Sightings Archives: May 2012

MARINElife Survey Report: Newhaven-Dieppe 'Seven Sisters' 19 May 2012

Posted 21 May 2012

Carol Farmer-Wright and John Littlewood Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Weather: Southbound: WSW-2 sunny Northbound: NW 3-1 high cloud cover

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 3
Gannet Morus bassanus 109
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 1
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus 1
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 58
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 22
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 7
Unidentified Gull sp. 30
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 3
Guillemot Uria aalge 2
Unidentified Tern Sp. 120

Terrestrial Birds:
Feral Pigeon Columba Livia 6
Meadow pipit Anthus Pratensis 2
Barn Swallow Hirundo Rustica 2

We arrived at the port and were welcomed on board the Seven Sisters by the crew and taken up to the bridge to begin our survey.
LD Lines Seven Sisters
We left harbour with the sun shining on the water and a gentle breeze. Soon after departure we started encountering Gannets and a raft of terns taking to the skies continuing their migration. Other migrants included swallows and meadow pipits making their way across the channel to England.
We docked in Dieppe just after 14.00 and spent our time on the top deck of the ship observing the many Herring Gulls, Cormorants, Great Black-backed Gulls and Common Gulls congregated around the harbour (excluded from our survey), also a meadow pipit could be heard displaying up on the hillside behind us.
At 17.10 we rejoined the crew on the bridge of the Seven Sisters to return to Newhaven.

Common Gull
The seas were still calm on our northbound trip and within 15 minutes we came across a group of 50 or so Gannets sitting on the water and further small groups feeding. We looked for fins amongst the Gannets but were unable to see any. As we moved North West into the English Channel bird activity decreased and we only had sporadic sightings of Herring Gull, Gannets and Fulmar before returning to Newhaven.
As the light started to fade we left the Bridge having thanked the crew for being so very helpful whilst we were surveying and to the galley chefs for keeping our concentration up with their excellent food whilst surveying.

Overall we had a very productive survey and are most grateful to the LD Lines captain, officers and crew for their hospitality.

Carol Farmer-Wright and John Littlewood, Research Surveyors for MARINElife