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Ilfracombe-Lundy WLO report 11 June

MARINElife/Lundy WLO Judith Tatem

Weather dry and sunny, wind 4-5, sea state 4-5


Summary of sightings:

Marine Mammals

Common Dolphin 4

Grey Seal 6


Seabirds

Herring Gull

Great Black-backed Gull

Gannet

Guillemot

Razorbill

Shag

Manx Shearwater

Oystercatcher

Fulmar


Wildlife seen on Lundy (Landing Bay only)

Rock Pipit, Oystercatcher, Herring Gull, Blue Jellyfish

It was a sunny but windy morning when I arrived on Ilfracombe pier. I collected my ticket and joined the boarding queue, with the low tide the Oldenburg was moored on the outside of the pier, where she was moving around in the heavy swell that was rolling into the entrance. While waiting to board I could see a Herring Gull was successfully fishing in a small rock pool in the rocks behind the pier and there were Gannets flying quite close along the coast offshore.


Shortly after 10.00am we were informed that it wasn’t safe to board any passengers. The Oldenburg was going to lie off Ilfracombe until around noon, when the tide would be higher and allow access to a more sheltered part of the pier. Only the staying passengers would then be taken out to Lundy. I decided to have a look around the harbourside galleries and had a coffee.


The plan worked – the inner berth was certainly somewhat calmer and we were able to board. I was warmly greeted by Captain Jason and other members of the crew. Having collected my hi-viz vest, I headed out onto the deck – everyone was excited and relieved to be on their way out to Lundy.

Grey Seal (Judith Tatem)

There was little to be seen in the first half of the trip with only a solo Fulmar and the occasional Gannet sighted. In the latter part of the trip, we started to see Guillemot, and a few Razorbills, however, the highlight was four Common Dolphin which briefly approached the boat. We were welcomed to Lundy by seals bottling in the landing bay. I disembarked and sat on the quay enjoying my now rather belated lunch, watching the seals and Oystercatchers.

Oystercatcher (Judith Tatem)

On the journey back the swell was considerably reduced and there were far fewer white tops to the waves. Single or pairs of Manx Shearwaters were regularly seen along with the occasional Guillemot and Razorbill. The coast from Baggy Point to Ilfracombe was clearer than on the outer voyage so we could admire the dramatic scenery. Back alongside the harbour I thanked Captain Jason and the crew for the voyage.

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