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Bideford-Lundy survey 11 May

The adventure began at the bustling shore office in Bideford where eager anticipation filled the air as I joined my fellow MARINElife colleagues for our journey to Lundy and back. We collected our tickets and were soon boarding the Oldenburg, where we were greeted by Captain Jason and the crew.

Seabird sightings were a little slow on the outward journey, but numbers increased as we progressed across the Bristol Channel. Auks, Manx Shearwater and Herring Gull were most frequently seen, with the occasional glimpse of a Gannet. Beneath the rugged cliffs of Lundy, we were treated to the sight of Shag in their full breeding plumage.

Shag (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

Upon arriving at the island, we were graced with glorious warm weather, setting the perfect backdrop for our wildlife encounters. Noteworthy sightings included a Golden Oriole at Milcombe and the presence of an Osprey on the island’s West coast. Along the rocky ledges of Jenny’s cove, a bustling community of Guillemot awaited us, while fulmar glided effortlessly over the shimmering waters below.  Playful grey seal added to the island’s charm, basking on rocky outcrops, and bottling in the surrounding waters.

We started the return trip and once our course was set toward Bideford, we began the survey. Seabird sightings were similar to the outward crossing, with an increase in gannet numbers.  The sighting of an Oystercatcher served as a delightful farewell as we made our way along the River Torridge to Bideford Quay.

A huge thanks to the crew of the ‘Oldenburg’ for their help and assistance.

Ciara Longley and Judith Tatem, Research Surveyors for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884; Registered Company No. 5057367)


Outbound: wind E, sea state 2-3, visibility 3-5

Inbound: wind E, sea state 1-2, visibility 5

Summary of sightings:


Gannet Morus bassanus 20  

Guillemot Uria aalge 17  

Herring Gull Larus argentatus 15  

Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 74  

Razorbill Alca torda 7  

Shag Gulosus aristotelis 5  

Auk sp. 17  


Bird sightings on Lundy:

Golden Oriole


Carrion Crow


Great Black-backed Gull

Grey Seal

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Lesser Whitethroat

Manx shearwater


Pied Flycatcher








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