Sightings Archives: January 2013

MARINElife Survey Report: Dover-Dunkirk, 'Dover Seaways' 5th January 2013

Posted 07 January 2013

Carol Farmer-Wright and Teresa Donohue, Research Surveyors for MARINElife
Weather: SSW - WSW 4 - 3

Cetaceans and mammals
Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncates 2
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 2
Unidentified Dolphin sp 2

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 9
Gannet Morus bassanus  90
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 38
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus 4
Common Gull Larus canus  5
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 23
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 1
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 51
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 34
Guillemot Uria aalge 24
Razorbill Alca torda 1
Goldeneye Bucephala clangula 7
Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata 3
Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica 2
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus 1
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 2
Unidentified Auk sp. 12
Unidentified Diver sp. 2 

Terrestrial Birds
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 7
Unidentified Grebe sp. 4

GuillemotWe arrived at the Port of Dover and were quickly advised of our lane to join the "Dover Seaways". On boarding the ship we were immediately taken to the staff canteen to have lunch before beginning our survey.

The weather was settled, high pressure having covered the country over the previous two days giving calm seas and cloudy skies with reasonable visibility.

Within ten minutes we were watching Gannet feeding and Herring Gull, Guillemot and Kittiwake also searching for food. One hour into the survey several Great Black-backed Gull were seen sitting on the sea and Red and Black-throated Diver were observed close to the French coast.


Dolphin dorsal finThe calm conditions rewarded us with sightings of Harbour Porpoise, Bottlenose Dolphin and a tantalising glimpse of two dorsal fins that disappeared too quickly to identify the animals with any confidence.

On passing the outer breakwater in Dunkerque we concluded our survey and thanked Captain Pierrot, his officers and crew for their hospitality and left the bridge to compile our sightings.

Our thanks also go to DFDS Seaways for supporting MARINElife in enabling us to survey this important route.


Carol Farmer-Wright and Teresa Donohue, Research Surveyors for MARINElife