Alan Sumnall and Nicola Simpson, Research Surveyor for
Weather: Visibility clear; 50% cloud; Slightly windy; Short period of rain mid-survey
Summary of Sightings
Harbour Porpoise Phocoena phocoena 2
Great Northern Diver Gavia immer 1
Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 3
Gannet Morus bassanus 5
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 15
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra 44
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 4
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 99
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 40
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 98
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 2
Guillemot Uria aalge 52
Razorbill Alca torda 1
Upon checking in at Liverpool we were welcomed on board by the
friendly crew, who called up to the Captain to arrange for us to
set up for our survey. We headed up to the bridge and met Captain
Steve Miller who showed us to our survey location. He and his crew
were very welcoming, offering us refreshments and were very keen to
help, and we set off from Liverpool at 10.30, the weather being
clear although a little windy.
Seabird sightings began shortly after we set off with a variety of gulls observed, as well as several Oystercatcher which we observed feeding on the banks of the River Mersey as we headed out to sea. Throughout our journey we observed a variety of seabirds, including Razorbill, Common Scoter, Fulmar and fantastic views of a Great Northern Diver.
Mid journey we passed by the Isle of Man and shortly after this had two brief sightings of Harbour Porpoise. The windy weather did make cetacean spotting difficult, so these two sightings were very welcome! We continued surveying until the light became too poor for accurate sightings, and we arrived in Belfast on time at 18.30 where we left the ship for a short visit into Belfast.
We spent a couple of hours looking around the City Centre, including a visit to the lovely Christmas market, and returned to the ship at around 21.30 ready to depart at 22.30. Due to the time of year, we did not undertake a survey on the return leg of the journey and instead we had a comfortable night's sleep, arriving back into Liverpool at 06.30 the following morning.
Once again, our thanks go to the very helpful and friendly staff
and crew of Stena Lagan who made this a very enjoyable
Alan Sumnall and Nicola Simpson, Research Surveyor for MARINElife (Registered Charity No. 1110884; Registered Company No. 5057367)
Fulmar Photo: Rob Petley-Jones
Nicola Simpson surveying Photo: Alan Sumnall
Alan Sumnall surveying Photo: Nicola Simpson