MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report: ‘MS Oldenburg’ Ilfracombe-Lundy Saturday 11 May 2019

MARINElife/Lundy WLO Steve McAusland

Weather: Sunny, warm, light breeze, sea state  2

Summary of sightings:

Marine mammals
Grey Seal 3

Seabirds
PuffinManx Shearwater
Black-headed Gull
Herring Gull
Kittiwake
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Fulmar
Guillemot
Razorbill
Cormorant
Shag
Gannet

Birds on Lundy
Stonechat
Meadow Pipit
Whitethroat
Wheatear
Starling
Raven
House Sparrow
Wood Pigeon
House Martin
Swallow
Linnet
Robin
Blackbird
Dunnock
Oystercatcher
Chiffchaff
Skylark
Wren
Blackcap
Carrion Crow
Chaffinch
Blue Tit
Magpie
Pied Wagtail

Arriving in Ilfracombe at 09:30am I was really looking forward to my first trip to the Island for 2019, it already felt warm and I was optimistic for a fabulous day of weather and the day didn't disappoint, as the sun shone all day with the temperature in the 70's. After boarding the MS Oldenburg, I made my way up on to the bridge to meet Jason Mugford the ship's captain. Then, after collecting the essential items for the trip (MARINElife leaflets, binoculars and my camera) I proceeded to start my tour around the upper and lower decks introducing myself to the passengers.

Kittiwake Steve McAusland 02
Kittiwake (Library photo: Steve McAusland)

The outward passage gave me an opportunity to point out sea birds such as Manx Shearwater, Gannet, Razorbill and Guillemot. The usual gulls were seen along with Kittiwake and Fulmar.

As the Oldenburg made its way slowly towards the landing bay, we had sight of a very large Grey Seal. Soon everyone disembarked and began to make their way up to the higher levels. My planned route was to take in the southern coastal footpaths along and past the old battery and then on towards halfway wall and lunch overlooking Jenny's cove. Here I met and helped many of the visitors with locating the Puffins. After lunch I made my way back to the jetty stopping for some time to view the birds.

Whilst walking back the island's Sika Deer were running around in many directions. Other animals observed were the usual sheep along with Lundy ponies and wild goats.

Guillemot Steve McAusland 01
Guillemot (Library photo: Steve McAusland)

The crossing back to Ilfracombe was calm, with the same birds being seen along the way. Sadly, no cetaceans were seen this trip and I look forward to my next Lundy trip in September.

Before leaving the ship, I thanked Jason the Captain and his crew for their support.