Sturnus vulgaris

[Common Starling] (pp.240–242)

Selected new records


Photo: Starling along the High Street, 28 Apr 2014 © Richard Campey


Migration extensing into mid-Dec

10 & 11 Dec – Migration continued well into Dec, with flocks seen leaving the island high to the north-west, into a headwind, on 10 Dec and to the south-east, following a change in wind direction, on 11th.


Notable autumn-passage count

7 Nov – The arrival of 2,000 was (at that time) the highest count since The Birds of Lundy was published.


Breeding summary

Adults were seen taking food to nest sites in the last week of May, with at least 11 active nests located: in the laundry, the ranger’s workshed, Barton Cottages (two nests), dog shed, communications shed, south and west walls of the workshop (two pairs), Old Light (two pairs) and the Church (Tim Davis & Tim Jones). Young from two other nests built inside the workshop may already have fledged by this date. The first fledgling was seen begging for food on the roof of The Barn on 30 May (Isabel Winney). Three weeks later, most young had not only fledged but reached independence (e.g. a flock of 14 juveniles on the Airfield on 19 Jun), though adults were continuing to carry food to a nest in the Campsite wall of the workshop on the same date.

Notable autumn-passage counts

17 Oct to 14 Nov – A large influx was noted on 17 Oct, with 750 reported from North Light. Numbers then remained high well into Nov, with maxima of 1,000 on 25 Oct, 1,200 on 27th, 500 on 30th and 500 again on 14 Nov.


Notable autumn-passage count

16 & 17 Nov – Autumn migration peaked at 3,500 on 16th and 3,100 on 17th. These remain the highest Starling counts for the island since publication of The Birds of Lundy, though are well short of the all-time maximum of 10,000+ recorded in 1953, 1959 and 1973.


Breeding summary

The spring pre-breeding maximum was 90 on 21 & 26 Mar. Successful breeding confirmed: adults were seen commuting back and forth to nest sites, carrying food, on 29 Apr; 37 occupied nests were counted on 3 May, including those in the Church, Village and Old Light complex (Tim Jones), and the first fledgling was seen by the Ranger’s Shed on 9 May (Dean Jones). The post-breeding summer peak was 130 on 8 Jul.


Breeding summary

A census of nests in the Village and at the Old Light complex, carried out between 31 May and 3 Jun (Tim Jones), produced a minimum of 39 active nests, all of which had young being fed. A couple of nests at least had already fledged, so it is safe to say that there were over 40 nests; the highest total ever recorded, providing more circumstantial evidence of the benefits of rat eradication for hole-nesting landbirds (in addition to seabirds as the prime target beneficiaries).


Breeding summary – a new record number of nests

A total of 56 active nests were located on 10 Jun in the Village, Church and Old Light (Dean Jones). The first fledglings of the year were not seen until 22 Jun (some three weeks later than in 2018).

Notable autumn-passage count

17 Nov – An estimated 1,000 birds, involving a “single flock of 800-900 Starlings in off the South End first thing; the noise upon arrival was incredible. The entire flock then settled in Barton Field to feed – scaring the life out of the ponies! Birds were also arriving from the north in small but steady flocks – estimate at least 1,000+ birds overall – an incredible sight!” (Dean Jones & Zoë Barton).



Ringing recovery: A Starling ringed as an adult male on Lundy on 24 Oct 2012 (ring no. LB46253) was found freshly dead, having been killed by a cat, at Bierbergen, Hohenhameln, (about 25 km SE of Hanover), Niedersachsen, Germany on 23 Mar 2013 (150 days; 1,025 km; E 84°).


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