One of my favourite Lundy activities is mammal watching. Yes, I also birdwatch, and there can be some excellent birds on Lundy, but I can do that anywhere. Lundy offers opportunities for mammal watching that are not normally available. Seals, for example, are easily seen either in the water, or hauled out. On our walk to the north end, see my blog, we saw several snoozing happily on a flat rock. We were also lucky enough to see a porpoise fairly close in, while we were sitting watching the sea, low down on the west side.
There are also Lundy ponies to track down and admire, who have the run of the North end of the Island. Visitors are warned that they may bite and kick, but I ‘speak horse’, i.e. I know how to sidle up to them and see if any are interested in meeting me, and can tell when they are not. So I always manage a bit of scratching time. (Me scratching the pony…)
Also roaming the top half of the island is next year’s burgers…
These guys are a fairly recent addition to the farm, and seem to be a success so far, especially now that the first offspring is on the menu in the Tavern. There is something very satisfying about eating meat that lived its entire life on the island. The farm also has pigs and a lot of sheep, although these live in the fields in the southern half of the island. Plenty of cute lambs at this time of year!
There are ‘wild’ animals to find too – a herd of Sika deer can be seen almost anywhere on the island, but are most reliably found on the east side, where they are fairly unafraid of people walking past gently.
Less wild, but equally interesting are the feral goats and their ridiculously cute kids.
We watched this family playing for ages, and then two young males started to size each other up…
The last of the herd animals are the soay sheep. A rare breed, I believe, but doing very well on Lundy, with lots of the most adorable lambs…
As with the deer and goats, they do so well the numbers need to be reduced regularly, so all of these feature on the tavern menu. The roast soay was delicious.
Last but not least, I couldn’t resist a picture of this lady. Not sure Lundy duck has ever been on the menu, nor duck eggs, so not sure what purpose she serves, but she was waddling around the farm quite contentedly.
So we had a great week finding all these animals, and a few good birds too, including a short-eared owl, a cuckoo, and a ring-ouzel, all just passing through on migration. We walked all over the island, often in a sharpish wind, and spent the one rainy day curled up in our cottage playing a fascinating new board game. Our crossing home was as sunny and calm as the first one, so was a fine end to the holiday.