MARINElife Survey Report: MS Oldenburg Bideford-Lundy 16 June 2018

Ruth Crundwell  Research Surveyor for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884; Registered Company No. 5057367)

Weather Outward - overcast, good visibility. Return - overcast becoming brighter nearer the mainland

Summary of sightings:

Marine Mammals
Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 2

Seabirds
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 50
Gannet  Morus bassanus 2
Cormorant  Phalacrocorax carbo 4
Oystercatcher  Haematopus ostralegus 10
Herring Gull  Larus argentatus 19
Kittiwake  Rissa tridactyla 1
Guillemot Uria aalge 23
Puffin  Fratercula arctica 2
Black-backed Gull sp. Larus sp. 9

Boarding the Oldenburg I was greeted by Captain Jason and 2nd officer Mike and made comfortable on the bridge of this vintage vessel. Our smooth journey down the estuary was a good start to the day. On leaving the estuary mouth the swell picked up but visibility was good despite cloud cover. A relatively quiet crossing was made more exciting by the sighting of Common Dolphin who raced over to bow-ride as we headed toward Lundy.

Common Dolphin Peter Howlett 31
Common Dolphin (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

After disembarking at the Lundy quay I made my way up to the village and enjoyed some refreshments at the Marisco Tavern. Later I walked over to Jenny's Cove to take a look at the Puffin, Guillemot and Razorbills which nest there at this time of year.

Time went quickly on the return journey as I could hardly keep up with the many seabirds I observed. Entering the Taw-Torridge estuary we were greeted with a flyby from a flock of Oystercatcher which looked magnificent with the Braunton sand dunes behind them. A sighting of the resident Little Egret perched in the trees on the river bank made a nice end to the day.