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Lundy WLO report Ilfracombe-Lundy 10 June

Summary of sightings:

Marine mammals Common Dolphins 3 Porpoise (1 seen by passengers on outward journey) Seabirds Herring Gull Greater Black-backed Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Fulmer Gannet Guillemot Puffin Razorbill Shag Manx Shearwater Oystercatcher Wildlife seen on Lundy Soay sheep Lundy pony Highland cattle Goats Swallow Skylark Meadow Pipit Rock Pipit Stonechat Goldfinch Wheatear Starling House Sparrow Blackbird Carrion Crow Raven Oystercatcher Robin Herring Gull Greater Black-backed Gull Lesser Black-backed Gull Razorbill Puffin Guillemot Kittiwake Small Heath Red Admiral


Weather: cloudy with occasional heavy showers on outward journey, partially sunny on return, sea state 1-3, wind force 2-3


It was a rather dull and cloudy 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, it was great to be back on board and heading out for my first sailing of the year.

Manx Shearwater (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

I headed out onto the deck to join my fellow passengers. The visibility was not very good, and there was a threat of showers, which fortunately did not occur until the second half of the journey and then were only short and sharp. Throughout the crossing Manx Shearwater were the dominant bird, with small numbers of Guillemot, Razorbill and Herring Gull. A lone Gannet was seen and approaching Lundy two Puffin were sitting on the sea. A couple of passengers reported briefly seeing one Porpoise during the crossing. Arriving at the landing bay on Lundy the swell was rolling onto the jetty which made disembarkation slow.


The clouds had cleared, so it was a lovely sunny day on the Island. I walked up the hill and followed the path past the old lighthouse and down to the Battery. I sat eating my picnic, watching the Puffin, Guillemot, Razorbill and Lesser Black-backed Gull flying in and out of the cliffs, while more rafted on the sea. Behind me on the island I could hear the Meadow Pipits and Skylark singing. I then headed straight back through the village and down to the landing stage.

Common Dolphin (Library photo: Peter Howlett)

On the journey back the visibility had improved slightly. We had regular sightings of individual Guillemot and groups of Razorbill, also there was one big group of Manx Shearwater. At a distance three Common Dolphin briefly appeared. Arrival back in Ilfracombe was slightly delayed whilst the Oldenburg waited for the PS Waverley to leave the pier – a reminder of the days when paddle steamers were the usual means of visiting Lundy. On arrival in Ilfracombe, I collected my bags and thanked the crew for another good trip.

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