MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report ‘MS Oldenburg’ Ilfracombe-Lundy 4 April 2015

Annette Dutton; MARINElife/Lundy WLO

Summary of sightings:
Marine Mammals
Harbour Porpoise 1 + 1 probable
Grey Seal 2

Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull

Terrestrial Birds
Carrion Crow
Peregrine Falcon
Meadow Pipit
Rock Pipit
Pied Wagtail
House Sparrow

This was the first outing of 2015 for MARINElife and I was pleased to be joined by MARINElife Patron Maya Plass, Conservation Science Manager Rachel Davies and Volunteer Events Manager and Wildlife Officer Coordinator Rick Morris.

After boarding the Oldenburg we paid a visit to the bridge to say hello to Jerry and his team and to collect our Hi-Viz jackets. There were 240 plus passengers on board as there was an Easter Egg hunt on the Island so there lots of families on the crossing.

Rick managed to spot a Harbour Porpoise not long after we left Ilfracombe and as we headed towards Lundy and we saw various gulls along with Guillemot, Shag and Gannet.

Soay Sheep Annette Dutton 2015-01
Soay Sheep (Annette Dutton)

As we approached the Landing Stage there were no Grey Seal around but hoped to see them from shore as we walked around the Island.

We alighted and walked up to the village passing a Lundy Goat on the way and headed along the main track passing pigs and Soay sheep all with their young.

There were several species of gull at Pondsbury and there were Skylark singing as we neared the half way wall where we turned to cross the Island to Jenny's Cove hoping to see the first Puffin arrivals.

By now the sky had cleared and the sun was shining as we reached Jenny's Cove where we sat and had our lunch.

A Peregrine Falcon was calling but we didn't see it until later as we left. We soon spotted Puffin rafting amongst the Guillemot on the sea below and saw 5 in total which was great as they had only arrived on the Island the day before.

There were plenty of Guillemot and Razorbill on the rocky ledges and on the water plus a male Grey Seal swimming by the rocks. A Wheatear made an appearance and then Swallow flew overhead as we sat in the sun for a while before leaving to walk back to the village.

When we reached the Marisco Tavern we met Grant, Warden Becky and Island Manager Rob and had time for a quick chat before returning to the Oldenburg.

The return journey was lovely with calm seas and sunshine, with regular sighting of Guillemot but little else until we approached Bull Point where Rick thought he spotted the Harbour Porpoise again.

We arrived back in Ilfracombe and thanked Jerry and the crew of the MS Oldenburg for their help and assistance and I said my goodbyes to Rick, Maya and Rachel who had been great company throughout the day.

Annette Dutton; MARINElife/Lundy WLO