Ilfracombe-Lundy WLO report 9 July
Weather: dry and sunny, wind force 1/2
Summary of sightings:
Common Dolphin 6
Harbour Porpoise 1
Great Black-backed Gull
Wildlife seen on Lundy
Soay sheep, Lundy pony, Highland cattle, Swallow, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Wheatear, Starling, House Sparrow. Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Raven, Peregrine Falcon, Robin, Oystercatcher, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Razorbill, Puffin, Guillemot, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Meadow Brown, Compass Jellyfish, Blue Jellyfish, Moon Jellyfish
It was already a hot, sunny morning when I walked along to Ilfracombe harbour. I collected my ticket and was soon boarding the Oldenburg, where I was warmly greeted by Captain Jason and other members of the crew. Having collected my hi-viz vest, I headed out on to the deck to talk to my fellow passengers. The harbour was quiet except for a large group of Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach in front of the water sports centre building site. Shortly after leaving the harbour, we heard the call of an Oystercatcher, and were surprised to see it coming towards the boat seemingly pursued by a drone. The Oystercatcher flew on, whilst the drone, presumably filming, hovered near the boat.
The first half of the trip was quiet with just the occasional Fulmar. Around half way a lone Harbour Porpoise was briefly seen, after that more Manx Shearwater along with small groups of Guillemot, and a few Razorbills, were seen. We were welcomed to Lundy by a group of Shag watching from the outer rocks and lots of jellyfish floating around the jetty.
I disembarked and walked up through the village, straight across the island and down to the Battery. There were good views of Puffin and Razorbill floating in groups just off the cliffs and the occasional one flying in to the cliffs. After eating my lunch, I then headed on to Jenny’s Cove where lots of Puffin were sitting outside of their burrows until a Peregrine Falcon flew past and they all took off. Afterwards it was time to walk back to the village and down to the jetty.
On the journey home we again saw small numbers of the same seabirds, with the addition of a single Gannet seen in the distance. Just after passing Lee Bay three Common Dolphins briefly appeared, a few minutes later, to cheers from the passengers, two more came in very close to the boat. Finally, there were a couple of brief, longer-distance sightings just prior to our arrival outside of the harbour. A great end to the trip.
I returned my jacket, thanked the crew for a good day and headed home.
MARINElife/Lundy WLO Judith Tatem