seen well and photographed (Philip & Helen Lymbery). An anonymous entry in the LFS logbook stated that the bird was still present on 23 Dec. This is only the sixth record for Lundy and the first since Feb/Mar 1996.

Red-necked Grebe image1 Landing Bay 18Dec2016 Philip LymberyRed-necked Grebe, Landing Bay, 18 Dec 2016
© Philip Lymbery

Red-necked Grebe image2 Landing Bay 18Dec2016 Philip LymberyRed-necked Grebe, Landing Bay, 18 Dec 2016
© Philip Lymbery

2017

New record – subject to acceptance by Devon Bird Recorder

13 Feb to 30 Mar – What seems likely to be the same individual as present in Dec 2016 was seen in the Landing Bay on 13 & 28 Feb, 16 Mar and regularly from 20 to 30 Mar (Dean Jones, Tim Davis, Tim Jones et al.). This would constitute the first known instance of overwintering in the waters around Lundy. It should be noted that observers were largely absent from the island in January, which would explain a lack of sightings in that month.

Slavonian Grebe

Podiceps auritus

[Horned Grebe] (p.59)

All new records

2011

New record

5 to 9 Feb – One in the Landing Bay from 5 to 9 Feb, with two present on 6th (M. Gade, G. Sherman, S. Wing). Initially picked out from Big St John’s, then seen (and photographed) from the Beach Road and Jetty. This is the first record since Feb 2005 and only the 12th year in which this species has occurred since LFS recording began in 1947.

 

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