Bideford-Lundy WLO report 18 June
Summary of sightings:
Birds seen on the river:
Great Black-backed Gull
Wildlife seen on Lundy:
Soay Sheep, Goat, Lundy Pony, Blackbird, Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Raven, Robin, House Sparrow, Carrion Crow, Stonechat, Starling, Skylark
Weather: overcast with misty rain and occasional heavier showers, wind force 4-6
I walked along Bideford Quay to the Lundy office to collect my ticket, once on board I was welcomed by Captain Jason and the crew. Whist collecting my hi-viz vest I was joined by two fellow MARINElife volunteers, Nick and Daniel who were doing the monthly survey.
Just as we were leaving, the first heavier shower of the day had those out on the deck hurriedly putting on their waterproofs and even a few umbrellas appeared, at least until we were out in the estuary where it proved to be too windy to keep them up! In the river the tide was high with all of the mud banks covered so the first birds that we passed were a large group of Herring Gulls and a few Great Black-backed Gulls around the covered shipyard and fish quay at Appledore. Soon after crossing the bar Manx Shearwaters appeared and dominated the journey out. In the second half of the journey some Guillemot and Razorbill were seen. On reaching Lundy the only visible wildlife in the landing bay were a couple of Oystercatcher flying around the outer rocks.
It was raining quite heavily when I disembarked and walking up the track I was being buffeted by the strong wind. I stopped briefly in wooded area below Millcombe House, a Blackbird could be heard singing in the shelter of the trees and a Robin put in a brief appearance. I decided to head for the Church to give the shower some time to blow over. After a quarter of an hour the sky was looking lighter and I was able to eat my lunch sitting on a sheltered seat in the village.
Heading out past the Old Lighthouse there were glimpses of blue sky spreading from the north. My first stop was the Battery where Puffin and Razorbill could be seen on the water below, seeing a Razorbill flying into its nest with a full beak of fish was a good sight. Then on to Jenny’s Cove, where the Lundy Ponies had decided to join the people who were looking for the Puffins. I sat in the cove for about an hour, pointing out the birds and sharing my binoculars with various groups. Seeing heavy rain clouds fast approaching I hastily made my way back to the village where there was time for a warming cup of coffee in the Marisco, before heading back down to the landing bay.
Leaving Lundy a lone Shag was fishing in the bay. On the crossing there were again lots of Manx Shearwater. Mostly they were flying past in groups of two or three. A few single Guillemot and Razorbill were also seen. Back in the estuary only a couple of Herring Gulls were flying around. After we moored up, I collected my bags and thanked Jason and the crew before saying goodbye to the Survey team and disembarking to walk back along the quay and head home.
MARINElife/Lundy WLO Judith Tatem