Sightings Archives: February 2013

MARINElife Survey Report: Heysham–Warrenpoint ‘Anglia Seaways’ and 'Seatruck Panorama’ 7th - 8th February 2013

Posted 17 February 2013

Nik Grounds, Research Surveyor for MARINElife
Conditions:    Westbound: E 3-5 veering NE 1-3 - Eastbound: W to NW 6 decreasing to 4

Summary of Species Recorded

Cetacea and Mammals

Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 7
Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus 1


Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata 3
Great Northern Diver Gavia immer 10
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 16
Gannet Morus bassanus 13
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 3
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis 16
Eider Somateria mollissima 1
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra 11
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 2
Common Gull Larus canus 46
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 81
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 65
Unidentified large gull sp. c.122
Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus 2
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 26
Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle 19
Guillemot Uria aalge 73
Razorbill Alca torda 45
Unidentified auk sp 37

Terrestrial birds

Pink-footed Geese Anser brachyrhynchus 95

Other waterbirds recorded in Carlingford Lough

Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata

Gannet by SLI arrived in good time and following a smooth check in and was transferred to the Seatruck Panorama, where I was kindly provided with breakfast before being escorted to the bridge.  Here we were welcomed by the Captain Paul Matthews and crew.

As we left the harbour conditions looked promising, and two Red-throated Diver and a flock of Common Scoter were seen close to shore soon after departing Heysham harbour.  Two skeins of Pink-footed Goose were also seen flying north across Morecambe Bay.  On calm waters, a total of four Harbour Porpoise were observed in the Lune Deep.

As we approached Carlingford Lough a total of seven Great Northern Diver were seen sat on the sea and the local fishing boats were attracting large numbers of gulls.

After a good night's sleep in a B&B, I boarded the Anglia Seaways at Warrenpoint, and was made welcome on the bridge by Captain Orfeus Kekus and his crew.

Grey Seal Martin GillinghamThree Harbour Porpoise were observed in Carlingford Lough soon after leaving Warrenpoint, and at Greenore port on the south of Carlingford Lough 19 Black Guillemot were seen on and in the water around the wooden jetty.

Almost immediately leaving Carlingford Lough I again saw Great Northern Diver, this time a total of three.

The crossing back to Heysham was very calm and I was rewarded with sightings of Harbour Porpoise and Grey Seal.  As we approached Heysham, there were two sightings of Little Gull.

Overall I had a very productive survey and am most grateful to the Seatruck Ferries staff and crews for their hospitality.

Nik Grounds, Research Surveyor for MARINElife