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Ilfracombe-Lundy WLO report 21 May

Summary of sightings:

Marine mammals:

Grey Seal

Seabirds: Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Guillemot, Razorbill, Puffin, Shag, Gannet, Manx Shearwater, Oystercatcher, Fulmar

Other wildlife: Rock Pipit, Goldfinch, Linnet, Skylark, Wheatear, Kestrel, Soay Sheep

Arriving at Ilfracombe harbour I was pleasantly surprised to see the Oldenburg was fully booked for the morning’s crossing. We departed promptly at 10AM and soon after entering the channel we were joined by Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, Guillemot and Razorbill.

Manx Shearwater (Megan Strachan)

Midway through the outward journey, the passengers on the top deck and I were greeted to a very close encounter with a Gannet who we thought was going to land on the boat! Eventually deciding against this, the Gannet landed in the water alongside. Further into the outward journey, we had another close encounter with a Razorbill who flew up and over the vessel giving passengers a very good sighting.

Razorbill (Megan Strachan)

As we approached Lundy, we were joined by a pair of Fulmar and then greeted by the usual group of Grey Seal around Rat Island, bottling in the water as it was high tide. Making my way from the Oldenburg up onto the Island, I spent some time observing a young male seal who I believe was the one I observed last week. Currently mid-moult he looked quite scruffy but was enjoying a rest in the sun.

Wheatear (Megan Strachan)

Walking around the southwest corner of the island I encountered Rock Pipit, Goldfinch, Linnet, Skylark, Wheatear, and a Kestrel. I headed back to Landing Bay an hour before boarding to observe the seals more as the tide went out. There were 5 or 6 seals resting on the rocks of Rat Island and more in the water searching for somewhere to haul out. One large adult, possibly a male, was very vocal when another approached trying to squeeze onto his rock.

Grey Seal (Megan Strachan)

On the return journey we encountered more Manx Shearwater, Gannet, Razorbill, Guillemot, and a variety of gulls. A big thank you to Captain Jason and the rest of the Oldenburg crew for a wonderful crossing.

MARINElife/Lundy WLO: Megan Strachan

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