Sightings Archives: August 2012

MARINElife Survey Report: Newhaven-Dieppe ‘Seven Sisters’ 19 August 2012

Posted 25 August 2012

Carol Farmer-Wright and Hugh Cairns, Research Surveyors for MARINElife

Weather: WSW-W 4-3 Variable clouds with intermittent fog


Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis 11
Gannet Morus bassanus 124
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 5
Great Skua Stercorarius skua 3
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus 28
Herring Gull Larus argentatus 203
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus 26
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus 12
Common Tern Sterna hirundo 6
Guillemot Uria aalge 47
Unidentified larus Sp. 1


We arrived at the port and were welcomed on board the Seven Sisters by the crew and invited up to the bridge to begin our survey.

Kittiwake juv 4We left harbour with the sun shining on the water and a gentle breeze blowing. Earlier in the week there had been some quite windy weather, but the depression had passed and the sea state was expected to be relatively calm. At this time of year calm conditions can result in fog over the sea and indeed this is what we experienced occasionally during the survey. Despite the haze we still encountered good numbers of Gannets and Herring Gulls southbound, the latter being accompanied with noisy juvenile birds hoping that their parents would still feed them. As we arrived at Dieppe Black-headed Gulls moulting into winter plumage could be seen.

At 17.10 we re-joined the crew on the bridge of the Seven Sisters to return to Newhaven. Again the main birds we encountered were Gannets and Herring Gulls with the occasional Fulmar and a couple of Great Skuas being the main highlights. 
As the light started to fade and with the Sussex coast appearing we left the Bridge having thanked Commodore Conquet, his officers and crew for being so very helpful whilst we were surveying.

Carol Farmer-Wright and Hugh Cairns, Research Surveyors for MARINElife