With the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic less severe than in 2020, it was possible to carry out plenty of work on all the long-term ringing projects currently under way on Lundy. In addition to the single-species studies, the ringing of migrant passerines in spring and autumn was very productive. The overall ringing total for the year was 4,446, the highest since 2009.

With LFS rings now being used for the ICL and Sheffield University House Sparrow Project, an offshoot has been a new colour-ringing study looking at the breeding biology of Lundy’s Starlings, a species that is declining in the UK. Starlings and House Sparrows breed in similar habitats and Starlings are often caught incidentally when the sparrows are targeted, so much of the ringing work on both species can be carried out at the same time.

While the increased use of LFS rings on House Sparrows and Starlings clearly contributed towards the year’s high total, the numbers of migrant Blackcaps (1,148), Redwings (115) and Siskins (470) ringed broke these species’ all-time records for Lundy. Taken together with Willow Warblers (574), they made up over half of all the birds ringed. Other species with three-figure totals were Manx Shearwater, Goldcrest, Swallow, Chiffchaff, Starling, House Sparrow and Meadow Pipit.

Unusual species ringed included a Wryneck and two Common Rosefinches. Others that are relatively common in the UK but rarely ringed on Lundy included a Swift, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a Long-tailed Tit. A full list of species totals is given below.

 

Number ringed in 2021

Manx Shearwater

(107) 297

Storm Petrel

10

Water Rail

1

Snipe

4

Lesser Black-backed Gull

1

Swift

1

Wryneck

1

Great Spotted Woodpecker

2

Carrion Crow

1

Goldcrest

162

Firecrest

5

Skylark

1

Sand Martin

2

Swallow

186

House Martin

9

Long-tailed Tit

1

Yellow-browed Warbler

5

Chiffchaff

241

Willow Warbler

574

Blackcap

1,148

Garden Warbler

12

Lesser Whitethroat

1

Whitethroat

61

Grasshopper Warbler

10

Sedge Warbler

78

Reed Warbler

7

Wren

39

Starling

(15) 101

Blackbird

26

Fieldfare

1

Song Thrush

17

Redwing

114

Spotted Flycatcher

16

Robin

52

Pied Flycatcher

8

Redstart

3

Stonechat

20

Wheatear

53

Dunnock

17

House Sparrow

(195) 314

Grey Wagtail

1

Tree Pipit

1

Meadow Pipit

187

Brambling

2

Chaffinch

77

Bullfinch

1

Common Rosefinch

2

Linnet

23

Goldfinch

80

Siskin

470
   

Total number of birds ringed

4,446

   

Total number of species ringed

50

Numbers in brackets indicate pulli – i.e. chicks/nestlings – ringed in 2021. The number of pulli is included in the main total.

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