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Ilfracombe-Lundy WLO report 16 April 2022

Summary of sightings:

Marine mammals:

Harbour Porpoise

Grey Seal Seabirds:

Herring Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Guillemot

Razorbill

Puffin

Shag

Gannet

Manx Shearwater

Oystercatcher


Other marine life:

Blue Jellyfish


We departed Ilfracombe harbour with slightly overcast skies and a sea state of 2, seen off by the usual group of gulls lining the rocks. As the Oldenburg headed out into the channel, I made my way around the decks to introduce myself and speak to passengers about the wildlife we were likely to see. There were a lot of people interested and looking forward to seeing the Puffins.

Manx Shearwater (Megan Strachan)

We started to pick up the occasional Manx Shearwater flying close to the water, as well as a few solitary Guillemots sat on the surface. As we approached Lundy, we passed a couple of mixed rafts of auks. Mooring up we could hear the distinct “peep” of Oystercatcher and sure enough, saw a pair perched on the rocks of Rat Island.

Guillemots (Megan Strachan)

The weather opened up as we set foot on Lundy, glorious sunshine, and a sea state of 1-2. I walked up through the village to halfway wall, along the way meeting some Lundy Ponies and Soay Sheep with very tiny lambs. I sat at Jenny’s Cove to eat lunch and look for the Puffins. The rock faces and sea below were packed with birds, predominantly auks but there were some Fulmar too.

Grey Seals (Megan Strachan)

Back at Landing Bay, a few seals were out in the water watching the gathering passengers. Once boarded I spotted a Blue Jellyfish alongside the Oldenburg which hung around until we moved away. We picked up a few Shags and more Guillemots as we departed Lundy. The return crossing was quiet with the occasional Guillemot and Manx Shearwater. We had a very fleeting glimpse of 2 Harbour Porpoise midway through the crossing and saw a couple of passing Gannets as we approached Ilfracombe.


A big thank you to Jason and Rob and the rest of the Oldenburg crew for a wonderful crossing.

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