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Ilfracombe-Lundy WLO report 21 August 2021

MARINElife/Lundy WLO: Megan Strachan I arrived at the shore office in Ilfracombe to collect my ticket and introduced myself to some passengers who were excited about the journey across to Lundy. Whilst waiting to board I met Kevin and Matthew who would be conducting the MARINElife survey, the first on this route since the pandemic began. On boarding I made my way to the front of the vessel, introduced myself to the crew and collected my hi-viz.


The sea was very calm and with overcast skies, viewing conditions were optimal. As we headed out of Ilfracombe we passed a large group of adult and juvenile Herring Gulls sat together on the rocks. Once the passengers had settled into the journey, I made my way around the decks to introduce myself and hand out some MARINElife leaflets. I drew attention to the images and pointed out the wildlife we were likely to see on the crossing.

Grey Seals (Megan Strachan)

On the journey to Lundy we picked up Manx Shearwater and a few passing Gannets. The survey team and some passengers were lucky to witness a brief passing of two small pods of Common Dolphin. We arrived at Landing Bay on a low tide, with views of six Grey seals hauled out on the rocks of Rat Island. The water was crystal clear with the sun beginning to shine through the clouds.

Lundy west coast (Megan Strachan)

I departed the vessel after thanking the crew for a pleasant journey across and made my way up the path for a picnic with views over Landing Bay. For my first trip to the island, I wanted to see as much as possible so walked around the coastal path around the Atlantic side of the island, up to halfway wall. I saw a good amount of wildlife on Lundy, including the feral goats, Soay sheep, long-horn cows, and Lundy ponies. With the time for re-boarding approaching, I continued along halfway wall and made my way along the east coast side back to Landing Bay. There was time to get a few snaps of the Grey Seals around Rat Island and get a glimpse of a Compass jellyfish before boarding the Oldenburg for the return journey.

Lundy east coast (Megan Strachan)

The weather caught up with us on the return journey but despite the rain, it was a very pleasant crossing with flat calm sea. Lots more Manx Shearwaters, Gannets and a few Shags on the return journey, and I was treated to a close fly-by from a pair of Fulmar as we neared Ilfracombe.


We arrived back into Ilfracombe with music from the Bird-Man festival and a very busy pier. I thanked the crew of the Oldenburg for a very enjoyable first crossing and I look forward to sailing with them again soon.


Marine mammals: Common Dolphin

Grey Seal


Seabirds:

Herring Gull

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Fulmar

Shag

Gannet

Manx Shearwater

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