Osprey

Pandion haliaetus

[Western Osprey] (pp.81–82)

All new records

 

Earliest and latest since 2006 (last year covered in full by The Birds of Lundy): Earliest in spring 25 Mar 2012 (one), Latest in spring 30 May 2014 (one); Earliest in autumn 14 Aug 2014 (one); Latest in autumn 1 Nov 2023 (one).

2008

New records

4 Sep – One drifted south down the East Side (R.J. Taylor).

4 Oct – A first-year bird was seen flying up and down the East Side, at one point landing briefly on a tree in St Helen's Copse, before being chased off by mobbing gulls (P. Abbott, E. Davis, K. Hale et al.). The 18th LFS record (of which seven have been during autumn migration).

Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2010

New record

26 Apr – One mobbed by gulls over the Landing Bay/Millcombe, seen from Brambles on 26 Apr (Colin McShane). The 19th LFS record (of which 12 have been during spring migration). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2011

New record

15 Oct – One on the afternoon of 15 Oct seen to fly in from the sea over the Landing Bay, before turning north and flying up the East Side, then crossing the island near Quarry Cottages (T. Ball et al.). Seen a few minutes later as it flew south along the West Side past T.J. Davis & T.A. Jones who were standing on the southern side of Jenny’s Cove. Record subject to acceptance by DBRC. The 20th LFS record (of which eight have been during autumn migration). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2012

New records

25 Mar – One gliding high from the south on passed straight over an LFS working party at Quarter Wall, then headed rapidly north-east (L. Cookson & K. Williams).

3 May – One over Millcombe (D. Fox, C. McShane).

Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2013

New records

20 Apr – One flew north along the East Side, mobbed by gulls and corvids (P. Bolland, K.Rylands, R. Skeates et al.).

15 May – One heading north over Pondsbury was seen to join up with a second Osprey heading north up the West Side (M. Jones).

17 May – One first seen over Rat Island flew north up the East Side before crossing the island near the Old Hospital. The same observers saw what was presumably the same bird repeat the circuit ten minutes later. On the same date, a “probable Osprey”, mobbed by crows as it flew up the island north of Old Light, was reported independently by other observers and presumed to be the same bird, although the possibility of two cannot be ruled out.

Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

Photo: Migrating Osprey mobbed by gulls and corvid off East Side, 20 Apr 2013 © Paul Bolland

2014

New records

30 May – One being mobbed by gulls over Castle Hill flew north up the East Side (Pete Clabburn, Charles Crundwell, Suzanne Long).

14 Aug – One flying south just off the East Side on 14 August was watched from the Upper East Side Path alongside the Tillage Field. The bird continued south over Lametor and on towards Hartland Point, circling a couple of times to gain height over the open sea (Tim Jones).

Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder; the 26th & 27th LFS records. The ratio of spring to autumn records for the island now runs at 18:9.

2016

New records

There were four records of single birds; three in spring and one in autumn:

3 Apr – One flew high over the island having arrived from the West Side at Ackland's Moor (Martyn Roper).

5 Apr – One flew over the jetty (Mark & Claire Tims).

5 May – One flew north over Quarter Wall (Tim Smith).

14 Sep – One passed south along the West Side (A. Turner).

Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder; the 28th to 31st LFS records.

2017

New records

There were three spring records of single birds:

27 Mar – One flew past the Castle, over the mouth of Millcombe and along the East Side, mobbed by gulls and corvids, on 27 Mar (Tim Davis, Tim Jones, Tony Taylor).

2 Apr – One flew quickly north off the Terrace (Solomon Gilbert).

28 Apr – One was mobbed by Great Black-backed Gulls as it flew east over Shutter Rocks (Martin Thorne).

Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder; the 32nd to 34th LFS records. The ratio of spring to autumn records for the island now runs at 24:10.

2018

New records

23 May – One, seen from Old House South, flew north along the East Side, mobbed by Ravens as it went. It was later over Threequarter Wall, still being mobbed by Ravens (Rob Andrew, Dean Jones et al.).

4 Oct – One in the Landing Bay at around 19.00 hrs (Darrin Dowding & Ken Ebsworthy).

The 35th & 36th LFS records.

2019

New records

18 Apr – One along the East Side on (Pete Lambden).

17 Sep – One arriving from the north-west, crossing the island and continuing south down the East Side (John Lane).

The 37th & 38th LFS records.

2020

New record

28 Mar – One over Brick Field was wearing a blue darvic colour-ring (Dean Jones). Indications are that this bird had probably been ringed as a nestling in Scotland.

The 39th LFS record.

2021

New record

8 May – One was seen in flight off Quarry Beach during the afternoon, coming as a huge surprise on a day of persistent rain and blustery winds. It was initially picked up due to the cries of the many gulls and Carrion Crows mobbing it. With a Peregrine in tow as well, the bird headed for shore, only to experience a near miss with Lundy Warden Dean Jones standing on the path to Quarry Beach! It then headed back out to sea.

The 40th LFS record.

2022

New records

There were four occurrences (the 41st to 44th for the island), two in spring and two in autumn:

25 Apr – One flying over Millcombe (Stuart Cossey).

27 May – One in flight over Rat Island and along the East Side (Stuart Cossey, Paul & Jackie Holt).

2 Sep – One flew south past Gannets’ Rock (Zach Wait).

13 Sep – One seen heading south towards Lundy from Pennard Cliffs on the Gower Peninsula, South Wales, at 10:30 hrs (Richard Dann) was seen two hours later off the Castle (Chris Dee et al.) and over the arriving MS Oldenburg (Tom Wright, Angus Croudace).

2023

New records

10 Sep – One flew in off the sea and over Millcombe (Rory Akram, Adam Day).

18 Sep – One flew over the Landing Bay (Angus Croudace).

7 Oct – One over the Landing Bay as MS Oldenburg prepared for departure (Angus Croudace, Joe Parker et al.).

1 Nov – One seen from the Ugly (Angus Croudace). This is the latest ever recorded on the island; the previous late date in autumn being 27 Oct 2001.

These bring the total number of dated Osprey records for the island to 48.

As Ospreys have, happily, become regular passage visitors to Devon, records are no longer subject to acceptance by the County Bird Recorder. However, given that the species remains scarce on the island, occurrences will continue to be assessed by the Bird Observatory and visitors lucky enough to see an Osprey are encouraged to submit as much detail as possible, including photos if available, when reporting future sightings.

Honey-buzzard

Pernis apivoris

[European Honey-buzzard] (p.75)

All new records

2006

Correction The record of one on 27 Apr remained subject to acceptance by DBRC at the time of publication of The Birds of Lundy. The record has since been determined as 'not proven', so this entry should be deleted.

2008

New records

3 to 7 May – One over Millcombe on 3 & 4 May (D. Clifton, G. Middleton, R. Skeates et al.) and one, presumed the same, seen over the East Side heading out to sea on 7 May (T.E. Baldwin). Record accepted by DBRC.

20 May – One flew in over the Landing Bay from the south-east and circled briefly over Millcombe before reappearing a few minutes later heading in a south-easterly direction back towards the mainland, past the South Light (T.J. Davis, J.R. Diamond, T.A. Jones). Record accepted by DBRC.

These sightings constitute the 6th and 7th records for Lundy.

2013

New record

29 May – A female flew low over Millcombe House, being mobbed by corvids, at 12.51 hrs. It flew south-west towards the Rocket Pole before tracking back east along the South End and being lost to view (P.J. Lymbery). It was independently reported being mobbed by crows off South West Point. Record accepted by DBRC; the 8th for the island.

2022

New record

2 Jun – A very pale individual with a strongly barred tail flew north-east over the island, from Old Light and across Ackland's Moor, harassed by Herring Gulls (Stuart Cossey). It was also reported (as a 'buzzard') by visitors who independently saw it from the East Side Path just north of Halfway Wall – from where it was pushed south along the East Side by three Herring Gulls at 10:24 hrs; and over St John's Valley at 11:00 hrs.

Record accepted by DBRC; the 9th for the island.

Sparrowhawk

Accipiter nisus

[Eurasian Sparrowhawk] (pp.79–80)

Selected new records

2011 & 2012

Overwintering bird

Dec 2011 to Mar 2012 – Unusually, one overwintered, causing havoc among the House Sparrows and Starlings around the Village.

2015

Notable autumn-passage count

27 Sep – Five, the highest count of the year, were seen leaving the island for the mainland, all in view at the same time (John Horton).

2018

Long-staying, non-breeding bird

Mar to Jul – What seems highly likely to have been a single, long-staying, non-breeding female was noted
on at least 15 scattered dates from 4 Mar to 2 Jul.

2018 & 2019

Overwintering bird

Nov to May – It seems probable that multiple records of a single female in Nov and Dec 2018 and from Jan to May 2019 (last sighting on 14th) refer to just one overwintering bird.

2022

Highest autumn-passage count of recent years

28 Sep – Six were logged; the highest day-total since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

2022 & 2023

Overwintering bird

Dec & Jan – A female seen regularly in Dec 2022 remained throughout the winter and was still present into the third week of Apr 2023, being logged for the final time on 20th.

 

Ringing

Ringing control: A first-year male ringed on 14 Sep 2009 (ring no. DA63697) at Nitten Field, Mewslade, Glamorgan, Wales was controlled on Lundy on 03 Oct 2009 (19 days; 51 km; SSW 212°). It was retrapped on Lundy, on both 11 and 27 Oct 2009.

Goshawk

Accipiter gentilis

[Northern Goshawk]

(p.79)

All new records

2013

New record

2 May – One, thought to be a female, flew north over the Terrace from above Quarry Cottages (C. Baillie). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder; the seventh Lundy occurrence – the majority of which have been in spring – and the first since May 1991.

2020

New record

15 Sep – During an afternoon of deteriorating visibility due to gathering fog, a male flew in off the sea and perched briefly in VC Quarry (Richard Campey). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder; the eighth for the island.

Marsh Harrier

Circus aeruginosus

[Western Marsh Harrier] (pp.76–77)

All new records

2008

Crossing record

No records from the island itself, but two migrants (one thought to be an adult female, the other a juvenile) flying south were seen from MS Oldenburg about half-way between Lundy and the mainland on 18 Sep (J. Adams, E. Davis).

2012

New record

22 Jul to 19 Aug – A female first seen over Castle Hill flew across St John’s Valley and Millcombe and up the East Side on 22 Jul (G. Sherman & S. Southon). What is presumed to be the same individual remained on the island and was seen on a further 11 dates until at least 19 Aug. It ranged widely, though was most often seen along the East Side, and was enjoyed by many different observers. Record accepted by the Devon Bird Recorder.

2013

New record

28 Sep – One flew low over the moorland and heathland south of Halfway Wall and towards Pondsbury. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2014

New record

25 Apr – A soaring male, seen from Castle Hill, drifted north over the Rocket Pole being mobbed by a Raven at 09.45hrs (Richard Campey). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2016

New record

8 May – A female or immature flew north along the West Side (seen from Quarter Wall) during the annual Devon Birds day trip to Lundy (Jon Turner). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2017

New record

22 Jul to 31 Aug – A juvenile ranged widely over the island during this period (Philip & Helen Lymbery, Zoë Barton & Dean Jones et al.). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2018

New record

21 Jun to 26 Jul – A long-stafemale, first seen in the Gannet's Combe area, ranged widely over the island (Jill French et al.).

2019

New records

1 Apr – A female flew high to the south-east, over the Quarries and on out to sea towards the mainland at 13.00 hrs (Andrew Cleave & Michael Foord).

15 May – A female drifted over Millcombe at 08.55 hrs and was later seen over South End, Tillage/Brick Field (being mobbed by crows), and quartering over Pondsbury. It was last seen flying north over Threequarter Wall at 14.55 hrs. (Tim Davis, Tim Jones et al.)

2021

New records

24 Jul to 12 Aug – A female or immature first seen over Pondsbury on 24 Jul (M. Smith) remained on the island for some time, being logged periodically up to and including 12 Aug (multiple observers). It was mostly seen either around Pondsbury or quartering the slopes and combes in the north-east of the island. However, it travelled further south on 11 Aug, when it was photographed – perched on a recently deceased sheep on Ackland's Moor – by Marisco bar manager Ash Garfoot from his bathroom window in Old Light Cottage!

15 Oct – One flew in off the sea from the south-east, appearing to make landfall somewhere around the Terrace, at 08:50 hrs. It was later quartering near Pondsbury at 11:05 hrs and then at various locations across the island, before thermalling and heading off for the Welsh coast in the mid-afternoon (Paul Holt, Tim Jones et al.).

2022

New records

There were three records, two in spring and one in late summer/early autumn:

17 Apr – A female/immature flew over Quarter Wall towards Pondsbury (Stuart Cossey, Zach Wait).

18 May – A female/immature was gained height above Tibbett’s Hill before heading off west (Tim Davis, Tim Jones).

8 Aug – A female/immature flew south over Barton Field (Stuart Cossey).

2023

New records

17 Apr – One flew over the island.

3 May – One in the vicinity of Quarter Wall (Rob Duncan, Luke Marriner).

9 Sep – A first-year bird came in off the sea towards the East Side over the Sugar Loaf and headed north (Adam Day).

As Marsh Harriers have, happily, become much more regular in Devon, records are no longer subject to acceptance by the County Bird Recorder. However, given that the species remains scarce on Lundy, records will continue to be assessed by the Bird Observatory and visitors lucky enough to see Marsh Harrier on the island are encouraged to submit as much detail as possible, including photos if available, when reporting future sightings.

Hen Harrier

Circus cyaneus

(p.78)

Selected new records

2007

Summary

Autumn – Just one record: a 'ringtail' (= female or immature) on 1 Nov.

2008

Summary

Autumn – Singles on four dates: 17 & 18 Sep, 24 Sep and 17 Oct. The latter two were ringtails; the bird on 18 Sep was a male. No age/sex was given for the bird on 17 Sep but it seems probable it was the male seen the following day.

2009

Summary

Winter – One on 7 Feb.

Spring – One on 15 Mar and two on 16th.

Autumn – Not recorded.

2010

Summary

Spring – A probable female on 18 Apr and a second calendar-year male on 9 & 10 Jun.

Autumn – Two on 11 Oct, one on 17 Oct (no details of age/sex).

2011

Summary

Autumn – Two ringtails were seen quartering the Pondsbury area at dusk on 13 Oct, having apparently arrived – along with other diurnal migrants – when murky conditions gave way to a clearance during the afternoon. Both left soon after first light the following morning, one circling up high over Tibbett’s, the other flying south at island-plateau height, just to the east of Castle Hill (Tim Davis, Tim Jones). A ringtail was seen daily from 12 to 14 Nov.

2012

Summary

Autumn – An adult (or near-adult) male flew over Millcombe on 21 Oct (Luke Phillips); the bird’s identity and age/sex were only confirmed thanks to Luke’s careful examination of a series of photographs that he quick-wittedly rattled off as the bird flew high over the valley into a strong headwind. A ringtail was seen between Quarter Wall and the Airfield on 8 Nov.

2013

Summary

Winter – A male at Pondsbury on 4 Feb.

Spring – A ringtail on 26 May.

Autumn – Single ringtails, potentially just one individual, seen daily from 2 to 4 Oct.

2014

Summary

Spring – Single males on 14 & 25 Apr.

Autumn – An adult female on 16 Sep.

2015

Summary

Spring – A ringtail flew NW on 25 Apr.

Autumn – During autumn passage, ringtails were recorded on nine dates between 12 Oct and 26 Nov. One on 12 Oct, first seen over the Airfield at 10.00 hrs, later circled high over Castle Hill and left the island to the south-west at 12.30 hrs; two (thought to be an adult female and a first-year bird) ranged widely between Tibbetts and the Airfield on 15 & 16 Oct; one flew in to the South End, apparently off the sea, on 17 Oct; one was over Halfway Wall on 18 Oct; one was along the East Side on 27 & 28 Oct; and further singles were sighted near Pondsbury on 4 Nov and flying south along the West Side near Halfway Wall on 26 Nov. Most Hen Harriers seem to pass through Lundy rather quickly (as shown by the bird on 12 Oct), whereas others may linger for a day or two, occasionally longer, so it is impossible to say how many different individuals were involved in this autumn’s relatively strong showing.

 

Photo: Male Hen Harrier being pursued by Raven over South West Field, 25 Apr 2014
© Richard Campey

2016

Summary

Autumn – Recorded on four dates: 14 Sep (male), 15 & 18 Oct (no information on age/sex), and 24 Oct (male).

2017

Summary

Autumn – Just one record: a ringtail on 8 Oct.

2018

Summary

Spring – Three one-day records: on 25 Feb, 25 Mar and 16 Jun.

Autumn – A ringtail was reported on nine dates from 18 Oct to 4 Nov, followed by another on 26 Nov.

2019

Summary

Autumn – Two one-day records of ringtails, on 15 Oct and 17 Nov.

2020

Summary

Spring – One record of a male on 27 Mar.

Autumn – One record of a ringtail on 5 Nov.

2021

Summary

Autumn – Three one-day records between 20 Sep and 10 Oct.

2022

Summary

Autumn – Two records of first-year birds in autumn: one flew south on 18 Oct; a second, long-staying individual was seen regularly from 23 Oct to 18 Nov.

2023

Summary

Autumn – Ringtails were logged on 2 Sep, and 13-16 & 19 Oct.

Pallid Harrier

Circus macrourus

Subject to acceptance, a new addition to the Lundy List since The Birds of Lundy was published in 2007.

All new records

2023

New record – subject to acceptance by BBRC

19 & 20 Oct – A juvenile, initially identified in flight over the quarries at 12:12 hrs (Tim Davis & Tim Jones) ranged widely over the island on 19th (multiple observers). At one point it was seen to predate a Common Snipe, which it settled down to consume on Ackland's Moor (Angus Croudace, Luke Marriner et al.). It was seen at dusk at Pondsbury that evening (Tim Davis, James Diamond) and again in the same area early on the morning of 20th, when it was watched flying fairly high to the south shortly after 08:00 hrs until lost from view (Helen & Ross Bower et al.). The bird evidently left the island at this point as it was not seen again. Many photos were taken on 19th, including a series of outstanding images by Eden Davies of the harrier over upper Millcombe – see here for examples.

Montagu’s Harrier

Circus pygargus

(pp.78–79)

All new records

2009

New record

12 & 13 May – A ringtail was seen at various locations in the southern half of the island (C. McShane, F. Stuart & A. Woolley). Record accepted by DBRC.

2018

New record

2 Jun – A ringtail soared briefly over North End before flying NNE out to sea over North Light (Tim Davis & Tim Jones). Record accepted by DBRC.

Ringtail harrier (Hen or Montagu's)

Circus cyaneus or C. pygargus

(pp.78-79)

2008

New record

29 Apr – A ringtail quartering over Pondsbury.

Red Kite

Milvus milvus

(pp.75–76)

All new records

2010

New record

13 to 24 Mar – A wing-tagged bird first seen and photographed over the Airfield on 13 Mar was seen regularly until 24 Mar (N. Dalby, S. Wheatley et al.). The wing tags (blue on the left wing, bearing the letter ‘d’ in black; purple on the right wing bearing the letter ‘d’ in white) showed that this bird, a female, had been collected as a chick from a nest in mid-Wales on 10 Jun 2007 and transported to County Wicklow, Republic of Ireland. After rearing in an aviary the bird was released as part of the Irish Red Kite reintroduction programme on 20 Jul 2007. In 2009 she was one of only two females to have bred (though unsuccessfully) – the first in Ireland for over 200 years. Thanks to Damian Clarke, Red Kite Project Manager, Wicklow Mountains National Park for these details. What was likely to have been the same bird was reported daily on Lundy from 11 to 13 Apr. Tony Cross of the Welsh Kite Trust later reported the bird to be on Bardsey Island on 17th Apr. This was the 7th occurrence since LFS records began in 1947.

2013

New record

9 Jun – One initially seen from Castle Cottage being mobbed by gulls high over Millcombe at 07.00 hrs was seen again in the same area an hour later, then near the Old Hospital at 10.00 hrs (S. & M. Rosser). In spite of the rapidly growing British (and now Irish) populations, Red Kite remains an extremely rare bird on Lundy. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder; the 8th for the island.

2019

New record

26 Mar – Two circled over Ackland's Moor for at least 10 minutes at around 10.40 hrs before drifting off to the north (Andy Jayne). The 9th record for Lundy.

2022

New record

8 May – One toured the island after first being seen over South West Field (Stuart Cossey, Rob Duncan, LFS Work Party). Another drifted north over South West Point on 8 Oct (Martin Thorne). Only the 10th island record.

Red Kites are now frequent visitors to the Devon mainland (especially during late spring and early summer influxes of wandering immature birds from UK breeding populations) and records are no longer subject to acceptance by the County Bird Recorder. However, the species remains extremely rare on Lundy and all reports for the island will continue to be assessed by the Bird Observatory. Please therefore submit full details of sightings, including photos where available.

Black Kite

Milvus migrans

(p.75)

All new records

1989

Correction The Black Kite recorded on 10 May was also seen at 08.55 on the morning of 11 May. Mobbed by gulls, it soared over the South Light, gaining height, before heading off south towards the mainland. The dates are given correctly in the 1989 LFS Annual Report, the 1989 DBR and the 1989 BBRC report.

2010

New record

27 Apr – One drifting south-east off The Ugly (C. McShane et al.) Record accepted by DBRC – the 4th for Lundy.

2014

New record

15 Apr – A kite flew in from the south near Goat Island and continued north just offshore before turning inland over the Battery and heading north-east over the island plateau. Remarkably, it was seen and photographed – entirely independently – by two observers, Joshua Harris and Martyn Roper. Close examination of Joshua’s photos by Mike Langman and of Martyn’s photos by renowned raptor expert Dick Forsman (see June 2014 issue of Birdwatch magazine), dispelled lingering doubts about the species of kite involved and confirmed that the bird was an adult Black Kite. This showed the value of ‘record shot’ photos (even those taken at considerable distance and in tricky light, as was the case here) in pinning down the final identification of a bird as big and apparently ‘obvious’ as a kite. Record accepted by DBRC – the 5th record for the island. Photo © Martyn Roper.

2020

Escaped bird

16 & 17 Apr – To the amazement of island staff (during the closure of Lundy due to Covid-19), an escaped Black Kite, sporting leg jesses, was sitting on the allotment wall outside Paradise Row in the late evening of 16th. Despite its captive origin, the kite created much excitement in the Village, with Paradise Row turning into one giant bird hide, with most of the Lundy residents able to enjoy the bird from their kitchen and living room windows! It was seen again on the afternoon of 17th, battling through strong winds and hordes of upset gulls in Jenny’s Cove, and later seen over the Village by Sue Waterfield.

White-tailed Eagle

Haliaeetus albicilla

(p.76)

All new records

2020

New record

16 Oct – A juvenile over Ackland's Moor mid-morning, then later soaring off the East Side before heading SE towards Hartland Point at 13:00hrs (Tim Davis & Tim Jones et al.) – the first White-tailed Eagle to be recorded on Lundy for 140 years! This bird, a young male, bearing colour-ring 'G471', had been released as part of the Isle of Wight reintroduction programme led by the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation and the Forestry Commission, in August 2020. G471 left the Isle of Wight reintroduction area on 11 October and headed west along the south coast of mainland England, reaching east Devon on 13th. On 14th he flew steadily north-west, arriving on the north Cornish coast near Bude on 15th, the eve of his day-trip to Lundy. After leaving Lundy in the early afternoon of 16th, G471 crossed back to Hartland Point and roosted overnight in woodland near Clovelly, before spending two weeks in the upper Tamar valley, again close to Bude. On 4 November he flew further south-west, roosting close to Stithians and then overflying Penzance and on towards Land's End on 5th, before doing an about turn and roosting near Camborne on the night of 5th/6th. As of 10 November 2020, G471 remained in Cornwall.

Rough-legged Buzzard

Buteo lagopus

(p.81)

All new records

2008

New record

9 Nov to 7 Dec – A first-winter bird was seen regularly at various locations along the East and West Sides in the northern half of the island until 29 Nov (D. Beavans, J.W. Leonard et al.). There were two final reports on 6 & 7 Dec. It was photographed, being mobbed by Ravens, by island resident Stuart Leavy on 11 Nov. Record accepted by DBRC – only the 7th for Lundy, the last being in Oct 1997.

Photo below taken on 11 Nov 2008 © Stuart Leavy.

2018

Record assessed as not proven

1 Nov – The record of one along the West Side north of Tibbetts was considered by DBRC as 'not proven'.

Water Rail

Rallus aquaticus

(pp.88–89)

Selected new records

2007

Correction The chick found in August 2007 (see textbox on p.89) was picked up at – and returned to – Quarter Wall, not Millcombe as stated.

2007

Breeding confirmed

Another chick, approximately a week old, was seen, this time in Millcombe, on 15 & 17 October. The pattern of sightings during the year suggests that two pairs may have bred in Millcombe. Overall, at least two pairs bred on the island in 2007 in at least two different sites, i.e. Quarter Wall and Millcombe. While the crash in rabbit numbers (and consequent reduction in grazing pressure), combined with the wet late spring and summer may have improved habitat quality, the eradication of rats is probably the most important factor enabling Water Rails to breed successfully.

2008

Breeding confirmed

Breeding was confirmed for the second year running when one medium-sized chick was seen with an adult, and at least one other chick was heard calling, in lower Millcombe on 4 Jun. One was seen at Quarter Wall Pond in late May and one was heard calling at Pondsbury during the first week of June, so it is possible that more than one pair bred. On 4 Sep, an adult and a chick were seen in Lower Millcombe, together with an older juvenile, showing that at least two broods were reared. On the same day, chicks were heard at Pondsbury.

2009

Breeding confirmed

Bred successfully for the third consecutive year, with at least two pairs, one in lower Millcombe in the vicinity of the pond/stream below dam and another in St John’s Valley. An adult with three chicks was seen in lower Millcombe on 18 Apr. A nest with seven eggs was found near Brambles on 21 Apr. Juveniles were seen on at least four dates in Jun and heard calling in lower Millcombe from 6–8 Aug. Birds were also heard calling persistently at night from Pig’s Paradise pond in mid-Jun (where one seen by torchlight on 12th), but no other evidence of breeding. Broods of at least two chicks each heard calling from Lower Millcombe and St John’s on 23 Aug. In Sep, three adults and at least four chicks were recorded in different parts of Millcombe on 7th.

2010

Breeding confirmed

Breeding was confirmed for the fourth consecutive year when chicks were seen in Lower Millcombe on 10 May. Two adults with two chicks were in the Brick Field near Quarter Wall on 16 May. Young were also seen in St John’s Valley and at Pondsbury in Jun.

Notable winter count

The highest count of the year was eight on 28 Dec following the exceptionally severe weather that lasted for most of that month.

2011

Breeding confirmed

Young were heard calling in lower Millcombe on 24 & 29 Apr, providing confirmation of successful breeding on the island for the fifth successive year. On 2 May, Richard Campey saw/heard an adult with at least one calling chick in lower Millcombe, a calling chick near Brambles, an adult with at least one chick at Pondsbury, and an adult calling from mid-way along Quarter Wall, suggesting the presence of four pairs. A brood of six chicks (one of which later died) was seen at Brambles on 4 May. A black fluffy chick (accompanied by two adults) was seen in lower Millcombe on 26 Jun, showing that at least two broods were raised by the pair here. A chick was seen and photographed at the southern end of Pondsbury dam on 11 Aug but found dead on 12th. A chick was heard calling on 15 Oct and six fully grown birds were seen – all in the Millcombe/St John’s areas.

2012

Breeding confirmed

After just one record of a single bird during the first three months of the year (12 Feb), things picked up slightly in Apr when one calling at night was heard from the campsite on 12th and the logbook count reached the dizzy heights of two on 26th & 27th. However, all the evidence suggests that the apparently thriving island breeding population during the period 2007-2011 experienced a sharp reversal in fortunes. One potential explanation might be the exceptionally dry late winter and early spring, which meant that many of the island’s marshy areas, pools and water courses were parched – until the heavens opened in April. There were no Water Rail records at all in Jun & Jul, so it was a welcome surprise when adults and chicks were seen outside Quarters on 12 & 13 Aug, marking the sixth consecutive year of successful breeding on Lundy. A chick was calling in the same area on 7 Sep.

2013

Breeding confirmed

Breeding was confirmed for the seventh consecutive year when a pair of adults with a single chick (“a black bundle of fluff but beak and legs growing fast”) were seen outside Quarters on 16 Jun (R. Healey). An adult was also seen in upper Millcombe on 15 Jun, suggesting a second territory.

2014

No evidence of breeding

Ones and twos were recorded from Feb to May and there were regular reports from Jul to Oct, including up to four birds in Aug/Sep, but for the first time since 2006 there was no confirmation of breeding. There were no records at all in Jun.

2015

Breeding confirmed

Singles were heard calling at Pondsbury on 3 Mar and near the pond in lower Millcombe on 31 Mar. There were no records at all in Apr and only three in May, so it was a welcome surprise when a chick was heard calling from the wet flush running between Quarter Wall Pond and Quarry Pond on 8 Jun (Tim Davis & Tim Jones). An adult was seen in the same area on 14 Jun. A juvenile was at Quarter Wall on 27 Aug (Joshua Harris).

Notable autumn-passage count

There was a notable influx of autumn passage migrants in Oct, when a maximum of 10 was recorded on 15th. This remains the highest count since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

2016

No evidence of breeding

After a late-winter singleton on 29 Feb, the only spring sighting was of one at Pondsbury on 27 May. There were no indications of breeding.

2017

Territorial behaviour but no confirmation of breeding

The first record was of one on 6 Mar. Two were ‘singing’ from St Helen’s Field, after dark, at 20.15 hrs on 24 Mar (Tim Davis, Tim Jones, Tony Taylor), and one was ‘singing’ near Quarters Pond at 03.00 hrs on 23 May (Dean Jones) and on the night of 25/26 May (Tony Taylor), but with no subsequent proof of successful breeding.

Notable autumn-passage count

A count of nine on 15 Nov was the second highest since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

2018

Territorial behaviour but no confirmation of breeding

Once again there was no confirmation of breeding. However, two in ‘Smelly Gully’ (lower Millcombe) on 27 & 28 Mar appeared to be paired “staying very close together in the stream and when sheltering under brambles” (Tony Taylor), one was singing in St Helen’s Field at dusk on 28 Mar (Tony Taylor), and one was calling from Quarters Pond on 7 Jul.

2019

Breeding confirmed for the first time since 2015

An adult was calling from Quarters Pond very early in the morning of 6 May, along with “constant squeaky calls suggesting juvenile birds may be present” (Sam Bosanquet). Breeding was confirmed in the same location when an adult and small young were heard calling during the evening of 28 May (Tony Taylor).

2020

Breeding confirmed

Although adults were seen and heard during the spring, including one calling from Quarter Wall Copse tree nursery on 26 May, successful breeding was only confirmed when persistent calls of at least one chick were heard from an extensive area of dense juncus cover just west of the intersection of Quarter Wall and ‘Pointless Wall’ (the incomplete wall that is bisected by the Airfield) on 11 Aug.

2021

Breeding confirmed

‘Song’ was heard near Quarter Wall on 13 May and breeding in this area was confirmed when an adult and a young bird were heard calling to one another near Quarter Wall on 25 Aug.

2022

Breeding season

‘Song’ was heard at Quarter Wall on 16 May and calls at Pondsbury on 13 Jun. However, no further indications of breeding were detected and the absence of records in Jul and Aug suggest that breeding did not occur in 2022.

2023

Breeding confirmed

Breeding was confirmed at Pondsbury with young heard calling in the early hours of 19 June and again on 27 July.

Corncrake

Crex crex

[Corn Crake] (p.90)

All new records

2011

New record

23 Oct – Remains found by the Church (R.J. Taylor). Record accepted by DBRC; the first for Lundy since Sep 2006, which also involved remains only. The last live Corncrake seen on the island was in Sep 2004.

Sora Rail

Porzana carolina

[Sora]

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

All new records

2020

First for Lundy

12 Sep – A clearly tired but otherwise apparently healthy juvenile was captured by hand as it clambered through brambles near to the Terrace Heligoland trap during the late afternoon. It was seen again at around 11.30 hrs the next morning by visitors Sandie & Mark West, along the Lower East Side Path closer to Quarter Wall Copse than to the Terrace. It was also seen later that day, at around 16.00 hrs, by Conservation Team volunteer Ben Hanson, this time back on the Terrace. There was no sign of the bird on 14th. Record accepted by BBRC.

Moorhen

Gallinula chloropus

[Common Moorhen] (p.91)

All new records

2009

New records

9 Jan to 10 Feb – One was seen regularly on the pond and around the chicken feeder at Pig’s Paradise (Quarters). It was extremely shy and scuttled off quickly whenever it caught sight of people.

15 Mar – One was seen in the north-west corner of Pondsbury.

These are the first records since 2006.

2020

New record

16 Oct – A passing nocturnal migrant was recorded calling in flight at 21.40 hrs on the night of 16-17 Oct (Tim Jones).

Oystercatcher

Haematopus ostralegus

[Eurasian Oystercatcher] (pp.92–93)

Selected new records

2008

Breeding census

Eighteen territorial pairs were estimated during the breeding seabird census in late May – exactly the same number as in 2004 – with the majority of territories north of the Battery on the West Side and north of Halfway Wall on the East Side (D. Price et al./RSPB). Other pairs included those on Miller's Cake, Rat Island and Dead Cow Point.

2013

Breeding census

The RSPB seabird census resulted in a breeding population estimate of 18 territorial pairs, which – remarkably – is exactly the same number found by the 2004 and 2008 surveys. Pairs are invariably found in the same locations from census to census, the majority occupying sites along the West Side and around the North End as far as Tibbetts Point along the East Side (information contributed by David Price).

2015

Notable spring-passage count

9 Apr – An exceptionally high spring count of 48 must have included at least some passage migrants, as the island’s entire breeding population is less than 20 pairs.

2016

Winter survey

The third national BTO Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey (NEWS) took place on Lundy – during a period of SW to W gales and heavy rain – between 23 & 28 Jan. The 18 Oystercatchers recorded were all along the relatively sheltered East Side.

Notable summer counts

A flock of 24 birds was at Brazen Ward on the unusual date of 24 Jun, whilst high counts during July included 22 on 11th and at least 30 on 29th. The highest count of the year was of 50 at Brazen Ward on 19 Aug; presumably a mixture of adults and young of the year.

2018

Winter count

30 Jan – A total of 27 counted during a walk of the entire island perimeter (Tim Davis & Tim Jones).

2019

Notable winter count & occupation of breeding territories

3 & 6 Feb – A total of 52 counted during a walk of the entire island perimeter. Feb 2018 was unusually mild and several pairs were already defending breeding territories along the East Side on 6th (Tim Davis & Tim Jones).

2021

Notable post-breeding count

26 Jul – A count of 60 at Brazen Ward (Josh Harris) remains (as of the end of 2023) the highest total logged since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

2022

Notable winter count

30 Jan – A total of 58 counted during a walk of the entire island perimeter (Tim Davis & Tim Jones) was the highest winter count of recent years. A count on the same date in 2018 resulted in less than half this number, showing that there can be considerable year-to-year variation, likely related to prevailing weather conditions and – correspondingly – how early or late in the season breeding territories are reoccupied. The weather on 30 Jan 2022 was calm and mild. See also notes above on the 2016 NEWS survey.

 

Ringing

Colour-ring sighting: An Oystercatcher ringed and colour-ringed as an adult (aged 2+ years) on the Gann Estuary, Dale, Pembrokeshire on 17 Feb 2018 (ring combination, right leg: orange ring with black digits 52; left leg: plain orange ring over BTO metal ring no. FJ06160) was identified from its colour-rings at Gannets Bay, Lundy on 6 Jun 2018 (109 days; 68 km; SSE, 149°). This bird was also seen on the Gann Estuary on 02 Apr 2018, 11 Nov 2018 and 10 Dec 2018.

Lapwing

Vanellus vanellus

[Northern Lapwing] (pp.97–99)

Selected new records

2008

Notable autumn-passage count

31 Oct – A flock of 40 was the highest count on the island since Dec 2000.

2010

Hard-weather influxes

Jan – The hard weather early in the year brought notable influxes to Lundy, with records on nine dates from 5 to 20 Jan, including 44 on 7th, 64 on 9th and 37 on 17th.


Nov/Dec – The severe winter weather of late Nov and most of Dec brought unusually high numbers to the island, some of which were in emaciated condition and could be picked up. There were five on 28 Nov, 63 the next day, then almost daily records in Dec, with maxima of 50 or more on nine dates, including 100 on 12th and 150 on 14th. Seventy were still present on 29th. The count of 150 was the highest for many years, but still some way off the record of 400 on 24 Oct 1958.

2018

Hard-weather influx

26 Feb to 8 Mar – Following a single bird on 3 Feb, the 'Beast from the East' led to a small hard-weather influx at the end of that month and into early Mar. On 26 Feb, a flock of 26 flew north over the helipad area and were later found in the lower aerogenerator field (Pete Lambden). The following day a flock of 18 flew north over Pondsbury, whilst two additional birds flew in from the direction of Old Light and settled near the water tanks (Zoë Barton & Dean Jones). There were nine on 28th, five on 1 Mar (including two on rocks off Shutter Point) and ones and twos on three other dates to 8th.

2019

Poorest year since LFS records began

Single Lapwings were seen on just five days (2 & 6 Jan, 1 & 2 Feb and 1 Dec), making 2019 the worst year since LFS records began in 1947 and illustrative of the widespread and catastrophic decline of this beautiful and once common plover.

2020

Summary

Spring – One 19 to 25 Mar.

Autumn – Singles on 15 Oct and 6 & 7 Nov; two on 8 Nov.

2021

Summary

First winter-period – A small cold-weather movement early in the year brought sightings on eight dates from 8 to 20 Jan, with a maximum of eight on 10th & 11th in Tillage and High Street Fields. These were followed by two on 10 Feb and one from 12 to 14 Feb.

Autumn – One on 15 Oct, three on 22 Nov.

2022

Summary

First winter-period – One 26 Jan to 2 Feb.

Autumn – One on 29 Aug, followed by records on eight dates from 17 Sep to 12 Nov. Most of these involved ones and twos but six were iin Tillage Field on the morning of 20 Oct and seven flew over the Village that evening.

Cold-weather influx in Dec – Arrivals were noted on 9th (four) and from 14th to 20th, with maxima of 80 on 16th and 101 on 17th (Stuart Cossey, Matt Stritch). The count of 101 was the highest since 2010.

2023

Summary

Spring – Singles on 4 & 5 Mar and 28 May.

Autumn – Singles were logged on 14, 23 & 25 Oct.

Golden Plover

Pluvialis apricaria

[European Golden Plover] (pp.96–97)

Selected new records

2010

Hard-weather influxes

6 Jan – A count of 50 (associated with hard weather) was the third highest mid-winter total recorded for the island (after 100 in Jan 1955 and 85 in Dec 2000).

Nov/Dec – A notable arrival at the end of Nov coincided with the start of a prolonged cold spell, with 20 on 28th and 30 on 29th. Unusually high numbers continued to be seen through Dec, with a max of 40 on 12th and 20 or more on nine other dates during the month.

Notable spring-passage count

7 Mar – A count of 11 remains (as of the end of 2023) the highest spring-passage day-total since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

2014

Notable spring-passage count

30 Apr – A day-total of nine is one of the higher spring-passage counts of recent years (see also Mar 2010 & May 2019).

2018

Hard-weather influx

28 Feb to 6 Mar – There was a small but noticeable hard-weather influx associated with the ‘Beast from the East’, consisting of records on five dates between 28 Feb (three) and 6 Mar (three), and a maximum of 10 on 1st at South West Point.

Highest autumn-passage count of recent years

16 Nov – 40 were over the Airfield; this remains (as of the end of 2023) the highest autumn-passage count since publication of The Birds of Lundy. See also Sep 2021 & Oct 2023.

2019

Notable spring-passage count

2 May – A day-total of eight is one of the higher spring-passage counts of recent years (see also Mar 2010 & Apr 2014).

2021

Notable autumn-passage count

13 Sep – A count of 20 is the third highest autumn-passage total of recent years (see also Nov 2018 & Oct 2023).

2022

Hard-weather influx in December

Dec – Arrivals reached 18 on 15 Dec, increasing to 47 on 16th and 49 (on the Airfield) from 17th to 19th. Thirty-two were still present on 20th, dropping back to five on 22nd. The peak count of 49 was the highest since Jan 2010 and the fourth highest on record for Lundy.

2023

Notable autumn-passage count

12 Oct – A count of 29 was the second highest autumn-passage total of recent years (see also Nov 2018 & Sep 2021).

Grey Plover

Pluvialis squatarola

(p.97)

All new records

2008

New record

7 May – Two.

2012

New record

8 May – One.

2022

New record

25 Mar – One heard calling in flight over Ackland’s Moor (Stuart Cossey).

Ringed Plover

Charadrius hiaticula

[Common Ringed Plover] (pp.94-95)

Summaries for spring and autumn migration

  Earliest and latest since 2006 (last year covered in full by The Birds of Lundy): Earliest in spring 16 Mar 2008 (one), Latest in spring 19 Jun 2012 (one); Earliest in autumn 2 Jul 2021 (one), Latest in autumn 20 Nov 2021 (one).
2007

Spring

One on 1 May.

Autumn

Singles on five dates 7 Sep to 14 Oct.

2008

Spring – earliest spring-passage record of recent years

Singles on four dates 16 Mar to 18 May, plus two on 8 May. The individual on 16 Mar was the earliest spring-passage migrant since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

Autumn

Singles on seven dates 4 Sep to 12 Oct, plus three on 9 Sep and two on 27 Sep.

2009

Spring

One on 14 May.

Autumn

Singles on six dates 11 Aug to 13 Sep.

2010

Spring

Ones and twos on five dates 11 Apr to 8 Jun.

Autumn

Ones and twos Singles on 16 dates from 31 Aug to 15 Oct.

2011

Spring

Ones and twos on six dates 27 Apr to 3 May.

Autumn

Logged on seven dates from 13 Aug to 28 Sep, with peaks on three on 13 & 23 Aug, and four on 1 & 4 Sep.

2012

Spring – latest spring-passage bird of recent years

Logged on seven dates from 4 Apr to 19 Jun, with a maximum of six on 4 May; all other records of ones and twos only. The bird on 19 Jun was the latest spring-passage migrant since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

Autumn

Ones and twos ogged on seven dates from 11 Aug to 11 Sep.

2013

Spring

Logged on eight dates, 26 Mar to 5 Jun, including two on 26 Mar and 17 May; all other records of single birds.

Autumn

Recorded on four dates from 25 Aug to 23 Oct, with four on the first date but all other records of single birds.

2014

Spring

Ones and twos logged on five dates, 26 May to 2 Jun, including two on 26 Mar and 17 May; all other records of single birds.

Autumn

Recorded on three dates from 28 Aug to 10 Sep, with three on the first date and both other records of single birds.

2015

Spring

Logged on three dates: singles on 7 & 21 Apr, and three on 8 May.

Autumn

Singles on four dates 12 to 19 Sep.

2016

Spring

Recorded on five dates, 10 May to 7 Jun, with two on 10 & 11 May and singles on all other days.

Autumn

Ones and twos on three dates, 5 to 13 Sep.

2017

Spring

Logged on three dates, 5 to 10 May, with four on 10th and ones and twos on the other days.

Autumn

Singles on three dates, 3 to 16 Aug.

2018

Spring

Records on three dates from 13 Apr to 24 May, with a peak of four on 17 May and singles on the other two days.

Autumn

Singles on four dates, 31 Aug to 9 Sep.

2019

Spring – highest spring-passage count of recent years

Logged on 12 dates from 25 Mar to 23 May, with a maximum of eight in Middle Park on 14 May – the highest spring count since publication of The Birds of Lundy. The highest spring count ever was 10 on 31 May 1991.

Autumn

Records on 14 dates, 9 Aug to 22 Sep. All records were of single birds, apart from two on 9 Aug and 18 Sep.

2020

Spring

Ones and twos recorded on four dates from 8 Apr to 13 May.

Autumn

Ones and twos – mostly calling 'flyover' birds – recorded on 12 dates from1 Aug to 30 Sep, plus three on 10 Sep.

2021

Spring

The first spring migrants were three on 23 Apr (including two foraging with five Dunlin in South West Field) followed by four on 24th and six on 25th (all in South West Field), then one at Quarter Wall on 4 May.

Autumn – earliest and latest autumn-passage birds of recent years

Autumn migrants, many of which were calling ‘flyovers’, were logged on 14 dates from 2 Jul (one over North End) to 13 Oct. All were single birds except for two on 21 Aug and 29 Sep. Finally, a late bird was calling during the morning of 20 Nov. The Jul and Nov records were the earliest and latest autumn-passage occurrences since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

2022

Unusual winter date

There was an unusual winter record when one flew over the Village calling on 22 Jan (Stuart Cossey).

Spring

There were only three spring records, all of single birds, on 23 & 27 Apr and 18 May.

Autumn – highest autumn-passage count of recent years

The first autumn migrants passed through in Aug and there were 22 records of single birds including one that stayed around Tent Field from 9 to 13 Sep. Two small flocks were logged: three on 16 Aug and seven on 2 Sep. The last was one heard in flight on 20 Oct. The flock of seven on 2 Sep is the highest autumn-passage count since publication of The Birds of Lundy. The highest autumn counts ever were 12 on 24 Aug 1973 and at least 30 flying over the island at night on 12 Sep 1956.

2023

Spring

Ones and twos on at least 18 dates 7 Apr to 25 May, plus three on 26 May.

Autumn

Logged from 15 Aug to 30 Sep, with a peak of five north of Quarter Wall on 5 Sep.

2024

Spring

One flew north-west over Tillage & Brick Fields on 17 Mar – the second earliest of recent years (after one on 16 Mar 2008).

Little Ringed Plover

Charadrius dubius

(p.94)

All new records

2011

New records

2 May – One at Pondsbury with four Dunlins (Tony John, Richard Campey).

15 Sep – One in Brick Field (M. Shakespeare).

Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder; the third and fourth for Lundy, following those in May 1998 and Apr 2000.

2012

New record

23 Apr – One on heather moorland just north of Pondsbury, and later by puddles on the main track at Halfway Wall, on 23 Apr (Kevin Rylands). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder; the fifth for Lundy.

2013

New record

26 & 29 Mar – One in St Helen’s Field (M. Jones). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder; the sixth for Lundy. Photo © Mike Jones.

2023

New record – subject to acceptance by Devon Bird Recorder

20 & 21 May – One initially heard and then seen with a Ringed Plover and two Dunlin in Lighthouse Field on 20th, was also heard calling during the evening of 21st (Stuart Cossey, Luke Marriner et al.).

Subject to formal acceptance, this is just the seventh record for Lundy.

Killdeer

Charadrius vociferus

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

All new records

2020

First for Lundy

16 Mar – One was found near Stoneycroft during the late afternoon of Monday 16th March (Neil Trout).

The following is a transcript of Neil's entry in the LFS logbook (see photo below):

"16/3 16.20 to 16.40 hrs. Killdeer. Initially in Stoneycroft Meadow but flew to temporary pond on Ackland's Moor, beyond water tanks. From distance, thought to be a Ringed Plover but closer inspection allowed the following notes to be recorded: – Bulky plover, larger than ringed plover with longer tail. Double wide, black breast bands with lower part of lower breast band more mottled. White breast band between the 2 black bands was a brighter white than the belly. Upperparts mid-brown to greyish brown. Legs greyish flesh. Bill black with length of half the head width. White supercilium flaring towards rear of ear coverts. White on lores extending onto side of face. dark eye with thick black line between eyes, over loral area. White collar broadening onto chin and upper breast. Call a 'Klee-oo'. Flight details too brief to note anything. 10x40 binoculars, down to 30 yards."

On Tuesday 17th, Assistant Lundy Warden Rosie Ellis reported that the island plateau was shrouded in claggy low cloud, with "shockingly poor visibility" and the bird was not seen by those out peering through the murk (in spite of rumours on social media to the contrary). Neil's initial sighting therefore turned out to be both the first and the last.

Record accepted by BBRC. There have been two previous BBRC-accepted records in Devon, and about three further historical (pre-BBRC) records.

Dotterel

Charadrius morinellus

[Eurasian Dotterel] (pp.95–96)

All new records

2010

New record

31 Aug & 1 Sep – Two confiding juveniles were at the North End, between John O’Groats and the top of North Light steps (E. Price). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder. This is the first accepted record since 2005. Photo © Elisabeth Price.

2011

New record

11 to 16 May – One with damage to its left leg was seen and photographed just south of Tibbetts (S. Barnes, B. Canavan, J.W. Leonard et al.). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2013

New record

11 to 13 May – Two were showing well west of the main track, opposite the brick Field silage heap, from 11 to 13 May (C.G. Marcol, B. Tuck et al.). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2014

New record

16 Sep – A juvenile was seen in flight near Old Light at 15.00hrs, then between the Rocket Pole and the Devil’s Limekiln from 18.00hrs until dusk (Andy Jayne). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder. Photo © Andy Jayne.

2015

New record

2 Oct – A juvenile was on the Airfield (Tim Cleeves, Martin Kerby). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2016

New record

18 to 22 Sep – A juvenile was at the North End on 18th and then on the Airfield 20th to 22nd (Julian Bowden et al., Andy Jayne). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2017

New records

24 Aug – A juvenile was on the Airfield on 24 Aug (Rosie Hall, Dean Jones, Richard & Rebecca Taylor et al.).

27 Aug – Two juveniles were photographed at North End (David White & Alice Hasted).

Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2018

New record

19 to 21 May – A female was at Shutter Point (Kim Brett, Barbara Harrington et al.). Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2019

New record

13 & 14 May – A female was at North End on 13th (Tim Davis) and two were in Middle Park the following day (Alan & Sandra Rowland).

6 to 13 Oct – A juvenile, first seen by the Old Hospital on 6 Oct (Paul Bullock et al.), remained in the general vicinity of Quarter Wall, being seen at Quarry Cottages and at the eastern end of the Airfield, until 13th.

Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2020

New records

27 Sep – A juvenile was photographed in South West Field by Lundy Ranger Matt Stritch during the late afternoon.

11 Oct – One seen and heard calling in flight over the Terrace (Dean Woodfin Jones, Zoë Barton). The bird appeared to come down in the vicinity of Quarry Cottages or Brick Field, but could not be relocated.

Records accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2023

New records – subject to acceptance by Devon Bird Recorder

25 May – One was seen over South West Field (Tony Taylor) and later flying back towards South West Field from the Airfield (Luke Marriner), when it appeared to land near Old Light but could not be relocated.

22 Aug – One  was feeding near to the memorial to Wendy Mitchell on the western edge of South West Field.

15 Sep – A first-winter individual dazzled in landrover lights was ringed at North End (Joe Parker).

Whimbrel

Numenius phaeopus

(p.108)

Selected new records

2011

Notable spring-passage count

3 May – A count of 15 was the highest since May 2004, but far short of the record 105 seen on 4 May 1967.

2012

Strong spring passage

Apr & May – Recorded on 27 dates during a significant visible migration of this species through Devon and elsewhere in western Britain, perhaps a consequence of flocks being delayed and/or displaced by the poor spring weather. After the first individual on 21 Apr, further ones and twos occurred on most of the next few days, followed by six on 28th and 21 on 30th, then 15 on 2 & 8 May and 16 on 6th, but only ones and twos from 10 May onwards, the last a single bird on 28 May.

As of the end of 2023, the count of 21 on 30 Apr 2012 remains the highest recorded during either spring or autumn since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

Curlew

Numenius arquata

[Eurasian Curlew] (p.109)

Selected new records

2007

Summary

Recorded on 21 dates, with a maximum of three on 3 Feb.

2008

Summary

Recorded on 17 dates, with a maximum of three on 16 & 23 Oct.

2009

Summary

Recorded on 18 dates, with a maximum of five on 5 Aug.

2010

Summary

Ones and twos recorded on 17 dates, plus three on 24 Oct.

2011

Summary

Ones and twos recorded on 21 dates, plus three on 12 Nov.

2012

Summary

Ones and twos recorded on 21 dates, plus three on 5 May.

2013

Summary

Ones and twos recorded on 12 dates, plus four on 2 Aug.

2014

Summary

Ones and twos recorded on 16 dates in total.

2015

Summary

Ones and twos recorded on seven dates in total.

2016

Summary

Single birds recorded on eight dates in total.

2017

Summary

Ones and twos recorded on eight dates in total.

2018

Summary

Ones and twos recorded on 10 dates, plus four on 26 Jul.

2019

Summary

Recorded on 16 dates in total (11 in spring and five in autumn).

Notable spring-passage count

28 Apr – A count of four was one of the higher spring counts of recent years.

Notable autumn-passage counts

25 & 26 Aug – Passage flocks of 10 and 12 birds were over South West Field on 25th (the flock of 12 also seen over Millcombe and Castle Hill) and a flock of seven was seen over Old Light the following day (Rich Taylor, Martin Thorne et al.). These are by far the highest counts since publication of The Birds of Lundy in 2007.

2020

Summary

Singles recorded on eight dates (one in Apr, four in Jul, one each in Sep & Oct).

2021

Summary

Recorded on 15 dates in total: singles on 14 dates from 28 Jun to 10 Nov, plus two on 3 Sep.

2022

Summary

Recorded on 14 dates in total. In spring, singles on three dates in Apr & May, plus two on 1 May. In autumn, records of single birds on eight dates Jul-Sep, plus two on 27 Jul & 24 Aug.

Bar-tailed Godwit

Limosa lapponica

(pp.108–109)

Selected new records

2012

New records

7 Feb – One at the North End (A. Liker); an unusual date.

25 & 26 Oct – Two flying over South West Field and the Lighthouse Field on 25 Oct (T.J. Davis) arrived at the same time as three Brent Geese during a period of strong north-easterly winds. A total of 14, in three small groups, were seen flying over the sea off North End the following day (T.J. Davis & T.A. Jones).

2014

New records

6 Jul – One was heard calling in flight over the campsite at approximately 23.30hrs (Kevin Rylands).

27 Aug – Two or three heard calling in flight over the village at 02.10hrs (Richard Taylor, Tony Taylor) were probably the same as three straight-billed waders reported by non-birdwatchers as having been near the Rocket Pole the previous evening.

2017

New record

1 to 5 May – One in South West Field on 1st (Neil Trout) was seen again at Pondsbury on 2nd (Martin Thorne) and 5th (Tim Davis & Tim Jones).

2021

New record

15 Apr – A bird in partial breeding plumage was photographed resting on the tideline at Hell’s Gates (Peter Newman).

2022

New record(s)

30 Apr to 9 May – One in Devil’s Kitchen during the afternoon of 30 Apr (Frances Stuart). What was probably the same individual was then in Barton Field with a Greenshank from 4 to 7 May (Rob Duncan, David Kightley), in High Street Field with a Whimbrel on 8 May, over Millcombe on 9 May, and again in High Street Field later that day (Stuart Cossey).

2023

New record

9 Oct – One was over Millcombe with a flock of nine Golden Plover and a single Snipe!

Black-tailed Godwit

Limosa limosa

(p.108)

All new records

2012

New record

18 Mar – Two spring migrants in breeding plumage were at Pondsbury (S. Wheatley). These were perhaps most likely to have been birds from the Icelandic population returning north to their nesting grounds.

2015

New records

24 Mar – One in breeding plumage was at the pond outside Barton Cottages (Kevin Welsh, Grant Sherman).

10 Jul – One at Pondsbury (Andrew Jewels).

2017

New record

4 Jun – One was in the Brick Field at approximately 19.00 hrs (D. Mantijay).

2019

New record

9 Aug – One, closely followed by a Dunlin, flew south past Rat Island on 9 Aug (Dean Jones).

26 Aug – One “loosely associated with seven Curlews” flew past Old Light calling (Richard Taylor).

2021

New record

8 Aug – One flew south, close inshore past Rat Island, together with three Oystercatchers, at about 07:00 hrs (Dean Jones)

2022

New records

21 Aug – One flew southeast near Halfway Wall with four Whimbrel (Alan McCarthy, Jenny Coomes).

3 Oct – A juvenile was photographed at Pondsbury during stormy weather (Darrin Dowding, Paul Bullock).

2023

New record

6 Aug – One.

Turnstone

Arenaria interpres

[Ruddy Turnstone] (pp.113–114)

Selected new records

2011

Notable series of early-autumn migrants

11 to 23 Aug – Between one and three birds recorded on six dates, including three in Brick Field on 14th and two there on 11th and 16th. While Turnstones are regularly seen feeding on short, coastal grassland at other sites around the UK, this is an unusual occurrence for Lundy, where most previous sightings have been of birds on rocks at, or close to, sea level (though in Birds of Lundy (1980), Nick Dymond notes that Turnstones sometimes shelter on the plateau in severe weather). Subsequent sightings were of seven on 2 Sep and five on 10th, then two on 8 Oct and one on 12th. Altogether, this is one of the best showings by this species for many years.

2022

Notable series of late-summer and autumn migrants

25 Jul to 21 Oct – Recorded on five dates in late summer and autumn. The first was on 25 Jul when a single calling bird flew over the Landing Bay. Two flew past South West Point on 31 Aug, followed by two over Millcombe on 4 Sep and a single calling bird on 6 Sep (all records Stuart Cossey). The last of the year was one on Rat Island with three Oystercatchers on 21 Oct (Paul Holt).

Knot

Calidris canutus

[Red Knot] (p.99)

All new records

2008

New record

26 Aug – One remarkably tame juvenile was seen around the village until 7 Sep. It was so unconcerned about people that it presented a tripping hazard!

2012

New record

18 Sep – One was on the track south of Old Light.

2013

New record

29 & 30 Jul – One in the Landing Bay was reportedly following people up and down the Jetty on 29th (R.M. MacDonald et al.).

2016

New record

15 Sep – Three were seen on White Beach (A.J. Bellamy). This is the highest number recorded on Lundy in recent times; the only higher count being of four birds, half a century ago, in Sep 1967.

2018

New record

30 Aug – The remains of a predated bird were found by the gate between South West Field and Tent Field (Tony Taylor & Denise Wawman).

2021

New records

30 Aug – A juvenile was seen in flight over the Campsite and later photographed at Rocket Pole Pond (Pete Clabburn & Charles Crundwell).

3 Sep – A juvenile was roosting on Rat Island during the evening (Jamie Dunning).

13 Sep – One was with Golden Plover on the Airfield (Louisa Bartlett, Chris Dee et al.).

2023

New record

15 Aug – On a busy boat day, an adult in breeding plumage was initially seen at the Devil's Kitchen, later moving around to the peace and quiet of Lametry Bay (Luke Marriner, Joe Parker).

Ruff

Calidris pugnax

(p.105)

All new records

2014

New record

10 Sep – Two at Pondsbury (Nik Ward) were the first for the island since Aug 2007.

2015

New record

28 Aug – A juvenile was on the pond outside Barton Cottages at 08.00 hrs (Beccy MacDonald) and in the Brick/Tillage Field area at 20.00 hrs (Ryan Burrell, Luke Sutton).

2017

New record

26 Oct – One was in Lighthouse Field near Stoneycroft (Gavin Bennett, Dean Jones).

2023

New record

9 & 10 Aug – A juvenile was seen and photographed at Pondsbury (Shaun Barnes et al.).

Sanderling

Calidris alba

(p.99)

All new records

2008

New record

16 May – One at Pondsbury.

New record

27 May – One, on the main track near Quarter Wall, was photographed by Nicola Saunders (Lundy Warden). These are only the 11th and 12th spring records for the island. In addition, one was seen in flight alongside MS Oldenburg about 15 minutes prior to the boat's arrival in the Landing Bay on 2 Sep.

2011

New record

27 May – One seen and photographed near the jetty (S. Barnes). The 13th spring record for the island.

2012

New record

5 May – One in the Lighthouse Field.

2016

New record

1 to 9 Sep – One was seen in various parts of the island during this period. It was west of Brambles, presumably on the main track up St John’s Valley (Connor Willmott) and on the main track near Threequarter Wall (D. Rudge) on 1st; feeding on the main track up from the Lambing Shed on 4th (Richard & Rebecca Taylor); on the Beach Road on 5th; and on the roof of the pig shed (!) in the Tillage Field on 9th (Steve Rosser).

2018

New records

27 May – Seven were on rocks below North Light (Martin Thorne). This is the highest count ever recorded in spring and the second highest ever for the island (eight were seen on  29 Aug 1977).

21 Sep – A juvenile was at North End (Dean Jones).

  Sanderlings North Light 27May2018 pic2 Martin ThorneSanderlings, North Light, 27 May 2018
© Martin Thorne
2021

New records

19 Apr – A bird still in non-breeding plumage was along the main track (Dean Jones).

16 May – Two were on the eastern side of Rat Island during the afternoon (Dean Jones & Rob Waterfield). These are the 16th and 17th spring records for the island.

2022

New record

12 Apr – One at Pondsbury (Stuart Cossey, Chris Dee). The 18th spring record for Lundy.

Dunlin

Calidris alpina

(pp.103–104)

Selected new records

2008

Notable spring-passage count

16 May – A count of 15 birds was a high total for spring, numbers usually being fewer than 10. The highest spring count on record is 30 on 15 May 2019 (see below).

2014

Notable autumn-passage count

31 Aug – A count of 20 remains (as of the end of 2023) the highest number logged for autumn passage since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

2019

Strong spring passage – new record count for Lundy

22 Apr to 22 May – Spring passage birds were logged on 15 days between 22 Apr (one) and 22 May (one), with unusually high counts in mid-May. Four in full summer plumage in company with two Ringed Plovers were feeding on bare ground by the West Side track above Devil’s Slide on 13 May. Peak counts were more than 20 on 14 May in multiple locations including the Airfield, Pondsbury, Middle Park, Middle Park Pond and North End, with at least 30 present the following day. This remains (as of the end of 2023) the highest total ever recorded for the island.

Purple Sandpiper

Calidris maritima

(pp.102–103)

All new records

2011

New record

10 Mar – A count of eight at Virgin’s Spring equalled the previous highest count for Lundy on 2 Jan 1988.

2012

New records

5 Feb – Two.

8 Apr – Two.

2017

New record

25 Oct – Two birds were circling MS Oldenburg as she approached the Landing Bay (Gavin Bennett, Rob Duncan, Justin Zantboer et al.).

2018

New record

14 May – Four at Brazen Ward (Dean Jones).

2020

New records

16 to 23 Feb – Four were on rocks in the Devil’s Kitchen/Hell’s Gates area on 16th, followed by two in the same general location on 19th, then two at Gannets’ Bay on 23rd (Martin Thorne).

11 Dec – One was photographed (very unusually) on grassland on the West Side (Jonny Morgan).

2021

New records

30 Oct – One was photographed on the rocky perimeter of Rat Island, a few metres away from a bottling Grey Seal (Rosie Ellis).

13 Dec – Three were in the Devil’s Kitchen (Martin Thorne).

20 Dec – One was flushed from pools by Quarter Wall (Kevin Waterfall).

2022

New records

15 May – One was roosting at Brazen Ward at high tide (Zach Wait et al.).

8 Nov – One on Rat Island (Stuart Cossey).

20 Dec – Two at Brazen Ward (Paul Dean).

2023

New records – exceptional overwintering flock, lingering late into spring

1 Jan to 23 May – Four at Brazen Ward on 1 Jan, increased to nine on 14 Jan, and eleven on 1 Feb (Stuart Cossey) – a new record count for the island (though exceeded in 2024); the previous maximum being eight on 2 January 1988. A single bird was seen at Hell's Gates (between Rat Island and Lametor) on 4 Mar. Nine were still present at Brazen Ward on 5 & 25 Mar, followed by six there on 3 Apr, five on 19 Apr, three on 26 Apr, and two on 3 May. The last of an unprecedented season were single birds at Brazen Ward (Joe Parker) and North Light landing stage/'seal steps' (Paul Dean) on 17 May, and a final singleton at North Light on 23 May.

Late autumn & early winter – Prolonged spells of poor weather, capacity limitations for the Observatory, and few visiting birders, meant that it was not possible to check Brazen Ward regularly during this period. However, six Purple Sandpipers were seen there on 2 Dec (Joe Parker).

2024

New records – a record high count for Lundy

2 Jan to 14 Mar – New record counts for the island were made when 13 were at Brazen Ward on 2 Jan, followed by 14 there on 13 Jan (both records Joe Parker). Subsequent counts of 13 were made on 28 Jan & 15 Feb. Five were still present on 14 Mar.

Little Stint

Calidris minuta

(p.100)

All new records

2008

New records

13 to 15 Sep – One near Quarter Wall Gate was the first since Aug 2004.

14 Oct – One.

2014

New record

27 Aug – A juvenile was on the pond in front of Barton Cottages (Richard Taylor, Tony Taylor). Photo © Richard Taylor.

2021

New record

5 Sep – One was seen and heard during the early evening as it circled over the Village, calling repeatedly for about ten seconds before flying off to the south-west. Though it was already dark, it was thought possible the bird was attracted by artificial light (Dean Jones).

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Tryngites subruficollis

(pp.104–105)

All new records

2011

New record

2 to 4 Sep – A juvenile at North End. Describing their initial sighting, David & Elisabeth Price and Peter Slader wrote: “Three waders flew in from the north over the sea into the North End (John O’Groats) and a Turnstone call was heard. However, the leading bird was not a Turnstone. They pitched down onto the short turf and heather and immediately began feeding on the insects in the vegetation. Two were indeed Turnstones, but the third bird was a juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper. The Turnstones soon left, but the Sandpiper remained, allowing close views and much photography”. On 4 Sep James Leonard commented: “Buff-breasted Sandpiper (juvenile) feeding happily on grass at the Quarter Wall around the footings of the cottages. It found one really large orange worm, which it downed with great relish. Not fazed by passing people or the landrover.” This is the 14th Lundy record, and the first since Sep 1983. Record accepted by DBRC. Photo © Elisabeth Price.

2017

New record

11 & 12 Sep – A juvenile was on the Airfield (Tim Frayling, Dean Jones, Mark Worden et al.). The 15th LFS record. Record accepted by DBRC.

2018

New record

9 to 12 Sep – Two juveniles frequented the main track end of the Airfield and Brick Field. Although news of their presence was first widely reported on 11th, when they were seen by Gareth Bradbury, an entry in the LFS logbook showed that they had first been seen on 9th by Celia & Tony Sawbridge. Both birds were still in the same area on 12th (David & Elisabeth Price, Peter Slader & Nik Ward), but could not be found on 13th, following a fine, clear night with light NW winds. The 16th LFS record. Record accepted by DBRC.

Buff-breasted Sandpipers Airfield area 11Sep2018 Gareth BradburyBuff-breasted Sandpipers, 11 Sep 2018
© Gareth Bradbury

Pectoral Sandpiper

Calidris melanotus

(pp.101–102)

All new records

2008

New record

10 Sep – One was seen and photographed just south of Halfway Wall, staying until 12 Sep (Chris Flower, Stuart Leavy, Grant Sherman). About 20 individuals of this North American breeding species have now occurred on Lundy since the first in 1950; the last was in Sep 2004. Record accepted by DBRC.

2011

New record

24 & 28 Sep – A first-winter bird was at Pondsbury on 24th (Mike Stephen) and at Halfway Wall and Pondsbury on 28th (J. & M. Bowden, C. Dee et al.). Record accepted by DBRC.

2013

New record

4 & 5 Sep – One near the Brick Field silage heap (A. Mottahedin-Fardo, D. & E. Price, P. Slader). Record accepted by DBRC.

Pectoral Sandpiper, Sep 2013
© Elisabeth Price

2018

New record

12 & 13 Sep – A juvenile frequenting Quarter Wall and Brick Field Ponds on 12th and during the morning of 13th (David & Elisabeth Price, Peter Slader, Nik Ward et al.), was relocated at Quarters Pond during the afternoon of 13th (Andrew Jewels et al.) and was again at Quarters Pond on 15th (Tony Sawbridge). Record accepted by DBRC.

Pectoral Sandpiper Quarters Pond 13Sep2018 Tim JonesPectoral Sandpiper, 13 Sep 2018
© Tim Jones

Woodcock

Scolopax rusticola

[Eurasian Woodcock] (p.107)

Selected new records

  Earliest and latest since 2006 (last year covered in full by The Birds of Lundy): Earliest in autumn 7 Oct 2007 (one); Latest in spring 14 May 2007 (one).
2011

Peregrine predation

28 Oct – One was seen being attacked by a Peregrine over Quarry Beach: “After short grapple, Woodcock flew down into kelp at the water’s edge. Peregrine sat approx 40 feet up on ledge for 10 mins then left N. Woodcock flew to cliff bottom after further 10 mins” (T. & K. Dobie).

2012

Strong autumn passage

23 & 24 Oct – The first autumn migrants of the year were two on 23 Oct, followed by a very good count of eight the following day – the highest number in one day for many years, coinciding with a general influx of migrants from the north-east.

2016

Unusual record in Apr

Singles on three days in late Mar and unusually in Apr (one flushed at Pondsbury on 4th) were most likely migrants passing through on their way back to breeding grounds.

Strong autumn passage

Recorded on 21 days between 19 Oct (two) and 19 Nov (one), with a max of eight on 11 Nov.

Peregrine predation

The remains of two Peregrine-predated Woodcocks were found by Luke Sutton on 4 Apr, whilst Richard & Rebecca Taylor watched a Peregrine carrying a Woodcock over Millcombe and up the East Side on 8 Nov.

2018

Nocturnal record

22 Jan – Three located by torchlight at night in Brick & Tillage Fields (Dean Jones).

2019

Nocturnal record

4 Jan – Three were in Tillage Field and on the Airfield during a late-night walk (Dean Jones).

2022

Late spring record

13 May –  One flew over Pondsbury pursued and then taken by a Peregrine (Tim Jones, Tim Davis, Stuart Cossey). This is the second latest record for the island (after one on 14 May 2007).

2023

Record ringing total

Oct to Dec – Use of thermal imaging equipment at night resulted in a record annual total of 15 Woodcocks being ringed – all of them trapped between 17 Oct and 30 Dec, with no fewer than six of these on the nights of 29 & 30 Dec alone. The all-time ringing total for Lundy for the years 1947 to 2022, inclusive, stood at just 18!

2024

Notable nocturnal surveying/ringing records

Jan & Feb – A further three birds were ringed, bringing the ringing total for autumn/winter 2023/24 to 18 individuals. Use of thermal imaging equipment resulted in a maximum count of six on 26 Feb.

 

Ringing

Ringing recovery: A first-year bird ringed on Lundy on 13 Oct 2010 (ring no. EX62011) was hunted (presumably shot) at Wirwignes, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, north-easternmost France, close to the Channel coast, on 03 Jan 2013 (813 days; 453 km; E 97°). This recovery perhaps hints at a continental wintering destination for some of the autumn migrants passing through the island.

Jack Snipe

Lymnocryptes minimus

(p.105)

Selected new records

2023

Insights from thermal imaging

The concerted use of thermal imaging equipment – during the day, as well as at night – revolutionised understanding of the true status of this hitherto under-recorded passage migrant and winter visitor to the island.

Record annual ringing total – surpassing the combined total of all previous years

Oct to Dec – As a result of thermal imaging surveys, an astonishing 20 Jack Snipe were ringed between 13 Oct and 30 Dec 2023, easily exceeding the total ringed for all previous years (1947 to 2022) combined, which stood at 13! Eight of the 20 were ringed on just two nights, 29 & 30 Dec.

2024

Nocturnal winter counts & ringing

Jan to Mar – Nocturnal surveys (using thermal imaging equipment) of the 'in fields' around the Village, as well as South West Field and Ackland's Moor, revealed one to three birds present on ten dates between 7 Jan and 6 Mar. A further eight birds were ringed during this period, bringing the total ringed during the autumn and winter of 2023/24 to 28.

Snipe

Gallinago gallinago

[Common Snipe] (p.106)

Selected new records

2010

Hard-weather influx

Dec – A major influx during the severe cold spell in Dec peaked at 70 on 27th, with an estimated 50 on each of the following two days. James Leonard wrote in the logbook for 22-24 Dec: “Basically Snipe everywhere, particularly at South End on banks warmed by sun. On 23rd one apparently sat on the front of the fire truck by the helicopter landing pad. It didn’t move when the siren was played but did when the door opened.

2011

Notable autumn-passage record

23 Oct – 25 were around the edge of Pondsbury at dusk (Richard Taylor).

2023

Insights from thermal imaging

The concerted use of thermal imaging equipment greatly enhanced understanding of the true status of this otherwise under-recorded passage migrant and winter visitor to the island, though the whereabouts during daylight hours of the significant numbers located at night remain something of a mystery.

Record annual ringing total – surpassing the combined total of all previous years

Oct to Dec: As a result of nocturnal thermal imaging surveys, 119 Snipe were ringed between 12 Sep and 30 Dec 2023 – well over twice the total ringed for all previous years (1947 to 2022) combined, which stood at 49! A staggering 90 of the 119 were ringed during the five-day period 13 to 17 Oct, including 46 on 14 Oct alone.

2024

Nocturnal surveys and ringing

Jan to Mar – Nocturnal surveys (using thermal imaging equipment) of the 'in fields' around the Village, as well as South West Field and Ackland's Moor, generated an excellent series of high counts of overwintering and spring-passage birds, including: 32 on 10 Jan, 33 on 28 Jan, 20 on 1 & 4 Feb, 25 on 7 Feb, 15 on 27 Feb, 21 on 11 Mar and 26 on 17 Mar. A total of 25 new Snipe were ringed at night during this period, bringing the total for autumn/winter 2023/24 (Sep to Mar) to an amazing 144.

Red-necked Phalarope

Phalaropus lobatus

(p.114)

All new records

2017

New record

23 Sep – A juvenile on Pondsbury (Andy Hauser & Jean Shotter) was only the third record for the island, following single birds as long ago as Nov 1955 and Oct 1960. Record accepted by DBRC.

Grey Phalarope

Phalaropus fulicarius

[Red Phalarope] (pp.114–115)

All new records

2008

New record

6 Oct – One feeding close inshore in the lee of Rat Island was watched from the jetty (R.J. Campey). This constitutes the 12th sighting since organised bird recording was established by the LFS in 1947, and the first since Oct 2005. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

2014

New record

11 Oct – One seen and photographed from MS Oldenburg during a round-the-island trip (Steve McAusland/MARINElife) – the 13th LFS record. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder. Photo © Steve McAusland.

2020

New record

11 Feb – The fresh corpse of an adult was found along the Lower East Side Path above White Beach (Mr & Mrs Vincent per Dean Jones). This followed a period of Atlantic gales, when winds reached 70 mph on 9 Feb as Storm Ciara bore down on the island. It seems probable the bird was a victim of weather-related exhaustion and starvation. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder; the 14th for the island.

2022

New record

12 Apr – A single bird was rafting with Kittiwakes off Jenny’s Cove (Stuart Cossey, Chris Dee et al.) – the 15th Lundy record and first occurrence in Apr. Record accepted by Devon Bird Recorder.

Common Sandpiper

Actitis hypoleucos

(pp.112-113)

Summaries of all new records

 

Earliest and latest since 2006 (last year covered in full by The Birds of Lundy): earliest and latest in spring 13 Apr 2010 (one) and 30 May 2014 (one); earliest and latest in autumn 26 Jun 2012 (one) and 21 Sep 2021 (one).

2007

Summary

Spring – Singles on 21 Apr & 3 May.

2008

Summary

Autumn – Singles on 14 & 16 Sep.

2009

Summary

Autumn – One on 25 Aug.

2010

Summary

Spring – Singles on 13 &19 Apr and 14 & 19 May.

2011

Summary

Spring – One on 1 May.

Autumn – Two on 12 Aug.

2012

Summary – notable spring count

Spring – Recorded on seven dates from 26 Apr to 22 May; mostly singles but two on 26 Apr, four on 30 Apr and two on 2 May. The count of four on 30 Apr remains (as of the end of 2023) the highest spring day-total since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

Autumn – Singles on 26 Jun (assumed to be an early-returning failed breeder) and 31 Aug.

2013

Summary

Spring – One on 16 Apr.

Autumn – One on 31Aug.

2014

Spring – Two on 20 Apr and one on 30 May.

Autumn – Recorded on five dates from 8 Jul to 8 Aug, with a maximum of three on 4 Aug.

2015

Summary

Spring – One on 16 Apr, two on 4 May and three on 5 May.

Autumn – Recorded on four dates from 6 Jul to 9 Sep, with a maximum of three (in the Landing Bay) on the first date.

2016

Summary

Spring – Singles on 28 Apr and 8 May.

Autumn – One on 3 Aug and two on 10 Aug.

2017

Summary

Spring – One on 4 May and two on 5 May.

Autumn – Singles on 13 & 25 Aug and 18 Sep.

2018

Summary – notable autumn count

Spring – One on 29 Apr.

Autumn – Recorded on nine dates from 6 Jul to 4 Sep; mainly ones & twos but a maximum of five roosting together in the Landing Bay at high tide on 20 Jul. This count of five remains (as of the end of 2023) the highest autumn day-total since publication of The Birds of Lundy.

2019

Summary

Spring – Singles on 25 Apr and 14 May were the only records for the whole year.

2020

Summary

Spring – Singles on 26 & 29 Apr and 9 May.

Autumn – Digital recordings of nocturnal migrants were made from Brambles on the nights of 8/9 and 9/10 Aug; two were calling at North Light on the night of 26/27 Aug.

2021

Summary

Spring – Singles on 28 & 29 Apr and 25 May.

Autumn – One on 8 Aug, two on 23 Aug, and further singles on 5 & 21 Sep.

2022

Summary

Spring – Singles on six dates from 23 Apr to 13 May.

Autumn – Recorded on seven dates from 21 Jul to 31 Aug; all were singles except for two on 18 Aug.

2023

Summary

Spring – Three on 21 Apr (Rat Island), two on 3 May and one on 23 May.

Autumn – Two on 21 Jul were followed by singles on 24 & 26 Jul and early Sep, and two on 8 Sep.

Green Sandpiper

Tringa ochropus

(p.112)

Summaries of all new records

 

Earliest and latest since 2006 (last year covered in full by The Birds of Lundy): earliest and latest in spring 17 Apr 2010 (one) and 2 May 2009 (one); earliest and latest in autumn 1 Jul 2014 (one) and 23 Sep 2020 (one).

2007

Summary

Autumn – Singles 23 Aug and 13 Sep.

2009

Summary

Spring – One on 2 May.

Autumn – One on 24 Aug.

2010

Summary

Spring – One on 17 Apr.

Autumn – One on 24 Aug.

2011

Summary

Autumn – One on 28 Aug.

2012

Summary

Spring – One on 19 Apr.

Autumn – Singles on 11 & 19 Aug.

2013

Summary

Autumn – One on 20 Jul.

2014

Summary

Autumn – Singles on 1 Jul and 27 Aug, plus two at Quarter Wall Pond on 8 Aug.

2015

Summary

Autumn – One on 19 Sep.

2016

Summary

Autumn – One on 8 Sep.

2017

Summary

Spring – At least two on 20 Apr (initially two over Millcombe; later one at Barton Pond and two flushed from Rocket Pole Pond) followed by one on 22 Apr.

Autumn – One on 16 Aug.

2019

Summary

Autumn – One on 6 Sep.

2020

Summary

Autumn – Single birds were logged on seven dates 20 Jul to 23 Sep. Of these, individuals on 30 Jul and 8 & 9 Aug were detected by ‘nocmigging’ – the deployment of digital sound-recording equipment to capture nocturnal flight calls of migrant birds (Jamie Dunning, Tim Jones).

2021

Summary

Autumn – Logged on five dates from 23 Jul to 3 Sep: two flew over the Village on 23 Jul; one was at Aztec Bay (west coast) on 26 Jul; one flew south past the Landing Bay on 18 Aug; three were logged overhead on 31 Aug (Jamie Dunning); and one flew over the Village during the early morning of 3 Sep.

2022

Summary

Autumn – Logged on four dates from 29 Jul to 31 Aug: three on 29 Jul, including two on Rocket Pole Pond and one at Quarter Wall Pond; two flying off Pondsbury on 14 Aug; one at Pondsbury on 29 Aug, and two there on 31 Aug.

2023

Summary

Autumn – Singles on 25 Jul (Pondsbury) and 9 Aug (calling over Barton Field).

Redshank

Tringa totanus

[Common Redshank] (p.111)

Summaries of all new records

2007

Summary

Spring – Singles on 8 & 9 May and 23 Jun.

2009

Summary

Autumn – One on 29 Aug.

2010

Summary

Autumn – One on 11 Oct.

2012

Summary

Autumn – Singles on 13 Jul and 27 & 28 Sep.

2014

Summary

Autumn – One on 8 Aug.

2015

Summary

Spring – One on 15 & 16 Apr.

Autumn – Singles on 17 Sep & 14 Oct.

2016

Summary

Autumn – Singles on 6 Jul and 14 Aug.

2018

Summary

Autumn – At least two calling over Pondsbury on 19 Oct.

2019

Summary

Spring – One on 14 May.

Autumn – Singles on 10 & 26 Aug.

2020

Summary

Autumn – Records on three days, 29 Jul to 15 Sep, including two on the first date.

2021

Summary

Autumn – Singles on 28 & 30 Aug.

Winter – One on the unusual date of 12 Dec, feeding at a pool on the West Side (Jaclyn Pearson).

2022

Summary

Autumn – Recorded on six dates from 8 Jul to 6 Sep. All single birds apart from two on 30 Jul.

2023

Summary

Spring – One, 12-16 Apr.

Autumn – Singles on 10 Jul and 30 Aug, followed by a long-staying juvenile from 13 to 24 Oct, which became the first Redshank ever ringed on Lundy, when it was dazzled during the evening of 16 Oct. It was retrapped on 19th, when it was found to have dropped in weight from 150g to 120g but was subsequently seen feeding well and flying strongly.

Wood Sandpiper

Tringa glareola

(p.112)

All new records

2021

New records

9 & 15 Aug – A noisy individual flew low over the Jetty and Rat Island at about 13:30 hrs on 9th. Another flew low over the Village at about 08:00 hrs on 15th, circling low between the Castle and the Village, allowing good views before it gained height and left the island to the south-east (both records Dean Jones). A remarkable ‘double whammy’ given that the most recent previous occurrence was as long ago as 2000!

2022

New records

30 Aug – One was heard calling in the Landing Bay during the early evening (Stuart Cossey).

Spotted Redshank

Tringa erythropus

(p.106)

All new records

2010

New record

27 Aug – Three; the first since July 2007 and only the second since Oct 1996.

2020

New record

16 & 17 Sep – A calling bird flew high over Quarter Wall and Ackland’s Moor during the late afternoon of 16th (Dean Jones). It was still present on 17th, when it was heard and seen in flight over the Airfield and later near Pondsbury (Richard Campey).

Greenshank

Tringa nebularia

[Common Greenshank] (pp.111-112)

Summaries of new records

2008

Summary

Autumn – One on 7 Sep.

2010

Summary

Autumn – One on 17 Oct.

2014

Summary

Autumn – One on 24 Sep.

2018

Summary

Spring – One on 17 May.

Autumn – One on 22 Sep.

2019

Summary

Spring – Two over Middle Park on 14 May.

Autumn – One on 26 Aug.

2020

Summary

Autumn – Singles on 11 & 24 Aug and 6 Sep.

2021

Summary

Autumn – One on 26 Aug.

2022

Summary

Spring – One was present from 2 to 7 May, mainly in Barton Field.

Autumn – One on 22 Aug.

 

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