Sightings Archives: October 2012

MARINElife Survey Report: Felixstowe Vlaardingen 'Flandria Seaways' 30th October 2012

Posted 16 November 2012

Philip Dutt and Pat Howard, MARINElife Research Surveyors

Weather: NW-SE Moderate winds

Marine mammals:
Common seal Phoca vitulina 1

Common Scoter Melanitta nigra 43
Red throated Diver Gavia stellata  2
Gannet Morus bassanus 18
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 301
Parasitic (Arctic) Skua Stercorarius parasiticus  1
Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus 1
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 42
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 12
Common Gull Larus canus 21
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus  265
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 2
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 93
Large gulls (unidentified) Larus Sp. 30
Guillemot Uria aalge  8

River Birds:
Mute swan Cygnus olor  77
Gadwall Anas strepera  203
Mallard Anas platyrynchos  6
Wigeon Anas penelope  73
Teal Anas crecca  3
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 1
Coot Fulica atra  22

Terrestrial Birds:
Common buzzard Buteo buteo  2
Oystercatcher H√¶matopus ostralegus  1
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus 125
Curlew Numenius arquata  2
Carrion crow Corvus corone  12
Jackdaw Corvus monedula  1
Magpie Pica pica  2
Starling Sturnus vulgaris  1

Arctic Skua JuvOur overnight crossing was quite smooth but the following day was not quite smooth enough to be ideal for Porpoise spotting. We had good visibility though with occasional light rain and slight glare. Winds were never more than moderate blowing from the northwest to start with but they were south-easterly by the time we reached Vlaardingen. We had good views of Mediterranean Gull, Long-tailed and Arctic Skua, but no cetaceans and only one marine mammal - a Common Seal.  In the light of recent press coverage about exhausted migrants, we kept an eye out for any birds seeking refuge on the ship. We did not see any although there were significant numbers of Lapwing near the river.

For the return journey, the wind was westerly. Our daylight was cut short by a very persistent and dark bank of glowering cloud, which turned the sea an inky black.

Once again, our thanks go to the galley and bridge crew of the Flandria Seaways for making this a very enjoyable crossing and to the shore staff at the Felixstowe office for getting us safely to the vessel.

Philip Dutt and Pat Howard, Research Surveyors for MARINElife