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Ilfracombe-Lundy WLO report 9 April

MARINElife/Lundy WLO Judith Tatem


Weather dry and sunny, sea state 3, wind force 2 – 3


Summary of sightings:

Marine Mammals

Grey Seal 7


Seabirds

Herring Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Gannet

Guillemot

Puffin

Razorbill

Shag

Kittiwake

Manx Shearwater

Oystercatcher


Wildlife seen on Lundy

Soay sheep

Lundy pony

Highland cattle

Swallow

Skylark

Meadow Pipit

Rock Pipit

Goldfinch

Chaffinch

Wheatear

Starling

House Sparrow

Blackbird

Carrion Crow

Raven

Linnet

Oystercatcher

Blackcap

Robin

Herring Gull

Razorbill

Puffin

Guillemot

It was a bright and sunny, but chilly, morning when I arrived on Ilfracombe pier to collect my ticket and was soon boarding the Oldenburg where I was warmly greeted by Captain Jason and other members of the crew. Whilst on the bridge collecting my my hi-viz vest, I was joined by two other MARINElife volunteers, who were onboard to carry out the monthly survey.

Herring Gull (Judith Tatem)

The morning was warming up as, watched by a group of Herring Gulls, we headed out to sea. The first half of the trip was quiet, however, we started to see small groups of Guillemot, a couple of Razorbills and a Puffin closer to the Island. We were welcomed to Lundy by a small group of Grey Seals watching from the rocks.


I disembarked and walked up through the village and straight out to Jenny's Cove. On the track out I was buzzed by my first Swallow of the year and was delighted, on approaching the west coast, to see a Wheatear standing proudly on a boulder. Along with some of my fellow passengers, I sat in Jenny's Cove in glorious sunshine eating my picnic, watching the Puffins, Guillemot and Kittiwakes flying in and out of the cliffs - the view was fabulous. Suddenly behind me a Skylark launched into song, another memorable Lundy moment. Afterwards, heading back to the village, there was just time for a drink in the Marisco before heading down to the boat.

The Oldenburg alongside the landing (Judith Tatem)

In the bay, the seals on the rocks had been joined by a couple of Oystercatchers. Soon after leaving we passed a group of Shags with their crests held high, and a Grey Seal. On the journey back we had more seabird sightings than in the morning. There were regular sightings of small groups of Guillemot and Manx Shearwater, and the occasional Razorbill. The coast from Baggy Point to Ilfracombe was highlighted in the early evening sun.


On arrival in Ilfracombe the two Surveyors and I agreed we had had a good trip and thanked the crew.

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