BLOG - By Russell Brown

An occasional blog about some of the places we have visited and some of the wildlife we have seen.


Meadow pipit, Lundy Island

Meadow Pipit, Lundy Island

LUNDY ISLAND


Situated 18 miles off the North Devon coast, Lundy Island can truly be classed as remote. A sea crossing or helicopter flight is required to access the island, with its own vessel MS Oldenburg regularly making the voyage from Ilfracombe or Bideford. This does mean that your arrival on Lundy can feel like being part of a package tour but once you get away from the quay and the charms of the Marisco Tavern the crowds fall away.

We visited in April 2018 for the first time and the island proved truly captivating. There is an abundance of wildlife from the rugged Soar sheep to feral goats, sika deer and a huge proliferation of birds. In an average year over 140 species are recorded. One of the big environmental successes on the island in recent years has been the eradication of rats, a species which had virtually wiped out the population of puffins and Manx shearwaters. Fortunately both species are now making a good recovery. Visitors to the island can do their bit to keep Lundy rat free by checking boats and bags carefully before arriving on the island as they can harbour rats and also making sure all rubbish is taken home.

The puffins were in evidence when we visited, if a little distant! The hike up to Jenny's Cove on the Western side of the island takes you across windswept moorland with views down the plunging cliffs to the Atlantic ocean below. The going isn't particularly easy but this is where you get a true sense of the wild open space and the revitalising affect that can have. The Soar sheep were grazing with young lambs and we constantly had pipits and wheatears for company.

I had taken both my Nikon D810 and the D610  bodies along with a choice of lenses. The Sigma 300mm f2.8 with a 2x teleconverter was most used that day. During our time on the island and aboard the MS Oldenburg we saw Manx shearwaters, puffins, razorbills, chiff chaffs,, meadow pipits, black backed gulls, wheatears, black caps and gannets. I certainly didn't get good images of all the birds but it is about so much more than the photography. We are lucky to have wild, open spaces that are accessible and I feel utterly exhilarated just being in an environment like this.


Lundy is managed by the LANDMARK TRUST and all details about visiting, staying and the wildlife can be seen on their website.

Photos

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