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Lundy WLO report 1 June 2024

With this being my first outing in the WLO role, I was struck by the huge enthusiasm of the day trippers to Lundy for the wildlife they might see both on Lundy and from the ‘Oldenburg’.  It was an absolute delight to have so many people wanting to chat about the birds, whales and dolphins they might see or indeed did see.

It has to be said we were fortunate with a beautiful day to be out, a moderate breeze and no swell at all, and an initial sea state 4 which dropped off to a calm sea state 2 as time went on. A lack of swell made for a smooth ride, but the initial sea state 4 meant we had to contend with white caps when looking for cetaceans.  Nonetheless two small pods of dolphins were sighted along with a lone Harbour Porpoise.  One of the pods was identified as Common Dolphin, although the second pod were more distant, and their species couldn’t be confirmed.

Common Dolphin (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

It was a pleasure to tour the decks and speak to people about the important survey and education work we do as a charity as well as about the birds we could see.  With a sold out sailing the most difficult thing was getting around to everyone as so many people were keen to have a chat, which was lovely.  The regular sightings of Manx Shearwaters caused a great deal of interest amongst birders more used to land birds.  Their long, elegant wings and relaxed flight, soaring low across the waves, impressed many, particularly when in comparison to the frantic wing beats of the many Guillemots and Razorbills.

On the return run later, we were lucky enough to pass a couple of large groups of Manx Shearwaters resting on the sea which gave us excellent views.  Close up we could also see that these birds were showing the signs of wear and tear associated with the challenges of the breeding season, just as our garden birds do.

Manx Shearwater (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

It was a shame we didn’t see many Gannets, but we had a few sightings each way and when one pristine adult flew low over our heads, even the non-birding passengers were impressed by its size and grandeur.

The clear blue skies and gentle breeze made Lundy seem all the more beautiful during our landing.  My wife, Jane, and I made our way over to the Battery in the hope of seeing Puffins.  Our exercise was well rewarded with around 40 Puffins resting on the water and several sitting amongst the flowers in front of their burrows.  In addition to the Puffins, whilst we ate our lunch we were delighted to see Wheatears, Swallows, a Fulmar and Great Black-back Gulls, amongst other gull species.  Our stay on Lundy was sadly all too brief but it had been a memorable visit.

As ever, huge thanks to the captain, Jason, and crew of the ‘Oldenburg’ for their help and assistance.

MARINElife/Lundy WLO: Don Ainsworth 

Summary of sightings

Marine Mammals

Common Dolphin 5

Harbour Porpoise 1

Dolphin sp. 6






Great Black-backed Gull


Herring Gull


Lesser Black-backed Gull

Manx Shearwater





Other birds on Lundy

Carrion Crow


Collared Dove


House Sparrow



Pied Wagtail








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