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Ilfracombe-Lundy WLO report 18 September

MARINElife/Lundy WLO Hazel Munt

The first leg started as a wonderful day, perfect temperature and nicely overcast to see some wildlife. Waiting amongst the day trippers and over-nighters, I watched a group of Herring Gulls washing and resting on the shore opposite. We could hear the chirps of Oystercatchers, but couldn't see them from where we were standing.

Promisingly, for the future of Lundy, the number of passengers was the most I've ever seen. I'm hoping I can get at least some of them to get excited about the sea life they're about to encounter.

Harbour Porpoise (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

The first 30 minutes was a bit quiet with just the occasional Herring Gull but then the Gannets started to come into view and fantastically our first Harbour Porpoise. The species list grew with the sighting of a few Guillemots and Razorbills. Then we had some more excitement in the shape of three Harbour Porpoise swimming in perfect view in the opposite direction to the ship about 50 meters from us. Shags, Herring Gull, Guillemot and more Gannet maintained our interest and it was nice to see a Common Tern as we neared Lundy. Coming into Landing Bay we got our first Grey Seals, about 10 hauled out on the rocks and one showing off right alongside the ship. Lots of people were interested today and everyone was keen to share their sightings.

Grey Seal (Hazel Munt)

Lundy island was on form, with loads to see today. I went to Jenny's Cove to watch the Swallows and martins and had a nice view of a Peregrine. I checked the various coves as I was walking around for Grey Seal Pups and wasn't disappointed. There were several quite large pups to be seen.

Grey Seal pup (Hazel Munt)

On the trip back the seals were hunting around the bay, the conditions again perfect for observations. Leaving Lundy we had a few more Shags, Guillemots and a couple of Razorbills. We also had 7 separate sightings of Harbour Porpoise. There was a steady stream of Gannets and lots of Herring Gulls as we came into Ilfracombe.

A huge thank you to the wonderful Jason and his crew and all the team with the Oldenburg for always being so welcoming and friendly. Also a thank you to the lovely team on Lundy especially Dean for confirming answers to specific questions the passengers were keen to know.

Summary of sightings:

Marine Mammals

Harbour Porpoise 11 (min)

Grey seals


Common Tern


Herring Gull





Terrestrial birds


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