MARINElife blog: DFDS Seaways "Cote des Flandres" Dover-Calais (20 July 2019)

Tanya Ferry and Carol Farmer-Wright, Research Surveyors for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884; Registered Company No. 5057367)

Weather Conditions:
Outbound: Dry, Visibility Moderate improving, Sea State 4-5 Wind SW-WSW force 8
Return: Dry, Visibility good, Sea state 4, Wind WSW force 8

Summary of Sightings:

Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 1
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 13
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 2
Gannet Morus bassanus 21
Great Black-Backed Gull Larus marinus 3
Gull sp. 3
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 67
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 21
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 8

As a trainee I joined the lovely Carol to cross the channel on a sunny but hazy Saturday morning on 20th July in Dover.

Fulmar Rob Petley-Jones 02


The wind was up and that meant that the surface of the water was mixed and hid any cetaceans from us.  While it is a short trip we still saw plenty of birds, which is good news for me, in need of practice.

Carol was a font of knowledge and helped build my confidence in the survey methods and the bird identification.

During the turnaround at Calais we discussed Beluga and Blue Whales, shipping and diets!!

Despite the sighting list being a bit short, this being primarily due to many birds still involved in the breeding season, the survey was a great day and I thoroughly recommend for anyone interested in starting to do so.!

Our thanks go to DFDS Seaways, the captain, officers and crew of the Cotes des Flandres for making us feel so welcome aboard the vessel during our survey.

Fulmar (Rob Petley-Jones)