MARINElife blog: DFDS ‘Calais Seaways’ Calais-Dover (23 August 2015)

Diederik D'hert and Jozefien Decoene, Research Surveyors for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884)

Light rain but good visibility on outward journey. Dry on return journey. Overcast which meant no glare on the sea surface.

Summary of sightings:

Arctic skua Stercorarius parasiticus 13
Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea 1
Black-headed gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 21
Common tern Sterna hirundo 71
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 4
Gannet Morus bassanus 22
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 2
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
Herring gull Larus argentatus 8
Lesser black-backed gull Larus fuscus
Great black-backed gull Larus marinus 3
Great skua Stercorarius skua 1
Sandwich tern Sterna sanvicensis 2
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 1
Swift Apus apus 4
Yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis 1

Herring Gull Graham Ekins 05

Shortly after arriving on the bridge and introducing ourselves to the captain and the crew the ferry left Calais for Dover. During the first half hour we spotted a variety of gulls including herring gulls and greater black-backed gulls.


Arctic Skua Mike Bamford 02aEven a couple of Red Admiral butterflies accompanied us when leaving port. A number of gannets crossed our path as we headed further into the Channel. Shortly before arriving we were very glad to see a small group of Arctic skua flying past.


On the return journey to Calais we counted gannets, some fulmars a couple of sandwich terns and one great skua. Even some common swifts were spotted during the trip.On arrival in Calais, numerous common terns and the occastional Arctic tern welcomed us back. After thanking the captain and the crew we left the bridge and drove back to Belgium.

Common Tern Peter Howlett 02



Herring gull (Graham Ekins)
Arctic skua (Mike Bamford)
Common tern (Peter Howlett)