MARINElife Survey Report: Felixstowe Vlaardingen “Flandria Seaways” 31st July 2012

Carol Farmer-Wright, Research Surveyor for MARINElife 

Weather: Outbound: SW-S 3-4 high cloud Return leg: S-SSW 4-6 cloudy.

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 4
Gannet Morus bassanus 23
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 529
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus 231
Common Gull Larus canus 22
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 439
Unidentified Gull Sp. 12
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 615
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 2
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 1
Unidentified mixed Gull sp. 15
Unidentified mixed Larus Sp. 1290
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 12
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 92

Terrestrial Birds
Carrion Crow Corvus corone 5
Feral Pigeon
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 1
Greylag Goose Anser anser 1
Mallard Anus platyrhynchos 75
Mute Swan Cygnus olor 1945
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 20
Wood Pigeon Columba polumbus 1

I arrived on Monday evening and was welcomed aboard the 'Flandria Seaways' by a member of the crew, who escorted me to my cabin so that I could get some sleep before the survey on Tuesday.

I arrived on the bridge just as the sun was rising above the horizon and prepared for the survey. The North Sea was relatively quiet, only a few Gannets, Lesser Black-backed gulls and terns were to be seen before reaching the Nieuwe Waterweg River into Vlaardingen.

Cormorants and Lesser Black-backed Gulls were sitting on Cormorantthe breakwater at the entrance to the river and Juv-Gannet 002the breeding colony of Gulls on the south side now had fully developed chicks on it. Mute Swans were in evidence as were Common Terns with their young feeding in the water. Having docked at Vlaardingen I took the opportunity to start writing up my survey notes before the return trip.

We left shortly after 2 p.m. and Mute Swans were again in evidence. Mallard ducks, males in eclipse plumage and females with their young hugged the south bank. It wasn't long before we reached the North Sea. The wind was a little livelier on the return leg, an opportunity to see Gannets and Fulmars flying deftly over the waves. The light slowly faded and I left the bridge having thanked the officers for looking after me on the survey.

My thanks goes to DFDS Seaways, captain Thomas Stephensen, his officers and crew for looking after me so well whilst on the survey.

Carol Farmer-Wright, Research Surveyor for MARINElife