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Lundy WLO report Ilfracombe-Lundy 29 July

This was my first crossing of 2023, so I arrived in Ilfracombe with lots of excitement for the day ahead and fingers crossed for plenty of sightings. The weather in Ilfracombe was slightly overcast but mild. I made my way to the shore office to collect my ticket and then chatted with some of the passengers while waiting to board. Upon boarding, I was reacquainted with Information Officer Rob and Captain Jason, a lovely catch up after almost a year away.


Donning the MARINElife Wildlife Officer hi-viz and picking up some flyers, I made my way out on deck as we departed Ilfracombe to introduce myself to everyone on board. After about 20 minutes sailing, we began to feel the ‘moderate’ sea state announced at the start of the journey. I stayed on the outer decks talking to passengers and kept an eye out for any passing wildlife, the odd Gannet and Fulmar but unfortunately the conditions made sightings difficult.

Grey Seal (Megan Strachan)

As we approached Lundy, Captain Jason brought us up to the northern end and then hugged the coast up to the Landing Jetty. The Grey Seal were out in force in their usual spot, giving passengers a nice welcome to the island. I took a steady walk up through Milcombe Valley and then up to about halfway along the West side, picking a lunch spot near The Battery. I sat here and watched the Fulmar and a mixed group of gulls making good use of the high winds.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Megan Strachan)

I headed back down to Landing Bay ahead of boarding to watch the Grey Seal before leaving. The tide was just turning so the seals looked as though they were finding a suitable spot to haul out. A group of three Oystercatcher also made a fleeting appearance, coupled with their distinctive chirps.


Our return journey was more comfortable than the outward, travelling with the swell meant for a smoother crossing. Sightings picked up too with plenty of Gannet, Fulmar, and Manx Shearwater. A couple of passengers informed me they had seen a brief glimpse of dolphins during the crossing too.


It was great to be back on board and I look forward to my next trip. A huge thanks to Captain Jason, Rob and the Oldenburg crew, and the team at the Lundy Shore Office.

MARINElife/Lundy WLO: Megan Strachan

Summary of sightings:

Grey Seal

Gannet

Fulmar

Manx Shearwater

Oystercatcher

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