MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report: ‘MS Oldenburg’ Ilfracombe-Lundy 14 September 2019

MARINElife/Lundy WLO Steve McAusland

Weather: warm and sunny, slight breeze, good visibility

Summary of sightings

Marine Mammals
Harbour Porpoise 3
Common Dolphin 26
Grey Seal 9

Birds at sea
Gannet
Fulmar
Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Cormorant
Razorbill
Guillemot
Kittiwake

Birds on Lundy
Oystercatcher
Linnet
Spotted Flycatcher
Goldcrest
Blackbird
Willow Warbler
Wheatear
Raven
Swift
Swallow
House Martin
Sand Martin
House Sparrow
Starling
Carrion Crow
Jackdaw
Magpie
Meadow Pipit
Woodpigeon

As I arrived in Ilfracombe on a beautiful sunny morning the queue on the quay was very long and, as I found out later, the ship was full! I met Jason the Captain on the bridge and also Mary Ferry who was onboard for this month's MARINElife Lundy survey.

Harbour Porpoise Steve McAusland 02
Harbour Porpoise (Library photo: Steve McAusland)

As the ship left the harbour, we soon had three Harbour Porpoise feeding along the rocks. They were seen by quite a few passengers who were delighted to catch sight of these cetaceans. Birds on route were sparse, however, whilst talking to some of the passengers we spotted two groups of three Common Dolphins under many Gannets that were diving from great heights!

Upon arriving at Lundy I made my way up to Millcombe to look for Spotted Flycatchers and within a few minutes I managed to see four along with some other birds as listed above. The afternoon was spent looking for a recently recorded Black-headed Bunting but sadly there was no sign of it.

Common Dolphin Steve McAusland 01a
Common Dolphin (Library photo: Steve McAusland)

The journey back was very pleasant with 20 Common Dolphins putting on a wonderful show that was seen by nearly everyone on the top deck. Arriving back in Ilfracombe I thanked the Captain and crew for continuing to support MARINElife and I look forward to my final trip of the year in October.