MARINElife Survey Report: Felixstowe to Vlaardingen 8th August 2017

Karrie Langdon and Jo Collins, Research Surveyors for MARINElife
Outbound: sea state 1-3, dry, cloudy with a little light rain in the middle of the day.
Return: sea state 1-3, dry, cloudy with a little light rain in the middle of the day

Marine Mammals
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 2
Dolphin sp. 1

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 3
Gannet Morus bassanus 45
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 117
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 87
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 31
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 13
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 9
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 14
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 2
Guillemot Uria aalge 15
Gull sp. 360
Larus sp. 45
Tern sp. 3
Auk sp. 8

River & Terrestrial Birds
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 421
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 25
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 585
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 262
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 6
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 1
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 11
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 32
Dunlin Calidris alpina 1
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus 2
Greylag Goose Anser anser 15
Gull sp. 349
Duck sp. 65
Larus sp. 35
Rock Pigeon Columba livia 20
Coot Fulica atra 37
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca 1
Mute Swan Cygnus olor 1662
Mallard Duck Anas platyrhynchos 76
Buzzard Buteo buteo 1
Carrion Crow Corvus corone 5
Swallow Hirundo rustica 1
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 2

After a smooth overnight crossing, whilst we slept soundly in our beds, we got to the bridge early to catch the sunrise and we were presented with a calm sea with a dramatic stormy skyline.

Gannet Peter Howlett 29

Gannet (Peter Howlett)
During the sea crossing there was a steady stream of birds including Greater Black-back Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Cormorant.  The turbulent clouds provided a striking background; making the adult Gannet easy to spot. Two Grey Heron joined the boat and kept pace with is for some time.

The river was busy with Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Coot and an Egyptian Goose. We also had a close encounter with a Buzzard who decided to fly close to the bridge. Interestingly as we made our way down the river, the swans on the left hand side were feeding while the swans on the right appeared to be waiting.  There must be a dinner rota for the swans as on the return journey, the swans' activities were reversed.

Mute Swans-Carol Farmer-Wright

Mute Swans (Carol Farmer-Wright)

The sea conditions were ideal and we spotted a couple of Harbour Porpoise of the port side of the ferry. Just before the survey was stopped we caught a quick flash of a dolphin, but it was too brief to identify the species.

Once again our thanks go to Captain Jens Olsen and crew of the Selandia Seaways who support our work and made this a very enjoyable crossing.

Karrie Langdon and Jo Collins, Research Surveyors for MARINElife