MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report: ‘MS Oldenburg’ Ilfracombe-Lundy 15 June 2019

MARINElife/Lundy WLO Christine Roberts

Summary of sightings:

Cetaceans:
Common Dolphin 2

Seabirds:Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Fulmar
Guillemot
Razorbill
Puffin
Shag
Gannet
Manx Shearwater
Oystercatcher

After collecting my ticket from the Shore office I met fellow MARINElife volunteer Hazel, who was to be conducting a  MARINElife survey from the bridge of the ship during our sailing. We boarded the ship and were welcomed by the crew. While Hazel prepared for her survey, I collected my MARINElife Hi-Vis vest and headed out to meet fellow passengers.

Guillemot Peter Howlett 21
Guilemot (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

Although there were some changeable weather conditions on our outward journey, the visibility was good and we were soon enjoying views of a variety of seabirds. Initially, Herring Gull, Lesser and Great Black-backed Gull then later good sightings of Gannet and Guillemot both in flight and resting on the water. Closer to Lundy we began to see good numbers of Manx Shearwater on the wing and a couple of Puffin. As we reached Lundy, a large Grey Seal was hauled out on the rocks near the landing stage and as we waited to disembark, we spotted several moon jellyfish in the clear shallow waters by the ship.

After a brisk walk up the hill, I headed up to Jenny's Cove. A superb sight, particularly at this time of year. The cliffs were alive with constant activity of Puffins outside their burrows, nesting Fulmars and large numbers of Guillemot huddled on the ledges. On the water were good numbers of Puffin and Guillemot with some Razorbills among them.

Common Dolphin Peter Howlett 37
Common Dolphin (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

Heading back to the village, there was time for a cup of tea in the Marisco Tavern and a quick beachcomb before boarding the ship for our return journey. Sunshine and light winds blessed our return sailing.  Seabird sightings were reasonably quiet with Guillemot, Puffin and Gannets seen but as we neared Ilfracombe, 2 Common Dolphin were seen close by on the port side of the ship. A super end to the trip!

We thanked the crew for their assistance and disembarked.