MARINElife blog: DFDS Seaways "Cote des Flandres" Dover-Calais (15 June 2019)

Nuala Campbell and Mike Mackay, Research Surveyors for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884; Registered Company No. 5057367)

Weather Conditions:
Sunny; wind SE force 3 sea state 1 good visibility.

Summary of Sightings:

Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 5
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 8
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 5
Gull sp. Laridae 26
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 39
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 29
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 9

Saturday June 15 offered reassuringly calm seas, mild breezes and good visibility and a collection of harbourside gulls taking an interest in some dramatically spilled snacks in the aftermath of a minor set- to outside the food court, although that still left an impressive range flocking at the harbour mouth.

Cormorant Peter Howlett 06The first stage of the crossing saw a steady stream and variety of gulls including Lesser Black-backed Gull and Black-headed Gull. As well as a large display of Kittiwake. Nearing the French coast Cormorant appeared over the markers and fishing buoys.

The Cormorant kept a lower profile on the return journey but there was a much stronger showing by Herring Gull and good numbers of Kittiwake considering the short duration of the journey.

We were again reminded of how busy the Channel with a huge array of commercial, freight, fishing and pleasure craft on the water throughout both crossings matched with calm seamanship on board.

The crossing was rounded off with a last-minute flurry of Herring Gull approaching the harbour and circling the boats emerging and returning.

Thanks as ever to the Captain and crew of the Cotes de Flandres and to DFDS for their continued generous support and assistance to Marinelife.

Cormorant (Peter Howlett)