MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report: ‘MS Oldenburg’ Ilfracombe-Lundy Saturday 4 May 2019

MARINElife/Lundy WLO Amanda Jones

Weather: Sunny, warm and dry, slight ESE, sea state moderate.

Summary of sightings:

Marine Mammals:
Grey seal 1

Seabirds:
Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Guillemot
Shag
Kittiwake
Cormorant
Fulmar
Oyster Catcher
Gannet
Storm Petrel

Other wildlife
Barrel Jellyfish
Small White Butterfly

Wildlife seen on Lundy
Soay sheep
Lundy pony
Sika Deer x 4
Swallow
House Martin
Skylark
Wheatear
Starling
House Sparrow
Crow
Sparrowhawk

As I reached Ilfracombe quay the sunshine was warm and the queue of excited passengers were happily waiting to board. This was my first trip as Wildlife Officer and second trip to Lundy and I was as excited as everyone else. We boarded and after I introduced myself to the captain and crew we were away at 10am with Herring Gulls and a few Cormorant in the harbour. I introduced myself to the passengers explaining who I was and why I was on board. We chatted about wildlife around our coasts, on Lundy and all about the role of MARINELife and conservation.

A few Guillemot and Herring Gull were seen on the outgoing trip. In the water at least six Barrel Jellyfish floated past. On arrival at Lundy two very loud Oystercatchers greeted us and small, blue jellyfish clustered by the landing jetty.

Lundy Sika Amanda Jones
Sika Deer (Amanda Jones)

I walked round to the old lighthouse. Here I saw a flock of Starling settle on the church tower in the distance. A Lundy Pony and foal were grazing in the field and the farmland sheep were surrounded by lambs. As I sat and rested in the distance four Sika Deer could be seen at first walking slowly along the ridge then running in fright before posing for a photograph. Skylarks sung merrily overhead flitting in the blue sky.

As I walked back towards the church a pair of Wheatear were ahead of me flying back and forth. Then a Sparrowhawk sliced through the air and was gone into the landscape.

Lundy ponies Amanda Jones
Lundy ponies (Amanda Jones)

As I am disabled I cannot walk very far so I was delighted to have a trip back down in the Landrover with the Warden (who had also driven me up upon arrival). It is great to have the accessibility to the island and I thanked him very much. Joining the other waiting passengers we saw one Grey Seal in the Landing Bay.

Returning we saw several passing Barrel Jellyfish and more seabirds including Gannet and a Lesser Black-backed Gull who stayed with the ship for some time.

As we sailed into Ilfracombe Harbour I thanked the crew for their kindness and hospitality and look forward to seeing them again soon.