Sightings Archives: June 2012

MARINElife Survey Report: Newhaven-Dieppe ‘Seven Sisters’ 23 June 2012

Posted 26 June 2012

Michael Bamford, Emma Bateman: Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Weather: Southbound: SW 6 good visibility Northbound: SW 4 good visibility

Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 5
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 2
Gannet Morus bassanus 55
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 1
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus 3
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 123
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 1
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla 25
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 3
'Commic' Tern Sterna hirundo/paradisaea 1
Skua Sp. 1
Large gull Sp. 1


GBBG-ChicksOn this occasion the departure was scheduled for 11:30, this gave us a little time to spare to have breakfast, so turning left out of the terminal and over the swing bridge we found a cafe in the High Street which gave us a very satisfying Turkish 'Full English'.
We boarded with the foot passengers, and were met by the extremely helpful Ship's Bursar, who incidentally pointed out a pair of breeding Great Black-backed gulls with their 2 absurdly fluffy chicks on the roof of a nearby dock building; apparently they are regular breeders at this site.

On the spacious bridge, we had excellent visibility, and the day was bright but breezy with sea state 6 and wind from the South West. As we backed out of Newhaven harbour we were attended by a flock of Herring Gulls. Bird life was sporadic as we crossed, with highlights being a single Manx Shearwater, and a Great Skua.

KittiwakeAs we had only a 2 1/2 hour turnaround at Dieppe we stayed on board. As we left the narrow entrance to Dieppe harbour the wind had settled to Force 3 and the sea had also settled, which improved our chances of seeing small cetaceans, however, again we were seeing seabirds, with more Gannets and Kittiwakes, some in moult post breeding, and then a single smaller skua - probably an Arctic Skua, before docking as the light faded at 9:30 pm.

Overall we saw 222 seabirds. The low bird numbers probably reflects that at this time of year, most breeders are at their colonies, while the late summer migration is yet to start.

We are most grateful to the very friendly, helpful and interested crew of the Seven Sisters for a very enjoyable trip.

Michael Bamford, Emma Bateman: Research Surveyors for MARINElife