Stonechat

Saxicola rubicola

[European Stonechat] (p.182)

Selected new records

2008

Notable spring-passage count

16 Mar – A count of 20 was, at the time, the highest spring-passage count ever recorded, but was exceeded in Mar 2018.

2009

Breeding season summary

Seen in every month of the year, in spite of the severe weather in Feb, and although there were no reports of nesting pairs or adults feeding young, well-grown young were seen around the Terrace in the first week of Aug and seem likely to have been fledged on the island.

Notable autumn-passage count

20 Sep – A count of 18 remains the highest autumn-passage total since publication of The Birds of Lundy. The all-time autumn maximum was 70 on 10 Oct 1984.

2010

Breeding season summary

There were many fewer records in 2010 than in other recent years and there was no indication of breeding. This is assumed to be a cumulative effect of the cold weather of Feb 2009 and Jan/Feb 2010. 

2011

Breeding season summary

Numbers in spring were very low, following three consecutive winters with prolonged freezing conditions and there were no indications of breeding behaviour.

2012

Breeding season summary

No evidence of breeding.

2013

Breeding season summary

No evidence of breeding.

2014

Breeding season summary

No evidence of breeding for the fifth consecutive year.

2015

Breeding season summary

A pair were at Tibbetts on 6 Apr, a male was noted on 15 Apr and two birds were seen on 25 & 27 May (one on 25 May was an alarm-calling female just south of Pondsbury), but given the paucity of spring sightings it still came as a welcome surprise when, in Jun, breeding was confirmed for the first time since 2009: a pair with fledged young were on the heathland south of Pondsbury 9–15 Jun.

2016

Breeding season sumary

There was no evidence of breeding.

2017

Notable spring-passage count

25 Feb – A count of 14 was one of the higher spring-passage count since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

Breeding season summary

There was no evidence of breeding.

2018

New record set for spring passage

7 Mar – A count of 24 (13 m, 11 f), all south of Halfway Wall (Dean Jones), was the highest spring-passage count since publication of The Birds of Lundy and indeed the highest spring count on record for the island (the previous record being 20 in Mar 2008).

Breeding season summary

Successful breeding was confirmed in Aug when a pair were feeding chicks just north of St Helen's Copse.

2019

Breeding season summary

Breeding was confirmed when a pair were carrying food east of Pondsbury on 5 May and fledged young were seen in the same area on 23 May. Confirmation of a second breeding pair came on 11 May when a male was seen carrying an Emperor Moth to a nest on the seaward side of the Beach Road; both adults and three fledglings were seen there on 27 May. A third pair with two newly fledged young were on the northern slope above Pondsbury on 23 May. Finally, on 26 Jul, a fourth brood of three fledglings were with a male below the rhododendron-brash tree-planting enclosure near St Helen’s Combe.

 

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