MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report: ‘MS Oldenburg’ Ilfracombe-Lundy 11 August 2018

Nicola Simpson MARINElife WLO

Summary of sightings

Marine mammals:
Grey seal 2

Manx Shearwater
Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull

I arrived at Ilfracombe harbour at 9.15am, ready to check in and board the Oldenburg for our journey to Lundy. I met the two MARINElife surveyors, Maggie and Amanda, onboard for our trip. Ilfracombe was very busy as people were setting up for a festival starting later that day.

We boarded and set off at around 10am, the weather was cloudy with a gentle breeze. Heading out into the channel I made my way around the decks greeting people, whilst keeping an eye out for any sightings.

We saw plenty of gulls as we left the harbour and as we headed out into the channel. A little further out we spotted Gannet and Manx Shearwater. I spoke to many passengers and families who were looking forward to their visit to Lundy and spotting wildlife once on the island. As we arrived into Lundy seabird numbers started to increase once again and we saw many gulls.

Grey Seal Nicola Simpson 01
Grey Seal off Lundy (Nicola Simpson)

We disembarked onto Lundy, although it was overcast, I had a lovely walk around the island stopping and chatting to passengers I had met on our outward journey.

As we waited to re-board the boat for our return journey I spotted two Grey Seals popping out of the water to wave us off. On our return journey we had additional sightings of Kittiwake, Fulmar and Shag. We returned to Ilfracombe in good time, with the festival now in full swing and people jumping off the pier in front of a panel of judges.

I disembarked thanking the Captain and his crew for the wonderful journey and their assistance.