Welcome to Longmead House

Lundy Island Wildlife and BIrdwatching

While you stay with us, why not visit Lundy Island it is only a short boat trip away and is known as the British Galapagos Islands. A place of outstanding unspoilt natural beauty,  you will see a sky full of  birds , pirate haunts, a medieval castle, lighthouses,  seals and other marine life, Lundy Ponies, and nature trails scattered with wildflowers and plants.  Bring your binoculars and your sea legs and you too can be a bird spotter for the day.  As it is only 5 km long and 1 km wide you can spend the day watching and listening to many species of birds that live, nest and pass through the island during the year,  the habitation and geography supports the largest single island seabird colony in Southern England.   On the boat ride across the channel to the island and whilst you walk around the well marked tracks , you are bound to see and hear a variety of sea birds and mammals and other more familiar birds that settle either temporarily or nest on this tiny island. The rugged cliffs of the West coast of the island are home to important seabird colonies such as Puffins with their distinctive colourful beaks andManx Shearwaters. On the more sheltered and calmer East coast you will find the ground covered in wildflowers which provide sanctuary for migrating birds in Spring and Autumn on their long journeys across the world. Lund-ey is Norse for Puffin island so keep your eyes peeled and your binoculars handy. 

Almost everyone who visits Lundy for the day sails to and from the island on its passenger ship the MS Oldenburg  sailings operate between March and October  the crossing takes approximately 2 hours and sails from either Ilfracombe or Bideford. There is a helicopter service from Hartland Point operating in the winter months when the Oldenburg is at rest.

Situated ten miles off the North Devon coast and lying across the entrance to the Bristol Channel. Lundy rivals Fair Isle and the Isles of Scilly as one of the places to watch spring and autumn migrant birds in Britain. Famed for its Puffins, which still breed there in small numbers, Lundy is a magnet for migrating birds and birdwatchers alike, as well as one of the most important seabird islands in English waters.

Lundy's resident  sea birds - Shag, Peregrine, Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls, and other birds such as Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, House Sparrow, Rock Pipit, Chaffinch, Starling, Raven and Crow - are joined in the spring by breeding visitors that include Oystercatcher, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Linnet and two long- distance migrants: Swallow and Wheatear. From April to late July the island is home to nesting seabirds in the shape of auks (Puffins, Razorbills and Guillemots), Fulmars, Gulls (Kittiwakes and Herring, Lesser Black-backed and Great Black-backed Gulls) and, following the eradication of rats between 2002 and 2004, growing numbers of Manx Shearwaters.

The most popular and easy to identify sea birds are the puffins, they are easy to recognise with their white faces , triangular beak and bright orange legs with web shaped feet. The presence of puffin chicks or 'Pufflings' may be seen seated down in the burrows nesting sites on the cliffs.  Puffins are often found in company with other auk species such as Guillemots and Razorbills. 

In spring you will see ten different types of sea bird  nesting sites in the high cliffs such as Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Manx Shearwaters. These are usually joined by breeding Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails. This time of year you may spot some of the more  long-distance migrants  like Swallow, Wheatear and the occasional pair of nesting Spotted Flycatchers. Breeding seabirds add vibrant sound and colour from April to July, when time spent sitting on West Side cliffs can bring spectacular views of wheeling Fulmars, Guillemots, Razorbills and, if you're lucky, Puffins. Gannets too pass close by the island on their fishing patrols. 

Land birds can also be spotted around the island,  the common ones such as robins, starlings and blackbirds you are likely to see around the village.   The air will be filled with a cacophony of songbird chatter throughout the day. If you are able,  you may be able to decipher the more recognisable bird song from specific species such as skylark, blackbird, stonechats as well as the seabirds calls.   The tiny wren can often be heard and stonechats with their distinctive sound of cracking stones together can often be spotted perched on gorse bushes around the island. Meadow pipits and skylarks can be heard  singling high above Lundy's wider open grasslands.

You may also be fortunate enough to see other wildlife  both native and introduced to  the island such as wild ponies, seals , pygmy shrews, sika deer, goats and pigs. The island is owned by The National Trust and managed by the Landmark Trust who monitor and ensure all the species of birds and mammals,  flora and fauna on the island are maintained.