Hull to Zeebrugge 28th - 30th May 2016 P&O Ferries Pride of York

Cassie Bye and Jenny Boatwright; Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Summary of Weather and Species Recorded

Weather
Outward - good visibility: Return - fog and mist.

Marine Mammals
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 2
Common Seal Phoca vitulina (1 casual sighting)

Seabirds
Gannet Morus bassanus 30
Common gull Larus canus 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 23
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 78
Gull sp   31
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 6
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 3
Guillemot Uria aalge 3
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 1

Terrestrial Birds
Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita 1
Wood pigeon Columba palumbus 2

Once clear of the lock gates and into the Humber, the Captain welcomed us onto the bridge. The Humber was quiet, with just the occasional Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gull. The Captain explained we were taking the North Channel down the river as we were on low water. Once out into the North Sea the occasional Gannet was sighted. As night closed in we retired to our cabin for some sleep.

We awoke for an early start to continue the survey as we approached the Belgian coast. A couple of hours into the survey, Jenny spotted a Harbour Porpoise, which gave us a couple of nice views as it surfaced swimming across towards the starboard side. There was also a bit of bird activity including gulls, Fulmar, and Gannet including some actively fishing. We were also given close up views of a Chiffchaff that flew about in front of the windows on the bridge, perching on the railings outside.

HarbourPorpoiseAdrianShepherd16Harbour Porpoise (Adrian Shephard)

We docked in Zeebrugge and left the ship for the day, enjoying a walk and lunch in the main square in Bruges before re-boarding for the early evening. We watched a group of Common Tern fishing at the dockside as we waited for departure, after which we were welcomed again onto the bridge for the evening survey. We saw several gulls and the occasional Gannet before visibility fell as darkness approached.

We awoke to find the ship surrounded by fog and were unable to completed a morning's survey but as we approached the Humber estuary spotted a lone Common Seal.

Our thanks go to the Captain (Captain Mcfayden) and his officers for their hospitality and continued interest in our survey.

We would also like to thank P&O for their support for this survey.

Common Tern Graham Ekins 02Common Tern (Graham Ekins)

Cassie Bye and Jenny Boatwright; Research Surveyors for MARINElife