Ilfracombe-Lundy WLO report 14 August 2021
MARINElife/Lundy WLO Judith Tatem
Weather: mainly dry with spell of misty rain; sea state 3
When I arrived at Ilfracombe pier there was a misty drizzle. I collected my ticket and by the time I had been on the bridge to get my hi-viz vest the clouds were parting and the sun appeared as we headed out to sea. It was great to be back on the Oldenburg and have such a warm welcome almost two years to the day since I was last the WLO aboard. Talking to the passengers many of them said they shared my delight at being able to visit Lundy again.
After passing a group of Herring Gulls soon after leaving Ilfracombe the rest of the trip was dominated by passing pairs or small groups of Manx Shearwaters and the occasional Gannet. For the last part of the journey the misty drizzle returned, however, as we got nearer the sky started to brighten and we were welcomed to Lundy by a couple of Grey Seals watching from the rocks in the landing bay.
I disembarked and walked up through the village to the Old Lighthouse, having decided it would be good to see the ‘whole’ island and not having been up the lighthouse for many years. On my way it was good to see several Wheatears along the walls. The view from the top of the lighthouse was great and I could have been tempted to stay much longer by the well-placed deck chairs! Walking over to the west coast my lunch time was spent watching a pair of Peregrine Falcon patrolling along the cliffs. There was just time for a cool drink in the Marisco before heading back down to the boat.
Many more Grey Seals were now hauled out on the rocks and a juvenile Great Black-backed Gull was paddling around while an adult watched on from the rocks. The return journey was very pleasant in the late afternoon sun. Again, the wildlife was quiet, just a few Manx Shearwaters early on, and a group of a dozen or more Gannets some flying and others sitting on the water off of the coast near Lee Bay. Back at Ilfracombe I thanked Jason and the crew and disembarked to make my way home.
Summary of sightings:
Grey Seal 16 (on the rocks around landing bay)
Great Black-backed Gull
Wildlife seen on Lundy:
Sheep, Lundy pony, Wheatear, Peregrine Falcon, Dunnock, Meadow Pipit, Raven. Robin, House Sparrow, Carrion Crow, Stonechat, Starling, Pied Wagtail. Small White Butterfly