Ilfracombe-Lundy WLO report 28 May
MARINElife/Lundy WLO Judith Tatem
Weather: dry and sunny, sea state 2, wind force 2-3
Summary of sightings:
Grey Seal 2
Common Dolphins 6
Dolphin sp. (2 small pods seen by crew and passengers on outward journey)
Great Black-backed Gull
It was a bright and sunny morning when I arrived on Ilfracombe pier. I collected my ticket and was soon boarding the Oldenburg, where I was warmly greeted by Captain Jason and other members of the crew. I collected my hi-viz vest and headed out on to the deck as we left Ilfracombe. The first half of the trip was quiet, however, later, we started to see small groups of Guillemot and Razorbills and lone Gannet in the distance. A few passengers reported briefly seeing a couple of dolphin either side of the boat, later confirmed by members of the crew. Arriving at Landing Bay on Lundy, a couple Shags and Oystercatchers watched us from the rocks, while blue jellyfish floated around the jetty.
I disembarked and walked up the hill and followed the path to the south, then around to the west coast. Wildlife was everywhere, in one bay three Grey Seals were bottling, the sounds of Meadow Pipits and Skylarks filled the air and Small Heath butterflies flew along the path. Approaching Shutter Rock, a pair of Peregrine Falcons took off from the rocks and circled higher in the cove – a little later I saw one being harassed by a pair of screeching Great Black-backed Gulls. Walking on to Jenny’s Cove, I sat in the glorious sunshine eating my picnic, watching the Puffins, Guillemot and Kittiwakes flying in and out from the cliffs, the number of birds was far greater than on my early April visit. I then headed straight back down to the landing stage ready for the return journey. Whilst waiting to board I could see a couple of Grey Seals pop up occasionally out in the bay and several pulsating Compass Jellyfish floated around the Oldenburg.
On the journey back we had regular sightings of small groups of Razorbills and Guillemot, later joined by Manx Shearwaters and mixed groups of gulls, and we were also treated to closer views of Gannets. Around half-way back we had our first of three sightings of two Common Dolphin, the second of these sightings lasting for a couple of minutes, allowing most passengers a good view.
On arrival in Ilfracombe, I collected my bags and thanked the crew for another good trip.
Wildlife seen on Lundy
Swallow, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Goldfinch, Wheatear, Starling, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Raven, Linnet, Oystercatcher, Blackcap, Peregrine Falcon, Robin, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Razorbill, Puffin, Guillemot, Kittiwake, Soay sheep, Lundy pony, Highland cattle, Painted Lady, Small Heath, Compass Jellyfish, Blue Jellyfish