Saturday the 9th of April 2016
Bideford to Lundy Island – MARINElife Wildlife Officer Trip
We arrived in Bideford at 07:30am for my first Lundy trip of 2016. As I collected my ticket from the Landmark Trust office I had a quick conversation with Beccy MacDonald the Island’s Warden who was returning to Lundy.
Following this, I proceeded to board the MS Oldenburg where I was welcomed aboard by Jason the ship’s new Captain. As I started my tour around the upper and lower decks the rain had ensured that many of the 108 passengers were below in the saloons, as such there was only a handful of people to talk to.
The one and only cetacean sighting happened as the ship had passed over the reef which is just outside the mouth of estuary, here a brief glimpse of a single Harbour Porpoise was good to see. Birds of note were Manx Shearwater, Gannet along with Guillemot and Razorbill rafting as the ship passed them by. The usual common gulls were seen along with Kittiwake, Fulmar and a Great Skua.
As the Oldenburg made its way slowly towards the landing bay there was no sign of any Seals on the rocks of Rat Island, however I did see two during my time on the island from the higher levels. As the passengers disembarked, the sun came out and everyone proceeded to walk up to the higher levels.
As we approached the boat shed at the end of the jetty I met Simon Dell who I’ve met on a number of occasions on the Island or the Oldenburg. We chatted for a few moments while his group started to form up for his Island tour. Simon is a Lundy and Dartmoor Park Guide, Author and Speaker and his books are worth a read if you want to know about the history of the Island. Simon has a website that can be reached at,
Simon's Books about Lundy are available from these links
My route this visit was to pass the wooded areas to look out for migrant birds, here I saw Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. Onwards towards halfway wall I spotted my first Wheatear of the year, both male and female. Arriving at Jenny’s Cove, named after a ship that was wrecked off the rocks, I soon had sight of my first Puffin for 2016 along with many Guillemot, Razorbill and Kittiwake.
After a picnic lunch; we proceeded to make my way back to the jetty, passing the old light along the way were Skylark, Meadow Pipit and many more beautiful Wheatear.
Also whilst walking back, the island’s Sika Deer were spotted, plus the Lundy Ponies were seen grazing over on the eastern side of the island. Other animals observed were the usual sheep and wild goats.
The crossing back to Ilfracombe was a quiet one with the same birds being seen along the way.
Before disembarking I thanked Jason the new Captain and Vernon the ship’s first mate for his and the crews’ continued support for MARINElife.
I look forward to my next trip in May, this time I hope to see some of the Common and Bottlenose Dolphin that I regularly see and even the possibility of a Minké Whale, Basking Shark or Sunfish.
Birds seen on this trip,
Manx Shearwater, Black Headed gull, Herring Gull, Kittiwake, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Fulmar, Guillemot, Razorbill, Shag, Gannet, Great Skua, Puffin, Little Egret, Swallow, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Teal, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Peregrine Falcon, Meadow Pipit, Wheatear, Starling, House Sparrow, Wood Pigeon, Robin, Blackbird, Dunnock, Skylark, Wren, Carrion Crow, Goldfinch, Jackdaw, Mallard and Pied Wagtail.