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.

More than 500 migrant Chaffinches were ringed in late autumn, and Blackcap numbers also topped 500, as a result of good passage in both spring and autumn. A total of 190 Manx Shearwaters were ringed, mainly due to another record year for chicks. Other species with totals over 100 were Swallow, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackbird. After 24 Stonechats were ringed in 2009, the drop to just a single bird in 2010 is a concern; it is likely that mortality was high in the intervening cold winter. In contrast, recent worries about the island’s Dunnock population have eased, with ringing providing evidence of reasonable winter survival and a good breeding season. Numbers of autumn migrant Goldcrests also increased, after a very poor showing in 2009, suggesting better breeding productivity in Britain.

Among the unusual species ringed, there were eight for which Lundy’s 1947–2010 grand totals are still in single figures: Merlin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nightingale, Red-flanked Bluetail, Mistle Thrush, Western Bonelli’s Warbler, Hawfinch and Lapland Bunting. Also notable were four Treecreepers and two Common Rosefinches. A full list of the year’s ringing totals appears below.

An interesting selection of recoveries and controls includes a Manx Shearwater which was ringed at the colony on Copeland, off Northern Ireland, in 2005 but has almost certainly settled as a Lundy breeder. Now that shearwaters are breeding successfully on Lundy, their numbers are building up so fast that some immigration must be involved; this individual, probably ringed when it was a young pre-breeder, gives the first hint of their origins.

While Lundy’s Lesser Black-backed Gulls are regularly seen wintering in Portugal, the 15-year-old Herring Gull found there is exceptional. A Chiffchaff and a Blackcap, both ringed on autumn migration, also went to Portugal. In contrast, a Firecrest and a Redwing wintered in the British Isles and probably became victims of severe weather: they were found dead in Cornwall and Ireland respectively. Details of these and other recoveries are given in the relevant species pages.

Number ringed in 2010
Manx Shearwater (169) 190
Merlin 1
Water Rail 2
Snipe 1
Woodcock 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull (27) 27
Herring Gull (19) 19
Great Black-backed Gull (1) 1
Guillemot 3
Razorbill 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Goldcrest 51
Firecrest 9
Coal Tit 4
Skylark 1
Swallow 161
House Martin 1
Yellow-browed Warbler 3
Western Bonelli's Warbler 1
Chiffchaff 149
Willow Warbler 157
Blackcap 504
Garden Warbler 10
Lesser Whitethroat 4
Whitethroat 23
Grasshopper Warbler 8
Sedge Warbler 26
Reed Warbler 4
Treecreeper 4
Wren 15
Starling 20
Ring Ouzel 1
Blackbird (4) 107
Fieldfare 3
Song Thrush 47
Redwing 55
Mistle Thrush 1
Spotted Flycatcher 2
Robin 37
Nightingale 1
Red-flanked Bluetail 1
Redstart 1
Whinchat 2
Stonechat 1
Wheatear 2
Pied Flycatcher 1
Dunnock 16
House Sparrow 5
Pied Wagtail 3
Meadow Pipit 85
Rock Pipit 1
Chaffinch 585
Brambling 5
Greenfinch 2
Goldfinch 74
Siskin 24
Linnet 22
Lesser Redpoll 3
Common Rosefinch 2
Hawfinch 1
Snow Bunting 1
Lapland Bunting 1
Total number of birds ringed 2,494
Total number of species ringed

Numbers in brackets indicate pulli – i.e. chicks/nestlings – ringed in 2010. The number of pulli is included in the main total for each species.

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


For the latest sightings and photos of birds on Lundy visit the
Lundy Bird Observatory website